Thursday, December 20, 2007

Well, maybe if you ate your breakfast a little faster that wouldn't be the case!

It has been so long I had to think about my password. Tis' the season.

Speaking of the season. I was alerting the kids to the fact that there were presents beginning to pile up under our tree.

Mommy: Here is one for Spencer, one for Evan, one for Hailey, lots for Daddy. I wonder why there are no presents under here for Mommy? Do you think maybe Mommy was a naughty girl this year and won't get any presents?

Spencer: Well, you do yell a lot.

Say bye-bye to YOUR presents smarty pants!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Knowing where the expression "let sleeping dogs lie" came from

Last night around 10:30, I went in Hailey's room to tuck her in. She stirred a little and opened her eyes. I thought she smelled poopy and since she was semi-awake decided to change her. Pee is one thing but I can't let her little bum be covered with poop all night. The first thing I noticed was that she had managed to work one leg out of her jammies so she resembled a three legged octopus. This happens quite regularly. She also will get both legs into one pajama leg so she looks like a mermaid. She is a wiggle worm. I set her on the floor to change her - of course there was no poop and now she was WIDE awake. I considered changing her jammies since the ones she had on were a little small and just cotton - I thought maybe she would be warmer in fleece. I was tired and she was mostly dressed so decided not to. I put her back in bed and she started to fuss as she normally does. It usually lasts a minute or so then she soothes herself and goes back to sleep.

For the next two hours she continued to cry and fuss in her bed. I went in there around 11:00 and brought her back to our bed and nursed her. She seemed tired and ready to sleep. Apparently she didn't want to sleep in her bed. The crying continued. Not a screaming cry, just intermittently she would keep crying out. Mostly to let us know she was mad. Around 11:30 Trent went in to turn her fish light back on and re-tuck her. The crying continued. Finally at 12:3o a.m. I went in and picked her up. Her leg was back out octopus style so I changed her pj's into her fleece ones that zip and told her it was "na na" time and put her in bed. She laid in there just yapping and kicking like crazy. I think at this point she was so overtired she didn't know what to do. I left and she screamed her head off for a minute or so. Then it was quiet. Of course, then I am laying in bed thinking What happened? How can she be SCREAMING one minute and quiet the next? Is something wrong with her? So of course around 1:00 a.m. I sneak into her room to check on her and there she is looking up at me. I tell her night night and leave the room. WAH! Lucky for me, she only cried a minute or so and then she was quiet again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fluffy stuff

It has been a while since I posted anything on here. I guess I can tell what time of year it is because the hours I spend on the computer are consumed with shopping and Christmas card letter composing. It has been an even longer while since I had an Evan post. So here goes...

Fluffy stuff. This was once an Evan obsession. He used to pick at the brown blanket on his bed that he dubbed the "fluffy stuff" blanket and get these little fuzz balls that he "collected". We would find the fluffy stuff all over his room, in his bed, often stuck to his clothes and every so often some other random place in the house like the kitchen counter. If he were the one to find some say, in the toy box, he would proclaim "Hey! There's my fluffy stuff!" Of course his pronunciation of the word fluffy was actually more like fuffy. It was very cute in an crazy sort of way.

Fluffy stuff has I think become a thing of Ev's past. I kind of forgot about it as well until we moved his bed to vacuum and discovered the mother load of fluffy stuff. When Ev walked in his room to see what we were guessed it! "Hey! There's all my fluffy stuff!"

Evan shows off some of his "fluffy stuff".

The thread bare "fluffy stuff" blanket.

The crack of his bed where the fluffy stuff ends up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hailey Marie - Double digits

The months seem to go by faster and faster as she is getting closer to one year old. I can't believe it has been 10 months now. It seems as though I just wrote my 9 month update. It probably was since this one is late, and if I recall correctly, the last one was even later.
I think she knows a word. Na na na. This means one of three things, or maybe a combo since the three things seem to happen about the same time. NumNums (Cheerios or little puffs), Ninny or Night Night. She says it when she is hungry and ready for bed most of the time and she nurses before she goes to bed so... Na na na. She's a genius.

Still no teeth. Still not crawling. I think she is very close to hitting both of those milestones but I say that every month and it doesn't happen. Someday.

She is eating 3rd foods very well. She has added "real" bread, peas and turkey to her diet. She is a master of the "pincer" grasp. It must be female fine motor skills because I am positive that the boys just grabbed by the handful at her age. I am not saying that she can't shovel it in. She is a hungry girl. She seems to want to eat non stop and will eat until I think she feels sick and will urp it up. So we try to limit her a little since she is like a fish with eating. Unless of course that is an old wives tale that a fish does not know to stop eating and will eat until it dies of excess. She likes to spit food while we are feeding her. She thinks that is very funny.

She is also laughing more. She even tries to do it on purpose now. She has the cutest, most contagious laugh. She is just so cute. Her hair is getting longer. I love her giant gummy smiles with her crinkled up eyes. She is just a love.

I took her 10 month photos a little different. Instead of the couch, we set the shoot in the dining room for more natural light. The fill flash may have been on, but I don't think so. I just love these pictures of her. They are some of my faves of all time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Be careful how you answer this...

While I was helping Spence get out of the van the other day, I noticed he had a little bit of gunk on his nose. Not seeing a tissue or anything laying around, I licked my fingertip and wiped it off. He wrinkled up his face and said "Ewww....Mom water!"

Since the weather has changed to winter temperatures, I sent Spence to school in his new winter jacket. He obviously is not comfortable with winter clothes yet because I heard him today in the garage ask Evan "Does this coat make me look puffy?"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Brusha, Brusha, Brusha!

Spencer had a dentist appointment today. I was dreading it for two reasons. One, the last time he went, he was awful. He cried and carried on and wouldn't let the hygienist do anything until I sat in the chair and he sat on ME in the chair. Comfy. Even then his cooperation was limited. Two, I had to bring all three kids with me and didn't know how I would manage them if a repeat of the last visit occurred. I probably scheduled the appointment at 4:30 because I figured that Trent would be home from school and could watch the kids or he could take Spence. But alas, the play!

Spence seemed pretty OK with the whole thing. He told me his stomach felt a little funny when he thought about going and I explained to him the "butterflies in your tummy" when you are a little nervous about something. He got a real kick out of that. I told him that I was being totally honest with him about it not being a big deal, that a checkup and cleaning will not hurt at all. I cited the fact that I was upfront with him about the flu shot when I told him that it would in fact hurt for a second and then he would be fine. He was - he never even cried. So he seemed OK - yet I was still apprehensive. He seemed OK the last visit and then we walked in the exam room and total meltdown followed.

He did amazing! I could not have been more proud of him. He sat in the chair, he opened his mouth, he did everything the hygienist told him to do. He did not cry or fuss at all! He answered her questions...I was in awe. (Even Evan and Hailey just sat in the exam room and watched the whole thing - uh...who are you and where are MY kids?) I was even impressed with the fact that he told the hygienist and then the dentist when he came in "Don't hurt me, OK!" before they began to probe his mouth with the explorer. I don't think when I was six years old I would have had the guts to tell a grownup something like that. Then we were done and Spence and Ev both got to pick a toy from the prize cupboard and life could not have been better. And somewhere in this town an orthodontist is smiling thinking of the money soon to be coming his way since they already gave us a referral for Spencer. Apparently his mouth is already overcrowded and destined to be animal-like, as was Trent's. Spence better get used to "mouth doctors" because it looks like the next years may be full of them. Great.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Move over Tool Belt Diva!

Today marks the first day of hell week. Trent will pretty much be gone from now until 7pm next Sunday. We had intentions of lowering Hailey's crib yesterday and then again today, but we spent most of yesterday at the hospital and Trent went back there today before going into work.

Hailey can now go from her back to a sitting position and is probably close to being able to pull up. I didn't think the lowering would safely wait a week so I decided to attempt it myself. How hard could it be?

It wasn't very hard at all. As soon as I found a hexagonal screw wrench I was all set. Of course the directions that Trent had written on the crib support board were a necessity. I am sure that the first time he tried to lower it was a task. It was semi intense - I had to take a whole side off the crib to be able to adjust the support board. After initially discovering that, I am sure he needed to document directions for his own sanity. Anyway, the job was a success. I was very proud of myself and thought Hey - this is no big deal, I can do this myself next time. Then of course was sad when I realized that the next time would be when we were taking the crib down FOREVER! Insert sad face. Oh well - we can always save it for our grand kids! Then I can be Tool Belt Granny!

Evan inspecting my work!

The handy tool set.

Miss Hailey is safe and sound now!

Friday, November 2, 2007


This has been a scary week in many ways. The real shake you to your core kind of scary with Dan's illness, surgery and looming recovery. The fun kind of scary with Halloween festivities and the sugar rush that lasts for days after. Finally, the wanting to beat your head against the wall while throwing things at your kids because they drive you crazy kind of scary.

Evan's naps have still been sporadic. I can live with every other day or so. What I can't handle is the over tired hyperness that he exhibits when he doesn't nap during the day. He has such a strong personality to begin with. He is very literal. He does not like it if you say to him something like " see you later alligator" - he will get angry and tell you that he is NOT alligator, he is EVAN! He is easily frustrated and gets a temper when things don't go the way he thinks they should or he can't do something. That is him all the time, but on top of that, this week he has decided to use his artistic ability in ways that I don't agree with - using markers on the wall, carpet and his body. I don't know how many times we talk about coloring only on paper. I must say it at least three times a day. What synapse is not firing? Then there are the diapers. God bless the boy for taking off his own diaper and trying to dispose of it, but I don't know how many times I have told him that dirty diapers do not belong in with his clothes for the laundry, they need to go in the trash. Tonight in his laundry I even found one with a poop in it! Are you freakin' kidding me?

Spencer seems to be turning into a teenager before my eyes. I am so tired of the snotty attitude and the dismissiveness when I ask him why he is not behaving in the desired fashion. He is still getting not great weekly reports from school. It is so frustrating to me. I am glad that he enjoys school and has friends to "act out" with, but I don't know how to reiterate to him that school is for learning and rule following. I just want him to be a good kid. The thing that drives me the most crazy is the manners. We have always tried to instill in them good manners. I tell him that when he gets off the bus he should tell the bus driver goodbye and thank you. Yeah right. On Fridays, the driver has candy for them and she always lets him take one for Evan as well. Today he waltzes in with the candy and I ask him " Did you tell her thank you for the candy?" He says " Oh, I think I forgot." How is it possible for him to forget to say thank you with my mug staring him in the face as he gets off the bus. What more of a reminder does he need? I have decided to drop the hammer. They are getting nothing around here unless the good manners come back. Evan is usually pretty good. Spencer is in for a rude awakening. Emily Post here we come!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Just in time for Halloween, my big guy lost the first of his two front teeth. He looks so adorable I can't even stand it. Every time he smiles with that big gap in his mouth or I hear that little lisp when he talks, I just want to hug him!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mourning nap

I am beyond frustrated. As much of a cliche as it is, it seems that every step forward I take around here leads to two giant steps backward. Parenting is such a struggle sometimes. Today has been particularly so.

I am little by little trying to organize the junk piles hidden in inconspicuous places. Coat closets. Drawers. Catch all baskets. Each one I start to tackle brings on more junk because within these debris fields are boxes, baskets and numerous other containers filled with more stuff to go through. Not to mention old clothes, shoes, hats, mittens to figure out which still fit, can be passed on...UGH! In the midst of doing this I have all of my other everyday Mother duties to contend with so the house is just littered with to do piles and looks worse than when I started because I can't find the time or energy to get there. The extracurricular cleaning has to take back burner to the daily necessities. Food. Clothes. Laundry. Basically, all the other piles.

The kicker is that the majority of my "free" time is in the afternoon while Hailey and Evan nap. They have been napping horribly. Evan has not napped in three days and I am PRAYING that this is not the beginning of the end for him. To be fair, he does stay in his room and play by himself, but he gets SO cranky later in the day. He fell asleep in the car on the 7 minute ride to soccer practice yesterday. Frustrating. Not to mention that I have also had to change his bedding THREE times this week. Yesterday he threw up a little in his bed (still don't know what that was all about) and the other incidences were pee pee "accidents". He takes off his pull up and wonders why he has accidents. I went up there today and the pull up was off, there was a pee pee trail on the floor and he was sitting in his closet playing with toys. I yanked the pull up back on, tossed him into bed and took the dinosaurs out of the room. I feel bad. He is such a good kid, but my patience is wearing so thin.

Spencer came home from school with a note from his teacher saying that he has had a bad week as far as following directions and keeping his hands to himself. I don't know how to get through to him. It seems like we have to talk to him about correcting some part of his behavior CONSTANTLY! Not to sound self righteous like "my kid would never act like that!" but I wonder sometimes if he is bored. Maybe he should not have gone to DK. From what I can tell from helping in his class - he is one of the top kids. Looking back, maybe we should have requested the other teacher. He wouldn't have been so "comfortable" and maybe wouldn't be having such a hard time.

I am going to try to look at the big picture and realize that laundry, clutter and naughty notes don't amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of things - but sometimes it seems that way when you are drowning in them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hailey - 9 months

Our baby girl is nine months! Actually nine months plus - Mommy has just been slow to blog her milestone. I guess the biggest event of the past month is that she ate "real" food for the first time. Cheese. She loves cheese. She devours it - I need to cut up some other foods for her to try and see if she gobbles them as well. As far as baby food, we are still feeding her the "2's". I should probably bump her up to the "3's" with the added texture since she does well with Cheerios, Gerber puffs and now cheese hunks.

She doesn't have any teeth yet, but I am thinking soon since she gnaws on anything she can get her hands on (including her hands) with a vengeance. She still rolls around everywhere, but has made some progress towards crawling. She will get one knee up in crawling position but the other leg just lays there. She doesn't get her belly up off the floor, but like that can push off with her toes a bit. She is getting there - her brothers are so excited for her to crawl. They aren't going to know what hit them!

She is babbling a ton more. Says mamama, dadada, lalalala and lots of ahhhhs. She seems to be realizing that if she cries she gets attention because if she wants to be held and we set her down for a second - she lets loose! She is still sleeping and going down to sleep very well. I think we will have to lower her crib down a setting soon. It seems like just yesterday that we were raising the crib up in anticipation of our new baby. Those newborn months just fly by in a surreal haze. On a similiar note, I think she is ready for the big bathtub but I am still putting her in the baby one because I just love that little tub and can't bear to see it sent to the basement or (gasp!) garage sale pile. She will love the big tub - she is a big time splasher!

Nine months old. She has been on this Earth now as long as she was in my body. The baby days go by so much faster than the pregnancy. A whirlwind that I can't imagine my life without.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Since taking my latest camera class last week, I am now in full blown photomaniac mode. The camera rep from Olympus helped the madness by commenting to me how my pictures were very good. That I had a good eye. I walked out of there with my chest puffed up - not only with milk, but with pride.

So I have been scouring websites and looking with awe and jealously at the photos that some people are able to take. I am interested in mostly the kid and family photos. On the sites of these photographers, the photo colors and clarity are just amazing and I am banging my head against the wall trying to emulate their images.

Aperture. Shutter speed. Light. These shouldn't be that hard. The books and teachers say to go out and experiment until you know what your camera can do and what works. I still can't seem to get what I am going for. I went out with Hailey today and shot about 100 pictures in 20 minutes (thank God for digital cameras) and none of them are what I really wanted to shoot. She was not in a posing mood either which makes it difficult. I guess I just keep shooting- and waiting for the next class.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

S "Pee" K

Last night was a crazy night at our house. If it wasn't so cloudy out, I would have sworn there must have been a full moon shining down on us.

Evan went to bed normally and got up to go potty ten minutes later as he always does. Just past nine thirty we heard him crying really hard. I went up to his room and he was laying with his eyes shut still crying. He must have been dreaming because I was talking to him but he wouldn't answer me. I picked him up and rocked him and whispered to him that he was okay and he calmed down. I don't think he has ever done anything like that before - if so, it was so long ago I can't even remember.

Hailey went to bed around 6:30 as she does pretty much every night now. For the past three nights, when I go in her room to tuck her in, I am overwhelmed with the smell of poop. She is pooping while she sleeps! This is becoming a habit I need to figure out how to break. I have to get her out of bed and change her and she gets cranky - who wouldn't, you are nice and snuggly in bed and someone comes along and takes your warm clothes off and wipes your bum with a freezing baby wipe. Ugh!

Spencer - where do I even start? Spencer is a hard sleeper. Last night after he went to bed, about a half hour later we hear him upstairs in a quiet panic saying "Will somebody help me?" We run upstairs and he is pacing back and forth down the hall holding his crotch. Trent led him into the bathroom and he peed and just stood there in a pee trance until Trent pulled his jammies up and led him back to bed. About twenty minutes later I saw him shuffling down the hall again and then he turned around and went back to his room. When I went to tuck him in, my sock was soaked from the tell tale puddle on the carpet. The boy has a hard time finding the bathroom if he wakes in the night to pee. Obviously. He has peed just about everywhere in this house. I know he doesn't pee down the stairs or right inside the bathroom door on purpose - I think he honestly thinks he is at the toilet. It is a little scary to me - it is almost like he is in a trance when he does it. He might talk to you, but makes no sense at all. I don't know what to do about it besides limit his liquid at night. He has a night light in his room and the night light in the bathroom right outside his door. Maybe it is something he will grow out of. Though Trent is kind of the same way. He is a hard sleeper as well. He will sleep-talk and sit upright in bed and start waving his arms in the air hunting the "white spider". So it might be like father like son. I just hope that Evan won't follow in their sleepsteps.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jumping into fall!

We have been blessed with summer like weather so far this fall. In fact over this past weekend, it felt more like August, not October. These photos were taken up north at Uncle Troy and Aunt Joann's cabin. The water was a little chilly - but it was OCTOBER 7th! I don't think that I have ever in my life swam in a lake in October. Pretty cool!
Fall has definitely set in today. Windy, cold and 50 degrees. I love the fall. I love the coziness about it. I love the down home dinners that can cook in the oven for hours. I love warm sweaters and cuddling under all the blankets at night. I love the crisp air. I love the holidays - Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love all the activities - pumpkin hunting, apple picking, leaf pile jumping. We have some fun days ahead of us.
It has been nice to have summer drag on though. In the long, cold winter months we will be counting the days until we get to Cannonball in the water again. Maybe this little reprieve will make it seem just a little sooner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Snow White

This afternoon a commercial for a Sleeping Beauty castle toy was on the TV. I looked over at Spence who was watching the commercial and smiling the embarrassed sort of smile he gets when people on TV kiss or anything gross like that.

Mom: Is that something you want for Christmas, Spence?

Spencer: (Mortified I caught him watching) NO!!!! I think Hailey might want it for her first birthday though.

Evan: I think I might want that for Christmas.

Spencer: Evan! That is for girls! Why would you want something for girls?

Mom: It doesn't have to be for girls. Boys can like the fairy tales and princesses too. You like to watch Snow White and those other princess movies.

Spencer: (A little cocky) Mom, Don't you ever tell anyone that I watch Snow White!

I guess that somewhere between three and six years old is where their little minds form the concept of gender specific toys.

I remember one afternoon when Spence was about Ev's age we were at Barnes and Noble and Spence was playing in the kid's section with the Thomas train. A boy probably a little older than him came over to play. They played pretty well together with the train and with the toys and dolls around that area. Then the boy asked Spence "Do you want to know what is gross?" Of course Spencer replied yes and my mind immediately began to fill with images that I would somehow have to erase from my baby's mind. "Princesses" was his reply. He had noticed the princess paraphernalia around the train area. I will never forget this part....Spencer just looked at him kind of funny and said to him " I LIKE princesses!" The boy didn't say another word.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Big words, Big concepts.

While hunting for garage sale items in the basement, I came across another one of Evan's dinosaur "valleys". A "valley" is the flimsy piece of plastic resembling a dinosaur habitat that comes with the dinosaurs. Most people would just throw these away when the kid is not looking because they are basically worthless. They are too garbage-bag-like to support the weight of the dinosaurs, so they are not very fun to play with. I haven't gotten rid of them because they are an integral part to Evan's dinosaur world - he loves them. I am sure Gramma got her fill of them last weekend while playing dinosaurs every spare second because yesterday when she watched Ev, she brought over some cardboard and contact paper and what do you know...the valleys totally rock now! Go Gramma!

Anyway, today when I found another one instead of throwing it away (good Mommy) I called Ev down and showed it to him. "OH!" he said "We need to call Gramma and tell her! We need to LAMINATE it!". Laminate. Perfectly clear. Three years old. My former English major heart swells with pride. Go Gramma!

On another dinosaur note...yesterday while driving Spence home from soccer he says (in typical Spencer way) "Mom can I tell you something?" I said yes, thinking he was going to say he didn't really like soccer or something to do with the practice. "I am kinda scared that a meteor is going to hit Earth and I don't want to be extinct like the dinosaurs! I am kinda scared that the meteor will hit us and we will die!" I reassure him that nothing like that will happen as my mind is filling with images of that Bruce Willis/Ben Affleck movie where the asteroid is hurling toward the Earth. I don't tell him that after seeing movies like that, I fear the same things and am positive in my demented mind that the scientists know things are headed our way and just doesn't tell us because of the panic that would ensue. I just tell him not to worry about things like that, that we will not become extinct like the dinosaurs. I will do the worrying for all of us.

Do you need a belt with those?

Trent was wearing my jeans this morning. I managed to roll over in bed and squint in his direction and saw him trying to figure out why they didn't seem to fit. You know the butt patting and deep knee bends to try to break them in after a wash - that was what I saw. As he turned I thought I saw the tell tale Guess? triangle on the pocket. He doesn't have Guess? jeans.

J: "What jeans are those?""

T: "I think they are yours."

J: Yet you are STILL wearing them! "They ARE mine!"

T: "I can't find mine. Do you know where they are?"

J: Trying to think of a sarcastic comment about laundry, but it is too early "They are probably in the laundry room. Why don't you just wear your khakis?"

His jeans were in the laundry - the washer, still wet to be specific. He wore khakis. The whole scene was pretty funny in a Michael Scott "Today has been a bad day. I accidentally cross-dressed" sort of way. It is not like Trent is a HUGE guy so it isn't a stretch (get it) that he could fit in my jeans, but it sure does make me rethink that ice cream I had while watching Grey's Anatomy last night.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Taking "good" to another level...

We just got back from our 10 year anniversary trip to Madison. The boys stayed home with Gramma, but Hailey came with us because she is still nursing and I didn't want to pump all the time and being little still she tends to be more difficult to care for.

Based on this trip, she is in the running with Evan for "perfect baby status". She was so GOOD! On the boat trip over she fell asleep for a while - granted it was wavy and rocky as heck so a baby dream come true - she never fussed at all. The old man sitting next to us even told us that our "son" (she had a pink outfit and pink jacket on - maybe his eyesight was shot) was a better sailor than he was. On Friday as we zoomed around Wisconsin to the House on the Rock, back to Madison, off to Prairie du Sac to the Wollershime Winery -she was a trooper. She just sat in her car seat carrier, snoozed when she wanted and took in the scenery.

The most surprising event occurred on Saturday when she made it through the entire Wisconsin/Michigan State football game! We are talking 5 hours here - of loud noise, very little physical stimulation and being held constantly- she even slept for a bit! Amazing! The folks in the stands were loving her! She had on her Michigan State one piece romper and a little white bow in her hair - so cute! The lady behind us kept calling her "Spartan Baby".

Since we couldn't get our car back on to the ferry, on Sunday we had to drive home. Right past the Michigan border we decided to stop and get a pop and go to the bathroom. I took her out to change her diaper and she did not want to go back into the car seat. She cried for about 45 minutes until we blared the Justin Timberlake on the ipod and she chilled out until we got home.
Having just Hailey with us made me think back to when we used to travel with just Spencer. It didn't seem as easy back then. It is funny how with each new addition you look back and what you thought was hard at the time seems not as bad as you thought it was - even easy. It was a nice break to travel with just one kid, but as they say "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and every time I would hear the boys little voices on the phone I just wanted to be home. Then I got home and they started fighting and jumping on the couch and I wanted to leave again.

It was a great trip with a great little traveler!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Rat Pack

I am starting to see pack rat tendencies in my sons. I don't blame them - I blame heredity, because God knows, they come by it naturally. The amount of "stuff" we have is starting to overwhelm me. It is mostly toys and most of them they don't even remember they have and rarely, if ever play with. My friend is having a garage sale in a couple weeks and asked me if I had anything to put in it. Having just had my own sale in May where I sent almost all the remaining items to Goodwill, I told her I did not. But playing in the basement with Evan this morning, not even being able to walk without stepping on parts to toy after toy after toy - I started thinking that Christmas is coming up and the amount of new "stuff" that would be adding to the piles might mean we needed to purge a bit.

I started pulling out some random unplayed with items and telling the boys we would put them in a garage sale. They would cry out "NO! You can't put that in a sale - We love that" or "Not that - that is my favorite!" Mind you, this is stuff they could not pick out as theirs in a lineup if their lives depended on it. I feel for them, I really do. I was the same way as a kid and still am to this day. I don't like to get rid of stuff - I have to fight my genetic makeup to do it. The only garage sale we ever had growing up - I was 22 years old I think. It was hard to watch people buy my stuff. I can't imagine the damage it would have done if I had been younger. I don't know why exactly I have such an attachment to things. I watch Clean Sweep - I get that the "things" are not important, they are not love. As a kid I always thought of things to have feelings - even food - leftovers had to be split into equal parts so they had friends in the trash. Ask my sister about that - how much guilt eating was done over leftovers on a plate. Therapy anyone? I am much better now - I have had several of my own garage sales and I have to admit that it feels really good to get rid of stuff that is weighing you down in a mental sense. I feel so much better when stuff is uncluttered and organized.

Then there is the gluing. I include this in part of the pack ratness because - "Why throw something out when you can fix it?" This really only pertains to Spencer since Evan is still pretty much a glue novice. Spencer was fooling around the other day and broke one of his wooden nesting dolls. Shattered it! It was almost surreal, because watching it happen, you just wouldn't think it would break that way. It did and the tears came instantly and I told him probably a little too harshly that was what happens when you horse around with your stuff. He looked at me with his tear stained face and said "But we can GLUE it!" There is the DNA again. I was a gluer! I remember one instance near Christmas time where my sister came bounding down the stairs and knocked one of the ceramic three wise men on to the granite tile floor. Shatter! My mom reacted pretty much the same way I did with Spence and as Dana ran sobbing to her room in shame, the Gluemaster (me) worked her magic and the wise man is still with us to this day.

Spencer's nesting doll is glued and resting comfortably waiting for some touch up paint - I still have the gift.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Human again

It is amazing how a little cold virus can throw off a whole household. Evan's sneezes from last Thursday erupted into a full blown cold that he managed to pass on to everyone else in the house (except Daddy). Spencer seemed to only get a touch of it - he only felt semi-yucky for a day or so. Hailey had (and still has to some degree) a runny nose that interferes with her sleeping and eating and makes her generally irritable.

Evan and I got it the worst. Ev has been snotty and coughing and full of general malaise since the weekend. I had to keep him home from school yesterday. I felt bad since it was only his third day of class. I have had the nagging headache and non stop snottiness that absolutely drives me crazy. The Sudafed does not seem to help either. Not even the behind the counter stuff that you have to basically give up your first born to get. I know it is the rules but c'mon, there has to be a better way. I look completely horrible, I have a two snotty kids in my cart - hurry up with that 20 pack of Sudafed because I need to get home to my Meth lab.

I also notice how much I take sleeping and breathing for granted until I get a cold. As I am laying in bed with post nasal drippyness like a faucet trying to get comfortable - I would give up my left thumb to be able to breath out of both nostrils at the same time. At that moment you feel like you will never have that clear breathing again. My dilemma is that if I take something to clear my nose before bed, my throat/nose area is so dry at some point in the night I wake up to a terrible coughing fit. Like coughing so hard I almost throw up - that was last night.

Today is much better. I am feeling almost human again. Evan seems to have turned the corner as well. If I ask him how he is feeling, he will cough out a response but if I don't bring it up he is fine. Let's hope when he goes to school tomorrow it doesn't start all over again!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How hungry is a muffin?

That Evan, he just makes me laugh! We use the expression "starvin' like marvin" around here quite a bit. This morning Evan told me he was "hungry like a muffin". It just made my morning.

Friday, September 14, 2007

First day of Preschool

Evan's first day of Preschool was great! He was not scared for me to leave him - not even a little. It was fine for me as well. While anticipating the day, I thought that I might be more sad. When Spence went to school I was so worried about him being able to leave me, that I did not even worry about what I would feel about leaving him. With Evan though, I thought it would be different. I knew that Ev would have no problem. He has always been a brave and confident little guy. There is not much that scares him, which is scary to me. School is fun for him, a place he can get out and be on his own for a little bit.

Three year old preschool is crazy! With Spence I never experienced it because he wasn't potty trained in time to start and from what I can tell so far...four year old preschool is completely different. It is nuts what a difference a year makes. The 3 year olds just run around crazy and do and go wherever the wind blows them. I actually felt a little sorry for the teachers having to deal with a class of 10 of these little people. Of course it has only been two days and the kids don't have a clue what they are doing, let alone any kind of routine established. It might get better - I certainly can't see it getting any worse.

Evan has brought home a couple of little art projects and it is so cute how proud he is of his work. He tells me " I can't wait to show Dad and Dad will say that is a great job Evan". He has also brought home a cold bug. Two days. It doesn't take long in those germ breeding grounds a.k.a classrooms. The kid sitting next to him yesterday was coughing up a lung while I was kissing Ev goodbye. So we get that to look forward to making the rounds 'round here.

I better make an appointment for flu shots.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

When good art goes bad...

God bless the person who invented the Magic Eraser. If not for him/her I would be getting ready to re-paint Evan's entire room. Instead of taking a nap today, Evan decided to play in his room and part of that play was to cover pretty much every surface in his room with marker. It was a little overwhelming at first, but the Magic Eraser did a pretty complete job of putting it back to normal. Makes me wonder what the "magic" is... or maybe I don't want to know because I wouldn't be wiping it over every surface of my child's room.

Usually not a good sign of things to come.

Not even Diego's rescue center was spared.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Portrait of the artist as a young man

Who is that book about? I can't remember. I think I had to read it in my Good Books class in college - 16 (gulp) years ago.

I went outside to put the bills into the mailbox to be sent out. On my way back in I glanced in the window and I could see Evan painting at the dining room table. He was so serious looking and intense. I just watched him for a minute because it seemed like a moment I would want to remember. Then I grabbed the camera.

Hey! Is that Mom out there?

I see you Mom! Cheese!

His first painting of the day. Colorful boats.

I painted the body of the person, but he put all the facial features in the right place. Pretty good!

I did the circle and asked him to add the features. The four lines across the middle are eye, nostril, nostril, eye. The green spots are not ears but arms. The black dots under the head are leg, heart, leg. I am the red person with the mohawk. I am not sure why we both look like Rolie Polie Olie.

He has a much longer attention span for things like painting and drawing compared to Spencer. After Hailey was born, Ev would sit and paint for like an hour without a peep. We would joke that he was taking his aggression out through his art - sort of like the little brother on Wedding Crashers. But who knows, he could come by it naturally, my Grampa J. was an artist. He was a great painter. Maybe Ev will be one as well.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hailey Marie - 8 months old

Hailey is 8 months old today! Sometimes she still seems younger than that to me. I know that you are not supposed to compare kids - every kid grows according to their own time clock. Since they are my kids, I am going to compare them anyway. Spencer started crawling at 8 months - the thought of that is just scary to me. I am so not ready for her to be that mobile. She is mobile enough with her roly polyness all over the floor. We already have to use our super parent eye scans for Legos and Magnetix and whatever food substance of the day is all over the carpet before we set her down. Of course Evan didn't really crawl until 11 months ( I think... bad Mom moment) so maybe that is the brother she will follow in the footsteps - or kneesteps - of. She is not showing any of the traditional crawling signs. No rocking on all fours. She doesn't even get up on all fours. She can sit up like a champ though! She looks so cute sitting there with her perfect posture - then she flails to reach something and topples right over.

She is a wonderful eater. She is still nursing pretty much exclusively. She will have bottles if we are out or if someone is watching her. But if we are home, she nurses. I plan to keep that up as long as she is willing since it is so much better for her and much easier on the checkbook. Spence was finished nursing at eight months and Evan quit about 11 months. Weird! Maybe once you take the ninny away they start crawling? Or maybe I should get my old baby notes out because my memory is shot? Most likely the second scenario. She is eating the "2" baby foods. So far there is nothing that she doesn't like. She gobbles them down too. Man, sometimes I think we are starving the girl. She loves to try to pick up Rice Krispies. They are a fun addition to our kitchen floor. Snap Crackle Pop every time we walk past her highchair. Daddy loves it! Ha! He has the Dyson out pretty much every night. I bought her the Gerber sweet potato puffs today and she was crazy about those too.

As far as sleeping, she does pretty well. Most nights she goes down around 7pm and will sleep though until about 5:30am. Last night was another newborn moment when she woke up at 1:30am wanting to nurse. Hopefully a growth spurt and not a new habit. She takes a nap in the morning from about 9am until 10:45am and another in the afternoon at about 1:00pm until 3:00pm.

Schedule at 8 months:

5:30am - wakes up to nurse then back to bed

7:30 - up to start the day

8/8:30 - cereal than nurses before nap

9 - 11 morning nap

11:00 sometimes nurses otherwise plays

12/12:30pm - jar of 2's then nurses

1 - 3 afternoon nap

4:00pm - nurses sometime before dinner

5/5:30pm - jar of 2's for dinner

6:45pm - nurses before bed


So that in an abbreviated form is our little girl at 8 months old. The boys are starting to interact with her a lot more, especially Evan. I think he is starting to realize that pretty soon she will be able to play with him like a real kid! He likes to "babysit" her when we need to leave the room. The other day when I came downstairs after a shower and was the only one who could get her to stop crying Evan told me " You are a great babysitter Mom!" Aww, nice compliment, if only I was paid as much. When she cries Evan always sings to her "it's OK Baby HayBay". She loves attention from anyone, especially her brothers. She is starting to coo a lot more. She says dadada sometimes but not really in the long repetitive sing song way. Her favorite position is still in someones arms. She has the biggest, happiest looking smiles - she just gets cuter everyday! We love you little HayBay!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chuckle for the day...

During clean-up clean-up we were looking for all the parts for Spencer's pirate set. Not really thinking anyone was listening I was saying "Where are you Captain Hook?" Evan corrected me "He is not Captain Hook he is Captain Boy!" He is really Captain Kidd. Get it? Boy/Kid

We also finally heard back from the "soccer people" tonight. I say it like this because I am sure it is some sort of a freak cult and am still a little leery about being involved in it. Either that or the most poorly run organization I have ever had heard of. Spence has his first game tomorrow. Should be interesting since he has NEVER played and was not made AWARE of the first PRACTICE! Sigh....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

3rd Degree hot glue burns!

Ta Da! Behold the binky trophy! Gramma found an old perfect attendance trophy and a plastic binky leftover from a baby shower - a little gold paint, some glitter, stickers and hot glue and voila! a binky trophy!

Today marks two weeks exactly since Evan has slept with a binky! Honestly, I can't believe how easy it was for him to give it up. Before he would go to sleep he would usually tell me " I want my binky" but I just told him we still couldn't find it and he would accept that. What a big guy! Ironically, as I was gathering supplies to make the binky trophy I found the binky! How crazy is that? Tucked in behind the fire safe blocking the drawers that hold the not often used craft items - there it was on the floor. I put it in the back of the cupboard just in case but since he obviously doesn't need it, I think it will remain "lost".

It is weird though how even though it has only been two weeks I can't remember the last time he used his binky. There is a book called Let me hold you longer by Karen Kingsbury about how we are so quick as parents to make a big deal out of all of our children's "firsts" but that we often do not notice the "lasts". I am guilty of this with the binky. I guess I didn't realize that he would give it up so easily and thought there would be many days to see the thing stuck in his mouth and hear him try to talk through it. I will miss it a little, miss hearing him ask for it, miss the baby part of him that still wanted it. I guess it is normal to be proud of him for being so strong yet a little sad that his ability to be that way means he is growing up.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

No tears!

This morning Spence had his first day of Kindergarten! There were no tears shed from either one of us. In fact, he pretty much couldn't wait for me to leave. I was proud of him. He was not shy or clingy at all. He does have the same teacher from last year, the same class room and a couple of familiar faces - but still, he did very well. He walked into the room with a big smile on his face, found his seat, said "hi" to the kids he had class with last year and started working on the project in front of him. He did ask me on the way to school how long of a vacation we had - so I wonder if he thought that the summer break was just a couple weeks long and now he is back to his class - like it is not really a "new" year. In his situation, I can see how he would think that.

Kindergarten is crazy these days. Already this week - the first week - they have DIBELS testing. From what I understand ( I should have Trent to consult since teaching seems to be so full of this alphabet soup) it is testing that is performed three times throughout the year to gauge their reading abilities and what they need to work on and their improvements along the way. When we got home, I was curious to see how Spencer would do so I found my old reading book from first grade And so you go. He could read the title no problem and even a short little story inside. Let me! Let me! He is wet. She is wet. Is pet wet? It was so cool to see him reading it. Then the guilt comes back - I should have been working on it with him this summer, then think how advanced he would be. Why does it always seem like such a competition?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tantrums and the Terrible Threes!

It sounds like it should be a children's book - Tantrum and the Terrible Threes!: Can the world as we know it survive when faced with the ultimate evil?- but no, it is what goes on in our house about 20 times a day. I have always felt that the so called "terrible twos" were a joke. Two year olds (in my experience) are pretty easy to deal with compared to the wrath that is a 3 year old scorned. Evan is in this lovely phase right now. He screeches a blood curdling scream that is followed by sobbing and falling to the floor in grief. His fits are usually due to something that Spencer has taken from him, won't let him have or the fact that Spence has not kept his hands to himself. Poor kid - it is tough being three!
Fallen to the floor in a fit of tears!

Scency won't let me have that block!

It's hard to fake it when the camera comes out!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

3 a.m.

Is the time that Hailey woke up in the night - 3 a.m.! I can't remember the last time she did that. I guess I should be thankful. The couple mornings before she was getting up at 5 a.m. to be fed and I thought that was bad. I hope the early trend does not continue. I just try to remind myself that it is temporary. In the middle of the night though, it is hard to think straight.

I think that lately she has realized that when we leave the room to put her down we just don't magically disappear. I think she knows now that we are actually leaving her. Object permanence I think they call it. She used to go into her crib with hardly a peep and lately it is a screamfest until she wears herself out. It breaks my heart.

I don't know what to do with her. I know that sounds weird, but I feel like I really don't. She is almost 8 months old and she has things she likes to do: the Excersaucer, rolling around on her play mat, the doorway jumper, sitting in the Bumbo and gnawing on stuff... I feel like I just move her from station to station. I do PLAY with her. We pat-a-cake and "how big is Hailey" and I move toys in front of her and show her how to push buttons. I just can't remember what I used to do with the boys. I guess the same stuff. I just hope she is getting enough attention and stimulation that is not Baby Mozart provided.

I had to put the bumper back up on her crib today since she is the worst of our kids for getting stuck in the bars. Last night her chunky little thigh was wedged in there so tight- and when you are trying to get her unstuck the way she is screaming makes you want to go get the sawzall to cut the whole crib apart rather than cause her anymore grief. I hope the bumper helps. With Spence ( and he was much older before he started to get "guck") we had to rig up some hideous door screening with cable ties. It did the trick but looked horrendous. So I am hoping the bumper is a deterrent. Her soothing technique seems to be to get those fingers in her mouth, roll to the side and put her feet up on the crib bars. Most of the time she winds up getting herself stuck somehow. Crazy girl!

Monday, August 27, 2007

To bus or not to bus...

...that is the question. In my opinion, this is where parenting becomes hard. People can complain about the baby days all they want, but babies are easy for me. They just need to eat, sleep, be changed, have some undivided attention or a stroller ride and they are good. Unless the baby continues to cry it's little head off, you can be relatively sure that you made the right choice. Where you have to make decisions that you have no idea if the outcome of that decision is what benefits your child the most, that to me is what is hard. The latest for me is whether or not Spence should ride the bus to school this year.

I am mainly worried about the 8:20 am drop off. If it is anything like the afterschool pick-up was last year, I don't stand a chance. Having to park a half mile away lugging three kids to the Kindergarten door at the crack of dawn is really not my idea of easy or fun. The bus will pick him up at the corner of the next street over - which is pretty ideal. But there are big kids on the bus. Big kids that can be cruel and tell him naughty words and jokes and the truth about certain people that come to visit at certain times of year ( ie: Christmas). Oh and then there is me being paranoid demented like I am envisioning horrific bus crashes with small children running out in flames. I seriously need help.

My gut tells me that he would like riding on the bus. I think he would feel pretty grown up and cool. That should be the clincher then - let him ride the bus. BUT... I worry that I would feel detached from the school, like I wouldn't be an involved parent. I loved watching him at drop off last year interacting with the other kids. I liked seeing the parents of the other kids to kind of get a sense of who the kids were and what their parents were like. I liked being able to ask or tell his teacher something face to face. I don't know what to do...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Picnics and other random things...

I scrapbooked yesterday. I am up to Christmas of 2004. Yikes! Seriously, I don't think at this point it is humanly possible to get caught up. It has become a source of stress for me - the behindness not the scrapbooking. I love scrapbooking, I really do - I just wonder if it is really worth it? Are my kids going to look back at their dozens ( I am not kidding) of albums and think "this is really cool that Mom did this" or "what a colossal waste of time and what I am supposed to do with these albums chronicling my every second as a child". I wonder this because my Mom was a picture taker - more so than anyone else in her family - but not compared to me, she's got nothing on the amount of pictures I take. I look back at the albums she has and I don't feel slighted, and don't think to myself "I wish she had taken one more picture of me blowing out the candles on my third birthday or I wish she had a picture of my first time eating rice krispies trying so hard to master the pincer grasp". I know I am excessive, I really do - but it is my thing. I LOVE taking pictures of my kids. I LOVE trying to capture their sweet baby faces and chubby little legs so that when they are grown I can look back and remember. I guess it is my own way of trying to freeze time. So I keep scrappin' along. My goal at this point is to get up to January of 2005 in each album and then to Evan's first birthday in his and then maybe start current and work backwards - even though that is SO against what my brain tells me to do. We will see what happens. I actually got all the stuff back out today to make a birthday card. Saved myself two bucks and it is super cute!

The boys wanted to have a picnic at lunch today. They had the iceberg tent outside and wanted to eat in it. I made them their lunches and took it out to them. They were so happy. Evan sat on the little checkered tablecloth munching away while Spence decided to stay inside the tent. It was SO cute! I was tempted to get the camera out and start snapping away but my head says " just more pictures to scrap" so I didn't. Then the bees started coming around. They seem to be all over at this time of year. Especially around our Sedums. Which is where the picnic was taking place. So they came in and ate at the dining room table. It was cute while it lasted.

I am back on the weight loss track. I am determined to try to start eating better and exercising more. I am not going to dwell on it here but by writing it down it seems more "official" I guess. Ok - off to a birthday party where there will be cake and my kids won't finish theirs and as a Mom it is my duty to make sure that cake does not go to waste..... that is my dilemma.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The lists are up!

A sure sign that "back to school" is just around the corner....the lists are up. I can remember coming home from the beach or wherever driving down Leon Street and seeing the white papers posted in the window of the school. It was both exciting and sad because it signified that summer was almost over yet I was filled with wonder about who my teacher was this year and who would be in my class. We would get home and ride our bikes or walk to the school to find out what the coming year had in store for us. It all seems like... not really yesterday to me but not 30 years later either.

So here it is in fact 30 years later and the lists are up again at the same school and I am looking at them with the same excitment, only for my son. Reading off names from Spencer's new Kindergarten class, when I read a familiar one he says "Yes!". He is excited to hear that he has his teacher from last year. He really liked her and I could tell that she really liked him as well. He doesn't really have any kids that he is super attached to, so we don't have that issue to deal with this year. I remember that not being in class with your best friend was pretty devastating in grade school - but maybe that is just true for girls - I still have much to learn on raising boys.

Binky is lost...

Binky is lost. And not in a "wink wink" kind of way. Really lost. Though we haven't tried super hard to look for it.

Binky is lost. A tragedy and a blessing - depending on who you ask.

Surprisingly, Evan has done well without it. He took a nap yesterday and woke up and got his reward of not napping with Binky - MOONSAND! He seemed ready to get on with his life post-binky. He was jazzed about a reward chart with the promise of a trophy at the end. He was all for finding Binky and sending it to the babies who need it. Even at bedtime he asked about Binky and was missing it but just sniffed some fake sobs back and went to bed (after playing in his room for an hour or so). Today at nap time when he heard the news that Binky was still lost he was a little more sad. He cried real tears and told me that he really wanted Binky. The tears stopped as I started reading to him and after more playing in his room he slept again.

I wonder what will happen when Binky is found? I guess that depends on who finds it. It does break my heart to see him missing it so much, but he is over three and has such an overbite that I blame on Binky. What will I do if I find it? Will Binky continue to be "lost" for two weeks or so - the time "they" say it takes to form a habit? I know if Ev finds Binky it will go right back into his mouth at this point. Who knows though - the kid surprises me on daily basis and maybe he has a few more up his sleeve.