Monday, November 30, 2009

Quote of the Week

Dan and Emily had a little date Saturday night. Before coming home, they stopped for some Chinese food. Emily got a fortune cookie with the following fortune inside:

You have an unusual magnetic personality

Emily said, "That's true! That balloon I had earlier kept wanting to stick to my hair!"

Dan said, "That's not really what it means. What it means is that people really like you and want to hang out with you all the time."

Em said, "Then Taylor (one of her best friends) must have a magnetic personality, too, because I ALWAYS want to spend time with her!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Several blogging gals I know do a "Thankful Thursday" segment on their blogs, which I have to participate in, but since it's Thanksgiving, it seemed an appropriate day to jump on the band wagon, even if it's only this once...

I am thankful for:

*My three gorgeous, smart, and hilarious children. They may drive me bananas some days, but they are my shining stars and I'm so thankful for them.

*My husband's job. It keeps him away from home an awful lot, especially this past year, but it supports our family of five and allows me to be "at home" with our babies, and very involved in their schools and activities.

*My parents. They've really bailed me out of some tight spots with their babysitting services this year. Not to mention their involvement with my children. Emily loves her "Dancing with the stars" dates with my mom, and the boys love to go play and do puzzles, etc. I wasn't close with my grandparents growing up, and it thrills me to no end that my children have the opportunity to be close with theirs.

*My in-laws. Not only are they willing to babysit the kids, but they happily take our puppy, too! They feed us nearly every Sunday, stay involved with the kids, and go out of their way to make sure we're a close-knit family (planning and paying for vacations, setting up planting parties, tea parties, etc for the kids). TONS of people I know can do nothing but complain about their in-laws. I am very lucky to have great IL's!

*glasses. My sweet Emily Grace's vision took a major downward spiral over the last few months, and while she was insisting her old reading glasses were working just fine, I was seeing a rather drastic decline in her schoolwork, a HUGE blow to her self-confidence, and was witnesses to DAILY tearful tirades as she ranted about how hard school was and how stupid she was. I begged our way into an ASAP vision appt. as a starting point to figuring out what was going on, and low and behold, the kid needed full-time glasses to help correct a "lazy" eye (which wasn't wandering, but was considered lazy because it was so weak, she wasn't actually using it when reading). After a month in her new glasses, she's back to LOVING school, is no longer calling herself names, her schoolwork has improved drastically, and she's ENJOYING her schoolwork again...

*friends. I have two very good friends, who both also happen to live in my neighborhood, and I have been so very thankful for them. They babysit my kids when I need it, they bring us meals if/when we're sick, I can count on them for good advice and support... The added bonus is that my children LOVE being at either house, and it's such a comfort knowing I have good people nearby that I can trust and turn to. Then there's my less local friends, whom I love and trust very much as well. I've never had very many friends at a time, but I appreciate the strong connections with the friends I DO have. Good quality people...

*Dan's Blackberry. Without it, I probably wouldn't have any sort of connection with my husband any longer. He works LONG hours and was impossible to get ahold of (his job entails dealing with over 100 phone calls a day, several hundred emails, job walks, paperwork, etc). Now, if I can't reach him by calling, I can email and/or text and know that whether he's in the office or out in the field, he WILL get my message and be able to get back to me. I'm also thankful that work pays for it, AND that it makes his job much easier throughout the day.

*Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Honestly, my kids eat that stuff at least once a week, and we always make extras because they love leftovers. And I will admit to a fondness for the stuff as well. It's high on my list of "comfort foods". *grin*

*our health. There's a lot of scary health stuff happening for people all around us, and I am so thankful that my family is overall very healthy.

The list could go on, but I'm sure you'll be thankful to hear that I'll stop rambling and let you get back to celebrating Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope it's a peaceful day and you find yourself surrounded by those you love, enjoying many reasons to be thankful...


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hard Worker!

J-Man asked if I had any jobs for him to do (he's been big into trying to earn money lately). I told him he could go outside and clean up all the brances from the windstorm a few days prior. I told him to leave the big branch for his daddy because it was really heavy, but that he could gather up all the smaller ones and get them onto the burn pile. I peeked out at him a few minutes later and found him working with all his might to drag this branch across the yard. It only moved a few inches a time, but, by golly, he dragged it across the whole yard and got it set up next to the burn pile.

I was impressed at his determination to do the WHOLE job, even though I'd given him the opportunity to leave that huge branch alone, and I was also really proud of him for setting his mind to it and sticking with it and getting it done. He's a hard little worker!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sugar and Spice?

My sweet little Emily apparently made Connor pinky promise her that he wouldn't go into her room and mess around with her new desk without her permission. And then she told him if he broke his pinky promise, she'd break his pinky finger! WOW! I had a little chat about not making violent threats to her brother, then informed Connor that his pinky was safe (but that he'd still better not get into Em's stuff without permission!).

The next day, Connor broke something (fell down, dropped what he'd been carrying, and it broke. The kid's a walking disaster some days!!), and Dan asked him, "Why are you always breaking things?" Connor replied, "I don't break EVERYTHING! I don't break pinky promises!"

Clearly, it's been weighing on his mind. LOL!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


I hope this comes off as funny reading it, as it was SEEING IT.

Backstory: At gymnastics, there is an upper viewing area where the kids all go to take off their shoes and socks, and the parents get to sit and watch their child during class. When class is ready to start, the coach comes upstairs and tells the kids to come line up.

One day, the coach came up and asked the kids to line up, and Jared looked over at her, grinning, and then quoted Pee Wee Herman (using his best Pee Wee voice), "I'm trying to use the phone!"

A split second later, Connor jumped up on the lowest bleacher seat and started doing the Pee Wee dance! I busted up laughing, joined by several other moms AND the gymnastics coach. Those two boys were a great little comedy act! LOL!!!!

Weeks later, I'm still chuckling over it.

The funnier part is that they have only seen the movie once (that I'm aware of) and it was at least a year ago!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deedle Deedle Dumpling

When I see Charlie running around with one ear up and one ear down, the nursery rhyme jumps into my head... "one shoe off and one shoe on!" LOL!!

Sorry, not the greatest picture, but he is FAST and not very cooperative (kind of just wants to run at me and lick at the camera when I get down low to snap a pic)

Charlie's right ear just recently started standing all the way up (started on Wednesday), and even then, it's still only about 75% of the time... His brothers' ears have been standing fully up for a couple of months now, and we had decided his just weren't going to at all (they don't always stand up on their own with this breed, and we don't care one way or the other), and then suddenly, up went the right ear. LOL

Truthfully, I kind of hope he keeps the one ear up, one ear down deal. It's pretty cute!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And the wall won


1: Connor was stacking wood for his daddy over the weekend and scored himself a nice scratch under his chin (I know, you can't see it in this picture, but it's THERE!)

2: Connor was coming down the stairs after gymnastics and mis-stepped the last step, lost his balance, sort of caught himself on the railing, but the momentum of his fall swung his body around and caused him to do battle with the pointed wall edge at the base of the stairs (the wall won).

3: The following morning, Connor was in his room, standing on something he shouldn't have been (which, I might add, had been in the "to be thrown away" pile I'd created Sunday when cleaning the boys' room, and which, I should point out, somehow got taken out again without my knowledge and placed back into the bedroom) and toppled over, smacking the center of his face on the puppet stage.

4: Not pictured here, but later the same day he scored the bruise/lump in the center of his face, he also managed to get a pretty good scratch on his cheek.

Poor baby looks like we beat him!

I took that pic Tuesday morning (I tried to get an updated one yesterday, but he was very uncooperative), so you'll just have to use your imagination on how lovely he looks now... His left eyelid is REALLY black and red, across his whole eyelid, and the center of his face is slightly raised and turning into a darker bruise. The scratches actually look pretty good a few days later, but the bruises have to get uglier before they get better!

I've honestly lost track of how many black eyes Connor has had in his lifetime (all of 3.5 years...), but I think he had 5 just last winter, and it's almost always that left eye!! SHEESH

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This whole getting up early in the morning to torture myself with exercise had better be worth it. I know, I know, it will be in the long run, but the short term "gain" is that I am even more tired than I was before, PLUS, everything hurts!


**hobbles away to take a shower, and hopes the legs actually cooperate enough to lift up and over the tub edge**

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So sweet

Connor and I volunteer in J's class for 40 minutes for reading groups, once a week. When my 40 minutes are up in J's class, Connor and I start packing up to leave, while J and his classmates start getting out their morning snacks. This time, my sweet Jare-bear came running over and begged me to let Connor stay for snack time. I reminded Jared that Connor didn't have a snack with him and said that Connor and I should probably just get going. Direct quote from J: "No, No! Mom, I already have a chair for him, and I broke my snack in half so he can have some, too." And sure enough, there was an extra chair pulled up beside Jared's place at the table, and sitting on the table was half of Jared's snack. I will admit to feeling a few "happy tears" (as we call them) welling up in my eyes over his thoughtfulness. And Connor? Threw his arms around his big brother with a very exuberant "THANK YOU JARED!" and happily plopped into the seat and ate his half of a Nutrigrain bar. Connor was pleased as punch to be sitting with the big kids eating a snack, and I was so touched by Jared's actions!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I miss this!

kids 2009

I LOVE being at the ocean. I love the wide open views, the sounds of the waves, the feel of the sand under my feet. I love how calm life feels, the joy on my children's faces as they run and dig and play and splash... I love our family time, uninterrupted by work and chores and appointments.

I LOVE being at the ocean.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sharp Dressed Man

Jared has been BEGGING for months now to have a button-up shirt and a tie set, but I haven't had a chance to head to the mall and buy him one. I finally got a chance on Wednesday, and he was very insistant on wearing it ASAP, so he wore it to school Thursday: (He's totally not excited or anything...)



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby gift

Before becoming house-bound, I completed, and gifted, this little sweater/hat set to a gal who is on the preschool board with me, and is due in December with a baby girl. The mom LOVED the little set and said she can't wait to use it for Christmas (despite it being BIG since baby will be BRAND NEW for Christmas) and also for Valentine's Day. She picked it up and admired it several times throughout the baby shower, and laid it across her belly a few times, and made numerous comments about it. It was very fun for me to see her be so clearly excited about the gift, and knowing that it was something I'd created, not just purchased. I loved it!!


I got brave and altered the pattern a bit this time, so that the neck of the sweater doesn't come up so high and won't be as tight-fitting. I was sure to jot down what I'd done in order to be able to do it again with future sweaters. I think it came out perfectly!

I also made this card for her:
card making

**update** I saw the mom at our board meeting tonight and she pulled me aside to tell me that she got online and found a dressy pair of black baby pants and some little red shoes to go with the sweater set, and raved again how much she loved the shade of the red, and the little "pearl" buttons. LOL! I can't WAIT to see pics of the baby all dressed up!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pesky Puppy

I turned my back for a few minutes to tend to sick kids Monday mid-day, took a phone call, sprayed the house down yet again with Lysol, then cruised through to gather up my knitting project to get it safely up and out of the reach of the puppy, only to discover hours later that I hadn't been quick enough, because the punk puppy had still managed to chew a hole in the baby sweater I was knitting, plus gnaw up the end of my bamboo knitting needle.

He's lucky I love him.

I'm house-bound with sick kids and have no clue when I'll be able to get out to replace the needle in order to attempt a repair and to complete the sweater. Such a waste of good knitting time (being house-bound WAS going to be a good excuse to get some extra crafting done).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swine Flu

Have you missed me?

We've been battling swine flu in our home the last few days, and I have been BUSY nursing two sick kids, and sanitizing like you wouldn't believe in order to keep the remaining three of us healthy. I even had to call my mom and beg a favor in order to get my hands on more Lysol spray. If the sick kids have touched it or breathed near it, I've sprayed it with Lysol.

I'm not a major germ-a-phobe in general, but I have ZERO desire to be nursing sick kiddos while being sick myself. Therefore, I spray. And use hand sanitizer. And wash my hands frequently. And use more hand sanitizer. And spray more Lysol.

Dan took the lid off an empty cup of juice for the kids yesterday evening, then went reaching for the fridge door to get out more juice. In comes ME, shoving a bottle of hand sanitizer at him. DON'T BE TOUCHING THE GERMY CUP AND THEN TOUCHING THE FRIDGE AND THE FOOD/DRINK THE REST OF US WILL BE EATING/DRINKING WITHOUT CLEANING YOUR HANDS FIRST!!! I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm nuts, but I am NOT getting sick, too. *grin*

Due to swine flu, Connor had to miss his activity yesterday, in case he was contagious and coming down with it as well. Emily had to miss dance (and I had to miss parent observation, where twice a year you get to go IN the classroom and see your child in class). Today, Connor has to miss a field trip with his preschool class to a local music store (again, in case he's contagious, and because no siblings are allowed and I'll have his two sick siblings home with us), where he would have gotten the opportunity to test out some different instruments and see instruments being repaired in the shop in the back, etc. Emily has to miss out on a field trip to see a play, which has been hyped up in class for over a month now, and will miss her 2nd dance class (where I, yet again, miss out on parent observation). Jared will miss out on a birthday party Wednesday for an old preschool friend he's been anxious to see again, because even if J is totally better tomorrow and fever/symptom-free for 24 hours, he'll have been too recently exposed to be around the birthday boy, who is one year into a three-year treatment plan for Luekemia.

And here I was worried they'd be sick over Halloween. I'd happily give up Halloween (less candy for me to be tempted to eat!) in order to have all this weeks' activities back. sigh...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Need a laugh??

Jared got off the bus looking something similar to this yesterday (this is a total recreation because my instinct when I first saw him was to untie the shirt ASAP!!)--ignore his "why do I have to stand here and let you take my picture" expression


There are many fashion disasters I've ignored with my children, but I just couldn't really let this one go. I untied the shirt, made him promise to NEVER tie his shirt up like that again, and then turned around and tried my best not to burst into hysterical laughter!!

After we'd been home for about ten minutes, I noticed Em's glasses weren't on her face, which led to her admission that she'd left them at school. We loaded back into the car, headed to school, collected her glasses, said goodbye to her teacher, and started back towards the car. Jared decided he wanted to run downstairs to his own classroom to see if his teacher was still there, in order to say hi/goodbye. As soon as we walked in, she pulled me aside and asked if I'd seen his shirt, and we both giggled. Then I said, "Please tell me that was something he did right at the end of the day."

Nope, it was something he'd done around lunch time. Spent half the day with his shirt tied up like that. I'm sure he gave more than one staff member their laugh for the day!

He's going to hate me for this picture someday...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

*Shakes head*

Connor was playing in the playroom yesterday afternoon, completely absorbed in his pile of trucks (including his added dialogue and sound effects, which was totally ADORABLE!).

Charlie was scratching at the sliding glass door.

I dropped everything and took Charlie out (giving me warnings when it's time to potty/etc is a very NEW thing for Charlie, as in, only three days!).

I was outside for MAX 10 minutes (I'm guessing closer to 5).

Charlie did his business. We came back in.

I found Connor, still in the playroom, except instead of being surrounded by trucks, he's surrounded by empty candy wrappers, in small pieces, holding kid scissors, his cheeks bulging with candy.

I quickly confiscated the scissors, gathered up the candy wrappers, scolded him for taking candy without asking, and for using scissors without my supervision (he'd gotten them out of a cupboard that HAS a child-safety lock, btw). Then I hurried into another room to giggle and marvel over the "genius" of the small child to take that short window of opportunity and use it to his full advantage. I can see his little brain going now...

Mom's outside. There's the candy bowl. I can't open this candy without help. I know where the scissors are. I know how to USE the scissors. mmmmmmmm, candy... Crap, mom caught me; turn on the charm:

"I asked-ed you for a snack, but you didn't hear me cuz you were outside with Chaw-lee so I just got some candy, okay?"

I was, and still am, torn between being totally ticked off that the little sneak got into the candy and helped himself when my back was turned (well, when I was outside...), or really proud of the lengthy thought process and perseverence he managed in a short period of time.

His daddy thought it was PRETTY FUNNY when I called to share the story with him after it happened!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poor Charlie!

Charlie recently decided that our yard wasn't quite good enough for him any longer, and he started taking off down the back alley to our neighbor's house (home to one of his puppy brothers). We can't have Charlie running off, and it would be hard to put him on our invisible fence (the darn collar would be about as big as he is, and about as expensive, too!), but we had to come up with SOMETHING.

Another neighbor mentioned that she lets her big dog babysit her little dog by leashing them together. Her big dog REFUSES to leave the yard without her, and the little dog isn't strong enough to drag the big dog along. Problem solved. I tried it with Heidi and Charlie, and it was pure genius for about two minutes. They were playing and having a grand time, but quickly figured out they could each bite the leash and play tug-of-war and chew-toy with it, and that leash was going to be TOAST in a matter of minutes. SO, then I went out and bought a chain leash figuring they weren't going to bite through THAT.

A few weeks go by, and I was feeling very pleased and confident about how the whole thing was going. It was time to leave the house, and I opened the sliding glass door to bring Charlie back inside to put him in his crate before we left, but the dogs didn't come right up to the door like they usually do. I called Heidi's name, and she came TEARING around the corner from the side of the house to answer my call. But poor Charlie has tiny legs and can't run as fast, and was getting dragged through the dirt, whipped around the corner of the house, and I swear, caught air for a few seconds before landing in a heap at my feet, dirt/twigs/leaves sticking out of his fur. It was horrifying, but also so entirely unexpected (WHY hadn't I thought of that potential problem???), and hilarious looking, that I will admit to totally cracking up while I was checking Charlie over for injuries.

Little knucklehead was totally fine, and was scratching at the door to get right back outside as soon as I unleashed him and brought him in!!

I'm thinking MAYBE, just maybe, it's NOT such a good idea to let my big dog babysit my little dog afterall...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oldies but goodies

With Halloween barely over, and the taste of chocolate still fresh on my tongue, I felt it was fitting to share this picture.

Two regrets that year: 1) That I never took the kids to get professional pics taken in these costumes, and 2) that the ONLY decent picture I have of them, is them sitting on that UGLY couch (at my mom's work)

oldies but goodies

Em and J were about as cute as it gets that year...

PS Happy 1/2 birthday to ME!! *grin*

Monday, November 2, 2009

Think he has a sweet tooth?

We went to a good friend's house for Halloween Saturday night. Everyone who went brought a crockpot of chili to share, plus there were salads and cornbread. After we ate, we gathered up 10 kids and a baby and headed out in her neighborhood for some trick-or-treating. When the trick-or-treating was over, 9 kids and a baby got busy playing.

A quick head-count in the playroom a few minutes after arriving back to the house alerted us to a potential problem...

Connor was found at the table, surrounded by his candy haul, stuffing his face, content to ignore every kid and toy in the house.


I'm fairly certain he'd have sat there for the rest of the night if he'd has his way.