Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be careful what you ask for

The other day, my three year old was enjoying a sucker, given to him by my friend.

She asked him, "May I have a lick?"

He looked at her, thought for a moment, then stuck his tongue out and aimed for her cheek.

Everything is literal to a three year old.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maybe we're turning the corner

Last night, I got the kids to bed (even sweet baby K), wrapped some presents and did a load of laundry.

Then I looked at the clock. It was only 9:00.

I stood there at the kitchen counter for a moment, unsure of what to do. I had done everything that needed to be done for tomorrow, and even a bit of extra work.

What does one do when all one's children are in bed and one's chores are finished for the night? It seemed so decadent to just sit down and watch TV.

But that, my friend, is what I did. And it was heavenly. Maybe life is slowly getting back to normal (whatever that means!).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All I want for Christmas. . .

I took the kids to see Santa yesterday (on Saturday - I realize I am insane). When we finally got up to him, my 3 year old wanted to go first.

"Hello there!" said Santa. "What would you like me to bring you for Christmas?"

Without missing a beat, A said, "A pencil sharpener!!"

Santa paused for a moment, and said that in all his years, he didn't think he had ever heard that Christmas wish. Leave it to one of my kids!

When he was done talking to A, he turned to I and said, "And what would you like, young man? An ink pen?"

Who knew Santa had such a sense of humor!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is there anything a doughnut can't do?

We decided to take the kids to the grocery store this morning to get doughnuts. They LOVE to go there for doughnuts. I started telling everyone our plan and began hearing cheers from most all the kids.

Except for one.

In all seriousness, one said, "But I was looking forward to having toast like we do every morning."

You can't win for losing.

When we got there, the kids were picking out their doughnuts. Our three year old pointed at one and said, "I want that one - a Long John Silver's!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Lately, every time I drink from the common cup at communion, my 3 year old is jealous.

"Mommy," he says, "I'm so sirsty!"

The boy loves to drink, night and day, so as much as I would like to think his motives are Christ-centered, I think it is pure desire for beverage.

I can dream, however, that he is thirsty for the blood of Jesus. It can't come soon enough!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lofty soles

The scene: Our side yard, this afternoon in the good weather. All the kids are playing nicely (surprise, surprise).

One child comes up with the highly underplayed game of "Take off One Shoe and Throw it Up in the Air!".

I am paying bills at the computer and learn of the game in this way:

"Mommy, mommy!! ___ took ____'s shoe and threw it up on the roof!!! It's still up there!!"

The child delivering this news cannot help but smile. The game! The game has an unexpected bonus! Who would have ever dreamed that such an innocent (!) game would have such an exciting outcome.

Daddy had to rescue the shoe tonight in the dark. It's a good thing the shoe was up there. After all, what would Daddy have found to fill his time tonight?

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's black and skinny, and LOST!

Where is it? Is it under the recliner? Is it in between the couch cushions? Is it in the refrigerator? Is it (gasp!) in the drawer where it belongs?

Of course not! It is in none of these places.

Ah, the elusive remote. No matter where I last lay it, little hands hasten to move it far, far away. When questioned, they have "no idea" and "I don't know - I didn't have it last!".

And while we're on the subject, why will I spend seventeen minutes looking for it, when it would be much, much easier just to change channels by hand, the old-fashioned way? I'll tell you why: it seems inherently wrong to get up (for heaven's sake!) when I want to flip channels during commercials or boring parts. Heaven forbid I get a little exercise while being a couch potato.

Anyway, I think I need one of those little thingies that you attach to items so that if you misplace them you can track them quickly.

That, or fewer children.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I have five kids!!!

Okay, duh.

I have had five kids for almost four months now, but there are times when I just look at the baby and think, "Ohmygosh! I am the mother to FIVE children! FIVE children look to me for their basest needs! FIVE children depend on me for guidance and support! FIVE children make a lot of noise!"

Sometimes when I am doing my Routine Scan and Count of the children, I find about 3 or 4, a nice size number, and I think I am done. Then a millisecond later I realize, no, 3 or 4 isn't good enough. You have to locate FIVE children, you moron! There are days when I truly have trouble believing I have so many kids.

How on earth do the Duggars do a Routine Scan and Count?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween horrors

Okay, so the worst part of Halloween isn't the expense of costumes (though it is large, since I am not crafty enough to make anything decent enough to wear out of the house). It isn't the "tricks" that neighborhood kids play on you when you are not home. It isn't the cold weather or the rain. It isn't the arguing over who got the best pieces of candy.

It is the very fiber of Halloween, the candy itself.

There it sits, in a giant bowl, looking all innocent, but I know the truth. It may look like fun memories from trick or treating, but what it really represents is serious weight gain. Mucho poundo. Who, I ask you, who can pass by such a bowl without taking one tiny little piece to munch on? The answer, sadly, is not me. It wouldn't be such a catastrophe, if I, say, passed by the bowl once a day. That would be okay. But, unfortunately, I pass by it constantly. As I do my work throughout the day, it sits there calling me. And I answer, most every time.

I have decided that January seems a fine time to work on a little post-pregnancy weight. Because after I take care of the Halloween candy, it will just be Thanksgiving, with Christmas right on its heels. Who needs the stress of trying to lose weight then? I think I will just embrace the chocolate for now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

File this under: "Thank goodness that's over!"

The other day, I completed a parenting duty that makes the rest look like child's play. I took the older four to get flu shots.

You'd have thought I took them all to have brain surgery, with no anesthesia.

We don't typically get the flu shot (I admit this is largely in part by the content you are about to read), so my children are not very accustomed to receiving it. On our scheduled day, I picked them up from school and drove toward the doctor's office. As I drove, I casually mentioned where we were going.

Immediate hysteria from one child in particular. "It's going to hurt! I don't want a flu shot! I DON'T WANT A FLU SHOT!"

I explained calmly (hoping to contain the hysteria so that it would not infect the others) that I had recently had a flu shot and was amazed by how pain-free it was.

"Do you remember last week when Mommy had her shot (I always speak in third person - even to adults. It makes me lots of fun at parties)? I went on and on to you about how I didn't even know the nurse had given it to me!"

One of the younger children pipes up: "The flu shot doesn't hurt!", but the older child is not convinced.

When we finally got back to the exam room, the children were anxious, but controlled. My most-afraid-child wanted to go first. I thought it was a good idea to get this one over with. The nurse came forward and did the deed. I was right there with a ready smile, saying "See? That wasn't bad at all, right?"

"No! It really hurt! I can't believe you said yours didn't hurt you!!"

It went downhill from there. Now everyone was afraid, because Mommy obviously lied to every one's face. They all cried and struggled. During this whole time, I, of course, was holding my fussy baby, giving me that extra parenting challenge that I so enjoy.

After it was all over, and the children were holding their injection sites, we limped out to the car. I had promised them Dairy Queen if they were good. They were all saying that they didn't deserve Dairy Queen, but I took them anyway. They had survived, though it was tough. After they had all ordered their ice cream, I ordered a Blizzard for myself.

I told the cashier I had earned it.

I can't wait for round two of the swine flu shots. . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

One letter makes a big difference

We were driving home from school the other day and my son said, "Look Mommy! That bird is praying to Jesus!"

I couldn't see what he was looking at, so I asked him for more information.

"He's praying to Jesus! He's flying around in circles praying to Jesus!"

I was still confused. He continued to explain. "Last summer when we were hiking with Daddy, we saw a bird flying in a circle. Daddy said he was praying!".

A couple of the older kids started to chime in "Oh - you mean preying!".

He looked a little disappointed. Looking for dead animals is not nearly as lovely as praying to Jesus.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blogging? What's that again?

So - life over here is a bit busy. I think often of my blog, longingly, in fact. I have ideas about things to blog. . .I attempt to head to the computer to blog. . .and then my small, sweet, beautiful daughter reminds me of her presence. Usually loudly and with much fervor.

Pretty much all the time, as I stated in an earlier blog, I am in the recliner, rocking my baby girl. I am beginning to wonder if rocking vigorously counts as exercise. It's a pretty good workout. Maybe I should make some DVDs and try to market them to the postpartum set. "Rockin' with your baby! Tone those flabby thighs in 36 hours [of continuous rocking - but I won't reveal that right away to my target audience]! Call now and receive these bonus gifts - maid service for a week - your whole house cleaned and meals cooked!" Those bonus gifts will come in handy, because your butt never leaves the recliner, making it rather difficult to do any cleaning or cooking (and parenting of other children, but I can't provide everything!).

So - that's where I am right now. I try to remind myself as I rock and feed my baby girl that the house will keep, and these "baby moon" days are short. Some days it is easier than others.

A small miracle has occurred while I wrote this post. My darling daughter has been quiet while not being held for about 20 minutes. It's the little things in life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

Tonight our Bible story was about a man and the special wife God provided for him. One of our sons shares the name of the man in the story, so it was of special interest to him.

I said to him, "Maybe God will give you a wife with that name."

He replied, "No. . .I want a wife named. . .Mommy."

I will take that as the highest compliment and assume he will change his tune as he gets older. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

You know you need to get out more when. . .

you can sing harmony to the music on your baby's swing. . .

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The king of non sequiturs

My son and I were cuddling this afternoon while the TV was on. He was playing with my hair (as always!), and said absently, "I love you, Mom."

I asked him (shamelessly fishing for compliments), "Why do you love me?"

Without missing a beat, he said, "Because I burp."

I guess that serves me right for trying to force declarations of love.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We three kings of Orient are, bearing. . .what?

We were reading the story of the wise men last night. . .

Me: What did the wise men bring to Jesus?

Son: Myrrh!!

Son: Gold!!!

Me: What was the third thing they brought?

Son: (furrowing brow and thinking quite seriously) Chocolate?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Extra, Extra!!

I was nursing my daughter this morning at 3:30. I was sitting in the glider in the dark, and noticed headlights on the street below. "Who," I thought, "would be out at 3:30 in the morning?!?" As I pondered which of our neighbors might be out at such an hour, and what on earth they might be doing, the car circled back around our neighborhood. I realized it had a flashing light on the top and that it was delivering our paper.

What happened to the cute neighbor boy who would throw the paper at our front door? He used to come to "collect" every couple of weeks, sending my parents scrambling for their checkbook. These days, I get a bill in the mail, and I pay by the month or even the year. No tips for the boy who lives down the street, no before-school job - just a car going around the block, with a flashing yellow light.

I suppose it is much safer now to have adults delivering the paper; I wouldn't want my sons out on their bikes in the dark. But for some reason, as I sat there in the dark this morning, I felt sad; like an era had passed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A walk down memory lane

The other day, my son and I were talking and I remembered this story, which I feel is worth telling here, though it happened many years ago (before my blogging days had begun).

My son was about 18 months old, and was taking a nap. The kids and I were going to attend a house blessing service/party when he woke up, so I was getting ready. I heard him wake up and play quietly in his crib. While I did my hair and makeup, I marveled at how nicely he was playing. I almost didn't want to bother him, so well was he amusing himself. The time, however, did come, and I went in to get him out of bed so we could leave.

I knew something was amiss from the moment I opened the door. The stench was overpowering. As my nose was assaulted, I turned my head toward his crib. There sat my (happy!) son, covered in poop. There was poo everywhere. Poop on the crib rails, poop on his sheets, poop on the walls, poop on his face, hands, clothes. If the poop had been blood, it would have looked like a grisly crime scene. Instead, it looked like a nightmare of epic proportions.

Ah, the memories. Suffice it to say we were a little late for the house blessing.

Writing this story reminds me of another poop story (is this some sort of sign??). We were having friends over (thankfully very good friends who would not be freaked out by our children's bodily functions). My husband was rapidly giving the two kids a bath. I was downstairs and going to answer the door when I heard my husband yelling. Our son (the same one, ironically, as in the story above - hhmm. . . )had gotten out of the tub and walked down the hallway, pooping along the way. While I let our guests in and explained the situation, my husband was upstairs, searching for poop. That was several years ago, and we're assuming he found it all.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A new body part

Ever since my dear sweet daughter was born, I have acquired a new body part. It is not a particularly flattering part, but it is a practical one. This new part is attached to my derriere, and it molds perfectly to the backside of my body, gives my poor legs (which are still carrying around some baby weight) a much-needed rest, and rocks in a very soothing rhythm.

Yep - you guessed it. It's the recliner. This chair is where I have fed all my babies, and my newest little baby loves to eat. She is really into eating. She would prefer to do it much of the day (and night, but that's a story for another post). And, being that she is the fifth child, I let her do pretty much whatever she wants (this does not bode well for the future). With my first two children, I was quite rigid with a feeding schedule (though it flew in the face of medical advice). It worked well for us, and my babies seemed to thrive despite my militaristic regimen. My third child was on a hospital-appointed feeding schedule, so I didn't have a choice in his situation. By the time my fourth child was born, if he cried, I nursed him. I didn't have time to try xyz to see what he needed. If he fussed, and a certain part of mine would make him happy, then that's what he got. Which brings us to my dear daughter. Like I said, she loves to nurse. And since there is much going here much of the time, she gets her way. Heaven help me if this causes psychological problems later (i.e. food solves all life's problems, etc.). Hey - I'm keeping my head above water here, people.

So - as I was saying - the recliner. Chances are, if you call me or visit, I will be in the recliner. The other day, I had some difficulty getting up and I swear it was because the chair didn't want to let me go. We have really bonded, the chair and I. When I wean my daughter, I think we will both grieve a little.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Today, a good friend called to ask me a question about the meal she is bringing us tomorrow (meals for new moms - a fabulous program our church has).

Friend: Do you guys like coconut?

Me: Complete silence.

Friend: Interpreting my silence as trying to be polite about a food we dislike. It's okay if you don't like it. I won't use it in the fruit salad.

Well, I wasn't trying to be polite, unfortunately. The real truth of the matter is, I had no idea what she was talking about. From the moment she asked if we liked coconut, I was trying to imagine how one ate a coconut. Do you crack it open? Do you drink the juice? Isn't the outside kind of fuzzy to eat? Should we make cool coconut bras with it when we're done?

It took me several seconds to remember that one eats coconut flaked and on things like fruit salad and desserts. Not broken open with a sledgehammer while shipwrecked on a remote island.

I can only chalk this up to severe sleep deprivation and lack of functioning brain cells. It obviously isn't because I'm stupid, right? Right?!?!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

. . .all my sins were washed away. . .

Today, my dear little baby girl was baptized. My husband had the distinct privilege of baptizing her. As he put it on his Facebook profile, his little pagan is now a beautiful Christian. . .or something to that effect.

Before the baptismal liturgy even started, I was teary. As my mother-in-law put it, "This is THE moment!" True, true. Her physical birth was important, but this is her real birth. She was immersed, which only adds to the symbolism.

My husband was choked up as he led the baptismal liturgy, as was I. But our sweet little girl wanted things to lighten up. After she was baptized (naked), she was wrapped up in a towel and placed in my arms. Just as her dear daddy anointed her forehead with oil, there was a distinct sound from the depths of the towel. I can only assume she wanted to make her baptism as memorable as possible.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The price of mommyhood

Okay, blogging with an infant is a bit tricky. First, there is the general issue of finding time to write. Second, there is the small problem of typing while a) holding a baby - a very challenging process, or b) leaving the baby in the other room under the "watchful" eyes of my other children. Third, there is the oh-so-important question of "What the heck should I write?" I seem to have lost many brain cells over the course of the last nine years, and sometimes (read: often) my mind is a complete void. An utter wasteland, where there used to be some grey matter.

In fact, I was talking about losing brain cells after giving birth with a friend of mine, who had two children at the time. She said to me, "You must have been brilliant before you had children!" While it sounds like a strange comment to make, I knew exactly what she meant. To be reasonably intelligent now (a questionable assumption!), I must have been a genius before mommy brain crept in!

So - I use this entry as a case in point. I have virtually said nothing, but it does count as a post, right?

Friday, July 31, 2009

"Look, Mom!", says my son, holding up two yogurt cups to his chest. "I'm a lady!"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

She's here!

We are so happy to announce the birth of our. . .daughter!! Last Friday, our second little girl was born, healthy and beautiful. We were so happy to finally meet her. My 9 year old daughter was especially thrilled to have a sister, but the boys were also ecstatic. She was 7 lb., 12 oz., and 20" long. She has lots of dark hair, but we expect it to turn blond like the rest of her sibs.

We have been home now for a few days and are getting used to our "new normal". Besides resting up from my c-section, much of my time is spent making sure our sweet little girl doesn't get hurt from the well-meaning overtures of love from her brothers.

God's blessings are great, and our newest miracle shows this in full. Praise God for his beautiful creation, our little baby girl!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baby school

As I sit here at the computer, I am listening to my children play "Baby School" in the family room. My oldest is teaching the younger kids how to take care of the baby. They are bathing her dolls, putting the dolls in the swing, burping them, giving them pacifiers, putting them down for a nap. It is incredibly sweet (although I did witness some vigorous hair brushing on a doll by my 3 year old. Note to self - 3 year old is not quite ready for baby's personal grooming).

In other news, today is our 13th anniversary. Our "golden" anniversary - 13 years on the 13th. As I think back about that day, it seems so long ago. We seemed so young and inexperienced. While we always wanted a large family, I imagine it would have been inconceivable for me to imagine that on our 13th anniversary we would be expecting our 5th child. So many blessings God has bestowed upon us. I am very thankful for my dear husband, the love of my life. I thought I loved him then - how little did I know that I had only just begun loving him!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Good news!

At a party last night, I was talking to a friend who works for the hospital where I will be delivering my baby next week. She passed along some lovely information. . .I am eligible to stay for one night longer than I thought I could!

Some people are in a hurry to get out of the hospital. I am not one of them. Why, I ask you, WHY would I want to leave a place where:

- someone brings me all my meals (that I have chosen from a menu, did not shop for, prepare, and will not clean up)

- someone changes my sheets much more frequently than I do at home

- someone will bring me my baby at night when I need to nurse, and after I am finished, will take him or her back to the nursery so I can sleep

- if I have any sort of pain or concern, someone will be at my bedside at the push of a button to give me medication or advice

- there is no laundry to wash/fold/put away, no fights to break up, no meals to prepare

- I have free reign of the remote control for a TV that has many more channels than we do at home.

In short, I regard the maternity hospital stay as a vacation. Yes, it is a vacation with some pain (does that make it a paincation?), but there is also a fabulous blessing to take home afterward. I thoroughly look forward to my stay there, and was quite pleased to realize I could stay a day longer if needed!

Friday, July 3, 2009

In earnest supplication. . .

My 5 year old's prayer tonight:

Dear Jesus,

Please can you help me be good and not naughty. And please don't let me be eaten by alligators. People kill alligators and make purses and shoes out of them.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is this really necessary?

My 7 1/2 year old son has mastered the fine art of the rude armpit noise.

As if we don't have enough of the real thing going on over here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home again, home again

Well, we're back from our travels this summer. We enjoyed camping in the Wisconsin Dells and attended a wedding in the "Northwoods" of Wisconsin. After that, friends of ours from college visited for a couple days.

Now, we are home for the duration. My c-section being only three weeks away, safety rules dictate I must stay close to home. This is a good thing, since I really need to nest (read: work feverishly to get ready for this baby's arrival). I have done literally nothing to prepare for the baby's birth, and now I must turn my attention fully to the task at hand.

In other news, my third child's 5th birthday was yesterday (as well as his baptismal birthday). As we do every year, with every child, we reminisced about his birth. What a joy he is, with his constant contagious smile and cuddly nature. We certainly can't imagine our lives without him. Thank God for 5 years!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A scensible purchase?

The other day, I was shopping at Walmart and I passed a display of room fresheners. I admit I was walking pretty quickly (for a large pregnant lady, that is), but I am reasonably sure that I saw one that was scented "Moroccan Bazaar".

I have never been to a Moroccan Bazaar, but I'm willing to bet that I would not enjoy it if my house smelled like one.

On second thought, I do have many boys. . .maybe a Moroccan Bazaar would be an improvement.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

About a week ago, two friends of ours from church/school, offered to watch our children so we could have an evening out.

All of our children.


For those of you who have met my children, you know there are four of them, and they can be a rowdy crew. Yet these two selfless gals seemed happy to take them so we could go out to dinner and have a night "off" so to speak. Our evening was quite wonderful - good food, good conversation, and an oh-so-quiet house. In our nine years of parenting, we have never been in our house without the children overnight. It was oddly silent.

The generosity of these two friends was hard for me to accept. I think they wanted to do this for us since our new baby is coming soon, and they knew it would be awhile before we were able to be alone again. Regardless, such a gift was hard to accept. These gals both have children of their own and probably do not get out alone with their husbands too often either. Yet they were willing to give of their time and energy for us.

It made us realize how blessed we are, to have friends who are so kind to us. It made me want to be that kind of friend to others.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I think the kids might need glasses. . .

My husband and I have noticed a strange phenomenon in our house. When the children need something (help, questions answered, bottoms wiped, juice poured, fights broken up. . .), they come to me. Not my husband.

My husband could be standing directly next to the child in need. I could be on the phone in the complete opposite end of the house. I could be up to my eyeballs in laundry. I could be (heaven forbid!) attempting to use the bathroom by myself. Doesn't matter. They will seek me out, completely ignore whatever I am doing, and begin their litany of needs. They will walk right by him to find me.

Why is this? It's not as if my husband is a deadbeat or a moron or ignorant father. He is, in fact, quite the opposite. He, in all probability, could help them more thoroughly than I ever could. Is it because I carried them for 9+ months in my womb? Because I am a stay-at-home mom? We are baffled. And I, for one, am questioned-out!

Does this happen at your house, too?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Quotes of the day

From the two year old set:
Said while I was helping him use the restroom: "Mommy! You're holding my ceiling too tight!" He stands on my feet and uses the potty. Apparently I was holding his neck too tightly.

From the seven year old set:
My daughter said, "Watch this part of the Barbie movie! It's really funny!"
My seven year old (boy) responded enthusiastically, "Is it about burping?!?"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our latest field trip. . .

Wednesday morning, my littlest guy, who is almost three, had to go to the hospital. He was having some issues with asthma, and breathing way too quickly and shallowly. After a valiant attempt by the doctor to keep him out of the hospital, we accepted the inevitable: an overnight stay at the least.
He was discharged yesterday afternoon, slightly more than 24 hours after he was admitted. Our first day there wasn't too bad, but by yesterday, this child had had enough of our little room and kept saying, "I want outta here!". Thankfully he was much better and we were able to walk around and play in the playroom for quite awhile.
Now we are home, and this child is high as a kite. The nebulizer meds really charge him up, and he is running around the house talking, singing, yelling, you name it. It exhausts me just looking at him. We go tomorrow for a recheck, and I am hoping we can wean him right off these treatments.
Or, maybe I should ask for a prescription for them. . .think of all I could get done. . .

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Can I quote you on that?

Today in the car, my daughter was explaining to her brothers how the baby got food while in my tummy.

She said, "The baby gets his food through the unbiblical cord!"

Apparently, my baby is a pagan.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The joys of commerce

This afternoon, against my better judgment, but because we have virtually no food left in the house, I took all the kids to Walmart. I considered staying home, but unless we were going to drink water and eat canned tomatoes until Monday, shopping was a must.

Usually the children give me a hard time when I tell them we need to grocery shop. Today, however, they were excited to go, because they were going to spend some of their money. They had each accumulated about $10 and there were holes burning in their little pockets. I gave them each a baggie for them to their booty in, and off we went.

We made a stop at a specialty store for my daughter to buy a Webkinz. STRIKE ONE! The store had closed earlier in the day. My daughter, true to form, attempted to be stoic and said she would wait for another day to buy one.

We got to Walmart and my youngest insisted upon holding his baggie like the big kids. Against my better judgment (again!), I let him hold it. STRIKE TWO! After we had picked up our groceries, I realized the money was gone. We retraced our steps, in vain, of course, because how many people pass by cold hard cash lying on the floor?! The service desk did not have it either. I was frustrated with myself for letting him hold it in the first place.

Finally we arrive at the toy department. My 4 year old picked his toy quickly, and my 7 year old, also true to form, took several minutes to decide what he wanted. I let my 2 year old pick out an inexpensive toy (a foam rubber sword - am I insane?!?) After another stop at the service desk (no dice!), we went home.

I was immediately called upon to assemble toys. After several frustrating minutes, I gave up on my 4 year old's hot wheel assembly and left it for when Daddy got home. I turned my attention to my 7 year old who was wailing at the kitchen island about how dumb his toy is. STRIKE THREE! His Star Wars toy did not function up to par, and he wanted to return it - NOW! It is now about a half hour later, and he has finally calmed down.

The funny thing is, their behavior was really quite good while we were shopping. We just learned some hard lessons today. . .

***Edited a few hours later: Daddy came home and miraculously made my 7 year old's toy work properly and assembled my 4 year old's toy in seconds flat. All happiness is restored to our household. Long live Daddy!
(Now, if only he could produce a Webkinz from thin air and find the missing $10!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yesterday, I took the two little boys to Chicago for my four year old's yearly doctor's visit. Because it is a long day, it became sort of an event - we got to eat out, see Chicago's skyline, etc.

Because he was such a good boy during his x-ray, the technicians gave my son a beanie baby. He wanted me to cut off the tag while we were waiting in the exam room. I started to throw it away, but he said, "No Mom! I want to save it for a silverware!!"

Hhmm, I think he meant souvenir. . .

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Among my fine mother's day gifts:

A poem (with lovely rhyme!) from my 9 year old daughter
A finely decorated cake by all my children (chocolate - my fave!)
Beautiful red roses
Numerous pictures and paintings depicting Mommy and child (Mommy is always easily identified by the bright crayola red hair)
Sleeping in yesterday followed by breakfast in bed!!

As I near the birth of child number five, I am especially reminded of all I have in my children. Our lives have been blessed beyond measure with these four treasures, and I know they will continue to be further enriched by the new one in July.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Back home again. . .

My husband and I just got back from Miami Beach on Wednesday afternoon. We had a wonderful relaxing time and had we not had children to come back to, we might have vacationed away the rest of our lives. What's not to love. . .we slept in, we ate gourmet meals (that I did not plan, prepare or clean up!!!), we sat on the beach, we had conversation (we actually finished our sentences to each other without being interrupted!!), we read books that contained more that 50 child-appropriate words. . .the list could go on.

Miami was a very fascinating place. Much of the time, we felt like we were in a foreign country (or about 15 countries at once). I had no idea what a melting pot it was. We enjoyed the diversity and the fact that something was always going on - not entirely unlike our house, now that I think of it, although much different activities!! While I don't think we'll be taking the kids there anytime soon, it was a great trip for the two of us, in our last hurrah before bebe number five arrives.

As these trips always do, it made us appreciate that we are able to travel a bit here and there (thanks to very willing parents who don't mind babysitting). And since we miss the children while we are away, the homecomings are priceless as well.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

ode to the four year old mind

The scene: Last night's dinner

My four year old: ". . .a band-aid! an elbow!"

The rest of us: confused silence

My four year old: "It's a guessing game!! . . .a kiwi!"

The rest of us: ". . .uh. . ."

My four year old: "It's a big pineapple!!!"

Obviously, with those clues, the answer would be a big pineapple.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pregnancy is a whole body experience

As most of you know, I am pregnant with my fifth baby. Therefore, I have been pregnant a few times before, and should pretty much know what's going on.

This is not true.

Each pregnancy seems to be fraught with its own problems, weird issues, and strange concerns. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had a horrible itching sensation on my (huge) tummy. It was some sort of phenomenon called PUPS (it reminded me nothing of cute little puppies). With my first son, I gained enough weight to make a sumo wrestler proud. With my second son, I had an enormous tummy, while my legs looked strangely thinner than normal. When I was pregnant with my last son (so far - I'm sure this one will be a boy, too - God is working out patience in me), I had bad morning sickness. Actually, I have had morning (all day) sickness with all of them.

With this baby, other organs have decided to get involved. It turns out, your kidneys feel left out and want to get in on the whole pregnancy thing, so the uterus helps them out by squishing the kidneys, until the pregnant woman has a very achy spot on her back. My OBGYN explained this to me at my last appointment, when I mentioned my sore back. It made complete sense and involved some sort of syndrome thingy involving the ureter I think. I fully understood what he was saying at the time, but could not repeat it to you now if I tried. The gist being, your kidneys are smooshed, and it may or may not get better before you deliver.

I have always read that pregnancy is a whole body experience. Over the course of my many pregnancies (including the ones I miscarried), I have found this to be true.

If only this whole body experience could include flawless skin. . .whiter teeth. . .thin ankles. . .increase in number of brain cells. . .

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh how the years go by. . .

Nine years ago today, my daughter was baptized. She slept angelically in my arms the entire service (and it was the Easter vigil, which is slightly lengthy - ask my brother and sister-in-law who still like to give us a hard time about it!), including during the baptism itself. I was worried about her, because she often had fussy periods as a newborn. But she came through, and we didn't hear a peep out of her.

Until after the service.

During all the pictures (which were taken at about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., to be fair to her), she is screaming bloody murder. I'm sure my smile is strained, due to her constant wailing, as well as due to the fact that because of a nursing mishap, I had to wear my brother-in-law's suit jacket. I'm sure I was thinking, "Get this over with! This baby needs to go to bed!" Whatever my thoughts were at the time, the pictures are precious to me now.

My "baby" is nine, and is such a blessing to us. Her constant cheer, imagination and joy for life makes us smile. She is a wonderful big sister to her brothers, thinking up games for them to play, and encouraging them when they are down. The faith that was given to her on her baptism is integral to her being now, and she is truly a godly daughter to us. I am thankful for the nine years God has given us with her, and I look forward to building a lifetime of memories with her.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Listen before you leap!

We were driving home from school today, and my 4 year old was waxing eloquent about how big he was going to be when he was a grown-up.

He was saying, ". . .and when I get bigger I can push people. . ."

Me: "Just because we're big, we don't push. . ."

Him: Finishing his thought and cutting me off, ". . .on the swingset."

I guess I shouldn't jump to conclusions when it comes to a 4 year old's logic.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh, Caillou. . .

I was taking a break from my chores this morning and reading a magazine while the boys watched Caillou. I was quite immersed in the article I was reading when I heard someone say "Mommy!".

I had half of my response out when I realized that it was Caillou speaking, not my boys.


If you have been so fortunate as to have avoided watching Caillou in your life thus far, I commend you. Caillou is a whiny 4 year old, whose parents give him whatever he wants. He will say things like "But I don't want to put my clothes on!!" in a voice that is like fingernails on a chalkboard (do they make chalkboards any more, by the way?). His parents will respond in some sort of sniveling voice, effectively telling him that it's okay if he doesn't want to put his clothes on. Then somehow, in the course of the next 15 minutes, they will coddle him, play games with him and sweetly encourage him into getting dressed.

I ask you - "WHO LIVES THAT WAY?" Maybe I am a little militant, but if my children say no when I ask them to do something, there are usually swift consequences, and then they still have to do the task I gave them. Is there no PBS series like my life?!?!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Like a child. . .

During Lent, we have been having family devotions around the dinner table. We get out a crucifix and candle and read the Scripture passage and devotion. It has been a good experience for all of us. . .to come together around God's Word in a time other than the sometimes rushed bedtime Bible story/prayer. I hope we continue this tradition next week and following.

My two year old has begun taking the crucifix each time we get it down from the shelf and asking to "kiss Jesus's owies". He takes the cross and kisses Jesus' feet and hands. Such simple faith and love for his Savior. He is an example to me to come to the cross this Lenten season and thank Jesus for His supreme sacrifice.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I may be good, but I'm not that good!

My two year old and I were cuddling before bed tonight, discussing the coming baby. He was asking lots of questions, so I told him a little about breastfeeding and how I would nurse the baby.
He took this information in for a minute, then pointed to one breast and said, "Is it chocolate milk in there?"
With a smile, I told him no, that it was white milk.
His brow furrowed, he pointed to the other one and asked, "Does that one have chocolate milk?"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Come again?

The other day, my son came to tell me he had cleaned up all the crumbs under the kitchen table. I was telling him how thankful I was that he had helped me out without being asked (he had picked them all up, one by one!). I could tell he was proud of himself for making my workload easier.

He replied with a big smile, "And I did it all without any carbon dioxide!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My two year old has continued to surprise us with the number of letters he knows. Quite on his own, he has learned S, W, M, A, F, and more.
Tonight, he was playing with some letter blocks, and I asked him to identify an "A" and an "I". Then I asked him to identify a "W".
His answer was "That's a "D.W.", Mommy!".
If your life is like mine, you understand his answer. Apparently he has been watching too much Arthur.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What if. . .

Recently, a friend of mine mentioned that her husband was home sick with the flu. He had felt it coming on the night before, and since he is a doctor, he was debating canceling his cases for the next day. In the end, he did cancel and stayed home to recover.

This made my friend and I wonder - if we are sick, can we cancel our "cases" for the next day? We both have four little "patients" that we care for 24/7. Would our calling in sick look something like this:

Thursday evening, as you begin to feel achy and start coughing: "Children, Mommy has to call in sick tomorrow. I can't make your meals, help you go potty, change your diapers, or break up your fights. I will just lie in bed all day, resting, sleeping and maybe watching a little TV now and then. Thanks for your understanding."
The children look at Mommy as if she just said she was a Martian with three heads. Then they laugh, assuming this is all a silly joke. Mommy is sometimes really goofy.

Friday morning, when the flu has taken over your body and you think you might die soon: Mommy lies in bed "resting", trying to ignore the cries for juice, the TV remote, bandaids, and bottom-wiping-help. Eventually she feels horrible guilt and gets up and does the bare minimum, all the while feeling like her head is stuffed with cotton candy.

Friday afternoon, desperately hoping for a nap while the little ones sleep: Mommy lies in bed again, attempting sleep for this short period that will be allotted her. The older ones wander in out with various requests for really important things, like logging onto the computer and having fingernails clipped. Soon, after a few minutes of shut-eye, the baby starts to cry.

Friday night, waiting for Daddy to walk in the door with more anticipation than a child on Christmas Eve: Mommy lies on the couch, having given up the notion of being in bed completely. The TV is on the Disney channel, as it has been all day. Some of the children are running around the house wildly, scattering toys under the furniture and fighting with homemade weapons, while others are sitting in front of the TV, eyes glazed over and in a trance. Daddy walks in and gets an exuberant welcome from the children. He quickly hugs them and comes over to check on Mommy. "How do you feel? Did you get some rest today?"

Saturday morning, feeling more like a human again: Mommy wakes up to start breakfast, laundry and do damage control from yesterday. Daddy rolls over in bed and says, "I don't feel too well, hon. I think I've got the flu. If you don't mind, I'm just going to stay in bed today."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This isn't exactly a democracy, but. . .

My husband and I (as usual) are having a bit of trouble agreeing on a name for our soon-to-be-born baby. If it is a girl, we are set. We have been saving the name Katherine Claire (Katie) since our first son was born, three boys ago. But if it is a boy, we are less certain. Here are our choices, in no particular order:

Jacob - possibly nicknamed Jake

Ezekiel Thomas - nicknamed Zeke

Augustine - nicknamed Augie

Theophilus - nicknamed Theo

We realize Theophilus is a mouthful, but it is a beloved family name, and we think Theo is not too unwieldy. The other three are just names that we like, all with rich Biblical meanings or important early church figures.

SO - please vote! Make a comment and let me know what you think! I've enabled the anonymous feature on this post, so you can vote even if you don't have a blogger user id.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Honesty is the best policy, right?

Me: (Trying on a maternity dress for church, talking to my almost 9 year old daughter) "What do you think of this dress?"

Daughter: "It's old-fashioned. No offense, but you look like a Pilgrim. You just need a bonnet."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sleep, schmeep

I believe my children have formed a coalition against me. It was begun many years ago, when my first two children were little. I think, during the day when my back was turned, they spoke in their toddler/baby language to each other, discussing who would wake Mommy up the following night. "I'll take the 4:00 a.m. if you'll handle the 5:30 wake up call", one would say to the other. They always cooperated beautifully (better than any of the children seem to on any other matter). Without fail, they would follow through with their carefully laid plans, waking me just when I would drift back off to sleep.

Since we have added two more children, the older two have passed on their expertise in this area. My younger two have now carried on the torch (with the occasional help from my 7 year old in the early morning). Take this morning, for example. My four-and-a-half-year old took the midnight "I've gotta potty, Mommy!!!" run. My 7 year handled the 5:44 a.m. "Where are the bandaids, Mommy?" And then my four year old returned to handle the 6:00 "Can I sleep with you, Mommy?". After I let him into bed, I rolled over and hoped for a little more shut-eye. Just as my eyes were closing, my two-and-a-half-year old starting crying in his crib. "It's not fair!" I said to my husband's back. Thankfully, he was getting up for church and let me sleep a bit longer.

Anyway, I'm sure sleep is overrated. I mean, I haven't had a solid night's sleep since late in 1999. I haven't seen any negative effects so far. So I fall asleep while driving. . .that's normal, right? If I stand too still, my head begins to nod, but whose doesn't?

I'd love to ponder this a little longer, but I think I need to squeeze in a nap before church.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We love you Mickey, oh yes we do. . .!

I have been procrastinating writing a post about Disney World. I don't know what to say that will do it justice! For those interested, I will give a little summary of our trip, though words can't express how great it was!

We spent 6.5 days in the parks - two days each in Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom, one day in Animal Kingdom. Highlights from the parks: For my 7 year old - the Star Wars ride in HS. He would have ridden it all day long (Disney is very sneaky/very smart also - as you exit this ride, you must pass through a store full of Disney-Star Wars toys/souvenirs. Some of us found this very difficult to just pass through!).
The fireworks at Epcot, as well as the wonderful food and princess dinner were amazing. The Spectro Magic parade and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom were fabulous. In Animal Kingdom, The Lion King show was out of this world. Truly Broadway quality.
As I said, words cannot express how truly "magical" it really was. Before we left, as excited as I was, I would have scoffed at using the word "magical". But after experiencing it all, there really is no better word.

A few words to the wise:

The dining plan is WORTH IT! We ate fabulous meals, and had plenty to choose from. We had a delicious sit-down dinner every day, plus a fast-service meal and snack. If you know my husband, you will understand that for our fast-service meal, we did not eat hamburgers. We sought out wonderful places that served unique food. I'm sure we all gained ten pounds during the trip (being pregnant, these pounds do not count for me. I completely stop paying attention when I am with child).

The 3-D shows are SCARY! My kids (and me, too, sometimes), were totally freaked out. My 7 year old, who is normally pretty brave and rides the "big" rides, was burying his face in my shoulder, almost hysterical, during "It's Tough to be a Bug" in Animal Kingdom. These movies are a full-body experience. Beware.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two words

I will steal my sister's idea for this post. . .

Disney World.
Most amazing.
Kids' faces.
Wonderful weather.
Mickey Mouse.
Princess Mania.
Star Wars.
Still exhausted.
Insane laundry.
More later.
Must nap.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shall we dance?

We do a lot of dancing at our house. The kids love to dance to funky 70s music with Daddy at night before bed (great wind-down routine, by the way - all the experts recommend wild activity before bed), we do dances when we are happy, proud of each other etc. Maybe you do a lot of dancing at your house, too.

But I'm sure only some of you participate in our most common dance.
The ancient tribal potty dance.

This dance consists of wild jumping and stomping, turning in circles and possibly grabbing at body parts, depending on the intensity of the dance. The dance always ends with the ancient tribal yell "I gotta go potty!!!!". The dancer then pounds down the hallway toward the toilet.

For those of you reading whose children are grown, please remind me that I will miss this dance and the announcement of the coming of bodily fluids that inevitably follows.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


A friend recently asked our four year if he was right-handed.

Puzzled, he replied he was not, and held his palms upward. He said, "I'm two-handed!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Michael Landon, why?

The other night, we were watching a Little House on the Prairie DVD from the library. It was a Christmas episode, and the final scene showed the exchanging of gifts by the Ingalls family. Due to some secrets, Laura sold her horse to buy a stove for Ma, but Pa made a saddle for Laura to use on her horse. Very Gift of the Magi-ish. Laura is sad that her horse was sold (to Nellie Olsen, of all people), but more sad that Pa made a saddle that now cannot be used.
Why am I telling you this?
Because it says something about me. I am crying while watching this. Not just a few tears trickling down, but actually weeping. Michael Landon, why did you insist upon making such tear-jerkers?!?

While we're on the subject of the Ingalls family, a friend from high school recently commented on a picture of me on Facebook. She said that I hadn't aged at all since high school. This made me laugh out loud. I told her that I have aged quite a bit since then. Every time I take my hair out of a ponytail and it falls down around my face, I am reminded of Ma Ingalls taking her bun down at night (and preparing to brush her hair the requisite 100 strokes). As I do the same, while looking in the mirror, all I can think is that I am OLD. Just like Ma.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seize the teachable moment

Last night, my daughter had to learn the sixth commandment and its meaning for memory work. In case you're scrambling to remember which one that is, I'll tell you. It is: You shall not commit adultery.

My husband was not home last night. It was all mommy.

Monday, January 19, 2009


My seven year old said this morning, "Do we have another snow day today?"

I told him no.

He said, "Oh yeah. I forgot. It's Martin Lutheran Day".

It all depends on your perspective, I guess!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We're off to the Mouse's House!

Yes, it's true. The kids have finally worn us down (with much begging, pleading and cajoling) and we are going to Disney World. Actually, I think I am just as excited as the kids (although my husband is a different story. . .). We are going next month, and just bought our tickets a few weeks ago. After being hospitalized for extreme sticker shock, I am doing fine now.
I have heard two illustrations about how things work at Disney. Apparently, if you go into this with the right frame of mind, all will be fine.

1. "The Mouse always has his hand out." This is from my father-in-law, who went last year and is going with us this year. If we just happily fill the mouse's hand with regular frequency, all will be well.

2. Upon entering Disney World, we will be turned upside down until all of our money falls out. Afterward, we will be admitted into the park to enjoy our stay.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Corny ideas

Scene: My four year old sitting at the table last night at dinner. He is staring at his plate, which has a serving of corn on it. This corn is the only thing between him and a visit to the candy bucket.

He looks up at me and says, "Mom, I don't think I should eat these. I think they are poisonous."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random thoughts. . .

I have been so down and out for the past month, that I have not updated my blog as regularly as I would like to. I am slowly coming out of the haze that has been my December. I am 12 weeks pregnant today (and just read that my baby is the size of a Vienna sausage - good to know), and I think the all-day-sickness is nearly finished rearing its ugly head. Thank goodness.

And in case any of you were wondering. . .I have UNO baby in my womb! We had an ultrasound on Monday, and there was clearly one baby there. While twins would have been exciting, I can honestly say I am quite relieved that we will not be going from 4 to 6 children in one fell swoop.

It is January 14th, and I. am. sick. of. snow. We easily have a foot and a half on the ground already, with more coming today. And it is SO COLD! I can't wait for our trip to Disney next month (more about that in another post).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ah, the memories!

Some people have a head for numbers. Some people are very skilled at music or art. Some people are brilliant when it comes to science.

It turns out, some people have amazing memories. They remember, in vivid detail, the aspects of a commercial from the Indianapolis area, circa 1985. These people, in particular, seem to be my father and sister. I referenced a commercial in my last post, and they have wowed me with their memory of minute detail regarding this commercial. My father googled it, and in case you are interested, you can watch it here.