Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A death in the family...

Sadly, we laid poor Mister Johnny to rest today. Poor Michael. He cried and just couldn't understand why Johnny died. What do you say to that? Hopefully, it wasn't our cage cleaning extravaganza that did him in. He was alive this morning, but transpired sometime this afternoon. Goodbye Johnny. You were a good little crab and will be missed!

Note to self

When cleaning out Mr. Crab's cage, don't dump the excess gunk in the bathtub. Bathtub WILL clog, and I WILL get to unclog it.

As a side note to the note to self, Johnny is still doing well, but we had a sad farewell to Rex after only two weeks. (Johnny and Rex are the hermit crabs Michael got for his birthday.) May Johhny have a long and enjoyable life in his little cage, if only for the fact that I can't bear to see Michael cry at the death of another crab.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas...everyone!!

The Preamble: My computer ate my original post and now I'm ticked. But I will try to recreate, minus the brilliance, the original post. Stupid computer!

The Post:What is Christmas without a little choas and a lot of traditions?!? We started Christmas eve officially with our Christ-centered dinner. This is a tradition we started a few years ago, and one of my favorites! We have salmon, unleavened bread and sparkling cider. We tell the story of the Last Supper, the story of Jesus feeding the multitude, and of course we end by reading the story of Christ's birth from the bible. Some of the children are less than thrilled by the salmon, but perhaps they'll learn to like it!!

Then there's much time killing to do. This year we made a gingerbread train. The children had a great time decorating/eating the train! We also watched a very funny Shrek the Halls.

And you can't have Christmas eve without PJ's. My dear husband was woefully lacking in this tradition, but I schooled him in the importance of new jammies and it's now a tradition in our house too!

Christmas morning was the expected early-morning chaos, though Mom and Dad have a not-before-seven rule. We had to go wake up Odessa, lest she miss the fun, but the rest of the kids were up bright and early! The big ticket items this year were a PSP for Andrew, a Razor scooter for Lillie, Bakugans for Michael (Don't know what they are? I didn't either, but the kid is lucky I found him any. They are VERY popular!), a Barbie cash register for Katherine and giant leggos for Odessa. (This means she'll quit eating her brother's mini-leggos, right? No? Well, a mother can hope, can't she?)

We ended the day with a trip to Grandma's house with our 21 cousins 9 and under. The kids had a grand time with their cousins and all the adults survived the chaos! It was fun!

And so my house is a disaster, there's a foot of snow outside, and we are all exhausted! And so I declare a successful Christmas!! (And if my stupid computer doesn't eat this post too, you may be able to read the boring details of our Christmas!!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rules of toddlerhood

1. If poopy, run far away from the person with the diaper.
2. If mom is busy, follow her around and cry loudly.
3. If mom is on the phone, need her desperately.
4. If mom is on the computer, sit in her lap and try to touch all of the things you aren't supposed to touch.
5. If being held, wiggle, squirm and holler to be put down. Then immediately cry as if you are wounded so you'll be picked up again.
6. Be cute and adorable every so often so you don't get sold on the corner.
7. Cry in the car for all objects that are out of reach. Then, if fortunate enough to be given desired object, chuck it on the ground in disgust and cry some more.
8. When Dad is home, only let mom hold you and cry when the hairy man comes near.
9. Locate any and all wet wipes/kleenex boxes and empty contents as quickly as possible. This is a fun game.
10. If you can tell mom is frazzled, take a really short nap.
11. Last, but not least, if you are really naughty and get in trouble, cry so sadly that angered adult will feel the desire to hug and kiss you all better. This is a fabulous trick. Master it well, young one.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to me!

At only 165 posts for a year, today is my blogger anniversary. Today I celebrate one whole year of sharing my adventures of motherhood with the population at large. (Mostly family, but that's just fine!) It was at the behest of my grandfather, The Curmudgeonly Professor listed on the right, that I began my blogging journey. And I have thoroughly enjoyed it!! It's been fun to have an audience to share all my blatherings with! So to all my readers, thank you for enjoying this journey with me and I hope to have many more things to blog about in the future!!

On that note, and after a comment from my mother yesterday, I am going to attempt to describe what it's like to get five kids into the van, and buckled into their seatbelts! Now that's an adventure worth sharing!

This is how it goes:

"Go get in the car and get buckled!" I yell.

One, possibly two children will trickle out to the car at this point. They will push, shove and fight to see who gets in the car first. Katherine will join them, usually crying about something, and climb into the car declaring that she can't close the door. I will then holler at the children remaining in the house that they had better get in the car, or else. Or else what, I'm not sure, but by golly, they better get their little keisters out to the car!!

Alrighty, so now that everyone is in the car, I take the baby out and buckle her in. She's mostly cooperative, with the occasional protest and arching of back, making it nearly impossible to buckle her in. During this time I holler at the children who are NOT buckled in and climbing around the car to GET BUCKLED!!! Michael is usually the first to comply, Lillie follows and Katherine starts to cry, fuss and holler about how tight her seat belt is. She is still in a five-point harness and has to inform everyone how utterly horrid it is every time we get in the car. Poor, safe, child!

Then, Andrew, who has been standing outside the car, asks if he can please sit up front. (Can you blame him? Who would want to sit in the back with all the chaos?) I usually say yes, and then he proceeds to dump all the crap on the passenger seat onto the floor. I then warn him that if he fiddles with stuff, he will be banished to the back of the van. Meanwhile, Katherine is sort of buckled in and I tell her if she doesn't hurry, I'm going to climb back there and do it for her. This is an empty threat, and she knows it, but it's my motherly duty to make this threat! She begins to fuss again and struggle with her seatbelt. (Her struggle is all self inflicted. On a good day she can do it in a minute flat.) At this point in the fiasco, it's been about 10 minutes of getting in the car.

I finally hop in the car, start it up and back out into the driveway. Katherine starts to cry and complain that she isn't buckled yet, at which point I explain that I can no longer wait and she'd better do it quickly. So, with much crying, she finally finishes buckling herself in. And, Ta-Da, we are on our way!!

Tired yet? I am!! Sometimes I'm amazed that we ever get out the door!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why are boys so gross?

I swear they are born that way because it sure isn't something I've instilled in them as their mother. Silly me, I want non-gross boys. Ewww.

Ready for the grossness? Last week, Andrew wore the same pair of socks for four days! It finally dawned on me midweek that I'd seen the same pair of mismatched, now slightly brown socks for several days. When asked, his response was, "I don't have any more socks." I wanted to strangle him. I bought the boys two packages of socks a couple of months ago. They should have enough socks until next year!! What do they do with them? I don't know, and I'm afraid to find out!! Magically, he was able to dig up a clean pair of socks.

Grossness numero dos On Saturday whilst checking the boys room for cleanliness, I discovered that the wall next to their bed is apparently a substitute for kleenex. I mean seriously!! So disgusting! So I made them wash walls until I was satisfied, which took some time.

If you haven't stopped reading, here's example number three. Andrew came downstairs, dressed for school this morning, in the same ratty T-shirt he wore yesterday and holey jeans. This isn't nearly as gross as the previous examples, but it still makes me go ewwwww!!!

Why are boys so gross? And for you more experienced mothers, is there anything I can do to encourage non-grossness. As of now, I seriously doubt it!! Ewww

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All I want for Christmas is...


That's not asking too much, is it? I want perfect children, a perfectly kept house, perfect health, perfect relationships, and a perfect husband. I mean really, it's not too much to ask for all that, is it?

Who came up with this idea anyway that makes us constantly second guess ourselves, and stress ourselves out to make everything perfect. What makes us compare ourselves to our neighbors and wonder why we can't be just like her. I mean, she's perfect in every way, right?

I found myself sitting on my 24 hour clean kitchen floor and disgustedly picking up pieces of chocolate. Seriously, stick your head over the table!!

Then I thought, why? Why do I care? Does it matter if my floor can stay clean for less than two point three seconds? Does it matter that I had laundry and toys scattered hither and yon when my neighbor stopped by? Why am I embarrassed about it? Why do I apologize?

Because somewhere, we were all programmed that our best is never enough. I know I'm not alone in this. I've talked to enough women to know that it's a fairly universal problem. We compare ourselves to each other never taking into consideration each other's flaws. What a strange thing to do.

I don't really want perfection. Well, I do. Sometimes. I'd love to have those perfectly well-behaved children who are always perfectly groomed. But then I think of all the things I'd miss out on if I truly found perfection. I'd miss out on Odessa soaking her PJ's five minutes after putting them on her. I'd miss out on watching my children learn independance when making the decision to go to the store with bed-head instead of nicely done hair. I'd miss out on mud, and mess and chaos.

And while I think it would be nice sometimes, I don't really want perfection. Not really. I promise.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Technology is so cool!!

And we are having another girl!! The picture on the right is our little one on a 3D ultrasound. Her little hand is up by her face. Isn't technology cool?

So Pink team has four and the Blue team has two! Poor boys!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The golden birthday

Michael had his golden birthday yesterday. What is a golden birthday, one might ask. Well, I was informed by my children that this phenomena occurs when one turns as old as the day of their birth. And so, Mr. Michael turned 6 on the 6th. It's a good thing they informed me of this phenomena since I was blissfully unaware.

Now what might one want for a birthday of such magnitude? Well, if you are turning six, then you may want a hermit crab. About two months ago, Michael asked me if he could have a crab for his birthday. I told him I'd have to talk to his father and silently prayed he'd forget. Well, he didn't forget and the desires of his little heart was to have a hermit crab. So for his birthday we made the trek to the pet store, bought all the appropriate paraphenalia and brought home our two newest family members, Johnny and Rex. Admittedly, they are pretty cool to watch when they are moving about.

We also enjoyed a lunch at Wingers and yummy ice cream at Coldstone. Can't fault the kid for having bad taste in food, that's for sure!!

And so, much to my dismay, Michael is six. It's one of those moments when I scratch my head and wonder where the crap six years went and how he got so very old so very quickly!! Happy birthday my little man!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Survival of the fittest

That's my new analogy of parenting. It's survival of the fittest. It's them against me and if I lose, well, that's just bad now isn't it?

My little, adorable, three-year old is my child that teaches me patience and new parenting techniques most often. They all have their ways, but I find I have to constantly re-evaluate myself with Katherine. She's never been a smooth-sailing kind of gal. It's just not her personality. But sometimes it's worse than others.

So yesterday, after trying not to sell her on the corner, I decided we needed some changes. The constant crying and whining had to stop or I was going to lose my mind. (Though I think part must have been lost already. I can't seem to remember a darn thing these days.)

So step one was to cut her hair. She hates, no, more like detests, having her hair put up in any kind of pony-tail holder. She pulls, tugs, scratches and fusses until she finally pulls her hair out and triumphantly brings me the pony-tail holder. She then goes around the rest of the day with the 'my hair was in pig-tails, can you tell' look. It's a gorgeous look, let me tell you! So I cut it in a nice, short, chin-length bob. She looks cute and no more funky hair-do's. Go mom!

Step two was to do something about the incessant crying, screaming of the word no, and all around crankiness that she was exuding. I actually went over to supernanny.com and printed off a reward chart. And I am happy to report that for the last day and a half there has been a great deal less of all of the behavior that I so detest. We'll see how long it lasts, but I'll take a day and a half!!

So thus far, this mom is still surviving. I have not been bested by my children and I still have a lot to learn. I'm sure they'll keep teaching me. Children have a tendency to do that!