Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Facts

Wow, what a crazy week. I apologize for basically neglecting my blog this week, I'll try to do better next week.

Thankful for: I'm thankful for a lot of things. I'm thankful for my kids, and how sweet they are to one another. I'm thankful for this blog, and the friends that I have made through the on-line community. I love you guys!

Looking forward to: Going to bed tonight, with a dose of NyQuil and drifting off into la-la-land. Mmmmmm....

What's for dinner tonight: If I had to pick right now, I'd say that everyone was going to get cereal. I'm not feeling well, and just the thought of standing in the kitchen to cook is tiring. Who knows how I will feel later on, though.

Listening to: The boys saying, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Hey, MOMMY!" Over and over again. It is really starting to freak me out, the kids are playing house and Emma is "Mommy," so they are talking to her. It's still weird to sit here blogging while the kids call my name repeatedly.

Missing: Well, during my extensive search for the kids' Social Security cards, I found MY SHOE and the Costco card. Both were in the same spot, the shoe was between the desk and the wall, and the Costco card was under the desk. Was Ben's secret stash revealed? I don't know. But that is the place where the cat hangs out, so now I am having an internal debate about whether it was Ben all along, or if I have actually been searching for Teddy's Secret Stash.

I did tear the house apart looking for the Social Security cards, searched the shed out back, going through each and every box, and searching the shop as well. (For the shop, picture a very large two car garage completely filled with boxes and stuff. But instead of cars, each bay could fit an RV. And then an additional room on top of that. Yeah, we need to clean it out this year.)

I did not find them.

However, about ten minutes after returning from the Great Shop Search, Marty found all the missing files. They were in the filing cabinet.


The tab was gone, so I had just skipped over the file completely in my search.

But at least they were found, and my tax return has been sent in, and my money is on it's way.


OK, back to the issue at hand. What is missing is Ben's Ted. He's been gone for a few days now and I really have no idea where it is.

At least I know it's not in the shop or shed.

Wanting/needing: A nap. Oh, a nap sounds so very good right now!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We're Sorry,

but today's regularly scheduled blogging will be postponed due to the sweet one-year old who woke up puking this morning, and the subsequent nineteen loads of laundry that result from such an occurrance. We will resume blogging tomorrow, as long as there are no more instances of projectile bodily fluids.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bad Blogging and New Songs

I know, I am such a bad blogger this week. I completely forgot to blog this morning, and now I have about two minutes till Drew wakes up.

I have not yet found the stuff I was looking for yesterday, and am starting to worry a bit. However, I am delighted at the discovery of my shoe and am wearing them right now, even though I am not a shoes-in-the-house kind of girl. I don't mind if other people wear shoes, but I prefer bare feet. I have missed my shoes. (If you don't know what I am talking about, scroll down a post and read that first to get caught up. K?)

I feel like I am so behind on everything, I still haven't blogged several things I have been meaning to, and I know I still have the Ask Tiff! post to finish. Let's just say I am leaving that one open if there are some last minute questions, OK? Thanks for going along...

Grant is currently making up a song. It goes like this:

Ice Pack Ice Pack Ice Pack!
Where is my ice pack?
It is gooooone
Even my ice pack
Even tomorrow,
Where is myyyyne neee blert
Heeeeeyyyy ohhhhhhhhh laaa non

Can you tell we've had to use the ice pack today? Well, we did.


And that's why I forgot to blog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Me! Monday!

Yes, I know. It's more than halfway through Monday, and I haven't blogged yet. I will blog now, although the "Are you still alive?" phone calls are kind of fun.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This was created by MckMama, head on over to her blog to see what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week!

I am NOT on a manhunt for some very important files. Nope, the reason that I haven't blogged is because I have been doing something so very exciting like going to a spa, NOT because I have been frantically searching my house for the kids' Social Security cards. I am NOT trying to do my taxes, but have misplaced the very most important things I need.

I did NOT try to get the kids' SSNs off last year's tax return only to find that I am also missing all the tax returns for the last seven years. I did NOT try to get Drew's SSN off his medical records only to find those missing, too. Nope, I am very organized and am NOT missing the most important documents in the house!

I do NOT have a strong recollection of realizing that the kids had been getting into the file cabinet, and taking the important things out of there. I do NOT remember giving everything to my husband and telling him, "We need to get these out of here for now. Please put them..." and then my memory is gone.

My darling husband does NOT remember this event as well, and cannot remember where it was he put them. Nope, we are fabulously organized and we would NEVER stash stuff in a super-secret hiding place and lose it.

I have NOT torn the house apart, looking everywhere I could imagine, and some places I could not. I did NOT find files for every season of Fantasy Football for the last fifteen years. Nope, we definitely have our priorities straight, there is NO way I could have easy access to my husband's draft list for fifteen years, but lose Social Security cards.

Oh, but I did NOT gasp for joy when I tried to see if the files has maybe fallen behind the desk and were trapped between the desk and the wall, only to discover my missing shoe!!!!

Oh, happy day! Then, I was NOT horrified that that meant I had not moved the desk to vacuum under it in that many months. Oh, well. I don't care, I have my shoe!!! WoooHooo!!!

OK, that's been long enough. I'm back to searching the house for missing files. Now I know where Ben gets his Secret Stash skills...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Your Questions, ANSWERED!! (Part One!)

Alright, here is the first round of answers to your most pressing questions! (Or, the best you could come up with. I'm going to go with most pressing, 'cuz it sounds better.)

I will leave these open till Monday, so feel free to go HERE and leave a comment to ask a question of your own!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

OK, my go-to question I love to ask:

Do you wear flip flops?

Ah, the thought so summer footwear make me crave the days of sunshine and warmth! Are you wanting summer to come faster, too?

In the spring and summer, I do wear flip flops on occasion, but I prefer to be barefoot whenever possible. Our yard doesn't get much sun because we are surrounded by trees, so we have more moss than grass. Which really isn't a bad thing, it stays green all year, it's super-soft, and it doesn't need as much mowing. Really, it's perfect barefoot grass. When I go places, I tend to throw on sandals or flip flops, but I haven't yet found the perfect pair of flip flops, but I do have the perfect pair of sandals. The sandals get more wear then anything else, but I would like to rectify that this year. We will see if I can get a kid or two out of diapers before summer to free up some budget flexibility.

DJan said...

How many diapers do you think you will have changed (and will continue to change) until all that is behind you? Until grandparent-hood, that is. I'm thinking it must be an astronomical number.

OK, I'm running the numbers here. Each child goes through about ten to twelve diapers a day from birth to about six weeks (we will say eleven to make it easy), then about eight a day till four months. So that means... I have to go get a calculator. I'll be back. Please enjoy the music until my return.

Laaaa laaaalaaaaa, dooo be do be doooo... Laaaaaaaa!

OK, I'm back. Apparently, when you have four kids, fun things like calculators disappear. I know, it's shocking.

OK, first six weeks, eleven a day, totals 462. Then till about four months, around eight a day. That's 560. From four months till around one year, I'd say about six a day. That's 1,512 diapers. Then it ends up to be about five or six a day, give or take, till they are potty trained. We'll say five and a half. So from age one till age two, it's 2002. So we are at 4,536 till age two. Emma was potty trained at two years nine months, so that adds another 1,501.5 so her total was 6,037.5. I am hoping Grant and Ben will be potty trained in the coming months, but we will say three years and three months for both of them. That adds 2,502.5 for a total of 7,038.5 for each of them. Just to make things easy, we will say that Drew will have the same amount at 7,038.5.

That makes for a total of 27,153 diapers. Holy freaking canolies.

OK, just for fun (or to depress me) diapers cost an average of 19 cents each. That's $5,159.07 ($5597.59 after tax.) And that does not include wipes, garbage bags, air fresheners, or the astronomical amount of groceries needed to fill twenty-seven thousand diapers. Whew.
CulyQFun said...

Did you tell how you & marty met? I am too lazy to go back and check.

How do you keep up with all the kids & still have time for you?

What do you do during naptime?

I have told how Marty and I met, I'll have to go find it. I'll be back. No music this, time, I got tomatoes thrown at me last time because I'm tone-deaf. OK, it's right HERE.

As far as how I still have time for me, I try to schedule things to keep myself from going crazy. I have a fabulous group of girlfriends that all get together to play poker once a month, and they are fabulous. These are also known as the Girl's Weekend girls, the Birch Bay girls, the Girls who I fear will break into my house and turn everything upside-down. Yup, those girls. I love them!

I also have started joining another group of fabulous girls for Bunco one a month. I don't know them all well yet, but I can see myself having some great friendships with them as time goes on. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better and having a great time.

Other than that, I try to take the time to shower daily (yes, that qualifies for alone time!) and have a bit of time for myself after the kids go to bed. It's hard, I don't have time for real hobbies and we can't afford weekly sitters, but I know things will get easier as the kids get older.

OK, naptime is interesting lately. I put the twins down at 1:30, and they usually goof off and jump around for a while, meaning I go back in their room several times and beat them have a little chat about staying in their beds. During this time, I eat lunch and check Facebook and e-mails while Drew plays with all the toys by himself. He loves getting whatever he wants without having to fight his siblings for them! Then I take some one-on-one time with Drew, we play and read books. He gets a cup of milk and goes down at 2:30. Lately, this is just about the time that the twins are starting to settle, and the introduction of Drew gets them riled up again and the giggle and goof off even more. I work for the next half-hour or so to quiet them all down and they tend to fall asleep about 3:15, which is when I should be getting them up. I usually hop in the shower because there has been no opportunity to do so yet, then I rotate laundry and pick up a bit, all the while knowing I should not let them sleep this late because it will mess with everything else. I decide to not fight them for just one more day and let them sleep till four thirty or five, because I am so frustrated by the fact that they have been screwing around for two hours and I need the break. Because they sleep late, they go to bed late, and the same thing happens the next day. I know how pathetic that sounds, and I need to break the routine, even if they just miss naps for a few days to get them back on track. But deep inside I am fearful that they have reached the age that they no longer need naps, and I have not yet reached the stage where I no longer need the break.

Probably not the answer you were looking for, huh? ;)
Tracie said...

Are you back into thongs yet??? ;-)

This is what I get by saying you can ask me anything, right? Tracie is one of the Girlfriends, and she's still bitter about the pool party and the toilet on her porch. 'Nuff said.

OK, Tracie, considering the fact that my parents and entire family read this blog, I am going to assume that by thongs, you mean flip flops. So yes, I love my flip-flops, They are super-comfy and the make my feet look great. I know that post pregnancy, it is hard to wear flip flops because of the, umm, balance issues, but once you reach about six to eight weeks after, your balance returns to normal and you can commence the flip-flop wearing. MKay?

Well, that's all the time I have for today, since my kids are wanting attention and it is beautiful outside. I'll finish the rest on Monday or Tuesday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New Day

Today is a much better day. I feel energized, renewed, and a lot less cranky. If you didn't read yesterday's post, well, I was a tad hormonal. Just a bit.

At nap time yesterday, I decided to take a nap of my own. I was on the phone with my hubby when I decided this, and his response was something like, "Umm, OK, babe. If that's what you want." Which probably meant, "Really? The house is trashed, the laundry has been piled up on the couch for four days and you haven't vacuumed in a week. But really, I'm waaaay to smart to bring this up to you, because I know that even the mere mention of these things will reduce you to a sobbing, screaming mess and I really don't have time to go buy some chocolate today. And you definitely need a nap. Please, Lord, let this nap fix my wife. 'Cuz she's a mess."


The nap was great. I slept till the kids woke up, which was at 4:45. Glorious bliss! Of course, the late nap time made bedtime a bit difficult, but it was so worth it. Oh, and when I woke at 4:45, it was still light out. If you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, you will not understand how wonderful that is. But believe me, it's great.

Oh! Drew just stood up in the middle of the living room without having to pull up on anything! Nice, a mid-blog milestone. He's getting so big.

Today I am going to try and clean my house, which has been sadly neglected in the past few days. I am thinking of re-arranging the living room in order to ensure my children's safety. More about that later.

I am loving the questions you are coming up with in Ask Tiff! Go here to read all about it and ask a question of your own. I'll probably start answering them tomorrow. Or maybe Monday. It depends on how it goes. (Hey, with four young kids and PMS, I know to never promise anything.)

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm having a hard time today.

I'm cranky. I have been for a couple of days. I'm PMSing, hormonal, sad, angry, and exhausted all in one.

That's not a good combo.

My kids have sensed this and are deciding that this delicate mental state of mine is the perfect opportunity to try and beat each other senseless when I'm not looking. Or, quite often, when I am looking. They are showing no mercy.

I've been fighting with my husband for a couple of days now, and this probably wouldn't be going on as long if I was not in full-blown PMS-mode. For those of you who have never been through the whole childbirth saga, when PMS comes back after having a child and ending the nursing period of said child, it comes back with a vengence so powerful that you can actually shoot fire from your eyes. It's like your body stored up all that PMS for the almost two years you went without a period and will release it all in the coming months, until the excess is gone and you go back to the normal amount of PMS. However, if you get pregnant three months after ending nursing the previous two children, your body does not have the chance to rid itself of the excess PMS and will hold onto it along with the current amount of stored PMS, creating such a buildup of PMS that, when released, can actually destroy small countries. Weapons of Mass Destruction were never found because they were simply hiding in the bodies of post-natal women. It's a conspiracy no one wants you to know.


The boys are supposed to be napping but instead are jumping from one bed to another, which was made easier because Ben moved his bed across the room. Twice. I keep going in there and putting everything back, as well as threatening their very lives if they keep it up.

Unfortunately, they are missing the power of the whole idea of "I brought you into this world, and I can take you back out again!" And are continuing in their disobedient ways.

OK, that is a lie. I never said that to them. But I have been thinking it. A LOT.

Well, that's all I have for now. I will try to be better tomorrow, and a tad less cranky. I don't think Marty has ever been happier that this is the week that he is gone every night, less the wrath of fire-breathing flame-throwing Cranky Wife makes me beat him to a pulp. You know, more that I did HERE.

Don't forget to scroll down (or click Older Post if you came here directly) and check out the Ask Tiff! post. Ask me anything, and I'll answer when I'm less likely to maim someone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ask Tiff, Round 2!

Last summer, I did an "Ask Tiff" Blog where my dear readers got to write in and ask whatever questions they wanted. I have to say, it was a ton of fun for me, and I'd like to do it again!
If you are curious about the questions that were asked last time, or you are relatively new here and would just like to get to know me better, go HERE and HERE for the answers to the last Ask Tiff!

I am copying the instructions from my last Ask Tiff! post because I'm too lazy to write it all out again I thought I did a great job the first time, and who needs to mess with perfection?

So here are the rules: There are no rules. You can ask me anything. From how we felt when we found out we were having twins to how we felt when we found out about Drew, my childhood, how I sort my laundry, whatever! Anything that has been on your mind that you are just dying to know. Have fun, be creative, and please actually ask questions so that I don't have to pretend someone sent an e-mail with a question that I made up just to make me feel like less of a dork, OK?

Leave a comment on this post to ask your question. You can click on anonymous, but please sign your name to your comment so I know who you are!

Depending on the response, I will answer these either late this week or early next. Have fun asking!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not Me! Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This was created by MckMama, head on over to her blog to see what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week!

This weekend, Marty and I had a date night. His mom had given us a gift of a date night for Christmas, complete with taking the kids overnight so we could stay out all night and sleep in in the morning.

It was NOT the greatest thing ever.

Mom-in-law sent me some pictures of the evening, so I could see how the evening went. (And how adorable they are!)

She did NOT let them play in the bathtub, their favorite activity of all time.
Now, my kids get along really well. They ALWAYS keep their hands to themselves, so it would NOT be difficult to bathe a baby at the same time as a five year old and two three year olds. Easy peasy.

We do NOT usually let Drew play right outside the bathroom while the older kids are getting a bath, for his own safety. Mom did NOT forget what was in the cupboard right outside the bathroom, and the fact that Drew gets into everything.

When she told me what he found, my first reaction was, "Oh, my goodness! You took a picture, right?"

HeeHee! I do NOT love that picture!

The kids did NOT have a great time playing at Grandma's house. She did NOT make them a giant fort to sleep in, securing a bunch more cool Grandma points. The kids did NOT whine for a while, till she took down the blankets of the fort that kept them from seeing each other. As soon as they could see one another, they did NOT go right to sleep.

I am NOT thinking that Grant would really like the spread-ability of getting out of his toddler bed.
In the morning, the kids did NOT have a blast with cousins Nate and Lily...
...and attack Poppa when it was time to go.
I will NOT blog about our time later this week!

In other news, yesterday my sweet, kind, good-hearted, loving husband did NOT give me a playful swat on the bum lower back. Which was weird. "Hey," I did NOT say, "why did you hit me on the back?"

"Oh!" He did NOT exclaim. Then, proceeding to poke me in the love-handle, "It kind of feels like your bum."

I did NOT shoo Ben out of the room, then proceed to punch my husband in the arm.



What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Facts

Thankful for: This has been a sobering week this week. First of all, I am so very thankful for where I live. We do not have hurricanes, tornadoes, or even earthquakes (very often). I am thankful that I do not live in such poverty that I can not have a home that is safe. I am thankful that I am not currently searching through piles of bodies trying to find my loved ones. I am so thankful to be here, and to be me.

A family in our community lost their six month old boy this week (they suspect it was SIDS.) I am so very thankful that I have never lost a child, never felt that hole in my life. If not for medical intervention, none of my children would be here today, and I am so very thankful that I have the ability to tuck my kids in bed at night. I cannot even imagine what families feel when thy lose a child, and I don't want to know, because that is something that you have to live through to understand.

Looking forward to: Tonight, Marty and I are cashing in a Christmas present and going out by ourselves. Marty's Mom is taking the kids for the night, so we get to sleep in and pick them up tomorrow. Oh, yeah, a night to ourselves! WooHoo!!

What's for dinner tonight: For the kids? I don't know. For Marty and I? Well, it will be served by a waiter, and I don't have to cook it or clean up ofter it, so who cares? It's going to be great, whatever it is!

Listening to: Ben playing with his sister's barbies and Sleeping Beauty's bed. He is collapsing the bed and opening it back up, making a psssssshhhh sound as he does it. I don't know if he is pretending it is powered by hydraulics or what. Grant is sitting in my lap eating a snack and we are having a conversation, "I push this bun-ton?" "No, buddy, don't push that button." "Oh, OK. I push this bun-ton?" "Nope, not that one either." "OK, Mommy. I push thiiis bun-ton?" "Sorry, but you may not push any buttons." "Oh, OK."

Missing: My shoe (duh) and now, my Costco card. Luckily, the Costco card is easy to replace. I don't want to though, because my picture is great. Really, if you get a good picture on your Costco card, you do not give it up. It's much more likely to get a good driver's licence picture than a good Costco card picture. So I'll keep looking for the Costco card.

Wanting/needing: Buckets of money so I can re-build Haiti and adopt all the orphans.

Quote of the week: "Look, Mommy, it's a pee-nus!" Grant yelled out while holding a rather phallic-looking piece of cereal. Oh, no, how do I respond to that? To buy time, I replied, "It's a what, babe?" "It's a pee-nut!" Oh, a peanut. That's much better.

Don't forget to visit Tiffiny at The Story of Our Life, who created Friday Facts! What are yours?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

There's a Monster in the Closet...

of the twins' room.

Or maybe, it's just a baby.

That's right, folks, Drew is sleeping through the night, and has been moved out of our room.

Oh, happy day!

Can you hear the birds singing? Can you see the beam of sunshine straight from heaven above, shining down so bright and glorious, accompanied by the angel choir with their very best rendition of Hallelujah?

Oh, that's just in my head? Too bad. It's beautiful.

Drew started sleeping through the night right before Christmas. Prior to that, I had gotten eight uninterrupted hours of sleep less than twenty times in over three years. Ever since we were in our little duplex, with our sweet not-quite two-year-old daughter, thinking "This is great! We think it's time for our second child." That was a long time ago.

The sleeping arrangements are going well. The only problem is that Drew normally wakes at 6:30, and the twins at 7:30. Grant has been waking when I come to get Drew and is upset that he cannot get up, too. I think in a few days it will be fine.

Ahhh, sweet, sleeping bliss!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Resolution Progress: Day 1

I am soooo glad I did my New Year's resolutions yesterday. And let me tell you, I have gotten off to a great start.

Better mother to my children? Check! You know, if being a better mother includes getting so wrapped up in cooking dinner and chatting on the phone with my friend that I completely lost track of time. And when Kristen said, "So are are your kids sleeping?" I thought that yes they are, except Emma who is going to be getting off the bus soon, and then looked at the clock to see exactly how soon. Which was exactly two minutes earlier. At which point my response to Kristen was, "Oh, no! I've got to go!" And hung up the phone.

Of course, when I said "Oh, no!" Well, that's what I should have said. What I actually said was "Oh, something else!" It's kind of like shoot, but not ending in oot. Yeah, great start to the year. I'm actually regressing now. (That is totally uncharacteristic of me, and that's not sarcastic. I thought I'd clarify on the whole sarcasm thing, since this post is pretty much dripping with it. So that part where I usually don't swear? Yup, that's really and truly true. OK, moving on.)

Back to my great parenting. Great parenting includes throwing on some slippers and leaving the kids sleeping in their beds while I run as fast as my out-of-shape body can carry me to the end of the driveway just hoping the bus is late, right? I mean, there's nothing wrong with going so far that I cannot see my house, with my kids still inside and the front door unlocked because I knew there was no way I'd be able to find my keys in time, is there?

The good news is, I accomplished my goal of getting exercise. Yes, I ran a tenth of a mile on gravel in bedroom slippers. That so counts.

When I got to the end of the driveway and looked down the road, I could still see the tail end of the bus as it was going down the street. I missed it.

Luckily, my child is resilient. Maybe it's the independence I am instilling in her by not being at the end of the driveway on time twice now in the three months she has gone to school. See? Good parenting.

I was able to go home, wake up the boys and get them in the van to wait for the bus to come back. Why the van? Because A. I'd already had enough exercise for one day, and B. because I didn't know how long we would be there and it was raining. Oh, and C. I want my good parenting badge, and you so can't get that if you leave three year olds in the rain for too long. I mean, sheesh. We have to have some standards, right?

So we are off to a great start. Do you think it is too early to nominate myself for a mother-of-the-year award? I know we are only a few days into January, but at this rate, I'm a shoo-in!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Ah, a new year. I have to say, 2010 just looks foreign to me. I feel like I should be driving a flying car and have a fridge (or two) that cleans itself.

So I am into the world of resolutions again. Personally, I like resolutions. I like the idea of having a goal in mind to better yourself with a deadline. I know I have things I can work on personally, and I like to be purposeful in trying to become a better person. I think I could get caught up very easily in the idea of I want to do something different, I'll change someday. Well, someday is now. Or, at least in the next 365 days. So here's my list for the year.

1. I was going to start the list off with working on procrastination, but really, it's only the twelfth of January and my resolutions are done! See? That's not procrastinating at all. I'm good on this one!

1. I want to work on being more intentional in everything I do. I firmly believe that it is perfectly fine to sit down at the computer and blog, or get on Facebook, or check my e-mail, but only if that is my plan. It is not OK to be rotating laundry and walk by the computer, them sit down to check my e-mail just for a minute, then waste twenty minutes because I get caught up in a Facebook chat, never finishing the laundry. I need to be intentional with my time and in my actions.

2. I want to do some sort of physical activity besides chasing toddlers. I am recognizing that I am not as fit as I used to be (although the hurdler impersonation I did at Girl's Night was a great hit,) and I refuse to think that my body is only going to go downhill from here. I'm not sure what it is that I want to do, but I want to do some sort of regular exercise. Oh, and along with that, I want to be in good enough shape that I am comfortable going out in a swimsuit without feeling like I need to warn my neighbors first. Am I going for perfection? Not even close. I just don't want anyone calling Animal Control over the manatee that washed up in my yard.

3. I want to continue my quest for more organization in my household. I think we are on the right track, and we are moving forward, but I want to keep going. I need order, which is hard to find in a 1,400 square foot house with six people and no storage space. Oh, and without the funds to buy shelving or storage bins. We gotta eat, you know.

4. I want to be a better wife to my husband. I want to watch how I speak to him and be respectful. I tent to be a bit enthusiastic in my speaking, and I often take the wrong tone without meaning to. If I am wanting him to take me seriously, I don't need to sound like I am yelling at him, so I want to work on that.

5. I want to be a better mother to my children. I want to spend more time with them, and love them with all that I have in me. I want to re-work our daily routine to include some school time every day, and to be more involved with their play time.

6. And, once again, I want to retain enough sanity to not be institutionalized this year. I know it's a long shot, but these resolutions need to be a challenge, you know?

What are your resolutions?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Not Me! Monday! Birch Bay Edition!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This was created by MckMama, go over to her blog to see what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week!

This weekend was our annual Girl's Weekend in Birch Bay. This is the fourth (or fifth?) year we have done this, and it is a blast. This is the same group of girlfriends that are responsible for toilets in people's yards and breaking into people's houses while they are on vacation.

I love these girls, it is fabulous that we are all so very different but we all get along so well. I would trust any of these women with my life, but not with the keys to my house. Love you all!

We get two condo suites and spend the night. We are VERY quiet and responsible, we do NOT eat too much, stay up too late, and drink. This was NOT the first year that no one in the group was pregnant or nursing, and we were NOT soooooooo looking forward to the night.

My personal favorite drink is Jack and Coke Pepsi. It has been a while since my friend Jack Daniels and I had hung out together, but Girls Weekend sounded like a perfect opportunity.

I did NOT purchase a bottle of Jack Daniels, and consume the entire bottle myself.

I do NOT giggle every time I see that picture! I do NOT think it is funny that even though I joke about drinking heavily, my idea of drinking involves a one-and-a-half shot nip bottle of alcohol. (And it did NOT take me a couple of hours to finish it!)

This Girl's Weekend fell on Holly's birthday, so she did NOT insist that we not do anything to celebrate her birthday since it should be just about the girls. We did NOT completely ignore her request.

We did NOT plan a gift exchange and pre-plan which number she would pull out of the hat, so that she would get a specific gift. It was NOT the greatest moment of the night when she unwrapped her gift.
We do NOT have the rule of what happens at girl's night, stays at girl's night, so I did NOT need to blur out the actual gift to protect the innocent guilty.

She had booked the condos for the weekend, and had invited Mom and Wayne to stay the second night. When they had to cancel at the last minute, she called us and asked if we would want to come. Um, hello? Condo that is bigger than my house, for free? Hmmm, let me think...

I was NOT thrilled at the idea of a mini-family vacation and jumped at the chance.

We had just put the kids down for a nap when she called, so we threw some stuff in a suitcase and as soon as they woke up, hit the door running. I am DEFINITELY so organized that it is no problem to pack that quickly, I did NOT feel rushed and really felt like I was forgetting something.

Have I mentioned that we live six minutes from Birch Bay? Yeah, not really a big deal, right?


We got there and were finishing up dinner when The Smell came. Any parent of children knows The Smell, the one that tells you to suddenly be busy so that the other parent has to change the baby. Uh, I mean, the one that tells you that you should really attend to your child. Like now.

We I did NOT discover at that time that we I forgot the diaper bag.

I sent Marty home for the bag, and attempted to stall on Drew's diaper. I started to see some liquid leaking out on his pants, and knew I needed to act fast.

I was NOT thrilled to remember that I had thrown some swim diapers in the suitcase, and grabbed one as well as some wet paper towels.

During the process of oh-so-carefully changing him so that the poop did not spill everywhere, Drew did NOT manage to get a hold of the diaper and pull it up, smearing his face with poop. Nope, Not my child! That would be gross. Ew.

And wet paper towels are EXCELLENT at cleaning up nasty poop. They do NOT just smear everything everywhere instead of actually cleaning. I did NOT end up with poop on Drew's face and hands, and all over my hands, his clothes, and the carpet in the condo. NOPE!

Other that that, we did NOT have a great time with Dan and Holly!

Last night after we got home and unpacked, we had family game night. We did NOT find this a perfect opportunity to bribe the children with finishing dinner and cleaning up the toys to see who got to pick the games.

My children did NOT have their dinner done and they room picked up faster than I have ever seen them move before. And I would NEVER allow them to sit on the dining room table to play the game. That would be COMPLETELY unsafe and irresponsible.

I do NOT have a little wild boy who likes to ham it up to the camera super-fast.
We did NOT have the best weekend that we have had in a long time.

Thank you, Dan and Holly, for the opportunity to stay, and thank you, Mom and Wayne for canceling so that we could go! WooHoo!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Facts

I'm thankful for: My side-by-side side-by-sides. And it is humbling to think that there are millions of people in this world that can not afford to feed their kids, but I have enough food to fill two fridges and three freezers. I am so thankful for my life, and the blessings we have been given.

Listening to: Drew playing on the floor. The twins are napping and Drew has free reign over all the toys. He's a happy boy!

Looking forward to: Oh, there's so much to look forward to! Tonight is Girls Night, our annual girlfriend's retreat out at Birch Bay. We get a condo and have a blast. It's been a year and I am so ready to get away! Also, Sunday marks the return of Chuck, the greatest TV show of all time. If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to, it is incredible. Oh, I'm so very happy!

What's for dinner tonight: For Marty and the kids, probably spaghetti or something quick that I throw together before I leave for girl's night. For me, tons of unhealthy appetizers that will be very tasty and not even close to low-cal. It's going to be great!

Needing or wanting: This week, I found a listing of a house online that I want. It's completely out of our price range, but it's huge, and has tons of storage. However, it's old, and needs lots of work, so it's not even close to a possibility. I really do want a bigger house and cannot wait for the day that works out for us. It truly is a want, not a need. I'm grateful for the house I have.

Missing: I know, it's a shock, but I am missing a shoe. Yes, you are all so surprised.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Side-by-side side-by-sides

We have what most people would consider a large family. What most people don't realize is exactly how much my skinny little children eat on a daily basis. I cannot count the number of times I have heard, "Wow, that baby can sure pack away the food, huh?"

Drew at Christmastime was a perfect example. He would easily eat an adult-sized portion at most meals. Three slices of ham? He thought they were tasty. A whole slice of prime rib? No problem! This kid eats.

And he is not the only kid in our family with that kind of appetite. While they are all good eaters, Ben will eat more than me on some days. I do my best to feed them healthy foods, and I cook from scratch whenever I can. Our family consumes eight gallons of milk a week. We eat tons of fruits and veggies, and do without most packaged or processed foods. (Although the kids do enjoy their sugary cereal in the mornings! We compromise sometimes.)

Which brings about a bit of a problem. Like when our fridge looks like this:

And we say, "Dang, we need to go grocery shopping!" Yeah, it tends to make things interesting.

Especially when we go to Costco and the Green Barn and bring home this:
And try to fit it all in the previously pictured fridge.

We do have another fridge-freezer combo out in the shop, but it is hard to keep track of what is in there. I tried the list on this fridge, but would forget to cross things off when I sent my wonderful hubby out to get something. Also, when I was cooking and needed something, I could not leave the house with food cooking on the stove, and four small children inside in order to go out the front door, across the driveway, into the shop, and be completely out of sight while I got what I needed from the other fridge. Oh, and it's cold out there. And I'm a wimp.

So we made a change in our house. Here is our kitchen/dining room earlier this week:
And yes, there usually is a dishtowel on the floor. I have no idea why. It just happens.

And here it is after.
We are now the proud parents of side-by-side side-by-sides. I have to say, I love it.

We weren't sure at first how well it would work, as the table actually goes in front of the black fridge (it is moved in the picture in order to get the fridge in.) Yes, it's a bit more crowded, but the ability to see into the back of the fridge, as well as the ability to have enough food to last us a full week without having to pack four kids to the store as often to get milk is fantastic!
Oh, and this was taken before I went to Safeway. I was low on milk...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Drew's First Birthday

Drew's birthday was fabulous. We decided to keep it small, since our house is tiny, our family is huge, and Drew gets overwhelmed easily in crowds. I was also exhausted from the holidays and, well, Drew's not going to remember it.

Since we had just finished Christmas, he knew what to do with the presents, and was excited to play with the paper open them.

A remote of his very own? Yay! Maybe he'll stop trying to drool all over mine now!

Such a big boy!
Then it was time for cake. Our kids do not have any junk food for their first year (except for the little bits that Grandma and Auntie sneak them when Mom and Dad aren't looking...) so the first cake is kind of a big deal.

"Wow, you are all singing to me?!?"

"OK, now that I've got all that nasty stuff off, this is pretty good!"
"Hey now, what's that one?"
"Really? You aren't going to give me some of that? It is my birthday, you know..."
"How about if I trade?"
"Ok, I like mine..."
"Oh, hi Dad! I didn't realize you wanted to give me a kiss!"

"So we are feeding each other now? OK, here you go!"

"It's good, isn't it?"
These next pictures are a bit, well, sticky. It seems Uncle Dan had the idea that it would be fun to slime Marty with the frosting. He claims that he had permission from someone to do so, but I will deny giving Dan permission, if for no other reason than the fact that he told Marty he had permission! Seriously, you don't throw a girl under the bus like that. You know, if I actually had given my blessing on the whole event.

Of course, after this, Marty slimed me with frosting his face. That part was captured on video, but there was not a picture of it. I have to figure out how to get video on my blog, 'cuz the whole thing is pretty good.

Drew was pretty much done at this point, (either that whole over-stimulation thing again, or just that we stole his frosting) and let us know very clearly that cake time was over.
Aaaand... he threw the cake to the floor.
It was a great evening, and a good time had by all. But I still think I have frosting in my ear...

After the party was over and everyone had gone home, we put the kids to bed and cleaned up. We headed to bed a little after eleven, and discovered that Drew had a bit of a stench to his behind. Although he was sound asleep, I didn't want him sitting in poo all night, so I got him up and changed him. This led to a late night snuggle session in our bed, with sweet Drew laying on my chest, snuggling his puppy for a few minutes. When I thought that he had just fallen asleep, he would sit up, look over, and crawl over to Marty for a good snuggle on him. This went back and forth for a while, with each of us just loving the time with the snuggly boy. We were still up and able to sing "Happy birth-minute to you" at 11:39, which was fun. Boy, it was hard to put that little sweetie back in his own bed.

Happy first birthday, little man! I love you, and I am looking forward to many more birthdays!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Drew!

One year ago today, I became a mother of four.

Andrew's existence was God's plan, not ours. His birth did not go according to plan. His subsequent pneumothorax (hole in his lung causing the lung to collapse and the chest cavity to fill with pockets of air) was definitely not our plan.

Being unable to hold my darling baby for three days after his birth, stroking a toe as the only form of physical contact, and finding out later that his heart was where his kidneys belong is not something that is in any mother's plan.

But this child, this amazing boy that God gifted us with, was definitely in His perfect plan.

I am in awe of how much God knew we needed this baby, and how much we would come to realize that our family would never have been complete without him. He is such a joy and I am so incredibly blessed to be his mother.

And God's plan is so much better than mine.

Happy birthday, baby Drew. You amaze me every day, your pure joy and delight in your family is a blessing to see. When you smile, it starts in your eyes and your whole face lights up. I have never seen anyone with the ability to show love through your eyes like you do.

At one year old, you can take four or five steps on your own and will be walking way before I am ready to let you become a toddler.

You say "mama" and "dada" on your own, and will say many words with some prompting. You love your sissy with everything you have, and chase your brothers and try to play with their toys. You are tough, you don't cry every time you get pushed down by your brothers who don't yet understand. Some days, you want to be big so badly so that you can run and play with your older siblings and cousins, but some days you are quite content to snuggle in someone's arms.

You love your Daddy dearly and your eyes light up when he comes home. You reach for him in the mornings, and love to go with him when he fixes you your morning bottle.

You love to snuggle your head in someone's chest, laying your sweet head down is your way of giving a giant hug and telling someone that you love them.

You are an amazing child and I cannot wait to see how you develop and what you choose to do with your life. I truly believe God put you here for a purpose, and your life will be extraordinary. You amaze me every day and I am so glad you are my son.

Happy birthday, my darling Drew.

I love you! -Mommy

Monday, January 4, 2010


Tonight, on the eve of my baby's first birthday, I had the realization that I just might be feeding him his last bottle ever. He has been really into the sippy cup, and he is getting a new one just like the big kids for his birthday tomorrow. He is not as interested in the bottle anymore, which is fine. But it's ending an era. My last baby is losing his babyhood. I knew this was a moment to savor.

I sat in our chair, the big, comfy leather desk chair at the computer. We have spent countless hours in this chair, Drew and I, nursing, cuddling, napping, and bottle-feeding. He has been slowly weaning himself for the last few months, and for the last couple of weeks has no longer been a nursing baby. But still we cuddle, him in the same crook of my arm, holding his bottle and sharing our time.

Tonight, knowing this might be the end, I wanted to remember. I decided that I would sit and feed him his bottle, beginning to end, no matter what. We would not be interrupted. We would not let this moment pass by, forgotten and un-celebrated in the noise and chaos of our house. We would acknowledge this time, these last moments of babyhood before they are gone forever.

So we sat. We cuddled. We stared into each others eyes, his big blues looking deep into my soul while he drank, me stroking his hand, him holding my finger. Emma tried to tell me about the movie, and I told her she would have to wait. Ben complained about being poopy, and I instructed him to be patient, I would change him when I was done feeding Drew. I looked at my baby again, my very last baby, and he smiled at me, causing milk to run out of the corners of his mouth and pool in his dimples. I loved it.

I heard Ben in the bathroom, and warned him not to take his diaper off himself. I heard velcro and guessed he wasn't listening. I looked at my baby once again, and found him still staring at me with such love in his eyes, I could hardly stand it. I pulled him close and promised that we would finish this bottle without interruption.

I ignored Ben. I ignored the sound of the toilet flushing. The bathroom can be cleaned, but babies cannot be found again once they become toddlers. I heard the toilet flush again, and prayed that I would not have to call a plumber. Drew reached out and stroked my cheek. He knew we were having a moment, he and I, and was enjoying it as much as I was. Grant ran into the bathroom and started yelling, "Oh, no, Ben! Dats naughty!" Drew giggled, his eyes still locked on mine. Still, I didn't move.

I finished the bottle with Drew. I didn't jump when Grant emerged from the bathroom, the bottoms of his pants soaking wet like he had been walking through a huge puddle. I didn't get up when Ben came out of the bathroom with poop still squished between his little-boy-bum-cheeks. I simply sent him back in the bathroom to wait.

And I finished the bottle with Drew.

The kids are growing up way to fast. In five years, will it matter that Ben attempted to clean himself up with a half of a jumbo-sized roll of toilet paper and overflowed the toilet? Nope, it won't. Will I even remember the day that I had to clean toilet water off every surface of the bathroom twice? Probably not. In five years, when Drew is off to Kindergarten, will I have the memory of sitting with his almost-one-year-old little self, staring into his eyes and just enjoying him? You bet I will. I refuse to let their childhoods slip by in a wake of messes and poop. They are truly only young once, and I will cherish their youth.

Life is not measured by the number of times we have to hold our breath while we clean up poop,
but rather by the moments that we realize that these years will soon pass us by.
-Tiffani Stauffer, January 4, 2010

Not Me! Monday!!

A quick one, as the kids are wreaking havoc this morning...

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

I did NOT lie to my daughter's face this week. Since we live on the west coast, we always celebrate by attending my sis-in-law's annual East Coast New Year's party, which involves watching the ball drop in New York (at nine p.m. our time). I did NOT tell my daughter at nine that it was actually midnight and this was the real New Year. We did NOT get the kids home and into bed by ten thirty, and stay up with our friends and play Apples to Apples till one a.m. Nope, NOT me!

We went over to the house of my good friend from High School yesterday. We had a great time, and my kids were PERFECTLY behaved. There was NO WAY that it was my three year old who followed the dog into the group of adults saying goodbye, and, in front of everyone, proceeded to poke the dog directly in her bum with his finger. Like, right in the middle of the circle under her tail. Nope, NOT my son!

I do NOT love Facebook. My status this morning does NOT read:

"Yes, Ben, I understand that you were trying to help. But while I was busy cleaning poop off the baby's eyelid, deciding to clean the bathroom by throwing toilet water over the floor, walls, and cabinets was really not the most helpful activity."

This did NOT result in getting a call from my sister-in-law, who is on her way to my house right now. I am NOT thrilled at this, you know, it will be good to see her, but I DON'T need her here, since my bathroom is NOT still in the same toilet-water-covered state that it was earlier. Nope, I have NOT tried to clean it several times, with each time resulting in some injury to some child by some other child in my household. I did NOT finally decide to lock the door and walk away, in order to actually supervise the above-mentioned children.

Speaking of the children, they are NOT fighting again. No, I am ending this post at exactly the point I planned, I am NOT cutting it off early just because I have to send what sounds like about seventeen screaming children to time out. Again.