Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Lord's Prayer

I have been working on teaching the kids the Lord's prayer. I gotta say, the boys are adorable.

"Our Fodder, who are in heaben, hollolled be dy name..."

I love it.

A couple of nights ago, I said it with Grant while tucking him into bed.

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen."

Grant: "We hafta watch the glory."

Me: "How are you going to watch the glory, baby?"

Grant: "We gotta sit in chairs and watch it."

Me: "Really?"

Grant: "Yeah!"

Me: "And what will the glory look like?"

Grant: "It gonna be greeeeen."

Me: "Oh?"

Grant: "Yeah. It gonna be green and look like Lightning McQueen."

Me: "Really?"

Grant: "Yeah."

And then with a smile, he put his head on his pillow and curled up to go to sleep. I stroked his head, wondering what exactly was going on in his mind.

It's gonna be a fun ride.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Mother Nature,

Thank you.



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A New Method of Discipline

Yesterday I was on the phone with Holly. I love my phone chats with Holly, she is one of the only people who will put up with conversations that are constantly interrupted by "No, you guys may not dog pile on the baby," "Drew, get out of the windowsill," "Drew, give Mommy the marker," "Drew, get off the table, please," "Drew, please stop standing on that chair," "Drew! Put the meat fork back in the drawer!" Yeah, it's tough to have an insanely curious seventeen month old who climbs and opens child proof locks.


Yesterday was no exception. I was sitting on the loveseat, enjoying my little chat with Holly when Drew came wandering into the room. He had gotten the wooden spoon we use on the twins occasionally at bedtime to encourage them to want to stay in their beds, and was grinning wildly in that way that says he is truly up to something as he carried it across the room. He then climbed up on the big couch, and stood on it, still grinning and waiting to make sure I was watching.

Before I could get him down, he did a little dance. Then he stopped, bent over, and reached his hand with the spoon back and tried to swat himself on the bum, completely missing, but giggling the whole time. Back to dancing, including jumping on the couch this time. Them more swatting, grinning and giggling the whole time.

There is definitely a right thing to do and a wrong thing to do in a situation such as this. The right thing to do would be to firmly explain to the child that we don't stand/jump/dance on the couch, and remove him from the situation. The wrong thing to do would be to laugh hysterically while gasping for breath enough to try to explain to Holly what is going on, and be so doubled over in laughter at the adorableness of his proud little face that you just keep laughing and watch him continue his charade, with tears streaming down your face until you almost fall off the loveseat.

I did the wrong thing.

But seriously, I wish I had a video camera to document the whole episode, it was hysterical. Now, we've never swatted him, I believe he is too young to understand and there are better ways to deal with behavior in babies, but since he shares a room with the twins, he has witnessed a few swats in his day.

Apparently, he figured out that a consequence was coming for dancing on the couch, and he was just gonna take care of it himself. I admire his forward thinking and his apparent desire to take some of the pressure off of me. Now if only I can channel that helpful mindset into something a little more, well, helpful.

At least he is getting the concept of consequences, right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

September 23, 2009.

Almost nine months ago.

Yes, it has actually been almost nine months since that wonderful, glorious day. Nine very long months.

Do you all remember September 23? I don't, not particularly, since I didn't know it would have such meaning to me now. One of those lasts that you don't know is slipping by until it's gone and you suddenly realize how desperately you have missed it.

I just can't believe it has been nine months since the last day our area reached 75 degrees.

We had a very early spring. Many of you may remember the Olymipcs, which were about thirty miles from our house, and how it was so warm that they had refrigeration units under the snow that they had to bring in from another mountain to keep it somewhat close to frozen. It was about fifty degrees then, and here, on the first day of summer, it was about six degrees warmer.

We've had a few nice days here and there, making us believe that summer is coming. But those days are just lies, cruel tricks dangled before us like a carrot on a stick in front of a treadmill. I enjoyed 73 degree weather the day before my birthday, on the first day of spring. We have had a few warmer ones, where our wet, soppy, rusty, soaked into a pruney mess skin starts sweating in the massive 68 degree heat because we are not used to it at all. But those days never come two at a time. One nice day leads to another week of rain, wet, windy, cold, dreary grey skies and one mother of four in particular who end up curled up in the fetal position on the bathroom floor as the children run wildly through the house, massive amounts of pent up energy creating a frenzy of fighting, yelling, fighting, screaming, fighting, and getting into things they shouldn't.

Like the markers.

And the knife drawer.

I am all about sending my kids outside in the cold, but their pants are too short and their long sleeve shirts are worn thin. Their winter coats were getting a bit small back in February, but thinking that spring was on it's way, I figured we were fine. Little did I know that winter would continue for months and months.

And months.

I strongly object to letting the kids back in the house after forty minutes of playing, shedding layers and layers of sopping wet, muddy clothing on the entryway floor and donning more layers and layers of clothing to go back out again, after hot chocolate and cozying up with a blanket to warm up.

In June.

My laundry pile is overwhelming as the kids are going through five full-sized outfits (including the dreaded socks) a day. Their tennis shoes are too tight, but I was planning on having them in sandals all summer and not having to buy new tennis shoes till fall.

I am truly a summer girl. I love shorts and tank tops, sandals and cutely painted toes. I hate socks with a passion. I strongly dislike using the furnace in June. I am very sad that I got my garden planted right before the wettest two week stretch on record for our dry season, drowning all my seeds so that nothing grew.

I need the sun. I need vitamin D, and the pure joy that comes from getting out of bed and walking through the kitchen to see sunlight streaming through the skylight, pooling on the kitchen floor in a delightfully warm, sunny spot of joy. I love the kids' hair when it bleaches out in the sun, transforming my dirty-blonde children into shining, happy kids with halos of golden hair.

I know, I night be a bit over-dramatic here. But seriously, I need summer to get here, and fast. And I needed that rant. I certainly feel better now, thanks for listening. That is, if you actually did read all the way to the end, which I greatly doubt since I was just complaining this entire post. For those of you who did suffer through my rant and are still with me here, I appreciate you. Would you pray for some sun for me? I really need it to maintain the tiny little sliver of sanity that I have left. Thanks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dear Mother Nature,

Hi, it's me again. I know I write to you quite often lately, and I'm sorry that it is mostly to complain. I'll try to compliment you from time to time as well.

The reason I am writing you today is that it is the third day of summer vacation for the kids. In case you had forgotten, summer is supposed to be the warm one. I went to my sister-in-law's house yesterday with mental images of letting the girls frolic in the flowers in cute floofy skirts, and basking in the sunshine while my sis-in-law took amazing photos of the adventure. I was slightly disappointed in the fact that we just waded through mud with winter coats on instead. Then, we went in and had hot chocolate. Not quite summer-vacation activities, if you ask me.

In case no one told you, this has been the wettest dry season ever on record. I haven't watered my garden in a month, and it's drowning. Literally. the plants are turning yellow and wilty from too much water. I'm still using the furnace. The kids are in pants and long sleeve shirts. And I think we all know my aversion to socks in general, I tend to think it is absolutely unacceptable for them to be needed in the middle of June.

Don't get me wrong, I love your occasional days lately of temps in the low sixties. Compared to yesterday's 51, I'll take it. But we still haven't reached 75 degrees one time this year. At all. That's a new record, too. And if we're going to have record breaking temperatures, I'd really rather be on the other end of the spectrum.

If you would be so kind and actually warm us up a bit, I'd really appreciate it. This isn't working for me on several levels, namely- I hate socks, we're out of firewood, our budget does not include higher power bills from running the furnace all the time, the kids want to go outside, I want to go outside, their winter coats are too small and I can't buy new ones because it's June, their sneakers are getting tight and I want to just put them in sandals till fall, and lastly, I hate cold, wet, dreary weather. I want sunshine and warmth and happiness. Please.

Thank you for your time, Mother Nature, and I'll do my best to stop complaining now.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy birthday, Darling Emma

Last night before bed, Marty and I sat on the couch together and snuggled our five year old daughter. I held her tight, smelling the flowers and dirt in her hair, trying to memorize her voice, her giggles, her five year old sweetness and her little girl joy. I knew, right then and there, that it was the last time I would ever snuggle with my five-year-old daughter again.

This morning, a six year old climbed into my bed to snuggle me.

No, she hadn't changed overnight. They never quite do, but the changes happen so slowly and yet so fast, before you can even plan or realize it is happening, next thing you know your little baby girl that you brought home from the hospital is going off to college.

So last night, I tried to memorize my five year old. Engrave in my brain the sound of her voice when she calls me Mommy, because I know that is going to be gone soon. Someday, she will call me Mommy for the last time, and I won't even know to savor it as the last. So I will try to savor these, knowing she will grow up on me much faster than I want or plan or will even realize until it's too late.

As I write this, my darling girl has forty five minutes left of Kindergarten. I am sitting here, tears streaming down my face and wondering where all the time went. In a little less than an hour, I will go to the end of the driveway and pick up my six-year-old, newly turned first grader.

And in the blink of an eye, she'll be seven.

My darling Emma-girl,

I am so proud of you. You have blossomed into an amazing girl and although I want to keep you little forever, I also can't wait to see how you will develop as you get older. You are beautiful, you are so kind, you have a love of life that is a joy to everyone around you.

Emma, I delight in you.

I love how you love God, and tell your brothers about His love. I love how you care for those around you, how you always want to pray for whomever is in an ambulance going by. I appreciate how you care for your cat and how you show him love and protect him from the boys.

I had a wonderful time going roller-skating with you last night. I loved spending time with just you, and I loved how you just kept going. I was (and still am) delighted at your reaction to falling down and getting hurt, you just giggled and said, "falling is just part of learning how to roller skate!" and got up and kept going. I love that about you, and continuing to get up and try again is something that will make you very successful in whatever you choose to do in life.

As I held your hand around the rink for the couples skate last night, I realized that I was truly having a great time hanging out with you. You are fun to be with and I really, truly enjoyed our time together. I can't wait for the times you tell me your secrets and we get to hang out together, just the girls. We are outnumbered in our family, so we need to stick together, OK?

I love how your whole face lights up when you smile. I love when you dance. I love when you sing. You are amazing, beautiful, and I still am in awe that out of everyone on the planet, God chose me to be your mom. I thank Him every day for that.

I love you, sweet princess Emma. I don't think you will ever know how very much I love you, because until you have a little girl of your own, you just can't know a mother's love. And even then you just can't picture anyone else on earth loving another person as much as you love your child. It's just the way it goes.

Have a wonderful birthday, darling. I hope it is everything you imagine and more.

I love you, baby girl. Promise you will always be my little girl, even when you grow up, OK? ;)

Love, Mommy

Friday, June 11, 2010

Can You Bounce a Background Check?

"Mommy?" Emma asked me yesterday, in the car on the way to Costco.

"Yes, dear?"

"Mommy, remember that time I thought Mrs. Teacher was sick?" (We will call her "Mrs. Teacher" for her sake. I know not everyone loves the idea of having their personal business all over the Internet. Especially, you know, this.) "Mommy, Mrs. Teacher wasn't really sick, she was in jail."

Wait... what?!? Something doesn't seem right here. Mrs. sweet, wonderful kindergarten Teacher isn't really the going to jail type.

"What do you mean Mrs. Teacher was in jail?"

"Well, she wasn't really in jail, like real jail, it was where there were too many people in jail, so she got to go home. But she has to go back to jail later."


"OK, I'm confused. Can you tell me that again?"

"Well." Emma is in her full I know everything mode now, ready to inform me of all of her teacher's time in jail. "Mrs. Teacher went to the thing by the jail, but there were too many people so they let her go home. That's why there was a sub, because she had to do that jail thing. But she didn't have to go to the jail, she will go again next year. But she wasn't sick, mom, it was that thing by the jail."

Suddenly, a light bulb clicked on over my head.

"Emma, do you mean Mrs. Teacher had jury duty?"

"Yes! That's what it was!" She then gave a huge sigh, content that she had gotten her point across.

I laughed a little inside. Thank heavens she told me that instead of someone else, lest my darling daughter spread slander about her sweet, kind kindergarten teacher's life of crime.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Dangers Of A Crocodile Slide

"Hey Mom?" Emma came up to me the other day. I was in the kitchen and the kids were playing.

"Mom, Ben fell off the crocodile slide and broke his leg." I looked at her calm demeanor and wondered when she grew up on me.

"Oh, man," I exclaimed, "that's too bad. Is he OK?"

"Dr. Grant is taking care of him."

I headed back to my room. The kids have been in the habit lately of stripping our bed, and piling the blankets and pillows off one side to make what they call a crocodile slide. Neither Marty or I like the idea of kids being able to destroy their parents' room, but every time they do this, they play well together, taking turns and getting along without fighting, yelling, screaming, hitting, pulling hair, kicking, whining, or tattling for a good half hour or so, giving me some peace and quiet. So I'm not going to instill the "keep out of Mom and Dad's room" rule just yet.

I found Ben laying on my bed, trying not to giggle as Grant knelt over him with an open pants hanger, and gently placed it around Ben's leg and gave it a slight squeeze.

"All better, Ben!" Grant was proud of his Doctor work.

And Ben got up on his newly-healed broken leg and headed down the crocodile slide once again.

I loved it.

They continued to play Doctor for a while, allowing me to unload and re-load the dishwasher uninterrupted. I could hear them back in my room, and laughed at their game.

"Oh, no! You have a broken arm! Lemme see. I fix it."

"All better!"

"Fank you, Doctor, for fixing me!"

"You're lelcome!"

"I have a broken arm! Can you fix it?"

"No, I can not. You have to go to the kid's hos-i-pal. They fix you real good at the kid's hos-i-pal. And you get bubbles!"

"Yay, we're going to the kid's hospital! Let's go!"

And the kids started marching through the house on their mission to get to the kid's hospital.

I wonder if this is a game that other kids play, or is it just mine? I'm thinking this may not be normal...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Not Me! Monday!

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

I did NOT jump for joy, do a happy dance, and giggle like a schoolgirl when I gave grant his last dose of antibiotics on Saturday. I did NOT go to bed with a huge smile, knowing that my alarm wasn't going to go off at two AM like it had been for weeks. So because of my desire for blissful slumber, there is NO WAY that Marty's alarm that he had set last week while camping was somehow set to repeat weekly, meaning that it went off at two am. NOPE, I enjoyed my sleeping immensely.

I did NOT go into the kitchen this morning to find Drew standing with the knife drawer open, reaching in with one hand to grab the pizza wheel. I did NOT jump, and then sigh with relief that he had only gotten to the pizza wheel, then slowly remove his hand and close the drawer, only to see that he was holding my 10" chef's knife with the other hand. I am a calm, cool, and collected Mom, so I did NOT suddenly experience a heart rate so rapid that I think it actually stopped beating for a few beats, seeing him hold the handle of the knife so precariously, as it was pointed down directly over his foot.

I did NOT manage to get it away from him and put it back in the drawer, still speaking softly and trying not to have a heart attack. I carefully closed the drawer and made sure that both child locks were securely in place, and breathed a sigh of relief.

Mr. seventeen-month-old baby Drew did NOT then show me that he could open both locks in less than ten seconds, revealing the beautiful drawer of shiny, sharp knives again.

I did NOT immediately remove all the knives from the drawer and put them on the shelf where the coffee mugs go, knowing that it was unlikely that he could get them there. Not impossible, but unlikely. For a less than one and a half year old boy who can open child proof locks, nothing is impossible.

This type of curiosity/problem solving skill set is NOT why I have been blogging so infrequently. I mean, I have TONS of spare time to blog, I am NOT constantly chasing a toddler in a child-proofed home as he gets into things that are locked away.

what did you NOT do this week?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Birthday Party Fun

Is it really Thursday already?


I know, the four day week tends to throw everyone off, and I am no exception. I have spent the last few days cleaning up from camping, doing laundry, folding laundry, putting laundry away, and being amazed at the amount of sand that appears on my couch under the laundry even after it has all been washed.

Which basically means, we had a great time camping.

I'm also working on planning Emma's birthday party. I'm usually much more on top of it than this year, but our recent bout of sick boys has put everything on the back burner, and now I'm scrambling. Her birthday is in a week and a half. Our invite list is 56 people. I allowed her to invite five friends, the rest is family. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having such a big, close knit extended family, but it becomes a bit of a challenge when it comes to birthdays.

Oh, and the weather forecast for next weekend is looking like rain and high 50's. Not quite conducive for an outdoor party. Have I mentioned our house is 1,400 square feet? Not quite conducive for hosting 57 people. Oh, and there's the fact that our budget is very, very small, which means that this party is taking ab it more planning and creativity than most.

I put it out on Facebook last night, and got tons of great ideas. It seems almost selfish to save them all for myself, so I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you all here:

Brenda Oh come on, you KNOW you wanna do it at Chuck-e-Cheese!!!!
Brenda knows she can get away with comments like these, as she is eleventeen months pregnant and knows I won't beat her.

Kelina I know a lot of kids love Jump Around Fun Zone!

Brenda Our local indoor soccer place used to be $100 (now it's $150) to rent the space for an hour of field time & then 30 or 45 min in the "party" room (I forget exactly). Now before you think "we don't all play soccer" keep in mind it gives you a ginormous play field and the kids (and adults) just ran around for an hour when we did it. Just because it... See More was the dome it didn't mean we actually had to play a game. I'd think you could use the field and do all sorts of things, hula hoop, relay races etc. I'm NOT suggesting the place by us, I'm sure there's a place closer to you!!! Just an idea.

Tiffany We spent 40 dollars and buried dinosaur bones and gold coins in the front yard. We through on plastic safari hats and mustaches on the kids. We made the kids go dig for an hour on an archaeological dig and they all had a blast. We even made our own treasure map. We baked our own cake for 6 dollars and the goodie bags were the "treasures" they found. A year or so before we did carnival at the house, bought some cheap cotton candy, popped our own popcorn and made our own games "Ring of Fire" was a stuffed lion being thrown threw a hula hoop with construction paper "fire." Tattoo station (oriental trading has them for so cheap) and make your own animal balloon station - a huge hit with the adults, just to name a few. We BBQed hot dogs and the kids ran around in circles playing.

Shelly Just pick her favorite something, (color, animal, food, game) and go from there. Not too expensive. Just time and imagination. I love doing kid's parties. We have done Circus, Trains, TeddyBear Picnic, Cloud 9, Spies, Pirates, Beach, Tea Party, Dinosaur, Dora, Gymnastics, Bowling, Pizza, Movie Night, Mermaids, Princess, Swim. I think you can still rent the YMCA Pool for under $100. Have fun.

Kara At your house. Cake, ice cream. Have each kid bring a flash light 2 the party & have a pitch black scavenger hunt (prizes, candy- whatever on ground) in a dark room. Presents and done.

Wendy Ask her if she really wants a party or if she wants to go out with Mommy and Daddy all by herself.......you might be surprised.

Carmen Pirate Run at the Lynden YMCA. Unlimited amount of kids for about $100 if it is available. You get the party room and the pool for just enough time. Plus, the kids LOVE the Pirate Run huge island inflatables. We have done this a few times!!

Micah I remember the parties my mom put on for us when we were younger. The games were things like scooping cotton balls with a serving spoon while blind-folded and putting them onto a bowl and passing an orange from person to person while it was held between our chin and chest. She made us do that one by lining up boy - girl. She'd also buy a ton of water balloons (check out the dollar store) and turn us loose. I was 9 or ten at the time and we had a blast! I'm not sure if this will work for you but it sure has brought back some great memories!

Carrie I love the dinosaur bones idea. I might have to use that one! My mom did fun stuff when we were growing up too, egg tosses, 3 legged races, water balloons etc. She would make the adults participate too, so everyone had fun :)

Lori Oriental Trading had a really cute Cowgirl theme with pink and purple. Even a horse pinata. I also know someone with miniature ponies. Maybe she would loan one or two for rides and the theme could be a pink western theme in your back yard. Emma's pink boots would fit right in! Make it a BBQ with beans and bandannas for everyone!

Misty swimming pool.

Melanie We're doing a minute to win it party for our son Jacob. The kids seem really excited and the prizes are from the dollar store.

I love all these ideas, and I hope you all can get some great ideas from this as well. Now, to figure out what I can do for Emma. Pray for sunshine, would you, please? :)