Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Little Mermaid

Do you notice anything wrong with this picture? We call this "mermaiding" and Hailey seems to have a fondness for it.

Every morning when we go to get her out of bed, she is either "mermaided" and stuck laying down or she is completely stripped of clothes and diaper standing up in her bed. Some mornings we even get the added joy of having to change sheets that have been peed upon in the absence of a diaper.

This morning as I was checking the email, she crawled by the office door in all her mermaid glory. She is a nut! That is the first time she has ever done that - if she keeps that up, at least she will have strong arms! I found the Little Mermaid DVD thinking that maybe she would enjoy seeing a real mermaid swim around. Evan liked it. Hailey not so interested. But.....

I had to post a picture of this because it is a rarity around our house. This was close to nap time and she must have been super tired because she pulled up her little chair and was enthralled with the big purple dinosaur. Maybe we have another dinosaur lover in our midst?

And sadly, yes, our house does seem to always look like that....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Me through the eyes of Spencer - age 7

This is a meme that is going around on Facebook (don't talk about Facebook). I thought it was really cute and decided to post the answers on the blog instead of Facebook.

I love having things like this documented. Kids answers are totally hilarious, unscripted and sometimes insightful. I could ask him these questions a year from now or even a week from now and the answers would be totally different. I love capturing a moment in time in my kid's minds.

What is something I always say to you?
Go to bed.

What makes me happy?
When we be nice.

What makes me sad?
When we be naughty.

How do I make you laugh?
By tickling me.

What did I like to do when I was a child?
Watch Star Wars movies.

How old am I?

How tall am I?

What is my favorite thing to watch on TV?

If I become famous, what will it be for?

What am I really good at?

What am I not really good at?
Nothing really.

What do I do for my job?
Take pictures of us in different places.

What is my favorite food?

What makes you proud of me?
That you are my Mom and you are nice.

If I was a cartoon character, who would I be?
(Laughing...) Truffelles from Chowder - because you both have big butts.

What do you and I do together?
Make stuff.

How are you and I the same?
We both have brown eyes and hair.

How are you and I different?
You are a girl and I'm a boy.

How do you know I love you?
That's a tough one...because I love you too.

What do I like most about Dad?
He's handsome.

Where is my favorite place to go?
To my baseball games.

Me through the eyes of Evan - almost 5 years old.

Evan's answers to the same questions....

What is something I always say to you?
You love me.

What makes me happy?

What makes me sad?
When we lose things.

How do I make you laugh?
When you tickle me.

What did I like to do when I was a child?
Go to your Grama's...I think.

How old am I?

How tall am I?
Eighteen pounds.

What is my favorite thing to watch on TV?
Your shows at night.

If I become famous, what will it be for?
A cactus.

What am I really good at?
Wii Fit.

What am I not really good at?
Star Wars Wii...but your kinda good.

What do I do for my job?
You used to go to work...now you eat.

What is my favorite food?

What makes you proud of me?
Buying me toys.

If I was a cartoon character, who would I be?
A clone.

What do you and I do together?
Play Wii.

How are you and I the same?
We both have brown eyes.

How are you and I different?
I'm little...you are big.

How do you know I love you?
Cause you say it to me everyday.

What do I like most about Dad?
When he gives you flowers.

Where is my favorite place to go?
To the cabin... I think.

Photo note: Both of my boys need a haircut in the worst way. It looks OK in the pictures but in real life...not so much.

Friday, March 27, 2009

And the winner is....

Not Spencer. Though he did take 3rd place in his division. Trent informed me that in some of the races he even raced the car backwards - Ricky Bobby style - and still placed. I think my jaw dropped to the floor when he walked in hoisting his trophy in the air. Let's be honest here - they didn't spend much time working on the car. Time has been a real issue around here lately. I am not sure why. I guess it is fallout from the play and everything that had to take a back burner because of it. Spare minutes seem very few and far between. "Flame Thrower" was sort of slapped together in whatever time could be spared here and there. I wasn't sure if it would make it down the track in one piece - let alone place. I guess I should have had more faith in the woodworking techniques of my husband. It didn't hurt that Spencer also tends to be a kid enshrouded in luck.
He seems to win stuff all the time. A couple of years ago while at his school carnival he entered the cake walk. He won a cake and the luck has followed him ever since. This year at the same carnival he entered the cake walk again - sure that he would win. We told him that it was all up to chance. A friend of the family had walked that circle fifteen times attempting to bring home a delicious confection - to no avail. Spence won on his first try. A couple of weeks ago I asked him if there was anything special for his lunches that he would like me to buy at the store. He told me he wanted Fruit Gushers. I bought them and as soon as he got home from school he asked if he could have one. I went to get the box from my goody stash and he immediately wanted to look in the box for the "card" to see how much he won. I didn't know what he was talking about and he told me that on a commercial he saw that in special marked boxes of these "fruits" you could win a credit card that had some amount of money on it. I told him that it was just a gimmick to get people to buy the Gushers and people very rarely won and he surely wouldn't and was a little annoyed that the only reason he wanted these treats was for the chance to win a prize. He reached into the box and pulled out a card - a credit card loaded with five dollars on it. I thought that there must be some sort of mistake and opened the other boxes of Fruit Roll-ups and Fruit by the Foot that had the same offer. No card. Empty. I couldn't believe that after explaining how companies try to "get you" to him, he actually won.
Stuff like that happens to him all the time. Maybe I should have him pick some numbers for a lottery ticket?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oliver Dickens and Derby Day!

I didn't realize how much that sounded like the title of a book from the fifties.

It has been almost 48 hours since the newest member of our family arrived. When I got home from photography class on Tuesday night I could hear the squeals of joy from the garage as the boys chased the kitty around the house. They informed me that they had changed his name to Dickens since he "runs like the dickens". I realized the next day that Dickens also happens to be the author of Oliver Twist. Charles Dickens - fairly famous. Yeah - next day - it was after nine at night - my brain was pretty much fried. I have been calling him Oliver Dickens. Spencer claims his name is Dickens Milo. He copied the name Milo from his buddy's cat. Evan this morning called him Dickens McNarland. The latter after a boy in his class. Who knows what name the poor little kitty will wind up with.

He has been great so far. Using his litter box. Sleeping in the leopard print diva bed that Spence picked out for him. He is very playful and very social. He LOVES being around people. The boys have been super busy every day and evening since we got him so he seems to have fixated to me. I am not an animal person and for some reason animals sense this and just flock to me. He is sitting on my lap trying to grab my fingers as I type right this minute. He follows me around and meows to be picked up and petted. If I don't pick him up he gets his claws into my pant leg and starts climbing up my body.

He is basically Hailey in kitten form.

Having Dickens in the house sort of reminds me of when we brought Spencer home from the hospital. It took awhile to get used to the new dynamic in the house. I remember feeling like someone had given us this baby to take care of and would be back anytime to take him back. It is the same way with the kitty - minus the overwhelming feelings of love and hormones.

I hope he becomes attached to someone else soon because frankly, I am running out of unconditional love to give. Especially when LOST is on! Though his eyes do remind me a little of Richard Alpert from LOST - they are rimmed with black - he looks like he is wearing guyliner.

Tonight is the big Cub Scout Pinewood Derby! Spencer was pretty excited to go and race his little car! The picture doesn't really do it justice. I should have turned it around so that you could see the flames he painted. That is what he named it - Flame Thrower. Sounds menacing huh?

At least he did the painting all by himself. That is what they are supposed to do, but so many of the Dad's do it for their kids. Seems like a point is getting missed there somewhere.

Stay tuned for the next chapter...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Sunday stroll...

On Sunday afternoon the kids and I decided to take a walk down to the beach for the first time this year. The day was Spring-like and warm - a perfect day for a walk. Plus it let Trent get to watch the Spartans fight for a spot in the sweet sixteen in a bit of peace and quiet. While we walked, the wind started to pick up a bit and I worried that it would be too chilly to stay down there for more than a minute or two.

I was so surprised to get there and realize that we were sheltered from the wind so it actually felt warmer. The lake was like glass. Not a wave in site. Why can it never be like that on days that I have to ride on that rotten ferry?

The kids had such a great time walking around and picking up sticks and other bits of debris that had recently been revealed when the snow melted. I swear they would play on that beach all day if they could. Hailey was a bit tentative at first. She was a little weirded out about walking on the sand. I think she forgot how unstable it was. She stared out at the lake for the longest time as evidenced by the photo above - seemingly in awe that something so immense had been right in her own backyard all of this time.

They made sand cakes and castles and collected sticks for a future bonfire. Hailey plopped into the sand and just drew lines and shapes with her fingers. Evan was thrilled to collect tons of little mussel shells and fill his pockets with all his treasure. I took a ton of photos - the ones here are only a small sampling.

I just don't want to forget how genuinely happy Evan was while he was emptying the sand out of his shoes. And how Spencer took his shoes completely off and left them on the "shoe rock" and ran around the beach in his black socks. Or how Hailey just watched the sand falling through her fingers in complete awe. How I made Evan turn his shirt inside out in fear that I would get a photo that I would want to blow up and display and his shirt would be covered ( I mean COVERED) in stickers that read "This DVD property of the Klairter family". Thank you Disney Movie Club. And their hands -especially their hands - those chunky, clumsy, filthy, little baby hands that so meticulously and excitedly pickup treasures for their careful inspection.

I can't wait to go back.

I do have to say that I was a little surprised the next day that my calves were extremely sore. I have been going on the treadmill and doing the Wii Fit - not as often as I should, but pretty often. Granted, I have been indulging in sweets that I make mostly as desserts or lunch bag treats for the kids. And I won't mention the M&M stash that seems to dwindle much quicker now that I got some cute little candy jars that sit on my counter. Where was I.....sore calves...right. Anyway, they do really hurt. It reminds me of when Trent and I visited my sister out east and went to Boston. We climbed to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument - 294 steps - up and down. My legs felt like jello when I was done. That was nine years ago - when I was in shape - before my children ruined my figure for life - before I had anyone to make brownies for. Two days after Boston we visited New York City and I could hardly bend my legs. Going down stairs was impossible - I would just have to hold the rail and sort of slide my body down as best as I could. I am sure the folks watching me come down the stairs to get on the subway had a huge laugh - or maybe felt sorry for me because they thought I walked like that all the time. Looking back now it is hilarious but at the time not so much.

My calves don't hurt THAT bad. I am just wondering why they do. I guess pushing 50+ pounds of kids in the Burley into the wind and walking up fifty or so stairs carrying a twenty pound little girl is a little more intense than the Wii Fit Ski Jump.

I guess I need more excercise. Like I said before, I can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish for the day

Top o' the morning to you! We are not Irish. Not even a little. We don't really celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

We wear the green just in case that someone is in a pinching mood, but for the most part the day is just like any other day. I say "for the most part" because St. Patrick's Day happens to be Grampa Paul's birthday and we usually celebrate his day by baking him some sort of treat (usually German chocolate cupcakes - German - not Irish) and bringing them to him.

This year was a bit different. Evan's day of snack helper duties happened to fall on their St. Patty's celebration day and being the overachiever that I tend to be...I just couldn't let an opportunity go by. So here is what we brought.

I happened to have a four leaf clover cookie cutter in my box of one hundred shapes so we whipped up some finger jello. Lime and Melon Fusion. I am partial to the lime - I had never been a huge fan, but after I delivered Hailey the nurse brought me some lime jello and I tell you what - it tasted like the best thing on Earth. I can't get enough ever since. We made a batch of the melon because a boy in Ev's class is allergic to citrus - there may not even be any "real" citrus in jello, but I was not taking any chances. Finger jello is just the best. We have a whole container in our fridge of the "remnants" - I have eaten so much gelatin in the last couple of days I could use my nails (if I had any) for a screwdriver.

Then we put together this yummy recipe we found on a website. Air popped popcorn drizzled with a bit of white chocolate. Then throw in some mini-marshmallows and green M&M's. It was so easy and so good. We divided it into our shamrock bags and he had a snack to share that would make a leprechaun proud.

Blog note: Spencer made the leprechaun at the top of the post. I just thought he was cute and Spencer did such a good job coloring him. I remember back to when Spencer was Evan's age he would just scribble anything he had to color with a black crayon. He has come along way!

Monday, March 16, 2009

You should see the other guys...

The play is over and Daddy seemingly needs something to do with all the new found time on his hands....

Trent had a makeup kit in his bag that was left over from the play. When the boys spotted it they immediately wanted him to give them scars and black eyes like the ones in the play. The boys were great the whole weekend. They both saw the musical three times and sat through the whole thing (2 hours +) and enjoyed it immensely.

I think part of Spencer's motivation was being able to play with the show kitties and try to convince us that we need to adopt one. In spite of his ulterior motives, I catch him singing the songs ALL THE TIME - even lesser known, not even very catchy ones. He sings them in perfect English accent. My little actor - I told Trent that he should have auditioned Spencer for Oliver. He doesn't find me very funny.

It was a great show, but I am SO HAPPY it is over! The kids get their Daddy and I get my very missed helper and partner back! Oh - and it's about 60 degrees out today. They are predicting high 60's tomorrow. I have a definite case of spring fever!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I would like to introduce Mr. Sensitive

The kids have been having a hard time going to bed at night because of daylight savings time. I have had a hard time with their unwillingness to go to bed because of daylight savings time and because it is the final week of the play (Trent is gone from early morning until almost the wee hours of the next morning) and I am exhausted. With them in their beds and me with butt on couch watching mindless TV I can relax a little bit.

Last night my relaxation time was interrupted by Spencer coming downstairs with favorite kitty on the verge of tears.

Spencer: Mom? Can I talk to you about something?

Mom: You know you can talk to me about anything.

Spencer: You know how it is against the law to take anything with you if there is a fire in your house? What about if you are already holding something?

Mom: Are you thinking about favorite kitty?

Spencer: (tears welling big time now -nods his head)

Mom: It is not "against the law" to take something with you if there is a fire, it is just not a good idea to worry about things that are not as important as you getting out of the house safely. As hard as it may be to understand, we can always get a new favorite kitty if we have to, but we can never get a new Spencer. The most important thing to remember if there is a fire is that YOU have to get out and don't worry about finding or leaving your things.

Spencer: But if favorite kitty is in my bed I can grab her?

Mom: If you can see her, grab her fast and get out!

The conversation brought me way back to when I was about his age. I remember after the fire fighters would come to our school for fire safety week and talk about how to stay safe in a fire situation, I would freak out just like he did. I actually remember one night when I put all my stuffed animals and dolls in my bed with me so that I could get them all out if there was a fire. I told him about that and that I felt the same way as he did when I was young. He wondered if my house ever caught fire. He seemed relieved when I told him that it didn't. I also told him that fires are actually pretty rare as long as we take care to be safe around our house. He was relieved after our talk and that night when I tucked him in, he was fast asleep with a bed full of stuffed animals. The boy listens to his Mama.

It all seems like such a huge amount of stress and worry for a kid that age. When I was little, I didn't realize it, but now I do seeing it in my own child. I guess knowing how to save your life is pretty heavy stuff. It just makes me sad to see him getting older and starting to carry the burdens of life on his shoulders.

Last Friday night the two of us were watching "Unwrapped" on the Food Network. It is a show about how they make and package everyday kinds of food. Spencer likes the shows about candy the best, but since he is little scientist - anything about how something is made holds his interest. One of the commercials during the show was what I like to call a "guiltfomercial" - an infomercial type ad that makes you want to weep as you watch it. This one was for the ASPCA and showed cute little dogs and cats that had been abused and were going to have to die if they didn't get our help - for pennies a day...save an animals life. While showing these cute little guys they were playing Sarah McLachlan's "Arms of an Angel" song in the background. It really gets you. It punches you in the gut and makes you feel so bad for these poor animals. While I watched I kept glancing over at Spencer and hoping that he wasn't watching, but his eyes were glued to the TV.

When the show ended, Spencer was very quiet and seemed very upset. When I asked him what was wrong, he said that he didn't want to tell me. I asked him if he was feeling sad for the kitties that were on the commercial. He started to tear up and asked me how old Hailey had to be before we could get a cat. He said that the commercial made him really want a cat even more and that the song - "the song really made me feel sad" (as his voiced cracked while saying it). Darn you Sarah! My kid is WAY too sensitive for that kind of sensory overload and with kitties no less! Are you heartless???

Fires and animals that are doomed. The kid has had a rough few days. I hate that he is old enough to know and understand that the world is not always the wonderful place that as a small child you are led to believe. I am glad that he is sensitive to things that go beyond his own little world (even if at this point it seems like only things that have to do with kitties and their plight). I hope that he will always care about other people and be able to empathize with their situations. He is sensitive and I think will be a better person because of it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

He'll soon be meeting with Mr. Miles

Evan: In school we are learning about wedder.

Mom: You have been learning about letters all year. Like Ally Alligator, Bubba Bear - those are all letters.

Evan: Not wedders! Wedder!

Mom: (Grasping...) Like being wet?

Evan: No! Wedder!

Mom: I am sorry Ev, but I don't know what you mean. Can you describe "wedder" to me?

Evan: (After thinking for a minute) You know, like snow or sunny days...


Evan: Yeah - wedder!

Mom: So someone gets to be the weather boy each day?

Evan: Mom - it could be a wedder grr-oww! (girl)

I LOVE his accent. Some might call it a speech impediment - I say potato/potatoe. At times (like this one) it can be hard to decipher what he is saying, but when you do it is SO worth it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

He has his father's wit.

Spencer: Can I have a treat for an after school snack?

Mom: I bought Ding-Dongs at the store. Do you want a Ding-Dong?

Spencer: What is a Ding-Dong?

Mom: You know, those chocolate covered cake things with frosting inside. A Ding-Dong!

Spencer (with a sly smile on his face): Hmm...Ding-Dong...doesn't ring a bell!

I totally cracked up. He knew he was making a joke. He is becoming very quick witted.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I got a fat little envelope from Pampers in the mail today. I was kind of excited about it because immediately my mind thought "ooohhh...free sample and coupons"!

I opened it and there were two coupons for $1.50 off packs of diapers, a booklet about getting ready to become a new mother and a newborn size diaper. I have to admit, I gasped a little at the site of it.

Hailey is my baby and she still seems like a baby to me in so many ways. I realize that she is two years old and considered a toddler -but to see how much she has grown in such a dramatic way...I have to admit that it made me kind of sad.

It is not that I want to have any more babies. I feel so extremely blessed with the three that I have. I think that my mother in law explained it the best way in the simplest terms. One day when we were over there and I was probably on the verge of tears because Hailey ate her first Cheerio or hopped on one leg for the first time (I don't remember the actual incident that occured) and I lamented the fact that my baby was growing up (and Trent rolled his eyes like he does because men just don't get it) - she asked me if I thought I would have another baby. I told her that in my head, I was happy with the way things were, it just seemed so hard to get my heart to that place. She told me that when she was giving up her job teaching so that she could stay home and raise the boys, she felt very similar and had a hard time. She said that she didn't want to teach anymore and she really wanted to be home with them - it was just very hard for her to realize that this one part of her life - the teacher part -was ending.

I guess that little diaper made me come to that realization.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sugar high

Hailey has acquired a taste for donuts or as she calls them "nonotes". Toward the end of our shopping trip when we are in the deli/bakery section she scopes out the bakery case that holds them. She gets an excited look on her face and starts pointing toward them and shouting "NONOTES! NONOTES!" repeatedly until I go to the case and put one in a bag for her.

I tell myself that this is not going to happen every week. It is not like a donut is exactly health food. But I always seem to cave since I love the way she says it so much.

And the mess on her face? She has become Miss Independent and her favorite phrase to me is "Ah Doot!" Translation: I do it! So I have to give her the towel first and let her attempt to clean herself and then trick her into letting me wipe her kisser by telling her she missed a little spot.

Photo note: All of these pictures were taken within a few seconds of each other so I don't know what the deal with a different color in each photo is all about. I did have my zoom lens on from the other day and no time to change it - it has issues focusing so close up on someone. Maybe that has something to do with it.