Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What we are thankful for...

A couple days ago the kids made their leaves for our "thankful tree". Here is what they are thankful for this year.

Hailey - (She told me what she wanted me to write) Daddy and Mommy, Dickie-Boy and her bestfriends - who she told me were Mirabel, Ella, Nence and Doov.

Evan - (He wrote out a couple on his own but was quickly discouraged and wanted me to help him.) Cat, Family, Cousins, Grama Bonnie, Stuffies (his stuffed animals) and All the fish and the leaves.

Spencer - (He did his completely on his own and at record pace) Being together, homes, the World, Frens (friends), God and Life.

I was pretty proud to hear what they were thankful for. They really seem to get it - "it" being the true meaning of this holiday. We all are beyond blessed and for that, I am thankful every day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The visitors

We have had these little guys at our house on and off this past week. Trent told me that they needed a cat to play the part of Dinah in Alice in Wonderland. He wondered if I thought Dickens would like to go back to the stage. I told him that he should contact the lady that he got Dickens from and ask her if she had other cats that needed homes and maybe the exposure would get them adopted. He thought the idea was inspired.

I was mentally preparing for the addition of another cat to our family. I thought once the kids and Dickens had a new little kitten in their midst there would be no hope for them. I had been wondering for a while if Dickens would be happy with a friend to hang out with when we are not here. It is a slippery slope though because you go from having a cat to having cats. As I have said many times before - I am not an animal person. I have grown to care for Dickens, and it is a good thing because most of the time I am the only one who seems to care for him - his needs at least.

The two cat family doesn't seem like it is meant to be. At least not at this time. Dickens did not like having Cuddles and Meatballs in his house AT ALL! I have never heard him growl or hiss before, but he was very vocal and angry around those kittens. And by the way, if we did acquire one of those kittens it's name would be changed before I poured it's first bowl of kibble. I realize that we just sort of threw them together with no planning whatsoever. I know that there is a "protocol" that is necessary to introduce an animal into a home where another animal already resides. We didn't really follow the rules because we realized it was most likely not a permanent situation.

As much as Dickens despised those kittens, our kids LOVED them. They got plenty of cuddle and play time with Dickens locked safely away in another room. I hear that they both have potential owners, which is a great thing. Two more little kittens off the street and into good homes. If they were going back to the shelter it would make me feel bad. They were pretty cute. And I have always liked black cats.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

End of my rope...

I don't know what it is, but Hailey is driving me CRAZY today!

It started with her calling for Mommy at 5:20 a.m and when I went to get her so she wouldn't wake her brothers she was wide awake ready for morning and asking to watch a TV show. I told her it was too early for shows and she had to go back to bed. She then proceeded to tell me she wanted to watch a show approximately one hundred and thirty five times in a row. She seems to think that if she keeps saying what she wants, it will happen. I can't tell you how many times I have almost caved because I just wanted her to be quiet for thirty consecutive seconds - but I try to stand firm so the little annoyance doesn't become a full fledged habit.

Then came the spilling episodes. She has spilled full cups of water on the carpet three times today. She has also squirted a juice box filled with apple juice on the carpet and all over my scrap booking stuff, guaranteed to leave a nice sticky residue all over the bag. What makes that even better is that Trent and I spent hours on Saturday cleaning the carpets. I don't know what to do about her access to the cups. The boys need to be able to get cups on their own so that they can independently tend to their own thirst needs. She wants to do everything they do, so she fills her own cups with water from the bathroom sink and proceeds to carry them around the house and spill them. Granted, I am lucky it is mostly only water, but I am so tired of wiping up spills I could scream.

We were home all day today so I put her in easy sweat pants so that she could wear her big girl unders and go to the potty when she had to. She has gone through four pairs of pants today. She peed once on the carpet while she was pant less. She pooped in her pants about thirty seconds before we had to leave to make it to the bus stop to pick up Evan. And she pooped on the dining room carpet. The freshly cleaned carpet. Just to keep things interesting. You think I would have slapped that diaper on her after the first accident, but I am a gluten for punishment I guess.

She has been in time out more times today then she usually is in a week. And not for the potty accidents. Just for general badness. She has tried to hit and push me numerous times today. I had to put her in time out in her crib twice. The first time because she kept getting out of time out and smiling and laughing at my threats of a worse punishment. The second time because while all three of them were coloring nicely at the table, she decided to try and cut Evan's finger off with scissors.

Needless to say, I am counting down the minutes until bedtime.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall ballerina

The theme this week on the I ♥ Faces blog is Autumn Beauty. I can't think of anyone more beautiful than this little girl in her Halloween tu-tu.

If you have time to spare go to the blog and check out all the other gorgeous photos on the I heart faces blog.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Let's bowl, let's bowl, let's rock n' roll...

The weather during this first half of November has really made up for the fact that basically the whole month of October was atrocious. We have been taking advantage of the mild temperatures as often as we can. Yesterday Evan decided that a little game of bowling was in order. I ran inside to put some things away and when I came back out this is what I saw.

I know that one is a little hard to read so I helped you out a bit in the next photo.

He tends to struggle a bit with sounding words out and stretching them. I was happy to see that he had made a "mom" line. He has spelled out "mom" many times before so I wasn't too surprised at that. Then he had an "evan" line. Also not a huge leap since he has been writing his own name for over a year now. What floored me was the "hailey" line. I know that he did not spell her name correctly, but how he spelled it is exactly how he says it. He has a bit of trouble with his "L" sounds so he calls her Hay-Wee. He streched it though. And he even got the "Y" right!

Once the lines are established...it's time to bowl!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glitter therapy

I excel at wasting time.

And my accomplice - this screen that I sit in front of for minutes upon hours of time each day - does not help the matter. I could sit here for days and read blogs and surf Facebook-don't-talk-about-Facebook until the chair forms the shape of my behind. I am not proud of it. I am just being honest.

I have a lot to do. Much to accomplish. And I am not getting very far in my tasks. I am starting to feel very overwhelmed and very overextended and I don't like the way that feels. In church on Sunday, our Pastor began his sermon by talking about the very thing I am feeling. How life gets so unbelievably busy and you just keep going. And while you are so focused on what has to be done and how to make it happen, you lose sight of why you are even doing it. Who you are doing it for. And you just wait for survival mode to kick in.

Eventually you realize that something has to change. Something has to give. Unfortunately and too often, what "gives" is something that shouldn't. I don't want to get to that point.

Things are extremely busy around here these days. Trent is in full blown play mode. The holidays and the craziness that surrounds them has suddenly started to kick in. The normal day to day stuff that has to be done just seems to be building at a frenzied pace. I feel like I am so behind on so much. Something has to give. We need to find a way to re-prioritize.

I know the months of November and December are always insanely busy. There is so much planning, cooking, shopping and partying to do. I love this time of year and I enjoy all the hubbub and the celebrating that goes along with it. I just really want to make a point to slow down just a little. To cuddle with the kids and read books. To get out the board games and play with them. To just sit on the couch and look at the Christmas tree. To find time to work on crafts with them. To make them realize how incredible they are and how much they are loved.

So yesterday, even though many tasks were looming, Evan and I did a little project. The weather has been gorgeous so we were able to sit outside and bask in the sun while we worked on it.

We took these pumpkins that Gramma got for us in the clearance aisle.

We sprayed them with adhesive and put them in a bag with some glitter. Evan was the official bag shaker. He took his job very seriously and ran all over the yard twice to make sure they were completely "shooked"!

After they came out of the bag, they looked like this. B-E-A-utiful! Evan made his dog Laddie the "watcher" and also made him a blanket out of leaves.

Evan with the finished pumpkins!

This picture does not really show how awesome they look in their jar.

A very fun and festive time waster! Now I am off to get some chores done around here. That is until something else distracts me from my task!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swine of the times.

Spencer went to the doctor yesterday for his eight year old well check. He has been eight since the end of July, but that is another story. Anyhoo....I have been trying since school started to get the kids into the pediatricians office to get their flu shots. My attempts have been futile - I was told time after time that they didn't have any of their shipment yet OR they had received some, but had just run out OR they were not even compiling a waiting list because they had no idea when any of their vaccines would arrive. Call back in two weeks. Call back at the beginning of next week. Call back in early November. Seriously frustrating when all you hear and read is about how bad the flu season is already and children who are the most at risk to get ill - CAN'T GET THEIR SHOTS!

A couple of weeks ago, I took Evan out of school a half hour early in a desperate attempt to get him and Hailey the seasonal flu shot at a local clinic. We were successful in getting Evan vaccinated! And he never even shed a tear! I was so proud of my brave kid. The nurses were stunned I think. He did so well! When it was time for Hailey's poke, my happiness started to deflate. They wouldn't give her the shot because she was under three years old. Even though she has had the shot before. Even though she will be three in January. Even though I promised I wouldn't tell anyone. I have never been so bummed to have someone hand me thirty dollars back.

The day before Spencer's appointment, I called the doctor's office yet again and told them that I was bringing my son in for a well check and I just wondered if while we were there if he would be able to get either of the vaccinations. The phone nurse told me that he could get the H1N1 nasal mist, but she would have to put him on a waiting list for the seasonal flu shot. I told her to add Hailey's name to the waiting list as well and I asked her if I brought my other kids to the appointment with me, if they could have the H1N1 mist. She told me they could, so Evan was leaving school early once again.

So yesterday morning we headed to the doctor's office armed with hand sanitizer and a bag full of our toys from home. I told the kids on the way there that they were forbidden to touch any of the toys or books in the waiting room and they should try to avoid touching the arms of the chairs as much as possible. They were extremely great about it for close to twenty minutes. Unfortunately our wait went on for another forty minutes or so. I am sure the other parents in the waiting room got tired of hearing me hiss "Please don't touch that!" "Get your Barbie off the floor!" "Get your BODY off the floor!" Finally after what seemed like an eternity, we were called back into the examination room.

The nurse was ready with the flu mist for all three. The boys were a little nervous, yet curious about this "shot" that was going to be squirted up their noses. Spencer went first and did fine. Evan followed his brother's lead and had no problems. I had to hold Hailey's arms down and she cried pretty hard but I guess that is to be expected from a two year old. The nurse asked me if they had received their seasonal flu shots yet. I told her that Evan had (at the clinic) but the other two were now on the waiting list. She then replied "I can get those out of the way for you today if you want?" I don't think I could form words at that point, what with my jaw being on the floor of the examination room and all. Despite Spencer's pleading eyes and head shaking no, I told her that would be wonderful. Spencer got his poke and was fine. His eyes didn't even start to water. That was a welcome change after the spectacle of last year's flu shot. Hailey cried of course, but only until I could dig a piece of candy out of my purse, then she was fine.

So....Yea! My kids are now completely vaccinated against the horribleness of the seasonal flu and the swine. It just irritates me that it took so long to get to this point. And what is with having to be on a waiting list one day and being able to get the shot without even asking for it the next? I feel for those that are still waiting. So frustrating!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The photo challenge this week on the I ♥ Faces blog is balloons. When I think of balloons I think of them being carried in a big bunch or a single balloon tied to a child's wrist at the fair. I don't have any pictures like that. I do have some pictures of Evan trying with all his might to blow up a balloon - so that is my entry for this week.

Check out the blog for more balloon pictures. I am sure that there will be some amazing ones!

A Spook-tacular week of activity!

We had an extremely busy week last week. I had so much to blog and not a minute of time to do it. This week looks to be close to the same. I figured I better get some pictures on here, so here are the highlights of our busy Halloween week.

Carving pumpkins - Spencer carved the face on his pumpkin this year without any help. Evan wanted to, but was not quite strong enough to maneuver the knife through the body of the gourd. Hailey just liked looking at the pumpkin guts and wielding the knife in her hand whenever she could manage to grab it.

The first time I have ever attempted a photo like this. Love it.

Making yummy treats - We made Witchy pretzel fingers, pumpkin bars and the traditional Ghost in the Graveyard cake. On Saturday morning while I was mixing up the pudding for the graveyard cake, Spencer walked by and asked me if that was what I was making. When I told him it was, he started to sing "Best Day Ever...." his made up happy song.

Earlier in the week, Evan made up some treats of his own. A fine batch of Spider Cider. He made up the name all by himself and I was very impressed.

Dressing up for Halloween- I LOVED my kid's costumes this year. They were fairly simple to put together ( despite some minor sewing headaches) and they turned out so cute. They all had so many compliments on how great and creative they looked.
I also love how the pictures of them in their costumes turned out. The best tip that I can give anyone photographing a kid in a Halloween costume is to NOT do it on Halloween. Have the kid do a "dress rehearsal" the day or days before. The kids LOVE to have the costume on and are not chomping at the bit to get to the first house for candy, so they are totally natural and will pose for you all day long. I have done that the past two years and have been so happy with the outcome. It makes for a very stress free Halloween. Especially when the Mom is a photomaniac!
Little Red Riding Hood

Knight in Shining Armor

Mad Scientist

Trent dressed up as the Big, Bad Wolf and I was Little Red's Grandma for a Halloween party that we went to.

It was a fun filled, chaotic, amazing and crazy week! I think Spencer was on to something. Best. Day. EVER!