Sunday, June 29, 2008


It's the quiet before the storm. The children are all still sleeping, or at least not downstairs for breakfast yet. It's a good thing they sleep. They are so cute and peaceful. It almost makes you forget how busy they are when they are awake. Sometimes I forget what quiet is really like. It's so peaceful. Not that children aren't peaceful. They are just, well, children. Noisy, busy, happy and sad all at once.

I think they are stirring. It's like when the wind is blowing and you know a storm is coming in. And you know it's going to be a big one. That is what five, small, waking children are like on a Sunday morning. I always hurry to get ready before the children wake on Sunday so that I have time to get them all ready once they are awake. Today I got lucky and ended up with a few minutes for myself. And it's so quiet. I know that soon, I will have to wake them up so we aren't late. But these few minutes of quiet have been much needed by mom! I'm off to the eye of the storm!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Popsicles and such

Summer is the season for popsicles. I bought my kids some Scooby-Doo pushups at the store the other day because I remember thinking push-up popsicles were so cool when I was a kid. What I didn't remember was the mess that children can make eating a popsicle! Katherine's face was stained red, despite much scrubbing, for an entire afternoon. And there is a red stain on the cement in the backyard. Oh, such a mess. Fingers were orange and red. They were definitely a novelty, but they won't be eating the rest of them in the house!

I remember collecting all the little plastic parts from the push-ups. I remember pretending they were umbrellas for my little dolls. Or using them as straws, or making cars if I collected enough parts. I'm not sure what I found so intriguing about the little plastic parts, but I suppose using your imagination is just part of childhood. I know that my children have random toys that have become "treasures" of sorts. They aren't actual toys, just things they have collected. Andrew made a robot dude out of a spring, an old lock from a suitcase and a couple of magnets. Sometimes I wonder why I buy the children any toys. Imagination is so much a better toy!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


On Monday, amidst my crazy laundry which still isn't completely done, Odessa crawled away, up the stairs and the children made a playpen for her.

So I thought I would take advantage of her being entertained and go get a shower. Big mistake. The previously creative children went hogwild. In the fifteen minutes I was in the shower and subsequently getting dressed, the children put Odessa into her crib along with many of the items from the floor, dumped kix on the hallway floor, and emptied a package of diapers. Needless to say, Odessa was a tad unhappy, and by a tad I mean a lot! And the good clean fun, turned into clean up the fun. The kids weren't happy about having to clean up their mess, but I must say, Odessa had a mighty fine time up there for about twenty minutes!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Adventures in camping!

After slaving away, and preparing list after list, and packing for seven people to go play in the dirt for two days, I forgot the tent poles. I think it's the most important thing to bring, aside from a tent. So my sweet husband had to go on a major drive after work so that we didn't have to sleep under the stars, exposed for all the woodland animals to come eat. I'm sure tent poles will be first on all of my lists from now on.

The children were filthy within minutes, but had a fabulous time. Lillie's tushie was black about ten minutes after finding that the little stream close to our campground had water in it. She spent the rest of the camping trip in various phases of wet. Odessa wouldn't keep her shoes on, so walked around barefoot the majority of the time. (Just picture how very black her feet were.) Michael was in heaven. Dirt heaven. I think he was the dirtiest of them all. We went on a major hike with 12 kids and 8 adults (lots of cousins!). Katherine was my poky little puppy and we were last the whole way. I discovered how to make her move, however. On the way back we walked in front of her cousin's dog, and boy can that girl move! We did lots of crafts, played lots of games and had lots of fun.

Saturday morning, we did things in the fashion of my husband's family, and our little city had vacated by 9:10 a.m. These people don't mess around. When it's time to go, they are outta there!! And I have conformed. Dave found me in the tent hurriedly rolling up sleeping bags and asked what the rush was. When I told him that everyone would be gone if we didn't get started, I don't know that he believed me! And we were still the last ones gone, at 9:10 a.m.! The fun of it was that we got to stop by Grandma's house on the way home and dirty up her pool. I'm sure their filter will have to work overtime for weeks to get all the dirt out of it!

And now that we are back, I have never needed a laundry maid more than I will this week. Oh the laundry. And thus concludes our annual family camping experience.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


"Mom, I got a bleeder!" In reference to a booboo she had yesterday.

"Can I have a Dora sippy?" This is said hourly, it seems.

"Look mom, that's a luttle gramma." (luttle=little) This was said while pointing at a little old lady at church.

"I just wanna take a luttle nap." Ah, the little nap is such a joke. It's like five minutes long.

"I not luttle, I big." She's big and little all at the same time!

"Michael's touching me." See me rolling my eyes. And yes there's a whole post dedicated to this subject further down.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words!

It was a good day. Andrew was born 9 years ago, weighing in at a whopping 9lbs 5oz and 21 1/2 inches long. It was a long labor, but it allowed my parents to drive to Utah from Wyoming to be there for the birth of their first grandchild. That was a good day too. He got a scooter thingy called a powerwing and a giant bag of starbursts from his parents. I'm sure he'll be on a sugar high for a month! We went to Mimi's Cafe for dinner(Yay for outgrowing Chucke Cheese!), and went to a 3D movie about prehistoric fish. And as you can tell we spent the afternoon at a water park. It was a really good day.

As I was sitting on my front porch, watching the sunset and my children playing happily in the yard, I thought, this is what happiness is. For all the chaos and all the moments that I'm ready to sell the children on the corner, those moments when time stands still and happiness is abundant, that's what I
live for. Ironically, amidst my sentiment, I had to go threaten the girls with their lives if they didn't go to sleep! Such is life!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Odessa bit Katherine, Sticky floors and The Refrigerator Catastrophe

Odessa bit Katherine. Yesterday, we were shopping at Wally's world, and Katherine was determined to hang onto the cart in front of Odessa. Odessa kept putting her mouth on Katherine's hand and Katherine would giggle. I warned her that Odessa might bite her, but I suppose it's always more fun to find out first hand if mom is right. And so Odessa bit Katherine. Katherine cried. And Katherine quit putting her fingers in her sister's reach.

I mopped on Monday. Not that you can tell, but it's exponentially worse than usual. Lillie dumped an entire bowl of cereal on the floor on Tuesday. Michael dripped some unknown sticky substance on the floor in front of the garage. (Probably the popsicle I told him he couldn't have in the house.) Katherine was "helping" put groceries away after our Walmart adventure and broke six eggs on the floor. The children cooked some brownie concoction with limited parental supervision while I was at a church function Tuesday night. Lillie decided she needed the big shovel to dig a hole in the backyard, so now there is mud on the floor too. Yup, it's gross. Oh, and the Fridge broke. (See next section for details.) So sticky, watery substance from a broken fridge is also all over the floor. Part of me thinks maybe I should wait to mop for another day or two because I know as soon as it's clean, the children will just get it sticky again.

The Refrigerator CatastropheMy two year old Refrigerator is not working. I spent two hours this morning on the phone and playing with drippy, wet, soggy freezer food goo. It was joyous. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) And of course it's past any kind of warranty. But Maytag did agree to cover parts so that's something. The soonest anyone can rescue my non-working fridge is tomorrow. So I get to spend the rest of my morning transferring all of the refrigerator food that is salvagable to our two mini-fridges. So amidst the chaos is just more chaos.

Oh, and the children just took water outside to wash the rocks they've uncovered from the hole they dug. And there's a big pile of dirt on the mini-picnic table. And Odessa is playing in the kitty water. And then there was pee...Calgon take me far, far, far, far away...quickly please.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mom....Michael's touching me!

I hate these words, and I hear them a lot. After declaring this several times at the breakfast table, Katherine finally says, "Fine, I'm gonna scoot over here!" Yay! She figured it out! One of Michael's favorite past times is to do things to irritate his little sister. And since all he has to do is touch her, it's a pretty easy thing to do. It would be nice if Katherine wasn't so sensitive, but Michael is one of those kids that likes to 'not touch you' close enough to make you wanna hurt him. He thinks it's hilarious. And the fact that he can get a rise out of his sister makes it that much better. He gets this evil little smirk on his face when he's doing it, and then when you tell him to stop he looks all innocent. But I know better. I know he takes great joy in getting a rise out of people. He's gotten me plenty of times. And I have to look at him to realize that is exactly what he wants! He's too much his father's child. As I type, he is pointing at his sister across the table and she's declaring "Michael, don't touch me!" To which he says with a grin, "I'm not." What a stinker!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The anti-cleaners

I came across this today. I wrote this about 3 years ago in October of 2005. This is proof of survival!

As a stay-at-home mom to four young children, keeping my house in order is one of the most difficult parts of my job. I fret over keeping the house clean. It's my job for pete's sake, I should at least be able to keep the house in some sense of order! Right? The biggest strike against my efforts are my kids. It doesn’t seem to matter how hard I try, they are right behind me undoing all my work as quickly as they can.

Small children are anti-cleaners. I think they are born that way. From the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep, they are anti-cleaning. Even when we are having “clean up time” they are mostly busy anti-cleaning.

Here’s how it goes. “Ok, everybody clean up!” I say in my most happy and excited tone of voice. After which I sing the clean up song, which is “clean up clean up, everybody clean up”. I know there are more words to this song, I have just never committed them to memory. My four year old will start to put toys in the toy box by chucking them across the room. “We don’t throw toys!” I say. Then he says, “Mom, she isn’t helping!” in reference to his sister. “Please help clean up the toys.” I say patiently. Then my toddler begins anti-cleaning by taking everything out of the toy box that was so thoughtfully thrown in by my four year old. So I am putting those back in as fast as I can. Then it is “Mom she STILL isn’t helping!!” “Help, please!” I say, not quite so patiently. Somehow, miraculously after about ten minutes of battling the anti-cleaners, we get the majority of the toys in the toy box. It is exhausting. But I am trying to instill a work ethic in my anti-cleaners. Some day they will thank me.

My toddler’s favorite anti-cleaning activity is “helping” me wash dishes. As I am slaving away trying to wash the dishes, he is busy creating chaos in the kitchen. He begins by taking the pans out of the cupboard. Then he turns to the “toy drawer” and empties it. (I actually wonder why I bother with a toy drawer anymore. They don’t play with the toys. They want anything sharp that is off limits.) Some days, he will walk around banging on the pans for a while. Then he turns to the lazy-susan. His favorite activity is to locate the spaghetti and start taking it out of the package one by one, until I realize what he is doing. I take the spaghetti away and put him back out by his pan and say, “Play with this.” Back to the dishes I go! He is back to the lazy-susan with lightening speed. This time he has found a box of macaroni and walks around shaking it. This is my opportunity to open up the dishwasher and load it. I have to do it quickly while he is distracted. I feel a little like I am on Mission Impossible. I can hear the music in the background. NOW! GO! GO! GO! I start to load as fast as I can. Only to be foiled by my toddler who is ecstatic that I am loading the dishwasher. He starts taking all of the silverware out and handing it to me. He is now “helping”. So I spend the rest of the time loading the dishwasher and fighting off the anti-cleaner.

Laundry! Now there's another task that can make even the strongest woman cringe. You can't just throw the kids clothes in the laundry and expect it to come out clean and stain free. No! You have to treat nearly everything they have worn for the last week. This can take a good hour. You must tediously inspect each shirt for the stain you know must be there. Then if you are lucky, you'll get someone who wants to "help" with the laundry.

My two year old is my biggest laundry “helper”. "Mom, I want to help." I think, Ok, fine, and I hop him up to sit on the dryer while I continue my search for stains. But he gets antsy and wants something to throw in the washer. So I have to speed up my stain search to give him something else to chuck in the washer. In my efforts to appease my toddler, I miss many stains and wash a few extra items that have no place in the washer. Some of which I'm sure were contributed by him, other items were left in pockets I didn't check. I've washed Mr. Potatohead’s glasses. I've washed rocks and crayons, and my four year old's purple Chap Stick. I've washed pennies galore and even a few potato bugs. To date, I haven't washed any animals, but the children are not grown yet. There's time.

Whenever I am feeling daunted by the never-ending task of keeping up with the house, I try to remind myself that the children’s memories won’t consist of how clean mom kept the house. They will remember our trips to the zoo and the park. They will remember the time we spent together playing and doing activities. While it is still important to me to provide them with a place that has some sense of order and neatness, I have learned that it is not the most important aspect of my job as a stay-at-home mom!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My little graduate

My third child graduated from preschool last night! I love their little programs. They are so stinkin' cute. At Michael's program, as the kids walked across the stage, they stopped and said into a microphone what they want to be when they grow up. Michael informed the audience that he wants to be a game tester when he grows up! Gotta love the age of technology!

I must say that I am relieved to only have to attend a preschool graduation. My baby brother graduated from High School on Tuesday and there were some 900 kids. And they aren't nearly as cute!(Plus, most of them probably know what they want to be when they grow up about as much as my preschooler does!!) I remember my little brother's (Sorry kiddo. Even though you've been bigger than me for a while, you'll always be my baby brother!) preschool graduation. I remember how little and cute they were. I never dreamed my third child would graduate preschool the day after his uncle graduated High School! Way to go boys!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Summer time

Summer break is within my reach. I can smell it! I thought the whole no more homework rhyme was just for kids. Nope, it applies to adults too. I also thought I was done with homework when I finished Dental Assisting school. Boy was I wrong. I'm going to be doing homework in one form or another for at least the next twenty years. The kids are out of school on Friday, and I'm counting down!! No more homework, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks! HOORAY!! (And if you think teachers save dirty looks for just the kids in their classes, you've never had a kid in school! They save the best looks for the parents!) And this summer we don't get totally jipped on our summer break. Last year, thanks to the lovely year round school system, we got three whole weeks of summer break, during which I had a baby and sent my kids to school the next day. Fun for me! This year I get seven weeks of no school, no schedule, no homework, no reading(except for fun), and no school projects. I'm tingling with excitement! I'm sure I'll let the kids spend the first couple of weeks pickling their brains and making sure all that good learning they've done all year goes right out the window! Then we'll go lots of places and have lots of fun! Can you tell summer is my favorite time of year!! We are sooooo close!