Saturday, May 30, 2009

This is the only childhood your children will have

Just a nice little quote I heard on Relevant Radio. Just a little reminder to: go to the park, cuddle up for a read-a-loud, have a tea party, build a fort out of sheets, etc.

What good memories do you have from your childhood.

Me? My dad taking my sister and I to a store on the toboggan after a major snow storm shut down the city (recently I discovered that he took us to the liquor store because my mom needed a break - from us - since we were causing her to go nuts with us stuck in the house).

My dad promising to catch me if I would only jump off the swing at my cousins house. I was too scared and wouldn't do it, until a few minutes later, only I hadn't told my dad. And he didn't catch me. It hurt. I got the wind knocked out of me for the first time.

Then they put me in the car to leave, closed the doors, and went inside to get my sister. Then their 2 huge huskies were jumping up at the windows barking. I was terrified.

When I was 4 or 5 I was playing in the grassy area across the parking lot from our apartment. There was a girl there flying a kite. She asked me if I would hold it for her while she went for lunch. Would I?! Yes!!!! That was so awesome......but she never came back. And my parents watched me out the window for 1 HOUR before rescuing me!

My mom and dad used to be caretakers in an apartment building. It was so cool to go with my mom while she did things like clean the windows. Once when I was with her I saw this giant Easter Bunny under the stairs (an adult man in a bunny suit). When he saw me he put his finger up to his mouth in sort of a shhhh don't tell anyone sign. I kept his secret. My mom still has no idea about this one - a little fishy don't ya think?

My dad and I made a ladybug cake for our girl scout bake auction. It was by far the coolest cake - and my dad bid so much money for it because I was a bit distraught that we would have to give it up.

My parents would give us each a quarter and let us walk to the DQ alone when we were young. It was next to the apartment complex. One day, the nice owner sent us back home with a note (actually it was a bill). We never had enough for the tax but she always gave us our ice cream and kept tabs.

And....I was swimming in the outdoor pool with my mom when I was maybe 6 or 7. I told her I needed to go back to the apartment to get something. While there the phone rang. It was someone from Disneyland. They promised me that all my family had to do was go out to CA and they would put us on the Mickey Mouse Club show. I ran back to the pool so excited. But I didn't know why my mom and the other adults just smiled. That was quite the trick!

I was about 5 years old and decided I was big enough to visit a friend in the other wing of the apartment complex all by myself. My mom walked me to the internal entrance of the other wing and let me go while she went with my sister somewhere else in the complex. My friend wasn't home! I ran all the way back to my apartment (it was common to leave it unlocked back then) and jumped in bed and hid under the covers crying (did I mention it was storming, loudly). My mom came back and cuddled me and told me it was just God and his angels bowling. And, the really loud thunder? That was God getting a strike! I still think of that when I hear a storm today.

I remember bowling in the hallway with the neighbor John John (did I mention his mom was the manager, my folks were the caretakers? Do you think other kids would have gotten away with this?)

Trick or treating in the nice warm apartment building and filling a pillow case with candy, going back to empty it, and going again. And, since my parents were caretakers - they had the keys to the other building as well!

Lastly, 'cause I'd better quit soon....I remember playing with a wagon, my sister, and my friend John John (yeah - they really called him that - to distinguish him from his dad John). Anyway, we lived in apartments on a 45 mph busy road and it had grassy hills along the busy road. We took turns driving the wagon down the hills, giving my younger sister rides. She insisted she could do it alone. Finally we let her try. She went right into the busy road and thank God the cars came to a screeching halt. John John and I grabbed her and the wagon - and never told our parents.

I could go on and on, but the point isn't the major events from my childhood that I often think back on. It's the small things, it's the relationship things. So, the next time my 4 year old wants to have a tea party (we do it for lunch 1X/wk) maybe we'll invite her dolls and dress up or something! This really is the only childhood our children will have...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I have style envy!

How does one get style?  If they sell it at Target it must be on the shelf with the sanity because I cannot find that either. 

This weekend I was in a home that I had never been in before and wow!  It was so pretty inside.  So put together.  I have no idea how to pick out paint colors, match accessories, arrange furniture and pull a room together to make it perfect.  And I do not think overdosing on HGTV is going to help me.  You either got it or you don't and I don't.  Bummer, eh? 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Green Shampoo

I bought a bottle of green Johnson and Johnson's Baby Shampoo the other day.

3 different kids (at 3 different times) all walked in and said,"Oooh, why is it green?! That's weird!, Ick!"...... I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

I really didn't know it would matter,I really didn't think anyone would care. But, maybe now no one will use it as bubble bath......... maybe I'm onto something here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What the neighbors must think!

For the sake of this post, you should know that Sunday around here is a day of rest. We try our best to limit our activities to religious pursuits and leisure.  You should also know that since I was young enough to toddle into the yard, mud pies have been a favorite activity of mine!  The opposite is true for Prince Charming. My MIL used to send him out in his pristine white outfit and he would return without a smudge - pristine white outfit and all.  Anyhow, now that I am grown (I still refuse to think of myself as a full fledged adult) the closest I get to mud pies is digging in the yard and garden.  Prince Charming, however, would find this to be anything but leisure.  I guess the saying "opposites attract" is sometimes true.  

If you were one of the couple dozen cars that drove by our front yard this afternoon you must have had to look twice.   There I was digging out the dead tree along the street.  The hole was quite large and I was certainly sweating in the 85 degree heat. Beside me was none other than Prince Charming.  He was reading and offering guidance from the comfort of his pink lawn chair.  I wondered aloud what the neighbors must think.  Prince Charming assured me that one has to be very secure in his manhood to be able to sip ice water from a pink chair while watching your wife dig out a tree all within eye shot of the neighbors.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Gotta have a Thankful Thursday Post

I am thankful for:
1. My giant washing machine.
2. My giant dryer.
3. That the baby took a nice long nap today - I got some stuff done and he woke up SO HAPPY!

Little Successes

Well, I'm still trying to figure out how to put the small successes button on here. But, at least I know how to link it back to Faith and Family's Small Successes blog post.

My small successes this week?

1. Cleaned both bathrooms and washed the floors too.
2. Scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees.
3. Cut up a watermelon (not normally lack of skill - normally lack of time)
4. Entered 2 weeks worth of receipts into Quicken.
5. Washed and hung (before they wrinkled) about 12 shirts.
6. Let the kids play in the water (and create more laundry) twice!
7. Allowed, and drove, my younger girls to go play at someone else's house just before dinner time (one day) and nap time (the other day).
These are actually big successes for me. In a normal week I might be struggling to get even one of those things done. This is weird. But that's OK. I just won't set myself up for failure next week by expecting to get as much done.

Who are those Marines in my kids' beds?

Last night I was going through my usual routine with the last stops being checking on the boys before taking myself to bed.  Retucking in everyone is a must.  Some nights I straighten a child that has flipped sideways, or turn on a fan or open a window. Last night was different.  It was warm here last night so everyone was sleeping on top of the covers, and WOW!  Have they all grown!  My babies had been replaced by Marines!  The new buzz cuts, the tanned skin, a few strategically skinned knees or bruised elbows and long, lean legs and arms made it seem as if they had all grown up over night.  Where did my babies go?

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful:
1. ... that summer and the end of school seems to be in sight. 
2. ... that our really terrific babysitter usually is available when I need her.
3. ... that the boys managed to leave one tomato on the plant when they crashed into my garden yesterday while playing in the backyard. 
4. ... for Q-tips.  (I used 30 of them on 5 pairs of very dirty ears last night at bath time.)
5. ... for caller ID.

What are you thankful for? 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mom Talk - how?

My question today is... How do you fill your need for Mom Talk?  Being a SAHM can be isolating. Often times we have several people under five foot tall to care for, husbands that work full time or more, and not a lot of time to nurture multiple meaningful relationships. How do you fill your need for adult conversation and understanding?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thankful Thurdays

A day late I know...but I really like the idea.

I am thankful for:

1. diapers
2. that anyone reading this probably won't care if I am a day late
3. sunny days
4. strollers
5. my mixer

What are you thankful for?

Monday, May 11, 2009

My New Motto........................

We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads. So I'm not fat, I'm just really intelligent and my head couldn't hold any more so it started filling up the rest of me!

(Wish I knew how to put the pic that came with this email on here.....)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day!

Today was a busy day in the morning, we had a few things that we had to do. Then, I took the kids to visit my MIL and bring her flowers. My husband is out of town for work. A few years ago I would NOT have done this. Why?

1. Sundays are very precious to me. In addition to being a Holy Day, it is the only day of the week my husband is usually home. I want him to myself (and the kids).

2. I was feeling like mothers day was all about me. And, it sort of is and sort of should be. But, my husband gets to see me everynight and every Sunday - isn't it right that he see his mom on mother's day - she doesn't live that far away.

3. My mom lives a few hours away. We talked on the phone, I will see her this weekend, I will buy her some flowers.

4. And here's a biggie. A few years ago, the night before mothers day, I was lamenting the fact that we wouldn't be able to stay home on mothers day and spend it alone. I just wanted a mothers day at home, alone with my family. The next morning we awoke to a flooded basement. We have a 1500 sq. ft. basement! and about 2/3 of it was flooded. It was my fault. We had always had a water detector downstairs just in case the sump quit or something. It had NEVER gone off for anything real (just someone tossing a wet towel next to it or something). It needed a new battery and after staying up and watching Star Wars with my husband, I was too tired to put the new battery in and put it back downstairs. I would do it in the morning. Well, the sump quit, the basement was flooded, and we got our mothers day home alone.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Is my hair gray yet?

Sebastian is our adventurer. Which I think is great!  He is the one who is always trying new things and has an unmatched zest for life.   But that passion for life comes at a cost.  First, he is always hurting himself.  The child has no sense.  He would go full speed into a brick wall to see what it felt like.  I was so concerned with his antics that I asked our pediatrician about it.  He said that Seb has an adrenaline addiction.  Great!  How does "Be careful!" compete with an adrenaline addiction?  The pediatrician also cautioned me to not let him outside without a helmet.  Yes, you read that right.  Not just while he is on a bike or scooter, all the time.  Now originally I thought that the ped doc was being a bit over the top, but now I am beginning to wonder.  

Seb is also one to use his shirt as a kleenex, napkin, or even a worm catcher.  Not to mention he always looks like he does not have a mother.  Two minutes after you fix his outfit, he is all rumpled and unkept .  You can take this child out of the bathtub and he can be dirty again in the three minutes it takes him to get his pjs on.  How does that happen???  And more importantly, what do I do about it?!?!  

"Mom, someone did not put their dishes away!"

It seems as if whoever is clearing the table always reports that someone did not do their part of clearing off their dishes.  Apparently, in kid world, this is a big deal.  So rather than stand there for two minutes and try to remember who sat where, call the person back and have them carry the plate over to the sink; I think I have finally outsmarted the kiddos.  (Yea, that is a deadly claim, eh?)  I got a colored melamine plate, bowl, and cup for everyone.  Everyone has a different pattern so we knew what plate belongs to what person.   Everyone has to place their own plate in the dishwasher after each meal or at least before the next meal because there is only one each.  The plates do not break and if someone forgets to take their plate off the table or wash it, it was easy to see who to ask to fix the problem. Or if nothing is done about the plate before the next meal, they know that they need to fit the problem or they have no plate to eat with.  


Thursday, May 7, 2009

I have the best BFF ever!

Despite being 1152.07 miles away, she still calls for a nice long chat.  Thanks, pal! 

I love to cook...

... I hate having to pick what we are having for dinner every night! Anyone with me on this?

What was HER name again?

A friend called to tell me that someone that we both know had her baby.  My friend said that she had a girl and her name is Harley.  Thinking that I had heard her wrong, I asked her to spell the name.  No, I heard that right.  "And it was a girl?"  "Yes."  

Names are one of my things.  I try to remember people's names.  I think that your name can tell a lot about you.  Prince Charming and I spend a lot of time on naming our children and I think we do a good job.  In my opinion, our children all have beautiful, strong names, that are a little different but not way out there.  

My name is different - really different. I am willing to bet that you know no one else with my name.  While I like it now, growing up with it was far from my best feature. I have been made fun of for it.  People mispronounce it all the time.  I always have to spell it out for people.  But all in all, I like it.  It fits me. We are both different, but easy to get to know and well, interesting.  *smile*  However, I think that it is definitely a female name.  

There seems to be a trend to name girls names that are traditionally boys' names. There have always been some names that you cannot guess about the gender of the person.  Chris could be Christopher or Christina.  Pat can be  Patricia or Patrick. In the last year I have heard of girls being named Ryan, Elliott and Harley.  Having grown up with an odd name, I shutter to think of the things that these girls are going to have to deal with in their lives.  I can see a school secretary thinking that the gender box is wrong and putting poor Harley in the all boys kindergarden class.  Elliott (and no they are not shortening it to Ellie) being made fun of for her name.  "Did your parents name you Elliot because they thought it rhymed with their name - Idiot?"  And poor Ryan, what if she falls in love with a Ryan?  Ryan and Ryan Smith... he might have to deal with a lot of questions.  Teenage girls have a hard enough time getting comfortable in their skin.  I think gender bending on a name makes it all the harder.  There are such amazing names out there, some of which are very different, why not chose one of them?  And it will save you the hassle of trying to explain to the bakery why the "Happy Birthday, Harley!" cake has to have pink icing. 
Just my opinion.  Take what you like and leave the rest. 

Thankful Thursday

What are the top five unusual things that you are thankful for right this second. They MUST be things that you are not thankful for everyday because they do not happen everyday.  And all the usual stuff does not count.  We all know that we are thankful for our family, friends, health yada yada...
For me in no particular order...
I am thankful that despite going to bed too soon after painting my toenails last night that they did not get messed up. 
I am thankful that it was raining and science camp was cancelled today.  I did not have lunches packed and did not want to muck around in mud. 
I am thankful that Grandparents are home during the day to talk to little girls who want to talk when Daddy has a meeting.
I am thankful that play-dough comes out of clothes. 
And after a FULL week of rain that we do not live in Seattle. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Girls draw Nouns and Boys draw Verbs

That's what I learned from an Andrew Pudewa talk a few years ago. (and boys typically use one or two colors - while the girls will make theirs very colorful). I typically do NOT share this type of information with my kids. I'm afraid it would either make them want to follow what is expected or purposefully do the unexpected. But, I could't help pointing this out to people who were looking at their pictures- and my kids did hear of course. I think they'll be OK.

The other day they made pictures for their aunt's birthday.

11 yr old boy: Space scene with flying objects, a satelite, the moon, the earth, etc. Very detailed in black and white.

9 yr old girl: Lots of colorful flowers in a vase and another picture of a house with 2 people climbing a tree.

7 yr old boy: A huge rock monster type guy eating stuff - colored in black and orange

5 yr old boy: Same scene as the 11 yr old he was sitting next to, with the addition of someone sort of drowning in water yelling Help Me

3 yr old girl: Pink and purple stamp pages.

So, basically other than the tree climbers in my daughter's drawing - they fit the "stereotype" to a T. What do your kids draw?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our duck?

Can someone help me out with this one?

We've had duck nesting for a few weeks now. The eggs starting hatching yesterday. This morning there is an empty nest full of leftover egg shells. There is female duck wandering around our yard. Now this female is sitting on the empty nest.

Is this our duck? Did something happen to her ducklings?

Is this a new duck using the nest?

If this is our poor duck missing the ducklings - how long will she stay here? I read somewhere that if you know that there is a nestful of dud eggs (they don't hatch after a month or so) that you should take the eggs away. But this mama is sitting on busted eggs.

What to do? It's a bit sad. My younger children fully believe it's a new duck - and until we figure it out - that's what we are going with.