Friday, April 30, 2010

A Rather Cranky Post About Basically Nothing

Last night was very, very long.

Drew is about to have his name officially changed to Mr. Cranky Pants. He was up, screaming his little head off, late last night, I was setting up for the garage sale when I got a call from my hubby.

Marty: "Where do you keep the whiskey?"

Me: "Oh, sorry, babe. Bad night?"

Marty: "There is no way you could possibly deal with these kids and their incessant screaming on a regular basis without drinking copious amounts of alcohol, so I know you have a stash somewhere. Now, where do you keep the whiskey?"

Me: giggling "Who's screaming now?"

Marty: "Drew is the main one. He won't go to sleep, so we are sitting here watching TV and eating cheerios."

Me: "Drew's been rough lately. He's teething, so life is hard for him."

Marty: "Life is hard for me right now, too! Do you have a stash of vodka?"

Me: "Sorry, babe, but all I have is that one nip of Jack Daniels that I bought back in February. And if you drink it, you're dead."

Marty: "How dead?"

Me: "Don't. Touch. My. Whiskey!"

Marty: "Fine, be that way. Well, at least I have some Diet Coke, that will be close enough."

Yeah, we talk like this often. But honestly, we rarely drink. We're just too tired to bother.

Anywhoo, Drew screamed till I got home, then kept screaming.

And screaming.

And screaming.

I finally brought him to bed with me at midnight (remember he shares a room with the twins, so when he has a rough night, they do, too.) He didn't settle down till 2am, and then woke every twenty to thirty minutes writhing in pain till 6:30 when he woke up for good.

I took him to the doctor, convinced of another ear infection and possibly something digestive-related, and was told he is teething, nothing more.

Thanks. Thanks a LOT.

I was pretty frustrated at the doctor's office. I saw someone who was not my regular doctor, but someone I had never seen before. It may be that I am horribly sleep deprived right now and super-cranky, but she did not seem to have the best bedside manner.

Seriously, lady, this is my fourth child. If I say I think there's something else going on, don't you think you should listen to me? My regular doctor and nurse would have no problem listening for ten seconds instead of bolting out the door as soon as I start to put his socks back on, yelling, "give him Tylenol and he'll be fine," over her shoulder as she ran.

Yeah, I never thought of that at all.

Oh, and my darling, almost-sixteen-month-old baby boy weighs in at a whopping 20 lbs. 5 oz.

Yup, he's a chunk, that one. If this were 1992, I'd follow that up with a big old, NOT.

OK, I fulfilled my promise that I made yesterday and blogged today. I know, you're probably thinking my time would have been much better spent sleeping, since I'm still just rambling and a rather complain-ey. Oh, well.

This is my blog, and I'm cranky, so I get to cranky-blog. That's my new term I just made up, cranky-blogging. Watch out, world, I'm cranky-blogging today!

(I know, that warning would probably have been more useful at the beginning of this post...)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Randomness

Why is it that a boy will pee immediately after being put in time out? It really doesn't matter what you do, I am sitting here writing this as Grant is in time-out beside me. He got in trouble for stepping on Ben while he was walking out of the bathroom. That's right, Grant had just gone on the potty, and within thirty seconds was sent to time out and peed there. I wonder if he holds just a little in on the toilet, "I'd better save some, just in case I end up in time-out!"

I finally got tired of dealing with it. I know he does it for the attention, and frankly, I'm really, really sick of pee, so I threw a towel at him and left him there.

Some may call that lazy. I prefer to call it creative problem solving by not giving the child he attention that he is craving.

That's good parenting right there.


We are having our first-of-this-year garage sale and family swap meet this weekend. I have been busily sorting, purging, pricing, boxing, and stacking tons of stuff to sell and get out of our house/shop. Hence, the no-blogging-for-two-days thing that I know you are all desperately saddened by. OK, maybe not, but I can pretend, right?

I finally gathered all the boxes and bags of the kids' toys that have been snuck out under the cover of night removed from the house and sorted through them. It's hard, I like to rotate the kids' toys but I never know what they will be into next. Do I keep the twelve Little People play sets that take up so much room, or do I purge them? Do I garage sale them or try to get more money on Craigslist? Do I clean them up to try to get more, or do I cut my losses and let them go as is? I usually end up overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning every piece and just put them back where they came from. They might be into Little People again, right?

And the plan of saving all the twins' toys for Drew have backfired, because my twins remember their toys, and are not even a little bit interested in the thought of finally seeing their stuff again after it had mysteriously disappeared (even though they never noticed they were gone), and them giving it up to their little brother without a fight.

I love my kids being so close in age, but I think they are too close to try the hand-me-down-toys trick.


We have discovered the one and only food that Drew does not like. Steamed artichokes are apparently not on his list of "things that taste good". Which is fine by me, I dislike sharing my artichokes.

However, chicken basil pizza with sun dried tomatoes and pesto sauce is apparently on the list of "things that Drew will scream like a banshee for if he does not have more and more and more right now".

Yes, I know my kids are weird.


I, Tiffani Stauffer, do solemnly promise to do my very best to blog tomorrow. I know the flak I'll get if I only blog two days out of seven, and I'm trying to do better. I sincerely hope there will be something interesting to write about that does NOT involve my getting peed on. You know, AGAIN.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I have been thinking about a Not Me! Monday! post, but I just can't think of anything worthwhile to say. So I'll just ramble a bit.

Because my rambling is sooo much more worthwhile.

Anywhoo, welcome back! to all of my wonderful original followers! When I switched to, there was a glitch and my new posts didn't show up in your dashboards or Google Reader accounts. My brother was up for the weekend, and he fixed it for me. (Thanks, Jeff!) It really is handy to have a genius for a brother.

For those of you who were affected by the glitch, I'm sorry, and I hope you have a chance to go through the last month of posts and get caught up. Ans I'm sorry that the entire month showed up all at once in your lists, and no, I did not publish seventeen posts all at the same time.

OK, now that we have business squared away.

I am so stinking excited for summer. Last night, Marty and I cleaned out a couple of our flower beds, and I attacked the corner of the garden that has not had any love in a long time. I cannot wait to have a nice yard again, not just a big yard with weeds everywhere.

However, the sun is still not high enough in the sky to get any direct sunlight on our front lawn at all. I keep watching it, and it is getting higher, but still not there yet. I love our trees for the privacy part, but I can't stand the fact that we have no direct sunlight for nine months out of the year.

Well, I'm sorry this is so boring, but it's four o'clock and the boys just fell asleep. It's been a rough day. We are doing family pictures tonight, so I need to go throw on some make-up. (This is not just our family, it's Marty with his five siblings, their spouses and kids. So that's a wonderful group shot with twelve adults and eight children. Yeah.)

Have a great Monday, and I'll chat with you later!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Facts

Thankful for: I'm thankful for my awesome group of girlfriends. It is amazing how we are all so very different, but we all get along well. I love that fact that everyone is willing to drop everything to support each other, and is there when we need each other. I love you girls!

Looking forward to: I honestly think the boys are getting close to potty-training-completion. We are getting there. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!

Listening to: Ben is talking to himself about cookies. Grant is talking to himself about granola. "I like dis anoooola!" Drew is trying to scale the giant box that came last night from The kids are in a bit of a growth spurt, I think, before nap time yesterday we had consumed two meals and four big snacks, and all they talk about is food. I bought enough groceries to last a week and they were gone in three days. These kids are constantly hungry!

Missing: I never did find my garage sale stickers. I bought some new ones, and promptly lost them. Knowing I had very little time to price stuff for the garage sale, I bought some more and immediately found the first set I bought, but I still haven't recovered my original stash.

Wanting/needing: A budget that allows about a thousand dollars a month for groceries to feed my starving children. No, they are not actually starving, but they sure act like it sometimes. Oh, and I need a pedicure. Last night at Girl's Night, it was noticed that I still have the same polish on my toes that I put on at our Girl's Weekend in January. Except it's just on my two big toes, it has grown out of the other ones. I think a spring pedicure is in order, don't you?

Quote of the Week: I was going through the bins of my old clothes for the garage sale, and getting rid of things that will never fit well again. I was lamenting about getting rid of these clothes, but just knowing that even if I do reach my goal weight, they just aren't going to look good (and, they will be six plus years old). The quote of the week came from my darling hubby, who said, "Well, sweetie, I think that when you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight after having four kids, you really should reward yourself by buying all new clothes." Isn't he the sweetest man?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The One In Which I Break The Cardinal Girl Rule And Tell My Weight

"Hi, come on in! Just watch out for that mess there, don't step in it. Yes, that's my legs, in a puddle on the floor. I'd like you to meet my new friend, the elliptical."

That's right, folks, I'm now exercising.

I got an elliptical at a garage sale last weekend. (Thanks, Lisa!) I have a desire to be in shape. Yes, I am aware that round is a shape, but I'd just like my round to be a little less squishy and bouncy.

Don't get me wrong, I know I look pretty good for someone who has four kids. But I don't just want to be skinny for having four kids. I want to be skinny period.

Call it vain, call it selfish, but I want to be hot. Yes, I'm already hot, but that's just because the friction caused by my thighs rubbing together could start a fire faster than a Survivor contestant could with flint and steel.

I weighed myself in Sunday night after a weekend filled with all of my favorite, high calorie, fattening foods. I was (gulp, I so can't believe I'm about to say this here) 157 pounds. Really, I should have waited till all the high fat, high cal foods had had a chance to make their way to my thighs, because Monday I was 159. (I will remind you all, and tell all of you that don't know me, I am quite tall. I'm somewhere between 5'10" and 5'11", depending on the day.)

Yesterday, I was 153. Say what? Four pounds in three days? Must be a fluke. We will have to see. My goal is 140, but I'd be happy with 145, depending on how it all works out. (I'm thinking I have more than seven pounds sitting on my hips, thighs, and love handles, but I don't really know.) My driver's license says 135. That was true once. As long as I can get within ten pounds, It'll be good.

So here's the weight-loss plan:

1. Eat healthy, raw foods without as much butter and oil as usual.

2. Use the elliptical twice a day for as long as I can. I've gotten up to eight minutes a day now.

3. Eliminate the late-night ice cream, movie theater butter microwave popcorn, and chocolate consumption. Replace with raw almonds and yogurt.

4. I don't drink pop or coffee very often, so I'm good there.

5. Do a better job following through than I did HERE or HERE.

That's it. I'm not considering this a diet, just a healthier lifestyle change that may change back at various times during the year, namely, holidays, PMS, and the Fair.

Hey, a girl's gotta be flexible, right?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scammy Scammers

I tend to be a bit of a skeptic. I never pictured myself as the type who would fall for an e-mail scam, they are just so out there. I mean, really. Who in their right mind would believe they won a lottery in another country, and all you have to do is provide your most personal info, your firstborn child, and the toejam that collects between the first tow toes on your left foot to claim your prize?

Only a fool. And I am not that type of fool.

Well, maybe.

I got an e-mail yesterday from the IRS. It read as follows:

Subject: Changes 2010 Refund Agreement - please read
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 4:14 PM


Dear Applicant:

After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that
you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $464.79
Please submit the tax refund form "731948115.PDF" attached this message,
and allow us 5-9 business days in order to process it.

Yours sincerely,
Internal Revenue Service
United States

At first, I assumed it was a scam. I mean, Dear Applicant? They know my name! Do they have my e-mail address? Well, yes, since I e-filed, they do. It's gotta be a scam. But if it isn't, I could really use $464.


I went to the IRS website. The IRS website is This e-mail came from "".

Could it be real?

I started mentally shopping and spending my $464 as I sat and though about it. I have really good anti-spyware stuff on my computer (thanks to my wonderful brother, Jeff, who hooked me up after I crashed my computer last summer in what he described as "the absolute most infected computer ever, with the exception of computers in labs where they try to get as many infections as possible. And even then it was close.")

I wonder what the PDF looked like, and what they asked for.

I mean, it did come from

Jeff, look away. You are not going to want to see this.

I clicked on it.

Almost immediately, a warning came up that the attachment was infected with a virus. I moved it to the virus vault and did a computer scan, and both felt like an idiot for falling for it and bummed that I will not be able to get the kids some cute Crocs quite yet.

Back to the IRS website I went, and found the part where you can report a scam. I forwarded the e-mail on, and deleted it.

And I felt like a fool.

Seriously, scammers are getting good. I don't know how they managed to send me an e-mail directly form, but they did. I would never have fallen for it if I was getting, say, $10,000, but $464 was reasonable. I cannot believe how easy it was to believe.

And I'm still bummed that I don't get the $464.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not Me! Monday! Tuesday!

Not me! Monday! was created by MckMama, head on over to her blog to see what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week. Not Me! Monday! Tuesday! was created by me, the big old procrastinator.

I did NOT get out for a grown up day yesterday (hence, my bloggy day off.) My dear sister-in-law (and, technically, my boss,) and I went to a photography seminar in Seattle. It was fabulous.

On the drive down south, we did NOT decide to stop and stretch our legs, and conveniently find ourselves at the outlet mall. That was a TOTAL coincidence, and NOT planned into the day's itinerary. I mean, really. Who would get a sitter to be gone all day and plan shopping time? NOT me!

I did NOT end up driving Amy's car into the city as she is from a small town, and I am much more comfortable driving in traffic. It had NOT been a long time since I had driven a stick shift. I did NOT have my darling sister white-knuckling the dash as I whipped through traffic while riding her clutch.

There was NO WAY I actually talked to the cars around me, telling them, "By the way, I am coming over there and you are going to let me in. You may not know it yet, but I will be going in front of you now." I do NOT believe I thoroughly freaked Amy out as I talked to them, knowing they couldn't hear me. Oh, wait, I mean, I did NOT talk to the cars, silly me.

And I did NOT talk to the automated machine where we got out parking ticket. Or the paper towel dispenser.

Speaking of which, I do NOT firmly believe that the only way to get a paper towel out of an automated dispenser is to quickly thrust your hand at it while shouting, "Shazam!"

I am NOT that big of a dork.

I do NOT feel like this post is coming to am abrupt end, and I have NOT been trying to figure out the last bit for a while now, except for my breaks of "Mommmeeeeeee!!! He took my toy!", and "I'm hungweeee!!!" So I'm just going to stop now.

What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Facts

Thankful for: I am thankful for my family's health. FINALLY, we are all healthy and happy and can go out in public together. WoooooHoooooo!!!!!!

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to spending time together outside, the sunshine that will eventually invade our yard, and I am really looking forward to our garage sale in a couple of weeks. We are seriously lacking in space. And money. But mostly space. Oh, OK, we also really need the money. It's going to be great!

What's for dinner tonight: Well, depending on how the doctor appointment goes this afternoon, something quick, or something out of the house. Oh, and why are we going to the doctor if everyone is healthy, you may ask?

Well, I'll tell you.

Because Ben may or may not have shoved something in his ear. This morning, he told me he did. It was "gweeawgwipts" and he found it because the lion brought them to him.

I have no idea.

All I know is that I was holding my phone when I was talking to him, and my wallpaper is a picture of a tiger. As soon as Grant saw it, he asked Ben if a lion brought it, and Ben said yes, and the story hasn't changed.

All signs point to a made-up story, right?

Well, the story hasn't changed at all, and he keeps rubbing the same ear. This is the same child who shoved a peanut up his nose, and those random-stuff-in-facial-orifice kids tend to be re-offenders. Since it's Friday, and I really don't want to battle the after-hours-weekend-special at the doctor's office, we are going in today.

Long story short, I have no idea what's for dinner.

Listening to: Kids playing together quietly and nicely. And yes, they are actually my kids. Crazy, huh?

Missing: I am missing my pile of garage sale stickers. Every garage sale, I buy new stickers, since I can't find my old ones. And right after I buy them, the old ones show up. So I probably have four boxes of stickers somewhere, but all the spots I thought I had put them are lacking in garage sale stickers. I'm refusing to buy more for a bit. Cuz I'm stubborn.

Wanting/needing: Some organization around here. It's getting bad. I'm really wanting to get rid of a bunch of stuff to de-clutter, and then try and organize what's left over. We need it badly.

Quote of the Week:
"Hey, honey, the bill came. Guess how much it costs to remove a peanut from a child's nose?"

Any guesses?

Friday Facts was created by Tiffiny, check out hers!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Warm Fuzzies

Yesterday, Emma asked me for some tape. Tape can be a good thing, if she's feeling creative, or a scary thing, because all our children think that everything in the world can be fixed with tape.

Luckily for me, she said, "Well, I wrote this paper and I wanted to hang it up."

I love my bed because it is comfy.

And that is a picture of her bed. No, that's not a strange, too-tall drawing of her bed either, that's actually pretty accurate. She really does have the coolest bed in the world, it is a loft bed with a ladder and a slide. I apologize for not making the bed and tidying up a bit before I took the picture, but I'm lazy.

Anywhoo. I was so proud of her writing that by herself. She has been writing a lot in school, and does not do it so much at home. Almost like she wants to perfect it first, or that she doesn't have the confidence that she can do it. I don't know, I just know she's amazing.

Then, last night while checking on her before I went to bed, I saw this in her room:

My Mom, I love you sooo much. Have a great day Love Emma

I showed it to Marty, and I almost cried. Not Dear Mom, or even To Mom, but My Mom. So sweet. Then I put it back right where I had found it, since she hasn't given it to me yet. She still doesn't know I saw it.

Then, while sneaking into her room to take a picture of the above note, I found this one:
I am sorry for lying.

Wow. I wonder if she did that in time out for lying, or is there's something else on her mind that she feels guilty about. I'll have to wait and see how that turns out.

But I am thrilled that my sweet five year old is doing so well and actually writing notes to us, beyond the typical "I love mommy" notes that have been coming for a while. Don't get me wrong, we cherish those, but is it wonderful to have our daughter communicate to us more.

These are the things that memory boxes are made for.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


In the van, as we are driving past a lake.
Grant: "Maybe there's sharks in there."
Ben: "You see sharks?"
Grant: "No, I no see sharks."
Ben: points at a bunch of ducks "What are dose?"
Grant: "Oh, dose are just pwengwins."
Ben: "Ohhhhh..."

Me: "No, Ben you are not on fire. You are perfectly capable of cleaning up your toys."

Me: "Drew, please stop banging your head on the wood stove. It's loud, and that can't feel good."

Emma: "Mommy, I just want my hair blonde today. I've never had it like that for a long time."
(She meant she wanted it down, with no ponytails or ribbons.)

Me: "Please stop yelling and use your words. Oh, sorry, honey, I forgot who I was talking to."

Me: "Grant, you may not put a ribbon around the baby's neck and pull him around. He is not a puppy."

Me: "You boys are supposed to be napping. Hey, get out of the diaper pail! Wait, are you guys wearing swim trunks?!? Where on earth did you find them, and where are your pants?!?"

Monday, April 12, 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!

I did NOT decide to take all four kids shopping alone on Friday. I am a reasonable sane person (cough, choke, giggle) and I am perfectly capable of waiting till Saturday when my hubby can join us.

It was payday, but we were NOT so low on groceries that dinner that night threatened to be Easter eggs, coconut milk, and ketchup. I mean, really, we do NOT blow through our minuscule grocery budget so fast that on the day we get paid, I am waiting at my hubby's office for the check.

Since I was in town, I decided to go to Trader Joe's. I love Trader Joe's. I needed some good snacky food for the kids, and wanted to see what I could find there.

We went in, and I grabbed one of their carts, strapped Drew in the top, and off we went.

Can I just say? My kids were freaking awesome.

I did NOT tell them to hold hands together and walk beside me, and they did NOT listen. I did NOT have cute little old ladies smiling at me, their little nods and smiles of approval telling me that I was doing something right with my four children, ages five and under. When we came to an aisle that had a lot of people, I told them to let go of each other and get in a line behind me. They did NOT listen so fast that a man said, "Wow, great job, kids!"

Seriously. I did NOT get a big "my kids are freaking awesome" head.

So there is NO WAY that we ended up creating such a ruckus that I ended up leaving with three screaming children about five minutes later, completely humiliated, fighting off tears and having not completed my shopping, right?

Of course NOT.

Let's back up to the part where they lined up right behind me. We were in the aisle I wanted, and I was looking for a bar of laundry soap. I parked the cart and told my sweet, well-behaved children to stay right there and not to touch anything. Still on a high from their complete and total fabulousness, I turned my back and stepped one step away.

That was NOT a big, huge, mammoth mistake.

I was NOT studying the laundry section when I heard a scream of panic, and turned just in time to see that my cart had toppled sideways, and I caught the last instant of the cart falling, landing on top of Grant and Drew's head hitting the floor, from his strapped in-position. I ran the one step to get there, and unhooked Drew before lifting the cart off my three-year-old. I sat right there in the aisle, holding these two screaming boys, as my heart was racing and I was trying not to cry. I sat in a daze for a moment, checking them out to see of they were OK and repeating "It's OK, it's OK," over and over and over.

I was NOT partially trying to convince myself of that fact.

Now, that's the worst thing ever, right? There's NO WAY it could possible get any worse than the moment after your child topples a shopping cart, crashing it to the ground with your baby inside, right?


As I am sitting there dazed, with a still screaming baby and complete shock-induced tunnel-vision, I see two pairs of shoes walk right up to me. Before I have a chance to look up to see what is happening, I hear a man shout, "What is going on here?" I look up just in time to see the straw that broke the camel's back.

And by that, I do NOT mean that while I was consoling Grant and Drew, Ben decided to give shopping cart Olympics a try himself and pulled the cart over on top of himself, and although it all seemed to happen in Hollywood-style slow motion, I could not get there in time, due to the two children in my lap.

Good thing the store manager had walked up and stuck his foot right under Ben's head just before it hit the ground.

Really, I did NOT have two separate shopping cart-pulled-over-on-top-of-a-toddler incidents within a minute of each other.

I was NOT sitting there, now with three screaming boys and an little girl who was trying to find the positive, "Well, at least our stuff didn't fall out of the cart!" and two managers staring at me with looks of complete pity and fear. I did NOT decide right then and there that we would just go home. I only had one thing in the cart, which was on that aisle, so I put it back and turned to go. That's when I realized that we were NOT in the one aisle of Trader Joe's that is in full view of Every. Single. Checkstand.

The manager offered the kids balloons. We accepted. I did NOT get the feeling that they were afraid of being sued. I did NOT want to tell them not to worry, I fully understood the fact that it was the kids fault and my fault, not theirs, but I didn't want to be an idiot babbling about suing people.

Baby Drew did NOT keep crying until we had him bucked into his car seat, with his binky and his puppy.

I did NOT cry on the way home.

We did NOT end up going grocery shopping after Marty got off work, and have Costco hot dogs for dinner.

I am NOT going to avoid Trader Joe's for a while, unless I can get little Groucho Marx glasses and moustaches for my children so we are not recognized.

(Don't worry, none of the kids were hurt, just shook up a bit.)

What did you NOT do this week?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bribery - A Wonderful Parenting Tool

I bribed my daughter this morning.

And then, because my boys felt left out, I bribed them as well.

Wow. Bribed sound awful. Let's change that to I inspired them to do the things I want them to do by providing a reward when they accomplish the desired behavior.

Yes, that's much better.

My daughter bites her nails. I hate this. Mainly because I used to bite my nails, and it was a really hard habit to break. I would love for her to break it now and not have to deal with years and years of behavioral patterns that she has to get past.

And let's just face it, nails that get bitten are ugly. And hard to paint. And make it impossible to put keys on keychains.

So I took a cue from my dear friend Jessica, who said she quit biting her nails because her boyfriend (who is my wonderful brother-in-law) told her if she could go a month, he'd take her out for a fancy dinner.

So I, being the creative, inventive person that I am, told Emma the exact. same. thing.

She's excited. She really wants her fancy dinner to be at Red Robin.

I think we need to get her out more.

Anywhoo, the twins wanted in on this, too. I guess the offer for one-on-one time is something I should exploit use more often.

So I told them that when they could wear big-boy undies every day and always go in the potty, I'd take them each out for a fancy dinner.

This is getting expensive.

However, compared to the cost of diapers, if this encourages them to potty train sooner, it might be a financially sound investment.

We will see if this works, but I am thinking, based on the fact that they have not had an accident all morning, that bribery works. Wait, I mean, inspiring them to do the things I want them to do by providing a reward when they accomplish the desired behavior works.

That really does sound much better.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When Things Are Not As They Appear

The house is quiet. This means one of two things, either the kids are all sleeping, or they are up to something. Since it is only 9:30 this morning, I am guessing it is the second one.

I look around. Drew is still in his high chair from breakfast. I have a strict don't-let-the-baby-down-out-of-his-high-chair-unless-he-asks-lest-he-break-off-more-childproof-locks-and-then-completely-remove-cabinet-doors-to-destroy-everything-inside rule. At the moment, he's happy, so in the chair he stays.

Emma is in the bathroom, probably re-arranging her hair tie drawer because it makes no sense to her to have all the same color hair ties together. But at least she's quiet.

The twins are missing.

This is what concerns me most. Two three-year-olds can actually harness the destructive power of a stealth bomber.

On steroids.

So far today, Ben has gotten into the junk drawer and removed a huge roll of clear packaging tape, and unrolled the whole thing. Then, upon hearing his mother from the other room yelling, "Ben, whatever it is you're playing with, put it back!", he wadded the thing up and actually listened, effectively creating a giant mass of sticky junk-drawer items that might not survive the unsticking process.

Oh, and there's a huge strip of masking tape on the front of the fridge. Two totally different types of tape. I have no idea. I'm just glad they didn't use duct tape. And they've only been up for an hour.

But I digress.

I start a search for the quiet twins, dreading what I might find. They are not in the kitchen, or behind the couch, or in the bathroom. I breathed a sigh of relief and a silent prayer of thanks, and keep looking. I finally find Grant on my bed, and Ben on the floor. My quiet, destructive, trouble making twins are watching cartoons.



Grant sees me and lets out a happy, "Hi, Mommy!"

"What'cha doing, boys?" I ask, pleased as punch at their calmness. "I watching a show," responds Grant, pointing to the TV.

He is sitting on my side of my bed, in only a diaper with his brown shoe on one foot and a rubber boot on the other.

"Do you want a blanket?" I offer, knowing how comfy it could be. He smiled at me, so I pulled my blanket up and tuck him in. "There, now you are cozy," I smile into his eyes, and he looked at me with his big browns. "Mommy?" he implores, "I'd be more cozy wif you."

It's amazing how quickly a to-do list can disappear out of one's mind just by looking into a pair of beautiful, brown, pleading eyes filled with love. I climb into bed next to him and he unabashedly throws his arms around my neck. "Now I cozy, Mommy," he says, snuggled up next to me.

The floors can wait.

We watched a little Jungle Junction, and then Ben gets up from the floor. I have a brief moment of concerned that it might break the spell, that Grant would not like the imposition of his twin brother on his Mommy Time, and the moment would pass. But he sits up and says, "Ben! We having cuddle time! You want to cuddle, too?"

And with that, Ben climbs up on the bed and snuggles down in between us, pulling up blankets to his chin.

And there we lay. The three of us, cuddled so close that we are on top of each other, arms around necks in a tangle of limbs that were not unraveled for a while. It was fabulous.

So if you come to my house today, and you notice that there is spilled granola covering the kitchen floor left over from the kids' food fight this morning, or that there is still some masking tape on the front of the fridge, or that the laundry still hasn't been folded, know that I did my best.

But all those things become so much less important when compared to the chance to snuggle two little calm, quiet, loving boys.

"Mommy, you stay here wif me. I cuddle you and keep you forever."

Wipe the tear that has formed on my cheek. "OK, Ben, I think I will."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Apparently if you buy an beautiful Easter dress for a five year old weeks before Easter, then tell that child that she just has to stare at the dress and cannot wear it until Easter morning, she will be so excited about her newly found dress freedom once Easter is over that she will wear the above mentioned dress for four days in a row.

Apparently there is a sweet, tenderhearted five year old in this house. And if you ask this little girl to throw away a sock that has a huge hole, she will be devastated. Even if the sock is not hers. And she will explain to you between loud, racking sobs, "I feel sad for the sock! Because it won't have a partner anymore!" And if you think the problem can be solved by explaining the fact that socks don't have feelings, and the process of what happens when things are thrown away, you are wrong. It will result in the sweet, tenderhearted five year old pleading to go to the landfill someday to visit the sock with a giant hole.

Apparently, laughing in this situation is the wrong thing to do.

Apparently, my love of spring and summertime things has led to a serious downturn in blogging. I seem to have neglected my zoo post, my Easter post, (both of which are in the works,) and a soccer post. I seem to be losing hours in the day. I can't help it, my kids are too much fun right now. It's hard to sit and blog when you have an adorable little face right up next to yours saying, "Mommy, up please!"

Apparently, Ben is still interested in occasionally potty training. He was in undies for most of the last two days.

Apparently, there is something about the time-out spot that makes a underwear-wearing boy pee instantly.

At least my entryway is spicky-span clean and completely sanitized right now.

Apparently, taking a shower with all four kids is still a great way to get yourself clean, bathe the kids, and make sure the house remains standing. However, relaxing while washing your hair, and marveling at the warmth of the perfect temperature water running over you is not as relaxing as you might think.

Especially when you realize that warmth is actually caused by a boy peeing on you.

Apparently I will never get away from all the pee.

Monday, April 5, 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.

The Easter bunny pooped on our floor yesterday.


It seems every year, that darn bunny comes into my house, gives my kids copious amounts of sugar, and poops on the floor. So not only do I have wild, crazy, sugared up children, I have a pile or two of Easter Bunny poop to clean up.

I get tired of it.

This year, the Easter bunny poop had changed consistency a bit. Maybe he's a bigger bunny this year, it's certainly NOT because I was just a little sick of Raisinettes. The Easter Bunny poop was a bit more chocolate-covered-almond size.

There is NO WAY I decided I was just tired of it all, and told my five-year old to clean up the Easter Bunny poop. I am a hardworking mother and would NEVER have a child clean up a mess that a random fairy-tale-creature made.

She did NOT try really hard to convince me that the poop was actually candy. She is a smart child who knows to obey her mother, she would NEVER argue with me and say that poop is candy. Even if it was shaped like candy. And looked like candy. And tasted like candy. And you know, actually was candy, she still would know better that to argue with her mother.

My three oldest children most certainly did NOT fight over who got to eat the most Easter Bunny poop. Marty and I did NOT give a wonderful performance with our complete and total disgust that our darling children would actually consider eating poop.

Later in the day, my sweet, five year old Emma did NOT tell me, "Mom, you know the Easter Bunny isn't real." This did NOT surprise me, as I thought she still believed. "Mom," she leaned in close to whisper in my ear, knowing this was a secret to keep from her brothers, "it's actually a man in a bunny suit."

"What?!?" cane my shocked indignation, "Are you really telling me that the Easter Bunny isn't real?" She giggled and replied, "No, Mom, it's just a man!"

I stared her down for a minute. "So you are saying a man in a bunny suit came into our house, and pooped on the floor?!?"

She rolled her eyes and gave a big sigh. She is NOT perfecting her teenage angst at ridiculous, not with-it parents. "Moooom, it's just candy!"

We are either going to annoy the heck out of our kids when they are teens, or we are going to be the coolest parents ever.

We do NOT both agree that it is probably the first one.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fact (The Biggest and Best Fact Ever!)

Thankful for: I am so very thankful, grateful, and humbled by that sacrifice that my Lord and savior Jesus Christ made for me. Good Friday is amazing, to think He died for me. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved Tiffani, that he sent his only begotten son, and if Tiffani shall believe in Him, she shall have eternal life." Isn't that amazing? And do you know what? Jesus died for you, too. And He didn't just die for you because you were part of the world that He was saving, if you were the only soul He could save by dying on the cross, He still would have done it. Really, truly. Just try it, and put your name in here. "For God so loved ______, that He gave his only begotten son, and if _____ believes in Him, he/she shall not perish, but have eternal life."

If you have not made a decision to invite Christ into your heart, I would so very much encourage you to do so. As my friend Jenn said so well this morning, It'll rock your world.

All you have to do it say this, and believe it in your heart:

"God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross at Calvary, and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in Jesus' precious and holy name. Amen."

If you prayed this prayer, please e-mail me to let me know. I would love to pray for you! You can reach me at

If you don't have a bible, I would love to send one to you. If you do have one, but haven't opened it lately, I'd encourage you to pick it up. Start in the book of John. it's in the New Testament, towards the back. Trust me, this will change your life in amazing, unbelievable ways.

I am so thankful, it brings me to tears.

I don't think I am going to finish Friday Facts today. What's for dinner isn't important right now.

Today, on Good Friday, I am thankful for my salvation. I am thankful that I know Jesus lives, and that the story doesn't end with Him dying, even though it was for me. I am thankful that my God, my Jesus, is all powerful and that He saves. I am thankful that He was willing to die for a cranky, insecure, sarcastic, messy, crazy sinner like me.

And He died for you, too. Really, truly.

And He lives!