Tuesday, March 31, 2009

(cue sappy game show music now)

Announcer: Now is the time when we take a random question from the audience! Who has a question? Yes, you there in the back, what is your name, and where are you from?

Audience Member: Um, hi, my name is Cathy, and I am from Sioux City, Iowa. First of all, I just want to say, Tiff, I love your blog and I think you are the funniest person ever. I mean, EVER. Really, you are so cool. Anyway, I had a question, I noticed you have some advertising on your blog, what is that all about?

Tiff: Hi, Cathy, and thank you for the compliments, you are too kind. Yes there is advertising here, I am trying to exploit my children's mishaps for a paycheck make a little money off my writing. Hey, we are in a recession, you know! There are the Google ads that rotate depending on my current content, and a new ad from Scentsy.

Cathy: What is Scentsy?

Tiff: Well, Cathy, I'm glad you asked.

Announcer: Are you tired of the same old smells around your house? Are you worried that your unruly children will knock over your essential oil burner? Have you heard about the house fires caused by some plug in scent dispensers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need Scentsy!

Cathy: Wow, this is beginning to feel like a commercial. Um, I just come here for stories about pee.

Tiff: Well, Cathy, we wouldn't dream of using this blog to shamelessly promote a product without some form of compensation. But hey, you asked, so I am more than willing to help out. Because you, loyal reader, are my number one priority.

Cathy: Ummm, thanks?

Announcer: Let's compare Scentsy to a regular essential oil burner. Here is a traditional burner.

See the dangerous flame? The tea light candles that constantly need replacing? And who can forget the constant need to blow out the candle before you leave the house? Just annoying!

But wait! Before you give up on having a wonderful scent filled home, here is a Scentsy warmer!

See the dashingly good looks? Stylish pattern? And it is simply a light bulb that heats the wax to release the sent. No danger of fire or burned children!

Cathy: But it is wax, right? That is dangerous!

Announcer: The wax melts at a cool temperature so there is no risk of burning!

Random Audience Member: Yes, I even got some of the wax in my carpet, and it came right out!

Cathy: Are you an audience plant? This is really weird. I was really just looking for projectile yogurt stories or songs about childbirth...

Tiff: Ha, ha, yes, Cathy, we all are. But you did ask, and therefore it is our obligation to tell you about the latest, greatest thing in home scents! There are over 80 scentsational scents to choose from, with a wide variety that warm the heart, enliven the senses, and inspire the soul. And the variety of warmers! Oh, my, don't even get me started there! Also, car candles, room sprays, the list goes on!

Another Random Audience Member: How do I find out more?

Tiff: Well, folks, that's the easy part. The convenient button on my sidebar will lead you straight to Scentsy's site! View the warmers, see what's new, place an order, or just browse around to see what it is all about, it's all available HERE!

Cathy: Well, I think my doctor's neighbor's dogwalker is a consultant, maybe I'll try and track her down...

Announcer: No need! Why go through all the trouble, when there is a Scentsy consultant HERE? Reliable, trustworthy, honest, and oh-so-very cool, Holly Snow is the greatest Scentsy consultant around!

Cathy: I have a cousin who lives in the farmlands of Whatcom county. How would I know if she would like the scents? Maybe Sweet Tea Magnolia doesn't go well with Corn Crop Fertilizer?

Announcer: That's the beauty of Scentsy! Your cousin can contact Holly and book a party of smelling fun, or just borrow a basket of scent samples if she just wants to order for herself! It really is that easy!

Cathy: Hey, where did this announcer come from, anyway? Isn't this a blog? Why do you have an announcer on your blog, Tiff?

Tiff: To promote Scentsy, of course!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

It's Not Me! Monday! time! As always, Not Me! Monday! was created by MckMama, and like I said last week, MckMama's little baby son Stellan is still in the hospital with SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia: A very rapid heart rate electrically originating on an inappropriate spot on the heart). He is not doing well at all, please continue to lift him and his family up in your prayers.
Welcome to Not Me! Monday!

This week while bathing Drew, I did NOT find several cat hairs stuck in the fold between his chin and his chest. That would be gross.

A couple of weeks ago at church, I was NOT the victim of a well meaning, "So I see you are expecting again, obviously!" I was NOT so stunned at the "obviously" that I decided right then and there that I should never wear that shirt again. My very next thought was NOT that I was definitely going to have to blog about it, and I did NOT forget for two Not Me! Monday!'s in a row.

I did NOT call my hubby away from volunteering on Saturday to come home and be with me and the kids before I lost the very last shred of my sanity completely.

I did NOT have a few of the cutest little helpers in the world aiding me in re-organizing my pantry this week.

I did NOT laugh at their attempts at organization, and delight in their willingness to give me a hand. I did NOT begin to be concerned that all my hard work was going to pot as one boy would take something out of the pantry and hand it to his brother, who would put it in a different spot. I certainly did NOT give them fruit snacks(right before dinner, no less,) just to get them out of my hair.

This was NOT all witnessed by the ever-adorable littlest brother, who was trying so very hard to stay awake to see all the action.


We did NOT get Thai food take-out for dinner tonight to celebrate a good first quarter at Marty's work. I did NOT make my own rice to save the cost of take-out, which due to the rice shortage, now adds $10 to our order. I did NOT eat waaaaaaaay too much food and I am NOT sitting here, finishing up my Not Me! Monday! in a Thai food coma.

Mmmmmmm... Thai food...

Five Questions (And a Story)

Tricia over at Pure Chaos posted these five questions, with instructions to answer them or else. OK, she didn't actually threaten us or anything, she really is quite nice. Anywhoo, I encourage all my bloggy friends to follow suit, but I won't tag people since they tend to get a little testy.

The Five Questions Are:

1) What gets you out of bed in the morning? You mean besides the two two-year-olds that are yelling for me (this morning at 6:30, which is NOT OK)? Well, actually, I don't even really get out of bed for them, I bring them into my bed and cuddle while they watch cartoons and I get a few more winks. What really gets me out of bed is when they go into the other room, and I know I have to get up to ensure their safety and the maintaining of assembled furniture in the living room. Really, if it weren't for that, I might stay in bed all day. I'd like to try that once.

2) What scares you and how often do you think about it? I think all parents fear losing a child, that is normal. I am not naturally a scaredey-type person, but I am afraid of the time when we have to put the twins in regular beds and not cribs where they stay contained. I am afraid of what my grocery bills will be when my three-boys-in-two-years become teenagers. I am afraid of what the kids' peers will be into and how they might be influenced.

My one real fear I think, is the fear that someone will break into the house and hurt the kids. For the longest time, I didn't know why that thought plagued me, until I put it together that when I was a teenager, someone broke in while I was home alone. Waking up to see a stranger in your bedroom will change the way you look at things. I was not hurt, he ran away immediately, but it is a fear that has resurfaced as I became a parent.

This is an interesting story. It was the middle of summer, at 9:30 in the morning. My family was at work, I worked three days a week, but it was my day off. I woke to the sound of my door opening, and heavy breathing like someone had just been running hard. I rolled over to see a man turn and run out my bedroom door. I heard him run down the hall and out the front door, and I heard the door slam behind him. My first thought was that it was my brother, but it obviously wasn't. I figured there must be a logical explanation, but something inside me started screaming, Call 911! I called 911, feeling foolish for doing so, actually, thinking I was going to make a fool of myself for over-reacting. I was not afraid, I really thought one of my brother's friends had come in looking for Jeff and was confused where to find him.

The 911 operator answered, and I told her in my confused, still sleepy teenage way, "Um, yeah. Someone just ran out of my bedroom, and I don't think I know him." After asking a few questions, she had me close and lock all the windows and doors. She held the line as I went. I remember walking into the front hallway and seeing the huge oak entertainment center in the family room, face down on the linoleum floor, TV missing. As I went room to room, seeing the destruction, the mess, and the obvious robbery, I started to panic. I locked all the doors and went back to my room to curl up on my bed and talk to the 911 operator. We talked until the police showed up, and I walked him through the house. The computer in the study was ripped out so hard that the outlet where it was plugged in was broken. My parents bedroom, which was right next to mine, had been ransacked, the contents of my mother's dresser strewn about the floor. I was amazed that I had slept through the whole thing, to this day, I believe it was God that allowed me to sleep through the robbery.

I remember standing on the front lawn with the police officer, waiting for my parents, and so crushed that I was going to have to tell my mom that her jewelry box was gone. I told the cop that I thought my mom would be devastated, and he looked at me strangely and said, "I think she is just going to be relieved that you are OK." I never understood that until I became a parent. As a teenager, I was invincible. I was a tough kid, I could handle myself, but my mother's jewelry that had been handed down from her mother was irreplaceable. I thought the cop was wrong, but sure enough, my mom came home, and held me and cried. She was disappointed that her jewelry was gone, of course, but it was obvious that she only really cared that I was OK.

I pray daily for my kids and their future spouses, since living in fear will rob you of your daily joy. I try not to think of these things too often, and when they do come to mind, it is reminder to lift them up to the One who can change things, the One who can give us peace when the world tries to rob us of it.

OK, back to the questions!

3) How important is making a home to you? For me, it is very important. I live here, I work here, I spend every waking hour here. I want my home to be a sanctuary that brings peace and feels comfortable. I have been so thrilled to actually paint, since the living room/dining room doesn't look like it has ever been painted, it seems to just be nasty dull primer. Adding color has really warmed the place up and brings a smile to my face.

4) Where in the world would you like to travel to next? Marty and I want to take the kids to Disneyland eventually, we want to go back to Hawaii, and when the kids are older, we want to get a motor home and take a family vacation travelling Route 66 and seeing all there is to see. Yup, we are crazy.

5) (Just for fun...) *What's your favorite Anti Aging Skin Product? Umm, yeah. I am the girl who does not wash her makeup off before going to bed. I know, it's bad, but I have never done it. I do have Olay Regenerist, but I am a little crazy and I refuse to use it while I am pregnant or nursing, since I know they keep coming up with things that are harmful and I don't want to create problems in my kids and later find out I could have prevented it. I know, it's a little over the top, but I admit, I am a little nuts.

OK, that was fun, a little off-topic for a while there, but good times! Be sure to check out Tricia's blog, and later today come back here for Not Me! Monday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scarring My Children For Life

Emma has been involved in Awana this year. Growing up, I had never heard of Awana, but it's pretty popular around here. Awana is kinda like church youth group for younger kids. They memorize Bible verses, play games, and earn patches for their vests. Emma loves it.

Last night was the Awana fair. We brought the whole family for some good old-fashioned carnival fun. When we first pulled into the parking lot, we saw a train for taking the kids around the parking lot. The boys went crazy. "De twain! De twain! Gwant wanna go de twain!" It was very difficult to keep hold of their hands and drag them inside to check in.

We headed into the gym, where they had games set up. There was a huge bouncy castle, and Grant started screaming. What is more terrifying to a two year old than the thought of having fun and jumping? Not much, it seems.

We got checked in and decided to leave the area that was creating the tear-filled "No bouncy! No castle! Gwant no wanna bouncy!" We headed back outside to start at the train. The boys practically dragged us to the train, and waited excitedly for it to return from it's current trip. Grant chattered excitedly, his little voice rising and falling like a seasoned storyteller. "Gwant go de twain! De twain, twain, twain, no bouncy, de twain, no castle, castle bouncy no, go de twain." Ben, in his soft little voice, "Bens tain? Tain?"

Anyone who knows the boys knows the typical exchange. Grant talking a mile a minute, just like his sister, and Ben, not competing, but occasionally getting a word in edgewise in his little tiny voice.

The train arrived, and the boys were literally jumping up and down with excitement. As soon as it was time, they ran up and attempted to climb into the cars themselves. There was one car the held two kids, most only held one, so we put the twins in there.

There they sat, brows furrowed in concentration, holding the little play steering wheels and taking it all in as if they were on their first ride at Disneyland. You could almost feel the excitement coming out of them.

The train got ready to start, and let out a little "ding!ding!"

They looked up in surprise. This thing moves?

The train started to move.

The excitement faded a little, as they suddenly realized that they were not going to just sit there and play.

They were moving. On a train.

As the train passed us and went on it's course, Ben turned to look at us. Sheer terror filled his little face as he tried to lean out of the train car, screaming, "Momma! Momma!" and sobbing. We chased the train down and had the driver stop. Marty asked Grant, "do you like the train?" Grant responded with a little, unsure, "yes?" We rescued Ben and walked away, letting the other kids enjoy the ride.

It is interesting how one little boy can be so brave with his twin brother next to him, and how quickly that bravery fades when brother is gone. The train pulled away for the second time, and Grant started crying. By this time, I have Drew in the front pack, my camera over my shoulder, and Ben on my hip, face buried into my shoulder, crying, "Momma, no tain, no tain!"

The train was too far away to chase down again, so we waited for it's return. As it came around the corner, I kinda got the feeling that Grant had stopped crying and just started up again when he saw us. We saved Grant, collected Emma, who thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, and headed back inside.

Luckily, there were two rooms with games, one with a bouncy house and one without. We took our still sobbing boys to the one without.

They quickly forgot their trauma as the possibility of games intrigued them. By this time, Drew was passed out from all the excitement, and I was trying to not lean too far to one side or the other in order to keep his head from flopping all around. I have to say, it was a little difficult to keep his head level while trying to keep ahold of one two year old, keep track of a four year old, and take pictures of Marty and the other boy who was tossing rings/throwing beanbags/fishing.

Ben and Emma wanted to go in the bouncy house, so we went in there for awhile. We stood in line and all the while, Grant is softly crying, "No bouncy castle. No castle. No castle, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy castle, no no twain." We tried to assure him that he did not have to go in, but he was very wary for a while. Emma and Ben went in, and Grant stayed out, still muttering to himself.

There comes a time at every carnival that you know you are done. When all the fun available has been had, when all the candy has been eaten, and it's time to go home. How do you know when you have hit that point? Trust me, you just know.

All the way home, Grant muttered in his story-telling voice, "No twain, no bouncy, no castle." Going into the house. "No bouncy castle, twain, no twain." In the house, telling his cars about the adventure. "No castle, castle, bouncy castle, no twain."

I couldn't help myself.

"Grant, did you have fun?"

A big smile spread across his face, and he enthusiastically replied, "YES!!"

Good. We won't need as much money saved up for therapy after all.

Friday, March 27, 2009

With All My Free Time

Alrighty. So the blog re-design is underway, I am not happy with it yet, but I am working on it as fast as I can. This may take me a while since 1. My computer time consists of time when I am nursing Drew and am not caught up in his beautiful blue(ish) eyes, and 2. I am a computer idiot and I have no idea what I am doing, and I am trying to decipher HTML code. Seriously.

I actually won a blog makeover a while back, but I did not know how to back up the layout and then Drew was born and I forgot about it. Cuz I am a dork like that. I actually had to google "how to backup my blog" and it took me a half hour to figure it out. So if you try to check my blog for interesting pee stories to brighten your day, and the whole thing has disappeared, pray for me and check back later.

OK, now onto the real stuff. I got to go to Costco today, with just baby Drew! Yippee! It was so nice, my friend Stephana took the twins and Emma was at school, so I had a couple of hours to go into town and buy what I needed without the accompanying, "Mommy! Look! It's a barbecue, with a sink and a refrigerator!! Let's get it, that looks like a good deal!" "Gee, honey, that looks really nice, but it's not in our budget right now." "Well, if you would put back the chicken, we could get it!" And of course, the "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahhaha!" as the twins screech as loud as they can in an attempt to draw as much attention as possible to the Stauffer freak show a "laughing contest."

I had a budget and went over it by $12. (Sorry, honey!) But I did get the twins' Easter outfits and I stocked up on a lot of stuff. Today's task will be re-arranging the pantry to hold all of the stuff in a way that I can find it.

Please continue to pray for baby Stellan, there is a link to MckMama's blog in the right sidebar.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Under Construction

I am going to be attempting to make some changes to my blog, so bear with me if things are strange for a while!

Thank You!

Thursdays With Tiffani

I am Thankful for... Having twins. There was quite a while that I never thought I'd say that, but I truly am thankful for two sweet little faces in the window when I come home, two little buns in the bathtub, and two little boys sitting on the couch, watching a show and holding hands. It is the greatest thing to have two at a time.

I'm listening to... Grant chasing Emma with a toy dump truck, and the clumping of Emma's shoes on the floor since the shoes "will protect me and keep me safe."

What I'm looking forward to... This weekend. We do have a lot planned, but I really want to spend some time in the yard cleaning up and making the yard look pretty and ready for summer. Oh, and I want to get the barbecue out and start grilling!

What's for Dinner Tonight... Last night I changed my mind about twelve times. My original plan was to cube chicken, brown it and mix it in with stuffing and bake it a while. The kids got crazy, so I was able to cut up the chicken, onions, and celery in forty minutes. Since I wanted the kids to eat before bedtime, a new plan was needed. I ended up making a chicken spaghetti thingy (I don't know what to call it, I don't even know what all was in it, I just kept adding stuff 'till it tasted good) with spiral noodles. It worked, it was great, and Ben had three helpings. Tonight, my Ma-In-Law is bringing dinner, so it will be a surprise.

Missing... Flowers. It is springtime, after all. And the nursing bra that has been missing for months.

Be sure and visit Tiffiny, who (whom?) I stole this idea from!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stalling Techniques, by Emma

Emma comes out of her room, where she is supposed to be making her bed.

"Mom, Dad, this is what you have to do. When I call for you, that means my hair is stuck in the zipper. And you need to come get it out."

"Emma, instead, why don't you just not get your hair stuck in the zipper? That would be much easier."

"Oh, OK."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How To Photograph Your Kids

I have always heard that the further down the birth order, the less pictures a parent takes of their kids. That has definitely happened here, and I am trying to rectify that. I want to take lots of pictures of Drew so that he does not feel un-loved, or un-important, or anything. However, I have learned that the reason parents don't have as many pictures of their fourth kid does not always have to do with less time or just forgetting to bust out the old camera.

For instance, on occasion, you can capture a sweet brother-to-brother eskimo kiss, like Grant and Drew are doing here.
Isn't that stinkin' adorable! That shot can happen if you can run fast and not trip over toys to get the right angle, then get them to repeat the cute action till you get it right.
I decided to expand on that theme and attempt to capture a nice Ben and Drew moment.

But of course, Grant was already in the picture mood and kept sticking his head in the frame at the last second and saying, "Cheese!" Which really messes with the lighting and, well, everything else.

Variety is key. So when Emma wanted in on the action, "Mommy, take a picture of me singing to him! I really, really want a singing picture! Pleeeeeeease, Mommy?" I went for it. It's good to be flexible.

I swear she is not taking a nibble out of his scalp. Really. That is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, folks!

And then comes the individual portraits. Of course, you cannot shoo three kids away to take pictures of the fourth, so you will end up with a child in your lap. Which make for some interesting shots as well.

Yup, that's Ben's foot there.
Eventually, and I thank God for digital cameras so I can take thousands of pictures to keep three, you can get some cute shots.

And I love this one (sorry if I have posted this one already, I can never remember if I posted it to my blog or my Facebook.)

Of course, who can resist the ever popular baby-fell-asleep-and-folded-himself-in-half pictures?

The key to this one is to get down on floor level and move all the large crumbs, hot wheels, piles of cat fur and crayons out of the shot first.
See? There's your photography lesson for the day. Let's review, shall we?
1. Take lots of pictures.
2. Run fast.
3. Don't trip over toys or stub your toe when you run fast.
4. Have agreeable kids who will continue to do cute things.
5. Take lots of pictures.
6. Have a variety.
7. Document what is going on, so as teenagers, your poor fourth child will not say, "Mom! Why do you have pictures of my sister eating my head?!?"
8. Be open to spare appendages sneaking thier way into the frame.
9. Take lots of pictures.
10. Try to avoid documenting large messes that say, "I have tons of time to take thousands of pictures, but I can't lift a broom."
11. Take lots of pictures.
I hope you have all learned something today!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

I love Not Me! Monday! But first, I have to tell you something. I think you all know by now that Not Me! Monday! was created by MckMama, but if you have not visited her blog, I encourage you to do so. Her youngest is a little boy named Stellan who is four months old. In the womb, he had serious heart problems and the doctors told them that sweet Stellan would not survive. This launched a huge prayer movement, and by the hand of God, baby Stellan was born alive and completely healed. A true miracle.

Over the weekend, Stellan has begun having heart problems again and is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's hospital by where they live. This is a total shock as no one saw any problems with his heart after his birth. Please pray for Stellan and his family, and Click Here to visit MckMama's blog and get the updates.

OK, now onto Not Me! Monday!

I did NOT forget to start my Not Me! Monday! earlier in the week, leaving me to try and remember last week with clarity.

I am NOT having such a hard time that it is now 9pm and I haven't finished.

I am NOT so lame that I can't remember the actual wording I was going to use to describe how Ben did NOT try and feed the cat from his fork at the table, and lean too far over and fall out of his booster seat and land on his head. I did NOT find a funny way to describe my son's injuries, and I certainly did NOT forget the funny.

I will NOT remember that wording about 27 minutes after I finally give up and post this.

I do NOT have several pictures in my camera that will make for great blogs, but have not blogged about them because I have not taken the time to upload them.

I am NOT so concerned about the condition of my computer that I am wanting to hold off uploading pictures in case 30 new pictures become the straw that break the computer's back and the whole thing explodes in a ball of seven-year-old-computer-flames and sends it's doom into the USB cable and destroys my favorite camera in the whole world as well.

No, I am NOT so insane as to think it is possible for that to actually happen. Sheesh.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Birthday!

Happy birthday to meeee,
Happy birthday to meeee,
Yes, it was my birthday,
I am not yet thirty-threeee!

See, making up random songs runs in our family. Anyway, Saturday was my thirty-second birthday. My wonderful hubby let me sleep in a little, then I got to take a long, leisurely shower and get ready in peace and quiet. Ahhhhhh...

The kids made my birthday cards, and Marty gave me my gift. It was the coolest thing, he had a book made by Eye Remember that combined some of my blog entries and some family pictures for a scrapbook of sorts. It was a great idea, and something that he had been working on for months, but I had no idea. I was thrilled, and I love it. Very cool.

Isn't that cool?
Note to other husbands who might be considering this idea: proofread the book first. Proofreading is very important, or you might give your wife a really cool gift with her name spelled wrong in it. Er, not that that happened here, um, my hubby is WAY too observant to let that happen...
Anywhoo, that evening was our annual Girl's Night. We got a condo in Birch Bay and had a great time. We laughed and talked till after two AM, and I think the consensus is we need to do it more often than just once a year. I would share more, but what happens at Girls Night, stays at Girls Night. Just like Vegas, but without the strippers. And the gambling. And the random drunken weddings. OK, really, nothing like Vegas. Girls Night is better.
Last night we went out to dinner at CJ's Beach House in Birch Bay. We had gotten a gift certificate a while back and were waiting for a special occasion to use it. They were having a special, Filet Mignon and Lobster with a balsamic syrup for $24.99. I have to say, it was heaven. Pure heaven. Obviously, we do not eat out very often, and when we do it is usually IHOP or something like that. This was the best steak I have had in a long time, and the best lobster I have ever had. Ever.
Now I am having lobster cravings. Great.
It was a great birthday weekend. Today I feel refreshed and ready for the week. I should do this more often!
Watch for Not Me! Monday! Coming later today!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Van Halen Hiring?

We make up songs and sing all day. We sing for every occasion, and the kids (especially Emma) love it. She will sing to ask for a snack, to say I love you to her brothers, to describe what is out the window. My biggest fear is that the kids would pick up on me tone-deafness, but they seem to be fine so far.

Yesterday Emma and I were making up songs, and she is working on rhyming. We were singing to the tune of this song that I can't remember the name of:

This old man,
He played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee,
With a knick-knack paddy-whack give your dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home

Emma's version, as sung to Andrew:

I love you,
Baby Drew,
I'm glad you are out of Mommy's tummy, too
and you hurt her real bad when you came out of her bagina,
But that's OK, it is, it's true!

Wow. That is sure uplifting, don'cha think? Again, I'm looking forward to THAT parent-teacher conference...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Out Of The Mouths of Babes, Part 3

This morning, I was taking on the task of cleaning the kitchen. I forget how nasty the wall behind the stove gets, so I was de-greasing it when I heard this from the living room:

TV: Stay tuned, the Wonder Pets are coming up next!

Emma: The Wonder Pets! Boys, it's the Wonder Pets! We love the Wonder Pets, we NEVER get to watch it!

Grant: Wunnah Pets!

Ben: Eeeuust!

(I look at the clock, and realize that I missed TV off time, again. Oh, well, as long as I get the kitchen cleaned, does it matter if they watch one more show? Notsomuch.)

Emma: Hey! Mooommm! What button do I push?

Me: You shouldn't have to push a button. If it is coming up next, it will just come on on it's own.

Emma: But they are re-winding it!

Me: Who has the remote?

Emma: No one! They are pushing buttons and re-winding the TV! I know what I am talking about, mom!

Sure, you do.

I get my hands de-greased and go into the living room to find that the boys have changed the channel on the TV, making what we used to call polar-bear-in-a-snowstorm fuzz. I get the TV on the right channel, and the Wonder Pets fill the screen.

Cheers fill the room, and I feel like a super-hero. Maybe extended TV is not so bad, after all.

I go back to my task, and suddenly, Emma is yelling for me again.

Emma: Mom! Guess what! This is gonna pop my eyes off. Do you know what? There's sparklies, and the dog... is gonna... well... there were sparkles, and... this is so cool, Mom. This is gonna pop my eyes off it is so cool. There's this dog... and the... the sparklies... they are gonna save him! That's so cool, it's gonna pop my eyes off.

Me: Emma, what does that mean, it's going to pop your eyes off?

Emma: I don't know. But it's really cool.

And she wonders why I won't let her watch the "fun dancing people" in the Viagra ads. Can't you picture that one? "Hi, teacher, I'm Emma. My favorite TV show is How It's Made, and I like the commercial where the people are dancing and they are happy now that he can maintain an erection. That's so cool. Viva Viagra!"

Thursdays with Tiffani

I completely missed last Thursday, since I am a big dork. All last week was a forget-what-day-it-is week, I am lucky I was able to keep track of all my children.

I am Thankful for... Being in the top 3% wealthiest people in the world. All it takes is twenty bucks in your pocket and twenty bucks in the bank. That's about all I have right now, but in the grand scheme of things, I am doing pretty darn good.

I'm listening to... The twins watching Cars for the ninety-seventh time this month. ("He's got three piston cups!" "He did what in his cup?") And the sweet slurp, slurp, slurp of Drew nursing.

What I'm looking forward to... Saturday. Definitely Saturday, for a few reasons.

#1, It is my birthday, and I am NOT one of those 'No, I'm another year older, poor me!' types, I am more the 'Hey everyone, it's my birthday! WooHoo, it's my birthday! Where's the cake?'

#2, Saturday is also our annual Girl's Night. We get a condo in Birch Bay, and drink eat good food, drink do our nails, drink and talk about everything till the wee hours. I, of course, have been nursing young ones for two out of the last three years, so I will not be able to drink eat really garlicky food.

What's for Dinner Tonight... Tonight (Wednesday) I had a craving for something of the stir-fry variety. I could not decide, teriyaki? Cashew chicken? Lo mein? So I made teriyaki cashew chicken lo mein. Delicious! I do not know what is for dinner Thursday, my brain is full.

Missing.... Sippy cups. We have three for each of the twins, and we have two of Grant's and I can't find any of Ben's. I am pretty sure that they are all either juice or water, so I am not afraid of nasty milk, but I am afraid Ben will find his juice cup and it has fermented and I get arrested for letting my kid drink moonshine.

Don't forget to visit Tiffiny for the original Thursdays with Tiffiny!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dinner With a Side Of Green

I'm sure all of you know yesterday was St. Patrick's day. And most of you know that I am slightly crazy, so a green-themed holiday is a lot of fun for me. Also, I am a skosh Irish (it's my blog, so I can make up whatever words I want,) so I must celebrate St. Patties day or the leprechauns will come and take away all my gold. Wait, I don't have any gold! Criminey, foiled again.

My mom had fun with St. Patties day too, as a child I remember green pancakes, green mashed potatoes, and green milk, to name a few. I also remember not wanting to drink the green milk, since it looked funny, and decided to ditch that one. Sometimes my dad would make corned beef and cabbage, and I never liked it. To this day I am not a fan, my brother goes over to my parent's every year for corned beef and cabbage and Guinness, but I will let that be 'their time.' I will not make it, because it is gross and it makes the house stink for days. Instead, I brought out the green food coloring and had some Irish fun.

I had bought some portabello mushrooms that needed to be eaten, and I knew dying them green would not work, so they were left alone. I made oven roasted potatoes with green food coloring, and pan fried sugar snap peas in a balsamic vinaigrette with toasted almonds. I roasted the portabellos in the oven with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and spices. I had intended on taking pictures, but by the time I got the kids served and settled with all the extras ("Can I have some ketchup? Can I have some ranch? I already drank my milk, can I have more? I didn't get a napkin! Wait, it's on the floor. Can I have a new one?") I knew I needed to just eat since I had about six seconds till Drew would wake up.

Overall, it was a decent meal. It was my first attempt at roasted portabello mushrooms, and they were good, but next time I think I will stuff them with something. The kids were less than thrilled with the mushrooms but they loved the peas and the potatoes. I think Emma would have licked the balsamic vinaigrette out of the serving bowl if I had let her. I normally enforce "you get what you get an you don't throw a fit" with the kids, but last night I relented and gave them something else. I cannot complain if one of the very few things my kids will not eat are portabello mushrooms.

So far today, I have pulled Ben out of the windowsill twice and off the top of the changing table once. And I wonder where the chipped tooth came from...

I have a great story that will be coming soon, but it involves pictures and my computer is still giving me fits, so when I know it is safe to upload them off the camera, I will post them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Still Seeking Sleep

My mind is mush. Marty worked 60 hours last week. Which means I was alone with the kids for a very long time. I am tired. I am drained. And I just realized that the boys are watching the Wiggles right now. See what happens when I sit down to finally blog? The Wiggles happen.

I am not a fan of the Wiggles, they give me the heebie-jeebies. Men should not act that way, it is not natural. I am still trying to figure out how that show came about, were they all sitting around a campfire, drinking beer and playing poker, and suddenly one of them announced, "Hey guys! I have an idea! Let's get a TV show and sing about a big red car! It will be great!" The rest of them said, "Ooh, yeah, great idea! But we might have to give up anything manly. Let's throw out these beers and start drinking wine coolers!"

I'm going to try and change the channel, let's see what happens, shall we? Ooh! It's like live blogging! Fun! This works out great, since I didn't have a topic to write about today, I was just going to ramble a little bit and hope it was funny. Wow, I guess that is happening anyway. Oops.

OK, changing the channel now. I must select something that is more intriguing than the creepy men dancing on the screen right now. I would love to turn it off, but the boys are staring intently and the fallout of just switching it off is not something I want. I need to change the channel, then when they are distracted by something else, switch it off slyly. You know, like a ninja. Hmmmmm...

Success! I switched to the movie Annie, which the kids love, and there were no protests. Maybe this wasn't as entertaining as I hoped. I'd rather have calm children than good blog fodder, though, so you will all have to deal with it. My kids are not crazy all the time, no matter how it may seem here!

I usually turn the TV off at 10:30, but my mind is mush and I can't remember what time it is. That combined with the fact that I haven't adjusted the clock above the kitchen sink for daylight savings time yet, and I get really confused very easily. Changing that clock requires a chair and climbing on the counter. I cannot do it while the kids are awake, or they will get the idea that they can climb on the counter, too. I have already broken that bad habit in them, I don't want to open up old naughty behaviors. I have enough naughty behaviors to deal with right now, like hugging your brother by wrapping your hands around his throat and squeezing.

Well, since it is an hour later than I thought, I'd better go fix the crew some lunch before they start chewing on each other's arms. Sorry for the strange rambling, but that's pretty much all I got right now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
Welcome to Not Me! Monday!

When grocery shopping, I was NOT swayed by The Green Barn's special of six lemons for a dollar. I did NOT buy them just because they make the fruit bowl look pretty.

But look how pretty!

Anywhoo, I am NOT such a dork that I decided to take a picture of the fruit bowl just for Not Me! Monday! and got carried away with pictures that I goofed around with settings (What can I make in focus with the rest blurry?) and just kept taking pictures until Marty asked, "What are you doing?"

Shoulda switched the lime on the side with the lemon on top, since it has more detail... Sorry, off track again! I did NOT look at these pictures and almost decide not to post them on account of the ugly wallpaper and try to wait till I get the kitchen finished. I did NOT finally decide to just do it anyway, since on the scale of ugly wallpaper this is really not that bad, and who knows when I will finish the kitchen.
Speaking of, my living room is NOT in the same half-painted condition it was at this time last week. I m NOT cursing the snow that continues to fall, and checking the temperature regularly so that I can finish painting.

My children do NOT have bad table manners. There is NO WAY that my child would ever use yogurt as hair gel. And when Marty told me while I was feeding Drew that Grant had gelled himself with yogurt, my first reaction was NOT- "Should I grab the camera?" instead of, "Should I grab a rag?"
I have a strong sense of consistent discipline for my children. When one of them throws a fit, I always deal with the fit in the best possible way, I do NOT grab the camera and take pictures of the adorable crying boy, because he is so cute when he cries like that.
I did NOT have any reason to say any of the following things this week:
  • "Please do not poke your brother in the eye with a guitar."
  • "I don't know how he got a black eye. I was in the shower."
  • "Please do not drive cars across your brother's penis."
  • "Honey, did you notice Ben has a chipped tooth? I wonder how that happened?"
  • "Ben, where is your diaper?"
  • "No, Emma, you cannot pull your brother's bike behind your bike by tying them together with a spaghetti noodle."

I could not make this up if I tried!

Friday, March 13, 2009

If B.O. Could Smell Like Roses

I actually got a shower today. I say actually because this has been a really rough week, and showers have not been a daily thing. I hate missing my shower, but sometimes it cannot be helped.

Today I got out of the shower, got my bathrobe on, and came out into the living room to find Ben standing in a windowsill with a brand-new black eye.

Seriously. And today was a good day.

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... Super Listener!

This was a recent conversation between Marty and Emma:

Marty: You think I am super-cool, don't you?
Emma: (Joking with a big grin) Nope!
Marty: (Mock offense) What?!?
Emma: Nope, not cool!
Marty: Only cool dads let their little girls drive down the driveway. I guess if I am not cool, you can't drive anymore...
Emma: (Still grinning) Now you are just mean!
Marty: Do you really think I'm mean?
Emma: (Suddenly serious) Not to the kids, but you are mean to Mommy.
Marty: When am I mean to Mommy?
Emma: When Mommy says 'I don't want to have this conversation right now."

Why can't she listen this well when we tell her to clean her room?

FYI: I do say that when we need to discuss things away from the kids, not when Marty is being mean. When he is mean, I just whack him with a fry pan ask him politely to stop.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ciao and Konnichiwa!

My goodness, what a week it has been. I know, I have been neglecting my blog, and I am sorry. I will try to catch up. I am all out of funny right now, so I apologize, but I knew I had better get something posted, since the "You haven't blogged in two days, are you OK?" phone calls have started. I actually have a lot to write, but not a lot of time. I have been choosing to spend my free time on other things, you know, like peeing and brushing my teeth. OK, that last one might have been a bit of a stretch.

Tuesday I registered Emma for kindergarten. My little girl, my firstborn, is going to school. I thought I was ready, I thought that it was going to be fine. She goes to preschool two full days a week as it is, so it wouldn't be much of an adjustment, right? But our kindergarten had five full days, and that is a lot of time to be gone from home. She has a great personality that I don't worry about her being picked on, per se, since she can stand up for herself and communicates very well. However, I don't want her to get her feelings hut, or to get lost in the school or miss the bus stop. I know, I am probably worrying too much, but I am her mom. That's my job.

She is thrilled, I took her to registration and we poked around the school a bit. "Mommy, there is a library in the school!" "Look, Mommy, there is a basketball court!" "Mommy, I smell food! There is food here!" Yeah, she is going to be fine.

Yesterday she went to Awana, and came home with a brand new purple bike. She sold the most Cows and Cookies ice cream sandwiches for the fundraiser in her Cubbies group, and is thrilled beyond all belief that she won this great bike. It is purple and pink and came with a new helmet and wrist and knee pads. The kids have been taking turns all morning, the boys look really great in their diapers and pink barbie knee and wrist pads and helmet with pink butterflies all over it. My manly men.

Baby Drew has been fussy lately, which is why the blog (and the laundry, dishes, and general housework) have been neglected lately. He had his two month checkup yesterday and got shots, so he is a little cranky on top of whatever has been ailing him for the last couple of days. He will not be set down, so I am holding him most of the time, and even then he cries a lot. I am thinking it is something I ate, I have been on an Italian kick lately. Goodbye, lasagna and hello, stir-fry!

Emma has had some blog worthy moments lately, so I will have to post them later. For now, I have to go, as the baby is fussing. And I haven't brushed my teeth in a while.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Global Warming Is A Crock

I love daylight savings time. I am not a fan of winter when I use the dark as my cue to start cooking dinner. I love having the sun shining late, and to keep the lights off as much as possible. You know, cause I am cheap frugal concerned about the environment.

I especially love that the last couple of days have involved blue sky and streaming rays of golden sunshine through the trees in the evenings. Seeing the new growth on the trees and the plants, lit up by the sunshine, makes me want to throw the windows open and let in the warm, fresh air.
Except it was 19 degrees this morning. Not quite spring-like. Spring is officially here in a week and a half, but it is snowing. The last few years seem to have later and later snowfall, I wonder if we are going to slowly switch seasons and be like Australia, where Christmas is in the middle of summer. Then we will have to say "G'day, mate!" and eat vegemite sandwiches.

Speaking of spring coming soon, I feel the need to say that Holly is old. She is reeeeeally old. Really, really, really old. OK, she is only two months older than me, but this is the time between our birthdays where she is a whole year older. It is tradition for me to tell her that she is old, and since Holly is all about tradition, I have to share our little game (that is much more fun for me than her) with you all. Don'cha just love tradition? Love you, Holly!

I just learned that if you press enter while you are typing your title, the whole thing will post. I apologize for all the mis-spellings and stuff that makes no sense, I am editing it as we speak.

I have about a third of my living room painted. I decided on a color called Almond Oil and it is a pretty beige with almost a peachy tint. But I am not very good with colors, so I might not be describing it well. I have been putting the kids down and painting from ten PM to midnight, but now that is is so incredibly cold, the rest will have to wait a bit till I can open my windows without causing icicles in my kids' drool as they sleep. I will also paint a couple of walls red, but there will be no blue on the walls. The house is just too small for that many colors. I will post pictures another day.

OK, now I think I am done editing the post that went out way too early. I know there is a way to remove the post from my blog, but once it posts, all my followers get a notice that there is a new post and then there will be nothing there. I was planning on scheduling this one for Wednesday morning, so I have to come up with another idea for tomorrow. I'm sure with the day we have had today, inspiration will strike soon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hold The Earplugs

This weekend was our local Home Show. Marty likes to go since it is a great place to network, and I like to go because there are real, live grownups to talk to. My wonderful Mother-In-Law offered to watch the twins for us, since two-year-olds and the Home Show do not mix.

Last year, we went to the Home Show with all the kids. This was before I was pregnant with Drew, and the twins were about 14 months old. We put them in the double stroller and figured we would be fine. NotSoMuch.

One of the great ways that the powers that be promote the Home Show is the live radio broadcast, which is right by the entrance. Great idea, except if you are two idiots that think that bringing twin one-year-olds to the Home Show is a smart move. The entrance was crowded, we were trying to get our tank of a double stroller through the crowd and we were right in front of the radio booth while they were doing the broadcast, when the twins decided it was a good idea to start the whole let's-scream-as-loud-as-we-possibly-can-continuously-and-not-stop-ever.

The greatest thing of all was NOT the fact that the crowd stared, mouths hanging open; or the fact that the radio broadcasters started shooting me dirty looks and apologizing over the air for the screaming; but the fact we were stuck literally five feet from their microphones and that NO ONE MOVED. Seriously, they just stood there, watching the freak show that is our family embarrass ourselves completely, and no one moved out of the way. The twins were still screaming. I tried pushing the stroller close to people, saying a polite "Excuse me! Excuse Me! A-HEM! EXCUSE ME!" But still no one seemed to be able to move out of the way. Not because they did not see me, oh, no. They were staring at the twins and looking at us, with bewildered looks trying to convey that we were truly horrible parents and that we were ruining the radio broadcast. The twins were STILL screaming. I finally said something along the lines of "Will ya get out of the way?!?" Then the crowds parted and I was able to move the stroller away from the microphones and into a corner where I tried to get the boys to stop screaming, to no avail.

Anywhoo, this year we did not bring the twins, as it would be very embarrassing to get kicked out of the Home Show. We took Emma and Drew, and for the first time, realized what it would be like to have two kids. Since we went from one to three, we have never had the experience of one kid for each parent. I have to say, it was a very easy day.

Now, please understand that in no way am I suggesting that moms with only two kids have it easy, or that it is not difficult at all. I know it is hard to have any number of kids, I am just saying that when you only have half your brood, there is a noticeable difference. I'm sure Michelle Duggar would think that my four would be a walk in the park, and I am pulling my hair out.

OK, back to the subject at hand.

The Home Show was great. I got to see a lot of people, I found myself listening to sales pitches just to listen to an adult speak to me like an adult, even though I already have vinyl windows and cannot afford a hot tub, much less new siding. I got swayed by the guy selling shower cleaner and bought some. Part of his presentation involved using crayon on a mirror, and the cleaner actually removed it with no scrubbing at all. I leaned over to Emma, who was watching intently, and whispered, "Do not ever think it is okay to draw on the mirrors with crayon, OK?" Causing the people behind me to start laughing.

We only had tears once when Emma's balloon floated to the ceiling, but luckily there were a lot more balloons available. Now I just need to find the time to read all my new brochures.

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did NOT save the empty box of my favorite girl scout cookies on the counter all week, in an attempt to subliminally convince my hubby that I still had some left and did not eat two boxes in two days.

I did NOT serve dinner late on Thursday, simply for the fact that the kids were cute and cuddly and I didn't want to move to fix dinner, so I stayed on the couch till 5:30.

I did NOT decide to start painting the living room while it was still somewhat snowing so that we could not open up windows to air out the house well, and ended up with a splitting headache and trying to keep the kids in the other end of the house to try to not expose them to nasty chemical inhalants.
I was NOT so swayed by the really cool presentation for shower cleaner a the Home Show that I bought two bottles, and then cleaned half of my shower with glee. I also did NOT purposely ignore the other half just to see if I could tell the difference like the sales guy said.
I did NOT find two leftover cookies from last night's desert, and instead of trying to split two cookies between three kids, eat them both myself at naptime when there were no witnesses.

I did NOT glare at my daughter, just for a moment, when she told me that she really, really, reallyreallyreally wanted sixty-eight little brothers and sisters.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Looking On The Bright Side

I love waking up and walking out into the living room to see the sun streaming in the windows. It just fills me with joy and energy to have a super-fabulous-great-peachy-keen day. I really wanted to throw open the windows to allow the fresh air in, but the temps are still in the thirties, so that is not going to have the effect I want.

We had a good morning. I got in a shower before Marty headed off to work, but there was only enough hot water left for me to get the shampoo in my hair. I skipped the rest of the shower, rinsed all the bubbles out under a freezing shower, and tried to pretend I was in a waterfall in Hawaii. It didn't work.

Ben went pee on the potty this morning, hooray for Ben! The boys had some nakey time this morning between getting new diapers and getting dressed. Ben decided he needed to go pee again, so while standing in front of the TV, he undid his diaper and peed. Luckily, the diaper did not fall off, so the pee was all caught in the diaper and not all over the rug. I think the kid might be ready for more serious potty training. Which is good, if I can get away from having three kids in diapers, but I am not ready in the whole drop-everything-and-run department.

I bought a new shirt last week when I got my jeans. I was on clearance for six dollars, and it is really cute. I had been saving it for a week, and decided today was the day. When you stay at home with four kids, some things are very exciting and a new shirt is extremely cool. You don't want to waste the first New Shirt Day on any old day, it has to be special. With the sunshine and the shower this morning, this day was shaping up to be fabulous. Oh yeah, it's New Shirt Day.

I got everyone breakfast and sat down at the computer to nurse Drew and start my morning computer routine. Baby Drew must have liked the new shirt, too, since he spit up about an ounce of milk on it. An ounce doesn't sound like a lot, but it is. Still not convinced? Take a shot glass, fill it with sour milk, and dump it on the front of your shirt. There. Now you know.

Is it really bad that I am so excited about the new shirt that I just wiped it up and have not changed the shirt? As I type this, I realize how pathetic it really is. I am still not going to change my shirt, mind you, 'cuz it's New Shirt Day, but I am starting to think I need a life.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursdays with Tiffani

Don't forget to visit the original Thursdays with Tiffiny, who I stole the idea from!

I am Thankful for... My amazing family and my wonderful husband who despite his sarcasm and occasional misreading labels of bubble bath, is really great with the kids and the best hubby a girl could ask for.

I'm listening to... The twins fighting over Lightning McQueen, just like every other day. Does it matter that we have three Lightning McQueens? Of course not. But they choose a different one to fight over everyday. Why I did not buy matching Lightning McQueens, I will never know.

What I'm looking forward to... Flowers blooming, spring arriving in all it's colorful splendor. The sounds of the lawnmower, birds chirping, and frogs and crickets croaking in the pond. The laughter of the kids as they run through the yard, chasing the cat. Running barefoot through the grass (well, moss.) Planting my garden and hoping the corn actually makes it this year. And of course, painting the living room, since I still haven't started that yet.

What's for Dinner Tonight... Yeah, I should probably figure that out... :)

Missing.... My sanity. But we already knew that!

Invasion Of The Computer Snatchers

I don't know what is happening to my computer. I have to admit, I am a computer-y illiterate. My brother is a genius(seriously, the guy built a computer from scratch when he was twelve) so I never learned anything about them. Maybe it was my way of trying not to do anything he did, or maybe I was still bitter that he got to be a cool Boyscout and they wouldn't let me in, all I got stuck with was the stupid girly stuff like darning socks and baking. Not that there was anything wrong with baking, but I wanted to tie knots and whittle sticks and go camping with a compass. I even got myself a Boyscout handbook to read and try my hand at knot-tying. I knew the Boyscout oath or pledge or whatever it was, I can't remember anymore. I really, really wanted to be a boyscout.

OK, way off subject.

Anywhoo, I got a pop-up on my computer that said my computer was compromised and is at risk. Marty said he saw something last week that said we had Trojan Horses. I tried to run my anti-virus software, but it would not open. That is not a good sign.

I tried un-installing it and re-installing it twice, but it would not do either. I kept getting error messages. I ended up installing another anti-virus software that did a scan and said my original anti-virus software was fake and a seious threat. I am in so much trouble.

I am so clueless, before today I thought spyware was the same thing as anti-virus software, but now I know spyware is bad. I spent today backing up the photos on my computer before the whole thing blows up on me. I got almost all of them copied until I ran out of CD's, but I got the most important stuff. Now whenever I type, the computer is so slow I have to stop every once in a while to let the letters on the screen catch up. Very reminiscent of our Commodore-64 days.

Jeff, don't read this part.

I think I should have listened to my brother a little more. But don't tell him I said that, OK?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The High Price Of Innocence

I pride myself on saving money. We are not exactly rolling in the dough, so every dollar counts. Holly and I even joke about framing our receipts that show good deals. We are frugal, and we are proud.

Yesterday I went to Target with the intention of getting shoes for the boys and undies for Emma. When your daughter has red lines on her hips from too-tight undies, you know you need to do something. I found little girl's undies on sale, 9 pair for 6 dollars, WooHoo! But only in low-rise. Are. You. Kidding. Me. Low-rise undies for a four year old? There is not a snowball's chance in Lucifer's playground that I will buy low rise underwear for my FOUR YEAR OLD. Why, you ask? Because she is FOUR. That's why.

This is something I have been hearing a lot about lately, from friends and fellow bloggers. I had not quite believed it though, as I had not yet left the toddler section and bought undies in the girls section. I was shocked, and my husband was right there with me. There is no reason for our daughter to have low rise underwear, because she will not be wearing low rise jeans. SHE IS FOUR! The really hard part is, I will have a difficult time finding jeans that are not low rise as well.

What are we teaching our daughters here? Why must they look like teenagers at such an early age? Why do little girls need to grow up so fast? Why can't we let our little girls hang on to their little-girlhood, where they want to marry their daddies and believe in magic? We need to let our children just be children, and to wear clothing that lets them play on the swings and catch frogs without showing their qualifications for your next plumbing job.

I'll get down off my soapbox now.

We looked long and hard for undies with characters on them, but struggled to find any. Finally, in a far corner of the section, we found one style of princess undies. Seven pair for eight dollars. Not a deal by any means, but we bought them anyway. I purchased then with pride, even though the purchase went against everything in my frugal nature, even though I knew I could be paying less and getting more. But we were able to purchase something money can't usually buy. The chance for our little girl to stay little for a while longer.

And you can't put a price on that.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hanging On

Something profound happened over the weekend. Drew lost the last bit of Newborn, and became a full-fledged Baby.

It is amazing how quickly that transformation happens. I was looking for it this time, watching for the last glimpses of Newborn-ness to fade from his face and into my memory. My last Newborn is gone. Gone are the days of wide-eyed wonderment surrounded by a little-old-man face. No more skinny little chicken legs, well, until the awkward teenage years, of course. This is my last baby, God willing, and I am going to enjoy him. I will enjoy every stage as it goes by, as I know our days of napping together, him snuggled on my chest are quickly fading. I won't always be his favorite person in the world, soon, he will want to be somewhere other than in my arms.

There is a poem by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton that I recently ran across on MckMama's blog. It was written in 1958 and first published in the Ladies Home Journal. I just love it!

Song for a Fifth Child.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

I want this written on my wall. My house is often "shocking," but I am going to enjoy my kids. Because four year olds and two year olds don't keep, either.

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to herblog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did NOT support our family Girl Scout by buying five boxes of cookies. And I did Not consume an entire box of Tagalongs by myself yesterday, refusing to share with my hubby and hiding them from the kids.

I did NOT book our weekend so that the kids were up past ten o'clock on both Friday and Saturday nights. And we did NOT decide to skip church yesterday, sleep in and stay in our jammies all day.

I was NOT so excited about my new jeans that I felt the overwhelming need to wear them immediately. More importantly, I did NOT change my jeans in the parking lot of IHOP.

I am NOT so out of shape that the two minutes of Jillian's workout I did on Friday made me sore for days. There's NO WAY I was groaning like an eighty year old just to sit down.

I did NOT decide to workout again this morning, and invite Emma to join me. And Emma did NOT say all of these things:

"Mommy, you are supposed to touch your toes. You are not reaching your toes."

"Well, I can reach my toes."

"After this, do you want to eat an ice cream sandwich?"

"I can do this much faster than you."

"How come you are breathing so fast? I am not breathing fast!"

I did NOT allow Emma to then play with play-dough in her carpeted bedroom, just to get rid of her, I mean, keep her occupied for a while.

Have a great Monday!

When It Helps To Be Insane

Lately when Emma has been getting all her smileys on her responsibility chart for seven days in a row, she has been asking for simple things that involve one-on-one time as her rewards. Baking something out of her fairy cookbook, having movie night, and so on. We have loved it because a.) We get special time with her, and b.) It's all free.

This last time was different. She wanted to either go bowling or go to IHOP and make a smiley faced pancake. The last time we all went out to IHOP was a year ago, and it did not go well for the twins and I. The story on that one is HERE. I was personally rooting for bowling.

Somehow, she decided she wanted both. And somehow, through batting her eyelashes at her Daddy, she was told we could do both. And she wanted the whole family to go.

Friday night was the big night. The boys and I met Marty and Emma in town, since it was a school day for her. I wanted to go to Old Navy first since they had their jeans on sale for $19 and I was sick and tired of wearing maternity pants. Unfortunately, just having three kids was not as easy as I had hoped, and we did not leave the house till almost five. My wonderful hubby met us at the mall and he stayed in the van with the kids while I ran in and got jeans, saving us oodles of time. However, we did not get to IHOP till 5:45.

I knew it would be best if we got settled and ordered as fast as possible, to get our food fast and get out of there. The older kids got their menus, which had coloring activities on the back, but no crayons. When I finally got the attention of our server, I was told they ran out of crayons. Really? How does a kid-oriented restaurant run out of CRAYONS? Deep breaths.

Like the good tomboy-who-always-wanted-to-be-a-Boyscout-because-their-stuff-was-always-so-much-cooler-than-the-Campfire-Girls-who-darned-socks, I am "always prepared" and I keep crayons in the van. Along with everything else in there the weight helps give me traction in the snow. At least that's what I tell myself to avoid thinking about what the 500 pounds of Cheerio crumbs does to my gas mileage.

Anywhoo, we got the kids (somewhat) happy coloring, and tried to keep them relatively quiet until our food came. About ten minutes later, our server, while walking by our table, suddenly remembered he had not yet put our order in. More deep breaths. Luckily, the people around us seemed to like our family and were smiling at the kids. The food came and the kids were very happy. Overall it was a successful dining adventure, and the server was actually very nice, great with the kids and apologetic about forgetting to put our order in.

On to bowling. We got to the bowling alley at seven. Bedtime around here is eight fifteen, so we knew we were pushing it. The bowling alley was packed, we got the very last lane available. But it went great! Drew slept through the whole thing, Grant was very well behaved, sitting in his chair until his turn without complaining or trying to run around. Emma was excited but well behaved, and Ben was crazy. Really, really crazy. He was having a good time, but whenever it was his turn, Marty would take him up and help him throw the ball, then Ben would try to take off running to the left. Every time. I was glad that the people on the lane to the left was another family, and they didn't seem too ticked off.

Emma tripped on the little step-up to the lanes, and hit her chin. Ben slipped in his shoes and hit his head pretty hard. Other than that, no injuries or crying. We managed to keep them all together and happy all evening. For those who do not have four kids, that might not seem like a really big deal, but trust me, it is. It went a long way toward letting us realize that we can take all our kids out places and survive.

On the way home, Grant kept saying "Bowling ball fun!" Although it came out as "Bow-ing ball bun!" And Ben, whose feelings were still hurt by the floor coming up and whacking him in the head, kept saying, "No bow-ing baw!" They never agree on anything.

It was a jam-packed weekend, but I will have to fill you all in later. Check back later today for Not Me! Monday!