Thursday, October 30, 2008

Items removed from Odessa's mouth.

Life with a toddler is never boring. Some toddlers are less boring than others. In the last few days, here are some objects I have removed from Odessa's mouth.

1. Two batteries at separate times
2. A game piece from Connect Four
3. Crayons, or pieces of crayons
4. A marble
5. Dish soap (yeah, I don't know)
6. Puzzle pieces from a kids puzzle
7. Toothpaste tubes and various people's toothbrushes
8. Pieces from a purse she bit off
9. Stickers
10. A pencil eraser

Looking at this list, a stranger may think that my home is ridiculously non-childproof. But the amazing thing about Odessa, is that she finds these random things, and I don't know where she gets them. I think she climbs. The batteries still baffle me. They are nowhere she can reach. The marbles are up out of reach as well. But if she disappears upstairs, you can guarantee she is sucking on someone's toothbrush. She is such a helpful child and keeps me permanently on my toes. My other children were much less adventurous. Thanks heavens!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken cats

Apparently torturing your pets by dressing them up doesn't lose much as an adult.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Additional Halloween Party Pictures!

Thanks to my sister Lori whose camera was NOT retarded, here is a slideshow of all of our fun!!

My annual Halloween party

Every year I throw a Halloween party for my family and it's been a ton of fun. This year was no exception. The children and I have been working laboriously on creating a spook alley in our unfinished basement, and that was the highlight of the evening. I'd never really gone down to see how it was at night, and I must say it is definitely more scary at night than during the day. Andrew even commented that it was pretty good. That is a huge complement from my son who informed me only days ago that my spook alley wasn't scary!!

We played our usual games, Halloween Bingo, Tic-tac-toe, and Twister. We also did a candy walk (as opposed to a cake walk), a little relay race and bobbed for apples. Apparently, I can't have a Halloween party without bobbing for apples!! Andrew made sure that activity was ready to go, and to my surprise all the little munchkins happily participated even though it was dark and cold!! We ate tons of food, and I made root beer as well. The kids love the dry ice!

It was fun, though I am officially pooped! And unfortunately, my stupid camera was stupid and I got very few decent pics. But here's an idea of the fun we have!!

A Side Note

I have to add this, although it has nothing to do with Halloween. It was just funny!

For school every year they have an art contest with a theme. (I think it's a nationwide PTA thing.) We've never participated because I feel like it's extra work and if the kids aren't going to take initiative, then it must not be important to them. But this year, all three kids wanted to participate. Andrew and Lillie wanted to draw pictures, but Michael informed me that he wanted to make a sculpture. When I told him that it had to be something that made him go wow and asked what that would be, he quietly thought for a minute. Then he says to me, "Well, a cool sculpture will make me go Wow!" Now who can argue with that?!? So, here's the cool sculpture of a castle that made him go 'WOW'!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Challenge

"You've got to think outside the box!!" says my husband, the master of outside the box thinking. "Outside what box?", I think to myself. To say I've been conflicted lately would be an understatement. Though I don't know that conflicted is really the right word. Perhaps worn out, tired and all around bored would be more accurate.

It is interesting to me how we can go about our lives, which are traditionally boring and the same every day, and be completely happy for a long time. Then, out of nowhere, we get restless, bored or maybe even conflicted. Not that my life, or yours, isn't great, though lackluster, but more that something different would be good. Being a stay at home mom is a thankless, tedious, boring job. But at the same time I love it. Do you see confliction here? I think most moms, or heck every human being, feels the same confliction from time to time. I mean in reality, life is kind of boring.

And so, after a long discussion with my husband, he challenged me to do different things with my day. To think outside the box. No matter that he is speaking to the queen of being smack in the middle of the box, he wants to challenge me so that I'll challenge myself. Not a bad idea, though I have a feeling that my idea of outside the box is a bit more inside the box than he'd have in mind! So for my first change, instead of running today, I'm going to swim. Not exciting, I know. But it is different.

His other challenge for me was to find something fun every day to look forward to. I'm a big reader, but as of late, reading doesn't hold the same escape. It's been tedious, like the laundry. So I'm taking a break from reading and on the search for a new hobby. Not that I have time for an actual hobby, but just something different.

And so, I extend the same challenges to you. Do something different today, find something to look forward to that is just for yourself! It's hard, when we give of ourselves constantly and dedicate our lives to our children's activities and education, to remember ourselves. But do it anyway!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Scarecrow Festival

On Friday, we went to the Scarecrow Festival with my mom and my sister Lori. It was a fun and exhausting day!! There were tons of giant blow-up slides, a spook alley, a train ride, little carnival games and tons more! We also took a brief visit to the farm next door. And so, debuting a slide show for the first time ever, here are some of my favorite pics from that day!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Value of Chores

Yep! That's right. I just said there's value in chores. I know any of my children who may read this may completely disagree with me and to them I say, "You'll appreciate all the things I make you do when you grow up!"

I'm a chore mom. I sacrifice perfection in cleanliness for teaching my children how to do chores. They fold laundry, they do dishes, they clean bathrooms and Andrew mows the lawn. They weed the garden, they pick up and vacuum and clean out the car. To read this sounds like I'm a slave driver, doesn't it?

I'm not really a slave driver, although they do have weekly and daily chores. But they are fairly minimal. I figure they help make the mess, they get to help clean it up! Right?!?

Yesterday, I took the children to the Scarecrow Festival with my mom and my sister. (Pictures to come, just haven't gotten there yet!) It was a ton of fun, but it completely wore this momma out. And all the grand ideas of chores and things I'd get done went completely out the window. So after I picked Andrew up from football, we came home to a meal of re-warmed, two day old pizza on paper plates. I hadn't done the dishes in two days and the kitchen was an utter disaster.

So I told the kids I needed their help. Andrew said he'd do all the dish jobs, unloading, washing and loading. These are things that I usually split between the three oldest children. In turn, he didn't have to help clean off the counter and if we finished before he did, then we'd all pitch in and help. What a kid!! And so we went to work and in 45 minutes, we had the kitchen sparkling clean and could see the counter top again.

As I sat down on the couch, pooped but grateful, I couldn't help but be glad that I've taught my children not only the value of work, but the value of working together. Not only that, but I have amazing children! They aren't perfect, but they do what I ask them to do! I couldn't ask for better kids! I'm counting my blessings right now! All five and a third of them!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The half hour nap

One of the most depressing things in a mother's life is when a little one doesn't nap. For whatever reason, Miss Odessa took a half hour nap yesterday morning and that was IT! I could tell as her afternoon naptime drew near, that she was still in an awfully good mood, so I didn't put her down until later than usual. And then I got to listen as she wiggled, squirmed, spit, threw toys out and proclaimed "uh-oh", shook her bed, and other noises I could never quite figure out. After about an hour of this roucous, I went upstairs, gave her a sippy, laid her down and said go to sleep. Funny thing, she didn't heed my words and after the sippy was gone, I got to listen to the spitting etc. all over again. I finally released her from her prison after another hour, and she was actually a pleasant little thing. But honestly, if she quits napping already, this momma is gonna lose it!! Nap time is sacred! Doesn't she know this?!?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just another day

It's just another day. I have the same laundry to do, the same house to clean. I have the same woes with the children and the same husband who works too much. It's just another day. I have the same money woes, the same cereal on the floor. Everbody is a day older, but it's just another day. At the end of the day, I'll cross another day off my calendar and look at tomorrow, just like I did today. Just like I will tomorrow.

Sometimes life is just a series of days. Nothing exciting. Nothing interesting. Someone may ask, "What have you been up to?" and you reply with "Nothing". Not because you have been doing literally nothing, but because all you've done is the same thing you did yesterday. And who wants the response, "Well I cleaned my house again, though you can't tell." They want a snapshot, and an interesting one. They want the highlights. And sometimes, there just aren't any. Sometimes life is just life. And that's ok.

This post may seem depressing. It's not. Not really. Though if you have a maid that's bored, send them on over. I'm kind of tired of cleaning up the same mess. But I'll take my boring, non-interesting life. I don't need drama. I need my children and my husband and truth be told, I love this house. Even though I have to clean it, again. I'll cross off another day, I'll count my blessings. And I'll do it all over again tomorrow. There's always something ahead, something to look forward to, though today, I'll make it through today. I'll do it all over. Again. And well, that's just life!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


She loves the table. She loves to be on it, at it or near it. I don't need another toy in the whole house! She loves to color at it, or just stand on it and survey her surrounding. Apparently, she is adding sleeping on it as well! I have never had someone so tiny so happy at the table. What cracks me up even more is that she actually colors. If there are crayons at the table, she'll climb up there and squack until you open the crayons and get her some paper. She does occasionally chew on them, but that's what one year olds do, right?

It never ceases to amaze me what big personalities these little people have. They are each so different and unique. They all came from the same people, they all look very much alike, and yet by personality alone, you may never guess they are related! Motherhood is definitely an adventure!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Power of Awesomeness!

This is the Power of Awesomeness. (If you insert your best superhero voice when you say it, it's even better!) It belongs to my nine year old son. What the heck is it, you may be asking. Well, at one point, it was a bouncy ball. It broke in half, and was gutted, and dubbed The Power of Awesomeness. I'm not sure I can explain it's powers, but apparently, if you suck it to the middle of your forehead, thus giving yourself a hickey, it makes you awesome. My son has been looking high and low for The Power of Awesomeness, and I came across it while cleaning today. It's a random thing, but it makes him giggle, thus making me giggle. Who can explain the random things of childhood? And who would want to? So for now, I possess The Power of Awesomeness, though I won't be sucking it to my head any time soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ten pre-requisites for childhood eating habits:

1. Refuse to wear a bib.
2. If no refusal to wear a bib occurs, make sure to get any exposed area covered with food.
3. Never use a napkin even if one is supplied. Your sleeve works much better.
4. Pick at any and all red or green 'things' that mom might try to put in your food.
5. If mom is foolish enough to serve a meal such as Spaghetti-o's (using the term 'meal' loosely here), make sure to get the red sauce in any available crevice.
6. Only eat junk food with enthusiasm. Gripe and complain about healthy food.
7. Make sure you are 'full' after a meal so an hour later you can be hungry and try to mooch junk food.
8. Drop your utensils on the floor at least five times per meal.
9. Dump your cereal at least once a week so mom remembers that you are a child, and anything more should not be expected from you.
10.Make sure to get as much food on the floor as you get in your mouth.

These are just a few of the rules that my children come pre-programmed with. It has become apparent to me that despite my efforts, all of the above will occur at some point during the week. I remember how grossed out I was watching my younger siblings eat and wondering how my mom could stand to let them feed themselves. I now understand that it's not any less gross when you are the mom, you just become immune. Most of the time anyway!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Go get dressed for the day!

This is what I got! That'll teach me not to be specific!