Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Gifts

This is pretty much a conversation between Josh (age 7) and me this morning.

"What do you boys think that your father would like for Christmas?"

"How about we make him a jet pack?  We could power it on plants and it would fly him into the sky and -"

"No, it has to be something we can buy at the store this time.  We don't have time to invent things like that.  Any suggestions?  There are some CDs that he wants and some computer equipment and -" 

"Oh!  Let's get him some computer equipment that can make his computer a portal and he could just touch anywhere on the screen and then it would open a door to anywhere in the world that he wanted to go!  Dad would really like that!"

"Focus.  Focus.  Something that you can go to the store and actually buy.  Those are interesting ideas, but they don't make those kind of things for real yet..." 

Ah.  Reality.  What a bummer.  I would like a portal for Christmas too.  What say, Santa?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sweet Little Thoughts

I love the sweet little thoughts of tiny children.  As we were driving in the car the other day, the four year old asked so thoughtfully and innocently, "If you go out into space will you see the Lord's hands holding up the world?"  What a beautiful image.   

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Time Out

Our 4 year old spends a decent amount of time in time out because he is four and a boy and well, because he is Joe.  Our rule is that you have to face the corner in the time out spot.  So, he is sitting in time out the other day and I can see over the edge of the table his feet sticking up in the air and I say, "Joe, you need to be facing the corner."  He responds quickly, "I am facing the corner."  When I investigate I see that he is indeed facing the corner, just standing on his head. :)

Who Was Sleeping Anyway?

Joe (4) wakes me up at 5:30 in the morning, full of concern that his brother is dead because he doesn't answer him when he calls his name.  AT 5:30 IN THE MORNING.  Oh, well.  I don't really need to sleep, right?  It's cuter this morning than it was last night anyhow. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Sometimes little children have the most active imaginations.  The other morning at breakfast, the two year old started yelling,"Worms! Worms!" which freaked me out quite a bit since I hate bugs.  I went over to see what he was shouting about and realized that the inseams on his pajamas were sewn with a different color thread than the fabric (white thread on blue fabric) and he was convinced he had worms up his sleeves.  Sam refused to eat or anything until I took the offending "worms" away.  Funny little boy :)  

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Apparently, the art of throwing a ball is not always inborn.  During a game with the older boys the other day, the two year old decided he wanted in.  He readily got the idea of catching the ball - holding his little hands out just so and waiting patiently for me to lob it right in the little pocket he had made - but when it came time to throw... 

Sam's throw was so funny, it made us all fall over laughing.  He must not have realized that you have to let go of the ball to actually throw it.  So he would work up a good throw, bending clear over and then using all his might to heave the ball upward.  Only, since he kept holding on to it, not only the ball came at me, but his entire body.  Every chance he got to throw the ball, he would launch himself at me, grinning ear to ear.  It probably encouraged him a great deal to be such a star - he had everyone rolling.  This might take some time to reteach.  But I don't know if I want to.  Eventually he will learn it himself and right now, it just brightened my whole night.  :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ah, Fall...

Here we are, just after Halloween, and just getting really into the fall season and we have our first real sickness of the year.  Thank heavens for homeschool!  I thought we were going to have to take the day off, but there is nothing like learning all about ancient Egypt in your pajamas on the couch and playing math facts games with a couple of cute little boys.  I am hoping beyond hope that this is just a 24 hour bug, but it sure was a miserable night (i.e. I woke up on the carpeted floor outside the bathroom door at 4:00 a.m. having fallen asleep there in misery, but not wanting to go back to John and throw up in bed).  I am, however, very gratetful that the two year old only threw up once.  An older child you can plop down on the couch with books or a video and a bucket, but there really is no containing a two year old.  They will refuse to sit still long enough to be of any help.  You just have to follow them around warily all morning hoping and praying that you will see it before they start to really lose it.  But fortunately, so far, it hasn't been all that bad.  We never even got dressed today. :) 

Halloween went very well.  Grandma and Grandpa were here so the boys had a blast.  We went a little around the block with some friends.  The seven year old tore one bat wing off once.  The four year old spilled his candy in the road two times and the two year old couldn't see half the time because he insisted in pulling the dragon head down clear over his eyes.  But they had a blast.  You know it's good when the baby gets some candy and instead of saying a regular old "tank you" in a sweet baby voice blurts out "tanks man!" all super excited.  They had their baskets from Grandmas to open when the got home and we still haven't really recovered from the sugar high.  Now all eyes are watching the skies hoping for the first real snow.  I'm not sure that they really "get" Thanksgiving, which happens to be one of my favorite holidays.  They are just excited for winter and CHRISTMAS!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Joys of Cooking?

So, I now know why old ladies often decide that they will not cook any more after their children leave home.  It's very challenging to work hard every single day, three times a day with absolutely no days completely off unless you leave home.  It's even more challenging when the result of your labors earns comments like "Do we have to eat this?,"  "I don't like _(fill in the blank with just about any food with nutritional value)_" and "This is not good.  Thumbs down.  All the way to China."

It helps a little when you have a husband that likes actual food.  The only time I can get every single person in my family to be happy with the food is if it has chocolate chips in it.  Chocolate chip pancakes win every time. 

Don't get me wrong.  It's not that my children don't like some healthy foods.  They all have foods that they really like that are good for them.  But the problem is that there are almost no foods that all three like.  Ever.  Except the chocolate chip pancakes.  Oh, and top ramen or buttered noodles with parmesean.   And those don't exactly fall into the "bursting with healthy goodness category."  What this means is that three times a day, almost every day of my life, at least one of the children is complaining about some part of the meal they don't like.  Even if you have "no complaining" rules, you can tell by the sullen looks on their little faces and the way that they poke at the offending food with their forks as if it were some kind of slime creature that they don't like it.  Who wouldn't want to quit after 18 years?  I challenge anyone to go through a job where they are constantly being told that they aren't doing it right to not be discouraged. 

Now, there are the rare children who "eat everything" and "never complain" and if you ever meet one, you better call the authorities, because I don't think they exist.  They are the stuff of myth and legend.  And there are a few of us who have fairly thick skin and can just shrug it off with a "Bummer.  Better luck next time kid.  And don't gag at the table, it's impolite." 

I don't know what will happen when the children are gone and I am released from the constant haranguing.  But my husband better get fairly familiar with local fast food menus or learn how to cook just in case, because I might just get burned out before I retire on this one.

Finally Free!!!

So, I always feel bad about getting out of the house and utilizing a babysitter when the last thing I see as I leave is a crumpled up tiny face crying "Mommy!" and reaching out chubby little fingers to try and stop me from leaving.  You would have to be made of stone not to feel guilty.  And to hear when you get home that every little bit he would look up with sweet, sad eyes and say hopefully, "Mommy home soon?" 

The older boys are no longer a problem.  They decided that when the babysitter came it was time for a fiesta with music and dancing and the works.  Regardless of the reaction, however, it is always awesome to get some alone time.  Kudos to my sweet hubby who decided that since I was working so hard, I deserved a "bonus" and signed me up for an oil painting class.  He bought me a new table top easel and canvas and decided that it was time for me to finally learn how to oil paint. (Which I have always wanted to do.)  SO MUCH FUN!  And now I can go to sleep thinking that probably I will be appreciated even more tomorrow since I was gone tonight. (Wishful thinking)  Or my absence will be lost in the 2 year old memory span and the older boys will be asking when the babysitter can come again.  But either way, tonight I had a blast! Thank you, honey!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy...

How have children as young as mine already grabbed the concept of the "squeaky wheel?" Though I love their little voices with all my heart, almost nothing sets my teeth on edge like the constant repetition of "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy..." It frustrates me that I respond to it, just to stop it, because I know that in the long run they just decide that that is an effective way to get my attention. Yet, it does make you respond just to get them to stop. Very frustrating. Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Glow In The Dark Children

Four year olds are not responsible enough to have glow in the dark necklaces. A very guilty look and glow-in-the-dark-hair gave him away. NO BITING THE GLOW STICKS!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

So, yesterday, in the big sprinkler box in the backyard, we found three new "pets." Huge enormous slugs. The boys were ecstatic. They promptly made a new home for them in a clear plastic container and fed them leaves. Unfortunately, they then abandoned the new pets to come inside, leaving the OPEN container very near my garden. Though it is close to the end of the year, I was not very pleased to go outside late last night to finish the weeding to realize that if the slugs had any slug sense, they would make a beeline for the last few ripening tomatoes on the vine...Sigh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Girl Toys

I think that it is time to consider getting "Girl Toys" to play "Boy Games." I find games of superheros and aliens difficult to get into. However, someone at church suggested to me that I get my own version of boy toys. I am considering the awesome wonder woman figurine I saw at Target this weekend. Maybe I should put it on my Christmas list? :) A purple car, Ahsoka or Padme from Star Wars, this is sounding better and better.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

No Pockets?

It is time to rethink when your middle child resorts to sticking toys in his pants (under his underwear) just to keep them away from older and younger brothers. This indicates an appalling lack of privacy. Poor kid. Can't hide things up high OR down low. Must...think...of alternatives.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


So, as far as I can tell there are two basic schools of thought. Either if one child gets sick in the family they are isolated so they don't spread the germs OR everyone gets exposed and gets over it all together. I don't like the idea of purposefully putting sick kids around well children very much. There was even a news blog about people having "swine flu parties" like they used to have for chicken pox way back when and how that is not a particularly great thing to be doing to your children. I can agree with that. But when a child gets the common cold, should you really try to keep the other children away, or is it just inevitable that everyone is going to get it anyway so you might as well all do it together?

Formerly, I used to try to keep the sick child apart. The last few illnesses we have had though, we all ended up getting the cold no matter what I did. We all know why. Because small children are basically just enormous walking drool balls. And you know if a child is sick, he/she will almost always "forget" to use a kleenex to sneeze into, instead sending droplets of germ infested drool/snot flying like little missles all around them (germ warfare comes to mind). Even the cutest, sweetest child makes disgusting mistakes like this occasionally when ill. So, point being, we all end up getting it anyway, only we take shifts. First the baby, then the toddler, then the older brother (mom is always in there somewhere too, though sometimes dad escapes). When taken in such shifts, the cold then always lasts around a month for an average family of 5. This makes life difficult for everyone. My personal opinion is that when stretched out like that the cold germ has time to gather defensive strategies and mutate so that about the time the last person is getting well, the new "strain" is just mounting its attack against the baby again. In this fashion colds can last for what seems like fffffffffffffffooooooooooorrrrrrrreeeeeeeevvvvvvvveeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr..... So. I am still not sure. But it is interesting to consider.

Are Boys Really Capable of Holding Still?

I think that boys are born with automatic non-stagnation features, effectively not allowing them to sit still for longer than 5 minute stretches. The energy level is amazing.