Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Somewhere between Wednesday and Thursday someone put me in a bag and beat me up. At least that's what it felt like. So Thanksgiving morning I made it out of bed around 10, so that I could lay on the couch in a pile of children.

In a pile of children who had been left to have breakfast under the kitchen table.

Thankfully, they were distracted by grandpa who came to play.

And grandma cooked and cleaned and maintained.
Which was good because then I had to go take a nap.

Then Friday night we made a trip to the emergency room with this guy. I had no idea you had glands right in front of your ears. His ears looked like they were literally ready to explode, but they were clear as they could be. His glands however were more swollen than I think that doctor had ever seen.

So we dispensed a lot of medication.
And took a lot of naps.
And did very little else the entire weekend.

Until we started handing out Clorox wipes to everyone.
Thanks grandma and grandpa for diving in and helping us survive.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Back and Forth

He's been sick. Then he is well. Then he is sick.
Yesterday he got a fever at daycare, so he's home with his daddy right now getting ready for Thanksgiving. Poor Ben is probably wandering around like he lost his right arm. It's so hard to know how sick they really are. They will throw a fever, get some ibuprofen in them, and then they'll be running around like maniacs within an hour. Sigh. Hopefully he gets the rest he needs today. The Band-Aid is from a completly unrelated fall on his face on the sidewalk. Ack. Ben back there on the couch fell asleep at 7 the other night after wandering the entire night before. I picked him up that evening and put him in bed in his clothes he was so tired. It is always something.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At Least

At least when you took off ALL of your clothes and crawled in bed, you had the good sense to cover up with a blanket; Alida did not.
At least there were no accidents.
At least we go and check on you before we go to bed ourselves, otherwise, there would have been an accident.
At least you didn't wake up when we had to dress both of you.
At least you gave us a very good laugh the other night. We needed it ladies. Thank you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Free Range Parenting? Must We Brand Everything?

I would like to think it is a return to common sense,
but somehow I think they are merely introducing a new marketing strategy.

How We Got Here: Overparenting had been around long before Douglas MacArthur's mom Pinky moved with him to West Point in 1899 and took an apartment near the campus, supposedly so she could watch him with a telescope to be sure he was studying. But in the 1990s something dramatic happened, and the needle went way past the red line. From peace and prosperity, there arose fear and anxiety; crime went down, yet parents stopped letting kids out of their sight; the percentage of kids walking or biking to school dropped from 41% in 1969 to 13% in 2001. Death by injury has dropped more than 50% since 1980, yet parents lobbied to take the jungle gyms out of playgrounds, and strollers suddenly needed the warning label "Remove Child Before Folding." Among 6-to-8-year-olds, free playtime dropped 25% from 1981 to '97, and homework more than doubled. Bookstores offered Brain Foods for Kids: Over 100 Recipes to Boost Your Child's Intelligence. The state of Georgia sent every newborn home with the CD Build Your Baby's Brain Through the Power of Music, after researchers claimed to have discovered that listening to Mozart could temporarily help raise IQ scores by as many as 9 points. By the time the frenzy had reached its peak, colleges were installing "Hi, Mom!" webcams in common areas, and employers like Ernst & Young were creating "parent packs" for recruits to give Mom and Dad, since they were involved in negotiating salary and benefits.

I Wish

I wish we could say that we have potty trained four people and are done with the monthly diaper bill. But we're not. Elaine however seems to think she is ready. Last night after getting her dressed for bed, she would disappear only to reappear sans diaper and pajamas and wearing only an old pair of the boys' Elmo underwear I keep downstairs for emergencies. (I really need to get rid of those.)
Then I would send her off to go get her clothes and a diaper and we'd do it all again. They keep asking to wear big-boy underwear.
Maybe it's time to have a few accidents. They are so different than the boys. They have the ENTIRE process down--have for months--from unbuttoning their pants to washing their hands and everything in between. They just never seem to actually complete the important part of the process--I have yet to see it happen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More From The Saturday Inning

Saturday marked the first day since having mobile children that I was able to fold laundry without little hands picking everything apart as quickly as it was folded. This is HUGE. Prior to Saturday I would spend the weekend completing baskets of laundry and then hiding them unfolded until Sunday night when I would sit down after they were in bed and fold laundry for an hour. The cost for this momentous occasion was allowing them in my room where they decided to put on make-up and explore all of mommy's things. Thankfully, I am horrible at being a girl so there were lots of make-up brushes and chapstick--that's about it.

Point-to-Remember: They think my economy size bottle of Tums are candy. Must put those up high and still easily at hand...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


They LOVE Play-doh.

I hate Play doh.

But I love it at the same time because after we all fight over the one pair of Play doh scissors we have, this will usually keep them entertained for 20 minutes or so. That is an enternity on a Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There Was One Pig There Too

We headed South to Mississippi Sunday afternoon to visit our farmyard friends. And we fed the chickens, and Elaine ran in terror from the dogs, and the boys were fascinated by the rabbit but not enough to actually touch it. And the goats were there too; they are expecting a kid--so cute.

Ben asked to hold the rabbit when he saw their 3-year-old doing it, but then he wasn't so brave when he was actually invited.

All of the animal touching came after lunch Dukes. You can mop off your cold sweat now.

For lunch we had hot dogs and Cheetos--perfect food for a table with six children. I didn't mind either. I stuffed down my hot dog and started to eyeball the girls' since they weren't eating them. I made a couple of lame attempts to encourage them to eat their hot dogs, but really I didn't do much to discourage the fact that they were only eating Cheetos. So when Elaine wanted to sit in my lap, still being scared from the dog and all, this comforting mother opened her arms and held her close dragging her plate near. I eyeballed her hot dog for a few moments. Then I kind of pulled it in half thinking maybe I could have the second half if, you know, she didn't want it. It wasn't long before she asked to get down. I nearly tossed her out the door as I grabbed for her left-over half. Not feeling too piggish yet, I set my eyes on Alida's dog. In the name of helping her manage her hot dog a bit better I tore it in half. But she stubbornly stayed at the table slowly eating her chips. She was the last child standing, and she just kept smiling at me. When she asked for more chips, I snapped to and ordered more chips for both of us from our host. When she wasn't looking, I grabbed for her hot dog. She didn't flinch. I started to stuff it in my mouth. That's when I heard this:
"The goats are sure going to love all of these leftover hot dogs."
Apparently adult conversation had been happening as I schemed on my daughters' food, and I had managed to take part in it. I smiled and dropped the hot dog. Had I just stolen food from a pregnant goat? It didn't matter, they were serving cobbler and ice-cream now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Saturday Inning: Day of Reckoning

I cannot remember the last Saturday that we have not got in the car and gone somewhere. But that's what we did this past weekend. We stayed home all day long. And I let the television take care of them. And I opened the back door for them to come and go. And I went upstairs and I went through all of the crap piece by piece. Every single McDonalds toy is gone. Every single scrap of paper that Nicholas has tucked away is gone. Some old toys that no one ever played with are gone. A full bottle of Vaseline that I bought before we had the boys because some list said we had to have Vaseline is gone. I washed sheets. I threw open windows. I actually enjoy these days as long as I can get a little peace to get it done.

That's probably why I am proud to say I did not loose my mind when I found this.
What? You can't see what I'm talking about?

Here, maybe this will help. Three pails full of sand brought in for play by Elaine. The best part was that we had pancakes for breakfast--with syrup--which I hadn't gotten around to cleaning yet. The coffee table looked like a gigantic glue and glitter craft project gone horribly wrong.

Thank you Uncle Brian for helping us build the sandbox.
I am currently plotting my revenge.

Friday, November 13, 2009


You were so tired that when I put you both to bed last night, I didn't hear from you again. I even got to go in and take a peek at sleeping-in-their-cribs girls at nine o'clock. At 6 this morning I snuck up and unlocked your door. You were down about 15 minutes later. I think this may work for us in the end. Of course this means I'll have to loose you in the mornings on Saturdays...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blissfully Unaware

At 8:15 last night I put you to bed and tucked you in, and and we said prayers and gave kisses after reading two books.
And then I walked out the door and locked it from the outside behind me. Oh, yes I did. I had to actually rearrange doorknobs in my house last night to accomplish this. No one will be locking themselves in the bathroom around our place either--it's a win-win.
At 10:00 I went back in and you had turned on the lamp, put all of the books from the shelves on your beds so there was no place to sleep and you were laughing and playing. This was better than the hour and a half of fighting the night before. So, I took away the lamp, cleared your beds, put you back in, and locked the door behind me.
The picture above is how I found you this morning. I have no idea if you ever went to sleep. I'm not sure I even care because I did go to sleep, and it was wonderful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Randomness: Coping

We have been taking a lot of meals here lately. They'll eat; they'll stay quiet; I just act as the waitress.

You were the cutest ones in the Halloween parade--no doubt about it.

Happy Veteran's Day
I'm sorry you have to work.

Here Alida is making a "castle."
Sometimes I just give up and figure toys are really more expensive than a box of Kleenex or a box of wipes, so why do I care if they want to play with them now and again.

Last night Nicholas told me all about the garden of corn he was going to plant in the backyard--down to how it had to be put in rows in a garden, not just all over the yard.
I still have tomatoes on the vine I haven't gotten around to harvesting; now I guess I need to get a combine too.

I love this little house at the Botanical Gardens. It is loud and fun and they love it. And they are banging on things not in my house.

The weather has been beautiful, and I've been leaving the door open for you all to come and go outside. Benjamin came out and made a castle, and then I joined him and we made a moat and he put in the bridge. And then he asked for a flag. Easy enough. I found a couple of flag stickers and put them on top of a straw, and he was tickled.
The problem. The second that Ben got a flag from me, the other three immediately stopped doing what they were doing and attacked me for their flags. Then someone broke their flag; and two of them fought over their flags; and then Nicholas didn't like the way I made the flag; and in the end someone knocked down the castle. It is so hard to have simple moments.

Dora and Diego.
I love you.
Please come live at my house.

Alida was apparently not having anyone climb on her house.
(That's the neighbor kid--he's an awesome distraction. We encourage him to come over anytime, even if he tries to teach them to climb on top of the playhouse.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aggravating Things: Stop It Crazy Person

Toddler beds and little girls. It was a sweet beginning with lots of "Good Night, Mommy! I love you."
Then began the nightly visits somewhere between 11 and 2. And Alida, we would pick you up and put you back in bed. And you would stay away until 5 the next morning. Since daylight savings time, you have been up at 5 every morning except this morning. Do you know how creepy it is to wake up and see you standing in the dark staring at me? Or to look down while I'm in the shower and see you girls standing there outside the shower door looking like the twins from The Shining?
Some time during the night last night (somewhere between 2 and 3) I woke to my door rattling as someone tried to negotiate the baseball knob I have on it. This was weird because I keep my door open at night. I stumbled out of bed and answered the door. There stood Elaine. Elaine?! You are my good sleeper. I picked her up and she snuggled into my shoulder as we walked back upstairs. When we got to the girls' room, the light was shining and seemed as if someone had replaced the bulb with a thousand watts. Someone had pulled a chair over to the light switch in the dark of night and flipped it on. I flicked it off and tucked Elaine back in bed. She snuggled down seeming nearly thankful for the rest. I went over to pull the covers over Alida, and she was gone.
Oh bother.
The next five minutes, which seemed like an hour, were spent searching the house for Alida. Not on the floor by the bed. Not under the bed, which has happened before. Not anywhere in the girls' room. Did you crawl in with the boys? I can't imagine they'd let you do that. Nope. Not in the hall. Maybe you were down in my bedroom and I missed you when I picked up Elaine. I searched there. Nope. I looked in the bathroom since your new past-time is digging in the cabinets there. Nope. I began to panic a bit, but there was no way she could have got out the door could she? I started toward the front door first. And there she was, asleep on the living room couch. I picked this snoring person up like one of their toys and carried her back to bed. She didn't flinch. How long were you wandering the house before you finally gave up girl?
And so this morning at least when I got up at five, I had a chance to shower and get ready for the day alone while you slept off the shenanigans of last night.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Saturday Outing

was a nightmare.
From the 5 a.m. Alida wake-up
To a pretty good job at the donut shop, until we all lost our heads while leaving;
To the hair salon;
To driving to the Botanical Gardens to have one say no he didn't want to go there;
To the overcrowded other park and cranky children;
To home again.
Fifteen hour constant movement Saturdays suck.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Twin Sympathy

When one is hurt,

another acts hurt.

All because a third is hurt.
Ben's stitches didn't stick. Plastic surgeon people said they wouldn't stitch it back up because it likely wouldn't stick, and then there would be an even bigger mess. So Ben can start creating his story about the knife fight when he was 3 that left the mark. Pathology does claim they got all of the abnormal cells, so we have that going for us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Some time please. Please just smile pretty and move on. Why do you always have to go blank or stick out your tongue when you see the camera?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Six Stitches

If he had only wanted to be Frankenstein's Monster for Halloween...
Abnormal skin cells zapped last Friday gave this little guy six stitches. It certainly will leave a mark. Nicholas went with him to the doctor, and when his dad asked if he was going to be okay, Nicholas replied by shaking his head, "No." But he was. And he was very brave to hear the tale told. I wouldn't know I had the girls at the pediatrician getting flu shots. They nearly cried more being put in the bucket to get weighed than they did for the shots. The good girls are up to 24 pounds 12 ounces (Alida) and 24 pounds 7 ounces (Elaine), which put them back to the 25th percentile. Normally we could care less about their growth chart, but they fell below some magic line at their 2-year appointment last summer. I guess all of the chocolate milk did the trick. And the stitches come out on Wednesday morning. Now if we could just fix Nicholas' skin, we'd be set.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fake Halloween

I think we had more fun on fake Halloween than we did on real Halloween...