Friday, February 26, 2010


Stepping outside this morning, you could tell there had been a bit of fog. But blues skies bust forth, hilighting frosty trees. mmmm.... so pretty. What a gift.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Torture. It's a mom's job.

Oh Mommmmm! This is torture.
I want caaaaaaake. 

Do you see that furrowed brow? The look of angst and desperation on that poor boy's face?

Reaching. Reaching... and...
(is she gonna stop me?)

HA! I got it.
Koko and Cheeks had a tea party today. A little celebration. Dressed up fancy, a few friends, ice cream sandwiches, pink lemonade, watermelon and cake pops. Because regular cupcakes just wouldn't do, Mrs. Bananas thought. Because she's bananas and doesn't have enough to do in her days. I think it was worth it, though.
Theres's those dog gone little fingers again. Won't stop reaching for "caaaaaa."
Yes mom, boys can have pink with sprinkles. Tastes just fine.
Oooo. Frilly party hats!

Swirls, anyone?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rett Syndrome - it's not for wussies. **a little amended**

Rett Syndrome. Trust me, you don't want your children to have it.

My dear friend Heather has a daughter, age 2 1/2, who was recently diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. They battled with finding a diagnosis for a year, something more that "developmentally delayed," to no avail. When a therapist recommended getting her tested with a specific test for Rett's, my friend knew, but hoped against all that wasn't the case. The day they recieved the new was devastating. The death of the dreams they had for their daughter. It was a hard week.

But they are people of great hope. My friend is one of the best encouragers I know. She thinks on the positive and looks ahead, instead of wallowing. Well, not too much wallowing. ;) Plus they have a sweet, fiery, beautiful, smiley little girl in their lives. I'm guessing they couldn't imagine life without her.

  • Rett syndrome is a unique developmental disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost always in girls, but can be rarely seen in boys. It's fairly rare anyway.

  • Rett syndrome causes problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and autonomic function. These can include learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.

  • Rett syndrome symptoms appear after an early period of apparently normal or near normal development until six to eighteen months of life, when there is a slowing down or stagnation of skills. A period of regression then follows when she loses communication skills and purposeful use of her hands. Soon, stereotyped hand movements such as handwashing, gait disturbances, and slowing of the normal rate of head growth become apparent. Other problems may include seizures and disorganized breathing patterns while she is awake. In the early years, there may be a period of isolation or withdrawal when she is irritable and cries inconsolably. Over time, motor problems may increase, but in general, irritability lessens and eye contact and communication improve.

  • Rett syndrome presents many challenges, but with love, therapy and assistance, those with the syndrome can benefit from school and community activities well into middle age and beyond. They experience a full range of emotions and show their engaging personalities as they take part in social, educational, and recreational activities at home and in the community.
On February 24, THAT WOULD BE TODAY, and a host of others have collaborated to raise funds to help find treatments and a cure for this rare disorder. We hope that you will visit the International Rett Syndrome Foundation website at to learn more about Rett, and if you can, make a donation.
And I'm sorry, but I could not find a cute logo/image/button to put here, and supper needs to be made. I did find one to add to my sidebar. Check it out!

Here's some "Rett mommy blogs" I found, too:

I don't think you meant this for me

I got this letter a few years ago, but today, while I was being forced to clean out the desk, I came across it and thought I would share. Or, did I already? Hmm.. Wait. I'll be back in a sec. Ok, I checked. Nope. Not here, anyway.

This letter, addressed to me, did not have my name specifically on the letter, so it was just a form letter sent out, and I was "on the list." But, uh, I think they got the wrong guy, er, gal.

I'm not sure that I ever had this insurance, though I guess it's possible as, at some point in time, I had "supplemental" insurance, complements of our county agency, while pregnant. I didn't have it at the time I recieved the letter, however. In case anyone missed it, I have FOUR, count 'em, children. That might indicate that my hubs "bizniss" works just fine (all too well, some might say). I personally, however, will never have need of medication for, ahem, impotency or erectile disfunction. Because, uh, you know, I'm a WOMAN.

It gave me a good laugh. Hope you got one too.

And... now I can throw it away. ahhhhh to the purging.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pink Party #1

Actually, we've had a few parties that were "pink" but this was the first party I gave where the birthday girl just said "I want a pink party." Not cowgirl, or My Little Pony, or Princess. Nope. Just pink. I wuold have said 3 year olds are easy to please. I would not have been more wrong.

So there was pink cake, pink candles, pink balloons, pink lemonade, pink chocolates. Pink pink pink.

Pink Princess Tiaras.

These are really good.

I should have had her wear a pink dress with black polka dots. I totally forgot all about it. Oh well.

Happy Birthday, sweet Cheeks.

Oh, yes, and she did have a wardrobe change mid-party. And by that I mean, in the middle of the living room, center stage. At least it was just family.


When you decorate a cake, but there is one step you take that is important, and that's leveling a cake. Or, if you are making a fancy shape, you cut off parts, and you would get the same thing... bits. Those little pieces that are cut off. They are just bits of cake. Yummy, even without the frosting. My kids LOVE bits. They ask for them. And, it's good to have something for them to nibble on while staring at a huge gorgeous, icing-covered cake... that they can't touch yet. But the bits are good. Even though they're just bits.

Today, I bring you bits.

I get periodic (weekly, 2 times a week? I don't know exaclty) emails from Love and Logic. (If you don't know about Love and Logic and you are a parent / teacher / person who works with kids, you really should discover it. Just sayin'.) The creators of L&L send out little lessons or tips. They are almost always great. Yesterday's post provided 2 great nuggets of truth.

  • Anything worthwhile is rarely easy. This is something I have been thinking about but just couldn't find the exact right words to make it catchy, but it surely is something I want my children to understand. In my experience, "the good life" is not handed to you on a silver platter, regardless if you "deserve" it or not.

  • What our kids overhear is far more powerful that what we tell them. The lesson said this, "Give your kids the gift of hearing you talk about the satisfaction that comes from hard work. The best way to permanently ingrain this belief in your kids is to have them overhear you talking about your own struggles and the satisfaction that delayed gratification, hard work, and achievement bring.

Think someone is demanding attention, much?

He threw, not dumped, a l l  the puzzles, piece by stinkin' piece, onto the floor. Threw the dress-up dress around, pulled out some vhs tapes, kicked it all round a bit, pulled books off the bookshelf, and started in on the dvd's in the entertainment center. This only took about 10 minutes. Probably less. I was in the same room. Guess that wasn't good enough.

I just wanted to blog a little. Really?

And he knows he's being naughty. You should see the look in his eyes. Pure mischief.

Boots has done this 2 days in a row. The second day was actually worse. The third day, he attacked my coffee table tray and coupon holder. The coupon holder is at least a weekly experience. Little bugger!
My coupons are under there. I promise. And I had already picked them up once. Sigh.

Please note: I was not ignoring him while on the computer. That was only the first time. The other times I was actually doing something productive, you know, like my job... cleaning. And he's quick about it. Oh, he's so fast.

Kids. Candy. V u l t u r e s.
I am not feeling bad about not doing Valentine's Day stuff (like buying them candy); I'm tired of picking up all the wrappers. Koko got plenty at her school party (which I TOTALLY forgot about til about, and then consequently forgot to pick her up from school. It was ok; I was not the only one that day - meaning kid and valentines), and then she shared fabulously, without prompting, with Cheeks. But Cheeks is a leeettle demanding when it comes to candy. I blame it on Gestational Diabetes. Friday brought more of the same, when George got home from his day. But man are they vultures.

Car shopping is not fun. Unless you have an unlimited stash of cash, it's kind of a drag. Especially when you are toting around 4 kids, all crammed in the hub's pickup. For 6 noisy, almost fruitless hours. With a baby who's teething eye teeth. And pulling hair. And everyone else if constantly hungry. Though that doesn't compare in frustration until you realize 1. there are no cars out there that you want/can afford, and 2. there actually are salesmen out there who are NOT interested in selling a car. Exhibited in the way they are competely absent from the customer service experience. But.... :D .... having a new vehicle is fun. Especially when it has a cd player, and leather seats, and windows that work, and memory seats, and climate control. I feel like I fell into the lap of luxury. Ok, well, just a little. I'm certainly a step up from the day before.

I made a cheesecake. I used V-day as an excuse. It was devine. I can't stop eating it. Really.
Now, I must go. I have more "little" messes to clean. I'd just like to know when that ends. And don't you dare say never.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Murphy's Law

Murphy's laws, and how they pertain to me today.

•If anything can go wrong, it will. I'm sick, George is sick. Baby Boots is feeling better (which means he's up to mischief). King Kong is at work.

•If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. I'm just waiting for the girls to start barfing. Boots getting diarrhea would also be very bad.

•If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway. I thought being stuck home in a blizzard with the possiblity to run out of diapers was a tad stressful. Now, add sick to that. So even if I could go somewhere, I can't. I found 4. Hopefully I can stretch them out til Kong gets home.

•If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop. I'm sick, kid/s are sick, except the holy terror child who is running and on the loose, we are in a winter weather advisory, and I have no diapers. Oh, but that fifth unprepared for thing, yeah, Kong called and picked up an extra shift, so he may not be coming home til tomorrow, depending on the weather today. Nice.

•Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. This one pertains to the smallest, most destructive and mischievious monkey, Boots. He might be the baby, but he sure is a little stinker. If someone could only figure out how to bottle all that energy, they would be rich beyond imagination, and would probably win every Nobel prize there was to be had. Mother's everywhere would rejoice that the playing field would be leveled. So far, he's dismantled all the toys I picked up this morning, played in the sink, played in the bathroom sink, eaten things out of the garbage, and had a number of tantrums.

•If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something. Body aches. I forgot about body aches. ugh.

•Nature always sides with the hidden flaw. I don't know if I could handle hidden flaws today. Please GOD! Spare me.

•Mother nature is a bitch. Vomiting and diarrhea. This needs no further explanation as to why it sucks. The good thing - Aunt Flo is not visiting. (also, I am not actually vomiting yet, but it's a definite possiblity. I've gone to the throne room in anticipation at least 5 times.)

It never ceases to amaze me how certain things that would be made so much easier with two adults present only happen when King Kong is at work. (And he's a truck driver, so he's hours away, not just a 20 min drive and will be home in a few hrs, or can come at a moments notice. My hub generally works 18-22 hr shifts, more or less.)

Like the time I got a kidney stone, though I didn't know what it was at the time, and had to pack up the kids and haul myself to the ER at 3 in the morning. Thank God my brother lives 2 blocks away so he could load the kids in the car for me, and my mom and dad took them while I was otherwise jacked up on morphine. Oh, and did I mention I was 8 months pregnant?

Or the many times when the kids have gotten the pukies, like today, and I'm manning the masses all by my lonesome? (Which is easier than taking care of one sick grown man.)

Or the time I had a fever that knocked me on my keister so completely that I literally couldn't move from the couch? A fairy name Tinkerbelle came and saved the day (aka. my mommy). She even did the dishes.

Now, this kind of sounds like a pity party, but I assure you it's not. It just my way to find humor in an otherwise humorless situation. Because today, we've got the flu. ugh.

The thing worth pointing out, however, is that there is always something good, some way that God shows you he is taking care of your needs. Luckily my family lives close by and can help me in times of need, even at 3 o'clock in the morning, or to come do dishes and wrangle children. And if husbands aren't home and around sick people, they can't get sick. So they can go on providing for their family, and the wifey doesn't have the task of waiting hand and foot on the worst wussy patient ever one more person while she is also sick.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Why NOT, Monday

After spending the last 2 hrs reading Not Me Monday posts, I decided I probably can come up with something to share. So why Not! :D Because I do NOT have an eventful life, it is NOT a comedy of errors.  There is never anything that is improper, inappropriate, unwise, or unsanitary going on in this house. And I just don't have anything that needs to be done around here. If you'd like to get in on the fun, or read a little more about all the other tales of things people did "NOT" do this week, just head on over to MckMama's blog for a little blog carnival therapy. Or, as I call it, share-apy.

I would have NEVER told my husband, upon hearing his complaint about having to wear dirty jeans today, "well, now you're just like the rest of us."
I did NOT just remember I needed to buy diapers today. We are NOT in the middle of a snow storm, so going to the store is not an option. Crap. (And I hope not too much of it.)

Of Friday evening, as we were calmly having a bedtime story, the 3 monkeys and I did NOT all watch in utter surprise and horror as Baby Boots puked all over Koko's bed. And by watch, I mean, literally just sat, and watched. 3 waves of barf, people. I then did NOT have to rush Miss Cheeks out. of. the. room. as she was making her own heaving noises. (you know how you watch and smell, and then it gets to you.)

I did NOT host a birthday party, despite a very sick Baby Boots. I did NOT figure that my warning people and putting him down for a nap during the festivities would be good enough preventative measures.

On my Things To Do Before the Birthday Pary Cleaning List, I did NOT have cleaning the turtle tank as a top priority, before cleaning the bathroom even. I was NOT worried that someone would call PETA on me for animal cruelty, as the water was, um, let's just say "not clear." (It's all good now.)

The birthday party was NOT a success, and my girl did NOT haul in!!! She hit the jackpot of gifts. (FYI: tacos in a bag/walking tacos are a big hit, and super easy.) It was NOT a cute but easy "pink" party.

This is NOT my daughter with a balloon under her dress, saying she's pregnant. Her grandmother did NOT put it there saying, "look, now you're just like mommy." Ahem.
And NO, I'm not pregnant.

Sigh. Now that it's 5 hours after I started this post, I've forgotten all the good stuff. This will have to do.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You are good

Koko is my more "spiritual" of the children. She is more apt to pray, to talk about God, to ask questions. It's sweet and warms a mama's banana-filled heart.

The other day at breakfast, she and I were sitting at the table. She had her head resting on her hands, elbows on the table, and she said she had a dream about God and Jesus. Naturally, I was very interested to hear about this. Keeping a calm demeanor, I asker her to tell me the dream. At first I thought she was maybe making it up, just retelling a story, but the whole time she told it, she had this funny, sheepish grin on her face. Like it was special, but she was a little shy to share it. She has told the story of her dream 4 times now, and each time it is exactly the same.

The dream:
I had a dream about God and Jesus. I want to be with them where they live. I killed a giant with 30,000 stones (yes, we've read this story recently) and they said I saved the world. Then an angel came and gave me a message. It said "Koko, you are very good. Signed, Good Girl."

I asked her later to describe God and she couldn't. But she did describe the angel:
It had super long wings, it had super long hair, it was a girl and had earrings. And gave me some (earrings).

Isn't that awesome, to have a dream where God tells you you are good? Isn't that what everyone longs to hear? 'and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."' Luke 3:22

What a lucky girl.

Who decided it's Terrible Twos?

I think a reworking of the age / characteristic thing is in order. It's totally wrong. My experience hasn't gone very far yet, but from what I know, it's not what they say.

I don't know what they call ones, but let's just say it's very busy. It's a wear-out-the-mama non-stop kind of busy. The kind where your house will never be clean, the floor never picked up, and don't leave anything out anywhere if you don't want it chewed, dunked in the sink/toilet, or chucked from across the room. Ones are when the most glasses are broken, the most chairs climbed, the most things-that-shouldn't-be-put-in-the-mouth get put in the mouth. You also find yourself running the most, because they usually learn to walk and a few days later they stop. Because they are running. And bolting. Out the door, across parking lots, through the mall, in crowded church hallways. They also discover their innate skill of tantrumming. It does not matter if they have a model for this behavior or not. I'm telling you, it's innate. Like breathing. They just know how to do it. They understand what "no" means, but they are powerless to stop themselves. Which means, you have to do it for them. Over and over and over again. As a mother of a one year old, you usually find yourself at the end of the day flopping down in a chair completely exhausted. One's are definitely On The Go.

This one year old busy behavior extends into the Two's, though I find the two's much more enjoyable. They are beginnning to understand no and how to control themselves. They can express themselves more, can feed themselves and ask for things they want (though they are yet clueless to all the things out there that they could want, unlike the 4 and up set). The tantrums, in my experience, seem to wane a little, so they are much less intense, and not as frequent. They tend to be happy with whatever you give them; they're just happy they're getting something. They still tend to color on the wall, and certainly can't be trusted with things like markers, scissors, glue or paint. A very watchful eye is still important, but whereas at one they couldn't "do," now they can, a little. Their preferences aren't yet developed, except for food, so mother's of picky eaters beware, they do start power struggles now. They are very entertaining with their language abilities (or lack thereof) and how they mispronounce things. Physically, they try new things, and are so excited and proud of all their own accomplishments - jumping, scribbling, putting on their shoes (though this can sometimes be a challenge - when they won't put them on or won't keep them on). Everything is a wonder to them, and it's exciting to be in this awe-filled magical stage with them. I found the Two's Terrific.

(We are now not currently in this stage of Two's, so I apologize if I forgot certain defining characteristics. Maybe I'll update this next year when I've had a refresher course. But having completed 2 three's and just now entering a third, I still say two's are better.)

Something happens on birthdays. (And this can happen for all ages.) By that, I don't mean  cake, presents and parties. I mean, an attitude change. Seriously, it's like overnight. ON their birthday. It's like Dr. Jeckyl Mr. Hyde. The sassy pants comes out. The scowling, the whining. Seriously? I want my sweet little dumpling back. The fun part is the development of their imagination. Seeing more of their real personality emerge. Watching them physically change from the belly-bulging baby to a lean mean wiggling preschooler machine. They can now dress themselves, which lends to some interesting outfits. The three's can be fun, exploratory, with new freedoms. But the attitude?  The pouting? Generally, I find the Three's Trying. As in, Trying My Patience.

Four is better. They can do, they can be left alone for 5 minutes. You don't have to worry as much about them eating the crayons/markers/glue. They don't try to cut their own hair as much. They are more independent, and love love love playing pretend. (Plus, they can wipe their own butt. Does it get better than that? haha) Reasoning skills come out, so they start to understand more. Which also brings on the questions (though I've yet to have a kid who really did the whole "why? why?" thing. knock on wood). They love learning new words, and making up their own. Especially girls. Oh, and let's not forget the jokes. You know? How did the chicken cross the lasagna restaurant? Cockapoodle poodle. Yep. That one. I love seeing their mind devolop, their interest in the world around them, their becoming part of the world around them. And they still need their mom. Plus, my four year old (soon to be 5) frequently calls me Genius. So Four's? I'll say Fantastic.

Five is just like four, but better. Well, so far. I have only fully experienced them with a very easy-going boy. But Koko is now entering them. So far, what I see I like. Let's hope it keeps up. This is the age when they leave home (Kindergarten), and the outside world comes into your cocoon. All the protecting you've done, and now, they're out there without you. While they may meet it with some excitement and some trepidation, it's awesome to see how they adapt, how quickly they learn, and how it's all seperate from you. Now you're in the teaching and guiding phase (because they know some stuff you taught them, learned some stuff you didn't teach them, and how to use that to navigate life). There are certain times of frustration, like in the grocery store when they ask you a million times for a thousand different things they "need." Or making them do school work when it's hard and they get frustrated. But all in all, I'd say Five's are Phenomenal.

I hear it really gets good when they're about 8.

While it's a blessing to be a parent to awesome kids, parenting is NEVER easy. There are always challenges. Right now, my challenges are clearly of the one and three year old kind. If I could get my kids to stop getting into stuff, making messes, needing to be fed/bathed/dressed, eliminate whining/fighting/tattling/tantrums, life would be a breeze. Right?