Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Past, Part III

From my blog, December 6, 2009.

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!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

voices in his head

Conversation between me and my 5 year old:

Me: I have told you too many times. Do your laundry now. 5, 4, 3, 2 . . .

Boy: Mom! The devil's telling me not to, but I was just about to kick him in the head and do what you said!

Me: Okay. Give him a kick and go do your laundry.

Boy: (kicking himself in his own head)

Me: Why are you kicking yourself?

Boy: (patiently) Because the devil's in my head!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

My 5 year old son at bedtime prayers last night: "Dear God, thank you for the whole universe."

My husband: "Son, I know that covers everything, but don't you think you should be more specific when you talk to God?"

He tried again: "Dear God thank you for the whole universe. Please help me be more specific. Amen."

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Past, Part II

This post is from December 4, 2008, and is about my now 7 year old son. He still enjoys singing and praising Jesus!

Make a joyful noise!

Last night was my 4 year old's Christmas program. He was beside himself with excitement beforehand. He got all decked out in his Christmas black and red, and even allowed me to wet his hair down a bit.
The church was packed, but if I sat up very tall, I could just barely see him. Thankfully, he is one of the tallest kids in preschool! He sang and sang his little songs. That is, he sang/shouted his songs. You know what I mean. In every school program, there is one kid you can hear above the rest. This kid is really into praising Jesus. Well, as we found out tonight, it turns out that is our child. We were in the back, and my husband and I exchanged several glances as we heard his voice quite clearly.
I think I could have heard him in the parking lot. I had tears in my eyes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Past, Part I

From my blog, December 15, 2008 (note that I was in the throes of morning sickness, hence my position):

Come again?

We were putting the decorations on our tree last week (well, my husband and children were - I was watching from the couch), and my husband asked one of the children about an ornament he was holding. It was a bunch of grapes, and he was asking the child what Bible story it was associated with.

The child said with exuberance, "It is because Jesus is King of the Juice?"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My happenin' nightlife

A recent night-in-the-life of mammamilk:

10:15 I finally sit down to watch an in-progress episode of Law and Order.
10:45 My 7 year old son arrives in the family room, sleepy and out of sorts.
10:49 My son glances up from cuddle spot in my lap to see a gun on the TV.
11:00 We go up to bed and I reassure son who is concerned about seeing a gun.
11:10 Though I am tired and should go to sleep stat, I glance through Facebook on my phone.
11:25 I go to sleep (with my 11 year old in bed with me - did I mention my husband was out of town on this particular night?).
12:30 7 year old is awakened by a dream (presumably a bad one, due to my less-than-stellar-parenting skills re: Law and Order glimpse).
1:30 My 2 year old comes in. I take her back to her rocking chair, where she sleeps. (Beds are not for sleeping in! They are for storing stuffed animals! Haven't you heard?)
3:20 My 2 year old visits again. I try putting her in bed with my older daughter and me. She is restless and leaves.
3:26 Though I desperately don't want to get up, I get up to find out where she has gone. I find her sleeping on the hallway floor. I hope for the best and go back to bed.
3:45 She's baaaack! I pull her into bed with me, where I notice she is making suspicious noises. I rush her to the bathroom, where she attempts to vomit (but doesn't have much to get rid of).
4:10 I fall asleep next to my daughters, who are both sleeping now.
4:16 More attempted vomit, which I was prepared for and caught in a towel.
4:31 I fall asleep.
4:45 Yes, a third time, more dry heaves.
5:00 Sweet baby K is in a deep sleep next to me and I fall asleep.
5:16 The smoke alarm chirps for low battery. I am not kidding.
5:45 My 10 and 5 year olds come in, wanting to get up. My 10 year old is irate about waking up so early all the time, and demands answers about why he can't sleep past 5:15.
6:15 The whole house is awake. I struggle to the shower.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk about a superpower!

"Mom", said the boy, "Is the tooth fairy real?"

"Why do you ask?" I replied.

"Well, it just seems like a pretty big job to do."


"Yes, I mean how can she lift up the pillow and hold the money and put it under my pillow??"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why did the turkey cross the road?

We approached the intersection, my three youngest children and I, as we headed to the mall.

"Look, a turkey in the road!" I exclaimed, pointing.

"Turkey!" said my 2 year old.

As we waited for our green light, we watched in amusement as the turkey thwarted a nearby car from making a right turn. The passenger was waving something colorful out her window in an attempt to move the bird out of their way.

The kids and I laughed and the 2 year old pointed.

It was all fun and games, until the turkey ambled over to our car.

As he got closer, I started to edge forward, so to scare him away and keep him from getting in from of our car. As I began to move forward, the turkey quickly walked closer to our car, and got directly in front of the van. I couldn't see him, but we could hear him! "Gobble, gobble!"

I honked and honked, and all we heard was his exasperated gobble. Every now and then I saw his head pop up and his little wattle wiggle as he looked around. He would not move. I was beginning to think I would have to get out and try to shoo him away, but I wasn't precisely sure of his mental state.

About this time, my 7 year old starts crying. "What's the matter?!" I asked him absently, certain he was afraid his dear mother was going to kill the turkey in front of his very eyes.

"If the turkey doesn't move, we're never going to get to go to the toy store!", he replied.

So much for animal love. I don't see a future at PETA for this child.

Finally, after much honking, the (stupid) animal moved to the side of our car. I moved forward as quickly as I dared, fearful he would get in front of the van again. After about five minutes of turkey fun, we were able to finish our trip.

So why did the turkey cross the road? Well, as far as I know, he never actually did cross the road.
But it was obvious he had a death wish. Perhaps he heard Thanksgiving was coming and decided now was a good time to play that game he had always wanted to try - chicken.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things We've Done Today

Though not exhaustive, this is a list of Things We've Done Today, in no particular order:

Went to church and Sunday School

Cleaned the kitchen floor twice in a matter of an hour due to spilled juice

Sang in two choirs

Said things to several children along the lines of: "Did you think it was a good idea to fling the pitcher around the kitchen?"

Visited a 100 year old house-turned-museum and said "Don't touch that!" and "Don't sit there!" many times

Watched 5 year old string out his piece of gum and place it around his neck as a necklace and show it to everyone joyfully

Vacuumed floor twice

Watched 5 year old have great difficulty trying to remove gum necklace

Ate wonderful chili made by someone else. . . making it taste even better

Googled "how to remove gum from skin"

Scrubbed 5 year old's neck with soybean butter and oil in a (finally successful) attempt to remove gum

Listened to 2 year old smile and say "Poopy in the butt!" more times than I'd care to admit

Removed countless pieces of toilet paper from the bathroom sink where the 5 year old had been working on his own gum-removal-home-remedies

Put children to bed

Hoped for some peace

Monday, October 31, 2011

But Dad!!

"But Dad!" my 5 year old said.

"If I had a nickel for every time I've heard you say 'but, Dad!'. . .", my husband replied.

Later that day. . .

"But Dad, but Dad, but Dad, but Dad!!!" my five year old wailed in the anguish that is quite unique to him.

"See buddy? That's like twenty cents right there!!" my husband said, smiling.

My son became very serious and said, "Do I have to pay you that money?"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Unplug it!

The weather in our neck of the woods has been beautiful lately. Warm temps, sunny days and vibrant trees. A reminder of why one never puts the children's summer clothes away at the first cool temps of September.

In light of the gorgeousness outside, my husband and I decided to declare it an unplugged weekend.

As in no screens whatsoever (for the children, that is - I am obviously staring at a screen right now!).

The children took it amazingly well, even the screen-obsessed ones. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how little balking there was. While we always have limitations on how much they can watch TV, play the Wii and play DS, we have never taken everything away for 2 days unless they have committed heinous household crimes (which does happen from time to time!!).

So today was day one. My husband had to work the entire day, so I was on my own to navigate these waters. Though it wasn't perfect, it went rather well. We played with shrinky dinks. . . the Lionel electric train made an appearance on my dining room table (where it still remains). . . my oldest daughter initiated a game of house that took off well even with some of the boys. . .they all read books and magazines that had been languishing on our end tables. . .we made apple crisp. . .we rode bikes/scooters/roller skates. . .

All in all it was a good day. Tomorrow Daddy is home and we have some plans for enjoying this weather as a family, so the lack of screens won't be so obvious.

But, for a very plugged in family, this being unplugged is working quite well. So far, so good!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A match made in the Halloween aisle

While shopping today at Walgreens, my dear daughter (age 2), pointed to some creepy Halloween decor.

"Mommy!" she cried, looking upward at a ghastly woman with a pointed chin, warts and wild hair.

As I was picking up the pieces of my shattered self image, she pointed next to a man with similar good looks.

"Daddy!" she said, with a smile.

I guess my husband and I make quite a pair.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

All in a day's work

I have only one child home during the day now that school has started.

One child.

Why, then, am I so busy? It seems my hair is on fire allthetime. Between shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, MOPS-organizing, meetings, and the all-important-but-too-easily-missed playtime with my daughter, it seems I never have a second to breathe. I'm not complaining exactly, since I would much prefer to be busy than bored, but perhaps a little less would be nice. I'm not optimistic, though. I know as my children get older, it will only get hairier. And while part of me relishes these crazy days (and the ones to come) another part of me just wants to take a nap.

After school is no less restful. We've got soccer, after school programs and EATING. Yes, eating. The children are going to die of starvation the moment they walk in the door. They need to eat, and eat now. No time for small talk - just bring on the food and bring it fast. They eat entire meals at 3:15 and are somehow still hungry for dinner (if dinner is not deemed disgusting, which it usually is). I wish I could eat that much and not need Weight Watchers.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For the love of the child

Today, while running mundane errands with my 2 year old daughter, I was overcome with love for her. This sweet child, whose verbal skills are becoming good enough to rival a professional orator, has captured our hearts completely.
She is so grown up for two! Maybe that comes from having so many older siblings - I do recall her older brother, child #4, also seeming very old very early. Time is flying so quickly! Because we feel that she will be our last child, I am trying to savor these precious minutes with her and soak it all in.

***I interrupt this gushy love post because said two year is still awake in her room and just poked her head out again. Sigh.***

Where was I? Oh yes - a love fest for my sweet little girl. As I look upon her tiny face, I am reminded of this overwhelming feeling I had (and still have!) for all my children. How I adored them all, just for being themselves! What gifts children are from our loving God. Thank you, thank you, Lord, for entrusting them to us! Make me worthy of the task!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Five tidbits of info

Wow - this might be the longest lapse in blogginess I have had in quite some time! I'm not sure why this is. . .general laziness? a shortage in functioning brain cells? too much free time, causing me to pursue other interests?

Well, I don't really know, except I am quite sure it is not the last reason. I will attempt to blog a bit here, in quick bullet form.

1. MOPS is taking over my life. I am a co-coordinator, and while I love the job, it takes a lot of time at the start of the year. We have a great new bunch of leaders this year, and I am excited to see what God has in store for this ministry.

2. My 5 year old son had to take three things to school that would tell the class a bit about him. I'll give you three guesses to determine what he brought. Yep - you guessed it! Sonic, Sonic and Sonic. Three different Sonic toys. . .and he decorated the bag with blue coloring and had me write Sonic on it. I suggested a family picture, a book, but no, only Sonic would do.

3. Sweet baby K sleeps in a big girl bed now. For those of you who know me, you know that I never put babies in beds until they are three. For those of you who know K, you know that she doesn't need to bothered with silly rules!! She likes to do things on her own schedule. So - she saw fit to climb out of her crib one night a few weeks ago, ne'er to return. Sigh. We are slowly getting used to the new bedtime routine.

4. My oldest daughter is in middle school. As in lockers and switching classes and homeroom. How this happened, I do not know. As I was helping her set up her locker before school started, I had an unbidden flash forward of me helping her get her dorm room put together. It almost brought tears to my eyes.

5. I'm hoping things slow down a bit after Labor Day. I have lots on my agenda. First up, potty training a certain two year old! Wish me luck - I find potty training one of the most unpleasant parenting chores I have yet to endure (of course we have not entered the teen years).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Outlook not so good. . .

As I was getting ready this morning, I heard my 5 year old son quietly utter the following to himself:

"Am I gonna be a hedgehog?"

I looked down to see him earnestly shaking a knock-off magic 8 ball for the answer. I think he was seriously hoping he could become a hedgehog someday like his hero, Sonic.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our house is not for the faint-of-heart.

This is not a new realization, exactly, but as I was cleaning up dinner tonight, I was pondering our family's daily life.

It's loud. It's crazy. It's crazy loud.

I was loading dishes in the dishwasher, humming harmony to the Transformer's theme, while all the children were organizing a dance competition and practicing their dance moves. The music was up high, the kids were yelling to each other, various kids were climbing on my husband, other kids were in my face asking when I would be done with the dishes so I could judge the contest.

And I was humming harmony quietly to myself.

How did I come to this place? I grew up with one sister, in a mostly quiet home, where dinners were civilized (read: no one discussed butts and bodily fluid, no one yelled for attention, and we all stayed seated the entire meal). In my house, there is something happening all the time. Never a dull moment. And somehow I have learned to manage, even enjoy the chaos. Usually.

No, our house is not for wimps. One has to have some courage and resolve to survive here.

The jury is still out if I'm gonna make it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Expect the unexpected

The other day, I was getting ready in my bedroom, when my almost-five-year-old son came charging through, yelling his daily line:

"MOMMY! I have to go poopy! Can you wipe me when I'm done??!!!!!"

After I replied that of course I could, there were a few moments of silence while I waited for the next directive, "WIPE!!!!!".

Instead of hearing his order to wipe, my son says from the bathroom, oh-so-sweetly:

"Mom? I love you more than chocolate cake!"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summertime, and the living is easy. . .right??

Summertime. Lazy days, relaxing with a good book, soaking up the sun. Fewer responsibilities, less scheduling, more downtime.

Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

Then why is it I feel even busier than during the school year?

My children are not of the involved-in-every-sport variety, so at least we don't have lots of games and practices to attend, but somehow I feel oh so busy. I'm chalking some of it up to the simple equation:

more children in the house = more mess and less time to take care of the mess

Summertime brings the delicate balance of teaching my children how to entertain themselves, keep up with their chores, spend time reading and playing outside, while I play Nazi with the Wii, DS and television. If my children had their way, they would spend every minute glued to an electronic device until their brains simply withered away.


I want summertime to be fun, full of good memories. Yet my chore list looms large. Today I have decided to simply cross a few things off of the day to day attempts and leave them on the master to-do list. There will always be time to rearrange the kitchen cabinets and clean out the buffet. These lazy days of summer with my children are fleeting, and I need to take advantage of our time together.

So I announce to the blogosphere that I shall attempt to let some things go and spend more time playing and enjoying my children. I know I won't regret it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vacation by the numbers

We just returned from an epic (I used that word before it was cool, by the way) vacation out west. Here's a numeric summation, in no particular order:

4 campgrounds in 2 states
2000 arches in Arches National Park
6 miles of strenuous hikes (at least to this middle aged mama!)to see two of the aforementioned arches
$10 in award money to my 6 year old son for returning a woman's purse
6 states
38 degrees on the coldest night - brrr!!
30 mph winds in our desert campground
2 friends' houses, warm with hospitality
12 Hershey's bars eaten via S'mores
2 distinctive dinosaur tracks
30 minutes looking for my husband's sunglasses (15 of which were not his fault, as the sunglasses the entire family were looking for were right next to one of the (oblivious) children
22 days
10+ stops at McDonald's for a Coke for me and an iron punch for my son (if you haven't experienced an iron punch, you haven't lived. Perhaps I'll post a pic soon. . .
10 fish caught by my excited boys (and husband and friends)
5 kids (who sometimes sounded like 10)
64+ hours in the car

And most importantly, hundreds of memories. I am thankful to my husband for planning such an adventure. Most everyone thought we were crazy to embark on such a trip (us too, at times!), but it turned out to be an amazing vacation.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Is it opposite day?

Quote from my 4 1/2 year old:

"Mommy, Doofenschmirtz and Perry are nemiseses. That means they're friends 'cept they fight alot."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

reflections on mommyhood

Today was our last MOPS meeting of the year, and it was great fun. We did a program called The Golden Mommys and each mom received an award or two that reflected their personality.

As an aside, mine was "The mommy most likely to host a TV show about large families who coupon".

Obviously, they know me. That, or I am just obnoxious about saving money.

Anyway, all this mommy talk got me reflecting about my years as a mommy. Being one of the older moms in MOPS, I am experiencing several different childhood periods at once. So while being in the throes of diapers, potty training, and breastfeeding, I have also been dealing with homework, science fair projects (the horror!) and team sports. I sort of have my hand in several things at once.

When I look at some of our younger, "newer" moms, with a toddler and baby, I am taken back to my years when I was in that position. How I wish I had been involved in a MOPS group then! Though I had many mommy friends, the opportunity to come together - to recharge, learn, commiserate with each other as well as build each other up - would have been a wonderful experience for me.

My needs as a mom have changed as I've had more children and their activities have pulled me in different directions. But my need for women friends with whom I can share my mothering is still present. I'm so glad I have MOPS now, even at this late stage in my mothering career!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Did I sign up for this?

Weird parenting moment #2,319:

I was finishing up my shower and opened the curtain in my towel to find my daughters in the bathroom (you didn't think I was in there alone, did you? That's crazy talk!).

As I was talking to them, my 4 1/2 year old came in (did I mention this is the smallest room in our house?). He was holding an empty water bottle and a 2 Liter of Coke. Can he please have some Coke, he wondered?

I stood there for a moment, in my towel, in the shower, deciding. What the heck, I figured. If I spill, I can just rinse it down the drain.

So I poured my son a small bit of Coke into a water bottle, while in the shower. There's a first time for everything.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Clean as a whistle

We have a recliner that has been in our family room for 13 years. I have rocked all my babies in it (some for many more hours than others). It's not fancy or overstuffed; it's pretty utilitarian.

I have to admit, though, it had never been cleaned. AND - it wasn't new when we acquired it.

Shameful, I know.

But, before you lose all faith in my housekeeping abilities, it was cleaned today. I also had my family room rug and stairs and upstairs hallway cleaned.

I have to say, it's a glorious feeling. My family room rug and the stairs are so soft and look so bright and new, and the recliner looks much better. And even more important than how they look, is the fact that all that dirt is gone. I didn't see how much was pulled up out of the carpets and furniture, a fact which I think is for the best. Better I don't know just how much filth was residing with us!

Chem-Dry did the cleaning for us and I thought they did a great job! The guys were very polite and thorough. They even had an insulated bumper of sorts that they placed on the front door while their tubes were propping it open (since it is ridiculously cold today). I was impressed with that thoughtful detail!

The recliner won't be with us forever. I'm glad we decided to give it a new lease on life in its old age.

I wonder how long it will be before I allow the children to walk on the carpets. . .

Monday, April 18, 2011

A possible case of future failure-to-launch?

At 9:15 this evening, I went upstairs to do something, only to find my 4 1/2 year old still awake. This has been a problem lately.
I went in to tell him, again, to go to sleep. I cradled his face and told him how much I loved him.
He said, "I know how much you love me!"
I replied, "When you have kids, you'll understand how much I love you. When you're a daddy, you'll love your kids as much as I love you."
He pondered this a moment, then burst into tears, lip quivering.
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"I don't ever want to leave you! I want to live with you forever!" he sobbed.

After much cuddling and reassurance that he could stay with us as long as he wanted (within reason, my passing-by husband interjected), his tears slowly subsided.

How I love this child! His sincerity melts my heart.

I think I'll show him this post in about 18 years when I am wishing he wouldn't grow up and leave. I wonder if he will have changed his mind?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

There are worse things I could be addicted to. . .

I have a new topic to write about here.

Extreme couponing.

I realize I am not as obsessed as the guests on the new show on tv, but in my little world, I am becoming close.

I was recounting my savings today to the kids on the ride home from school.

"Listen to how much I spent at Target! Listen to how much I saved!" I exclaimed.

"You're becoming obsessed, Mom!" said one child.

"Yeah, you are getting out of hand with all these coupons!" said another.

"And what are we doing with all this money you're saving, anyway? Anything good for us?" said yet another.

As you can see, there is no shared joy with this crowd.

So I come to you, my dear readers, because I know you will rejoice with me as I tell you all the details. (You will, right?) I also come to you because I fear all my Facebook friends are tired of hearing about how much I saved.

So here's the scoop: I spent $28.13 at Target for $71.88 worth of merchandise, and I spent $11.23 at Meijer for $33.83 worth.

You're cheering for me, right? And for all the money I saved?

For the record, one of the children said disappointedly that I was probably only using the extra money to pay the electric bill, anyway.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh, the injustice. . .

Due to some back talk this morning, my boy lost the privilege of all electronic devices this afternoon.

Upon arriving home after school, he lamented, "I have nothing to do. I can't even look at the clock!"

*Edited a few minutes later* This boy is taking all electric devices to the extreme for sure. He is hiding under a blanket in the recliner. When I asked him why, he morosely explained that the blanket is the best way to keep out the heat.

Should I tell him that the heat is gas?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eye am so confused. . .

"Mommy! My eye hurts!" my 4 1/2 year old son cries.

"What happened?", I said, bending down to inspect.

"I don't know", he replied.

"Ow, ow!", he continued. "That's why I have to take my shirt off!"

I am seriously being left behind in the world of preschool logic.

Moments later, he emerged from the bathroom, saying "All done!". Then he proceeded to put his shirt back on.

I don't even pretend to understand his miraculous eye cure.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mother Dearest :)

For many years, I have joked about turning into my mother.
As early as college, I recall telling friends, "Why is it that when I open my mouth, my mother's voice comes out?"
I have said to my husband many times, "I hope you like my mother, because I am turning into her!" (Thankfully, he does love my mother).
As the years have passed, I find myself doing things like she does, thinking like her, looking like her, and sounding like her.

Today, it was all confirmed to me by my 4 year old. I said something to one of his siblings and he called from a room or two over, "Mom? Is Grandma here? I thought I heard her voice!"

It was just me. Just me, slowly turning into my mom. Which is all right with me, because she's a pretty great gal!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Life with big brothers

This morning, my sweet baby was finishing her bath. All the water had run out and I was about to wrap her up in her fluffy hooded towel, when she stopped me in my tracks.

"Butt!" she said joyously, while pointing at her little bottom. "Butt!"

She was so proud of herself, I had to smile.

But really, it just didn't sound right coming out of her precious little mouth. I suppose this is the first of many things her big brothers will teach her. I think it is going to take everything I have to keep her my sweet little girl!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taking Responsibility, Part II

Tonight at dinner, my four year old accidentally knocked over his cup of milk. As I was scrambling to clean up the mess, which was all over the chairs, table, carpet and hardwood, I mentioned that he was forgetting to say something.

"I'm sorry, " he said.

Then he continued, quite seriously.

"But I didn't do it. My arm did!"

Thursday, February 3, 2011


While strolling the mall the other day with sweet baby K, I walked by this mannequin. So in shock was I that I had to take a picture. Am I seriously that old and out of touch to think that this is in no way an attractive outfit? Since when is it okay to wear a floral skirt with a striped top (that peeks out from under the skirt, no less!!)? Do knee socks really go with stiletto heels?

I realize I am not 16 anymore (nor am I Forever 21), but really. Who wears this stuff? Maybe on a runway in Paris, but in Midwest America?

Though I may lose my chance at being a fashion icon, I think I'll steer clear of this look.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taking responsibility. . .

Today my four year old had a little problem getting to the bathroom in time. He made a bit of a mess on the bathroom carpet and down the side of the toilet.

"What happened?" I asked in the most restrained voice I could muster, seeing all the poopy mess.

"I didn't make it on time!" he replied.

"You never have an accident", I said.

"I didn't have an accident", he replied, "my butt did!"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sabon love

Last week, my husband went to New York City for several days to visit a dear friend. They spent their days in Manhattan, seeing the sights and enjoying their friendship.

He came home on Saturday, bearing gifts. The kids were so excited as Daddy handed them each something special he had picked out. Then he turned to me and said he could give me my gift now, or at Valentine's Day. I chose to open it then. Before I opened it, though, he had to explain that he had employed "restrained splurging" when he bought it. We have been on a modified spending freeze for a few months, spending on "extras" infrequently. "I could have spent much more", he said, but he wanted to get me something special, so he chose to do it on a smaller scale.

I opened the gift - a Sabon hand treatment. Sabon is a high end body shop in NYC. My husband and friend explored the store, looking for a gift for me. He wanted to get me the whole hand line, he said, but since that would set us back hundreds, he chose the most important product out of the lineup. He knew how dry and cracked my hands get from changing diapers and cleaning and cooking, and he wanted to help heal them.

I was touched, and I enjoy the treatment very much. Several days later I saw the charge from Sabon on our Discover bill. It was a lot (for us) to spend on such an item. But, instead of feeling stressed about the money, I instead felt loved. My husband, though he knows money is tight, wanted to splurge on my work-worn hands. He showed me his love with this gift.

And my hands and I thank him.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What I'm reading

I just received a new book from Amazon on Friday and I've been poring over it since. It's called Family Feasts for $75 a Week, by Mary Ostyn. Mary is a mother of 10 and still manages to feed her family on a small budget. The book is chock-full of recipes (some of which we will be trying this week!), as well as many ideas about how to shrink your grocery bill.

I'm pretty frugal, so I realized I have already been using many of her tips, but the book goes further. She includes simple recipes for things like pancake mix and salad dressings, as well as ways to quicken dinner prep. One of my favorite suggestions is to have a "lunchbox party" on Sundays - a time to involve all the kids in prepping lunches for the coming week. One child fills baggies with carrot sticks, one child makes sandwiches etc. We did a modified version yesterday and I plan to go full tilt next week. Making lunches at 9:00 p.m. is one of my most dreaded chores, so I will throughly enjoy a way to lessen that task.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book, even if your family isn't quite as large as Mary's. I promise it will help you streamline your kitchen and save you money in the process. If you're interested in reading Mary's blog (I have read it for a year or two), check it out at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The sun will come out, tomorrow

It's MOPS day. Usually that means I'm up early, ready to hang out with all our great MOPS moms, hear an informative and inspiring speaker and have some oh-so-yummy food.

Not today. Instead, here I am at home, in plaid lounge pants from college. Two of my kids are sick today, so no MOPS for me, boohoo. While staying home from MOPS is bad enough in itself, what makes today harder is that it is my fifth day in sweatpants and ponytails with barely a venture into the outside world. Since Friday, we have been treading water in a sea of science fair and learning fair projects, and also sick kids.

On my list of things to do today: workout, shower, take the baby to the doctor. Seriously. There are lots of other things to be done, but I am in survival mode, and the most basic of tasks must be listed so that I have some feeling of accomplishment today.

To make things even more fun around here, our dryer has been out for almost two weeks. I am hopeful that the problem will be resolved by Thursday so that I will no longer be a regular at the laundromat.

The good news today is that one of the kids is feeling better, and I'm hopeful the doctor will have some good news about sweet baby K and her frequent sinus/ear infections.

Tomorrow is a new day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snow, snow, snow!

We're snowed in at our house today, so we're playing with all the new Christmas toys we haven't had a chance to play with yet.

Easy Bake Oven mixes. . .the jury is out on how these pretzels will taste, due to some confusion over 3 1/2 teaspoons of water as opposed to 3 1/2 tablespoons of water. . . The outcome of Mommy's save the day technique of gradually adding flour to thicken the mixture is yet to be determined.

Primary Science Kit. . .many volcanoes have exploded on my kitchen island. I am now out of vinegar and baking soda, and my food coloring supply is greatly decreased. Many happy boys are wearing safety goggles and giggling. I mentioned to my 9 year old son that a scientist would never just dump the ingredients into the beaker, but instead he would measure them. My son replied, "Not if you're a mad scientist! Muhahaha!!"

Leap Frog Dominoes. . .fun game, good learning tool, somewhat difficult with toddler crawling on the coffee table during the game.

I have a few more activities on the agenda before we call it a day. The highlight of my day thus far has been the 3 hour nap my husband suggested I take (well, he suggested the nap, my body suggested the 3 hours). I can't imagine the last time I napped so long or well. Hallelujah!

In other news, our dryer stopped working on Thursday aka laundry day. I finished all the wash and dried all of it at the laundromat. We have a repair man coming on Tuesday, so I foresee another trip to the laundromat in my near future. Sigh. I am thankful, though, that if something had to go, it was the dryer and not the washer.

Never a dull moment around here!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm still here. . .

Hello dear readers,

I am slowly climbing out of the pit that is post-Christmas clean up. Today being Epiphany, I am preparing to officially de-Christmas the house (which is a bittersweet proposition).

These chores, and the general I-am-a-mommy-to-five-children-who-need-me is taking up the vast majority of my time. As usual, when life is especially hairy, I often think of blogging, but can't always make it to the computer to put coherent thoughts down.

I'm not sure this was a coherent thought either, but I hope to return here to the blogosphere soon. As soon as I can come up for air.

Happy Epiphany!