Monday, December 10, 2012

Mama never told me...

...There'd be days like this. Oh boy. It's a doozy.

We've had the flu (so far, 6 out of 7 of us, with one home today). There's "flu-ness" everywhere. Some serious cleaning needs to be done, and trust me when I say I'm trying, but one little boy is dead set against the making of progress.

There are piles of bedding that need to have the chunks shaken out before they can even come near my washing machine. (Daddy's who are the breadwinners, and who have cashed out all their remaining vacation/sick days in order to buy Christmas presents, don't want to get anywhere near pukey germs. Can't say I blame him, er, them.) Toilets desperately need to be cleaned. Socks, now washed, needed to be matched. We've had so many baths that there is a pile of towels so high it rivals Mount Kilimanjaro. Garbage cans need to be restored to their actual intended function. Never mind the disinfecting of everything that would be beneficial to all of mankind, and then the general stuff of everyday. 

But mommies with the flu, who don't seem to get the quick 12-hour variety that everyone else got, aren't much good for stuff like that. Or, at least, not all that. Because let's be honest. Even when the mom is sick, she's still a mom, and you can never really take a day totally off. Not even a sick day.

Before I got sick, the little guy, newly turned two, he got it. Thankfully  this is the first time he's had the flu. One thing about toddlers, they don't give you any barf warning. So as he sat watching cartoons, reclining on the floor in front of the tv, he drenched himself and the rug around him. Lovely. I shampooed and scrubbed it twice and the smell still didn't come out. So I dumped vinegar on it and shampooed it again. Well, it doesn't smell like barf anymore but the vinegar smell is only a small improvement. Round 4, dear Bissell Powercleaner?

Friday was payday. Checkbooks need to be balanced. Bills need to be paid. All so I can start the task of Christmas shopping. (Yes, I said 'start.' I officially detest you people who were done a week ago.) But apparently, boys need to be cuddled more than any of that. Because when you don't cuddle them, they will make you pay.

And then he will help himself to yogurt. And applesauce. Sorry, no picture.

After he is fed and cuddled, and you are tricked into thinking all is well, you will try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro do some laundry. He will take these moments of your distraction and he will try to change his poopy diaper. All by himself. And then try to get new clothes. All by himself. And he will leave a poopy trail all up the stairs. The carpeted stairs. And I will get to clean that, all by myself. 

Seriously wishing I had a stair attachment on my carpet cleaner right now. 

In retrospect, clean towels is no trade-off for poopy stairs. Live and learn.

Oh, did I mention Schweetheart is coming to visit, much overdue? Yeah, so there's prepping for her that needs to be done. Don't want the poor girl to walk in and feel like she's staying at the local dump. Clean. Purge. Paint. Rearrange. Plus, need to plan some fun stuff to do. I see some baking in the future!!!

I have people in my life who seem to think I'm the worst mom ever, worst housekeeper ever. But let me just challenge you to live my life for a week. A day is not long enough. Anyone can survive a day. Try a week. A month. When there's no respite in sight. Yeah, that's when you can grow some compassion for how much I actually DO accomplish. My floors might not be spotless, there are piles of clutter in most corners. But the important stuff gets done. Meals, laundry, hugs, some homework. Sure, I need to take more time to listen and hug on my kids, to read them stories, spend less time online, clean a closet. But I think we can all think of things we could do better, could have done better. We have to make choices. At times, one thing gets "neglected" to take care of another more pressing issue. I have no desire to strive for perfection. It's way too hard, and anytime I've had a backlash of trying to be something I'm not because someone criticized me and I tried harder, it only made me very unhappy. If ya know the saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy" then you'll know that spotless counters and stovetops are not worth the OCD freak-outs, cleaning-Nazi attitude and screaming that happen when trying to maintain that illusion of perfection. Not worth it to me, anyway. I don't need illusions. I'm happy being imperfectly me. I know my house is not hoarder-esque/Dept of Sanitation worthy, and my children are loved and tended. The people that love them and know them well, constantly tell me stories of how awesome they are. Cuz they are. so. awesome.

(FYI, I wrote this post while eating lunch. And, other than my attempt to balance the checkbook gone cuddle time, I haven't sat down today.)

So, on "days like this," I suit up, and do my best. Everything will get done it time. And THANK THE HOLY STARS ABOVE for naptime.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have a two year old.

There's a lot indicated in that statement.

It's true. My baby is two, the last baby I'll ever have this side of grandkids. It's good. And sad. Because I'm addicted to babies. But that's another post. But that he's TWO, and where has time flown, where has my baby gone but to toddler-land of changes and God help me, batten down the hatches, folks, he's two. 

Two year olds are curious creatures. 

Not only are they into absolutely everything and beyond, but they are most interesting to observe. They do some seriously funny stuff. The faces they make, the things they say, the wrong ways they say it. Their timing! And then the fact that they usually love the attention they're geting with everyone looking at them and laughing just feeds it so much more.

Huggyface just strutted his stuff into the kitchen where I was trying to hide and eat my mashed potatoes in peace (I know, it was a ridiculous dream). I love it when they act all official and serious, like they are talking business, and it's important stuff. Chin down. Voice low. Looking up at you with wide, "serious" eyes. Nodding their head a lot. Such little mimickers. He's intent on getting a spoon from the drawer. I'm intent on him not getting such weapon device of destruction object. We're playing a game of open drawer / close drawer. Since we are done eating, and he didn't first go scouring the fridge, I'm trying to ask him why he wants the spoon. But two-year-olds don't understand why, so this is basically a pointless line of questioning. Still I persist. He answers matter-of-factly.

Why do you want a spoon?
What do you want a spoon for?
What are you going to do with the spoon?

Out of ways to rephrase, I repeat.

What will you do with the spoon?
H E O I.

Oh. Well. By all means then. Ok. H E I O. Why didn't I think of that?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Summer Catch-Up - July

Out summer seemed to both drag and fly by. There didn't seem to be enough time to get a lot of the things done we waned to do (on our Bucket List) but that wasn't for lack of doing. There wasn't a lot of time for blogging though. When mama gets distracted on the computer, people sometimes disappear to Naughtyland. Not a good thing. And, with as many monkeys as I have to manage, I didn't get many pics, either.

July was hotter than the dickins. You'd think that we spent a lot of time in our pool, but because of the heat, I had a hard time, ahem, maintaining chemical balance... which in layman's terms means that it turned green with algae and I couldn't get rid of it.

The 4th of July was no exception to the hot. On our Bucket List we had put to go to the big Independence Day parade in my hometown, but since it starts at 10, runs two hours into the heat of the day, offers little shade and I would be going alone (sans husband, not kids), we opted for a smaller, closer to home parade. George and Boots got to ride in the firetrucks with their uncle and cousins, throwing candy and waving their little arms off. I just beamed with pride at that, for some reason. Meanwhile, the girls and I sweated our tushies off sitting on the curb, and then treated ourselves to snow cones. Mmmm. We ended the night back in that same little town, watching the fireworks on the side of the highway. And I'm happy to say that this year, everyone watched without being overwhelmed with the noise, even Huggyface, though given that it was way past his bedtime, he was done about halfway through, wanting only his nukie, his blankie and the carseat.

July also brought the end of gymnastics. It was truly enjoyable, and while we debated having the girls continue it during the school year, dance won out (having nothing to do with the fact that it's conveniently 5 blocks away at the school, and they stay there til 5:30. ;D ). But I'm sure we'll be doing that again. It was a good time of skill building - working on balance and coordination skills, and even Huggyface could participate.

While daddy worked to make a living, the kids and I jetted off to Duluth, MN for a church conference. We almost didn't make it as George got a sudden case of the barfies, so we missed the first day, but got there just in time to set up our tent in the dark while mosquitoes knawed on our sweaty flesh. We were fortunate to have friends, and former church members who live in the area, who had a nice big yard for us to stay in. Several others from my church group camped there also. The highlights of camping were not being able to sleep due to the heat and humidity (the lake effect of cooling off at night wasn't working. This was some very stubborn summer heat.), an air mattress that leaked, and what I would swear was a herd of deer rubbing up against my tent in the middle of the night. Always an adventure. However, the next morning when we got up and drove into Duluth, finally catching a glimpse of Lake Superior was breathtaking. I only wished I hadn't been driving (and following someone) because I could have just sat there lookin'. (Bucket List items *Going camping, *Going to Duluth.)


While we had a great time at the conference, we did take the opportunity to sight see, and our host graciously played tour guide, too. We enjoyed seeing the ships docked, the lighthouse on the lake, a moose chair and a bit of ice cream. Also a big highlight were these fountains that shoot up from the sidewalk. There were two different spots of them, and the kids took full advantage of getting as wet as possible.

One place we went on our sightseeing tour where I didn't get any pictures of somehow, was Enger Tower, the Peace Bell and the Japanese garden - all one place. I could never remember the name, I kept calling it Angry Tower, and up until just now when I Googled it, I thought it was called Anger Tower. lol Cool video of bell being run here.) The Tower offers some ah-mazing panoramic views of the city and the lake.

While we enjoyed our trip to Duluth, the kids were not so thrilled with all the driving, and while they liked it, they decided they don't want to go back any time too soon. Next time... with daddy, for sure. And... a hotel.

Finally, we ended July with a certain little boy's birthday. Boy was he excited to turn four (though he really wanted to be five. All the good things happen when you're five, apparently.) Since he figured out how to ride without training wheels, all by himself, on Cheeks old bike that had a flat tire - the kid was d.e.t.e.r.m.i.n.e.d - we thought a new bike was in order for his birthday. We celebrated with family and friends, and some pinata fun, complements of Grammie.

Phew. And you haven't even seen August yet.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Watch Them Grow

Guess what? School's back!

Ok yeah. Happy dance. (You've seen that pic floating around on FB where the kids are lined up with glum faces while the mom is jumping in the air with a big ole grin? Yeah, that's so me.)

I know, some may think "how cold is that? Doesn't she love her children?"

Absolutely! But I'm not one to get too sappy at this time of year.

Wrote a little poem for ya:
Watch Them Grow
Alarms ding, faces beam
Bells ring, shoes gleam.
Buses rumble, Desks glisten,
Leaves tumble, Students listen.
Moms with tears, moms who cheer,
Either way, this time is dear.
I Love my kids but I can say
I’m rather happy for this day.
Schedules, quiet, early bedtime
“School starts today,” is the headline.
Time for learning, growing, changing.
I find this so awe-inspiring.
They will return at end of day,
Bright faces, smiles, with much to say.
I don’t get sad to see them go
Because I love to watch them grow.

Welcome to Third Grade, Second Grade, and Kindergarten, respectively.

Look at those cuties with goofy faces. :D

Their choice in outfits is killer.

  • George chose old clothes (not the new shirt) "because he likes these clothes." Well, ok then.
  • Koko is just.. um.. a future heartbreaker, and the outfit (that yes, **I** let her buy, and may have even picked out for her) is just, well, so ... grownup. sigh.
  • And Miss Cheeks, well, she's channeling Kiss (think old rockers with big hair and spandex) with her fuzzy shirt and silver leggings. Love it.
Now maybe I'll get around to blogging about our summer fun. lol

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Oh, here's something worthy of posting. I shot this video yesterday of Huggyface. It's hilarious. He LOVES the camera, both taking pictures and having his picture taken. He's got "smile" down pat. He also makes this hilarious "O" face that cracks us up  e v e r y  time. But the reason I got the camera out is when he hopped on my lap, I "honked" his nose, and then he copied me. It was SO funny, I couldn't resist. Enjoy!


I'm tired. Thankfully, we're at the end of a very. long. summer. Which is good cuz this mama needs a break. Not that it'll be all bon bons and soaps cuz the two most-maintenance-required ones will still be at home, but at least it will be less. Less noise. Fewer bodies. Hopefully a better work schedule for the Mr. And the little ones are easier to please.

I know God had a plan and reasons for blessing me with so many children, but sometimes I question his sanity, because of the lack of mine.

I'm sure that I contribute (heftily) to my own misery but I have always been a procrastinator and a poor time manager, among other things, so I don't know if this is His way of getting me to change that or just torture me.

Currently, lots of torture, not much change.

Please understand, I do say all this with some edge of sarcasm. But also some sincerity.

I've had a rough year, just personally, nothing bad that's happened really. Just growing older, sorting through my life's worth of baggage, hormone shifts, pounds I'm unsuccessfully trying to shed, plus 5 kids and a marriage to manage. It's a lot to... well, manage.

So sorry for my lack of posting, and my negative attitude today. It hasn't been all bad or humdrum. We've had some fun. I just have to find the time and energy to share it.

Maybe tomorrow, when my house is all cleaned.

(yes, that is me you hear laughing)

Maybe you can leave a comment and tell me the fun you've been having and the struggles you've faced. It's good to share both. Not just one or the other. The good can get others excited or smiling or help us realize the good we have in our own lives, the struggles to help us all realize we're not alone in them. So, do tell!


..........crickets .......................


I'm  w a a a i i i t t t i i i n n n g g g !

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It ain't over yet!

I have seen a lot of people talking about how summer is almost over (I started hearing this mid-July. Seriously?). We still have a month left. I haven't decided if that is good or bad. Probably good for the Bucket List. (Have you ever made a summer bucket list?) We're still crossing things off, and have great plans to hit a bunch more.

My kids have gone crazy, though. It will be good when school starts. I have pretty much bombed on getting any sort of routine in place this summer (or ever). June went ok because there was summer school for one and gymnastics for the rest. Plus it was dang hot all the time and so the pool got a LOT of use. But then July came and the pool got a hole, and got green, and fixing either one of those posed a bit of a challenge to my laziness. (I have finally surrendered to the green, because really, how many chemicals can one pool take, and am draining the pool as we speak. The hole, however, has been fixed for over a week.)

We went to a movie yesterday. It was on our Bucket List. Yogi Bear. Cinemark has a great summer program, and fortunately, a movie theater in a nearby town happens to (be the only theater in my state to) participate. Once a week (Tuesdays) they offer a showing of a slightly older kids movie, for only $1. This is great for multiple reasons. One - it's cheap, which makes it more realistic for the budget, especially when you have multiples and this isn't the only activity you want to do this week. Two - kids don't care that it's older, they are just excited to be at the theater. We don't go to a lot of movies, so this is particularly novel experience for our children. Three - it's all kids (and their chaperones) so the unruly toddler throwing his sippy cup and nukie, shouting "DOWN" and running up and down the aisles isn't as bothersome to the audience. Not that I would know. Kids are more tolerant of kid noise, plus, it's not like anyone's paid full price. 

Each theater schedule is different. Ours happens to have three more weeks left, so maybe we'll catch another one before summer is over. But next time I'll feed them breakfast first. Nothing like feeding your kids candy for breakfast. Which was even better than the fruit pizza for breakfast they had the day before, or the chocolate cereal they had for supper later. (Krave. It's all the rage. And I must say, the Double Chocolate really is the bomb. "Made with real chocolate." And it is!!!) I guess that is an indication that nutrition has taken a back burner this summer. Oh well. I never claimed to be supermom. haha! Clearly.

Here's our Summer Bucket List 2012
  • Go to the beach/lake
  • Go to a swimming pool with daddy
  • Nighttime swimming (with glo-sticks)(Pinterest idea)
  • Air Show (we did but someone - not me - didn't last long and so we left before the Blue Angels. :(
  • Go fishing
  • Go to Duluth (church conference, but we did go see some touristy stuff)
  • Camping (in Duluth)
  • Rapidan Dam (even went for supper, not just to the park)
  • Breakfast outside
  • Breakfast for supper (did a few times)
  • Supper outside
  • Picnic (not sure if I have to be included, if not, then this one is done)
  • Sibley Park
  • 4th of July parade (went to an evening one and still sweat our butts off, but we did it)
  • Make fruit pizza
  • Make ice cream
  • Ice cream for breakfast
  • MOA - not sure we'll make this one
  • Camp in the backyard (not sure if we'll make this one either)
  • Bonfire with S'mores
  • Sleep in the living room (I have NO IDEA why this is such a big deal. lol)
  • Tie-dye (not sure we'll get this one done. They didn't show much interest :(
  • Red Jacket Bridge
  • Lemonade stand
  • Family bike ride (probably not gonna happen - I need my bike fixed)
  • Wash the car (you know, with sponges and the hose)
  • BMX track - we'll see. This was daddy's idea, and therefore his to implement
  • Decorate cupcakes
  • Vacation (soon!)
  • Waterpark (soon!)
  • Niagara Cave, Harmony MN (soon!)
  • Stay in a hotel (soon!)
  • Go to Como Zoo (possibly soon)
  • Candlelight dinner
  • Catch fireflies
  • Mini donuts at Farmer's Market (tried once and failed. maybe this week? On the way to my class reunion barbeque picnic at the lake? yeah, we'll see)
  • Geo-caching ? (available thru state park system)
  • Fly kites
  • Go to a movie
  • Human bubbles (Pinterest idea)
  • Experiment day/?week (sort of a Pinterest idea)
  • Minneopa

So 15 of 42 completed. And I think we can accomplish another 15 more, at least. Not bad. We'll knock off a handful with a mini-vacay weekend we have planned soon. A bucket list a great way to gather ideas of stuff to do, and then the kids feel like "we've done something" vs "we never do anything". Even with kids as young as mine, I've heard that line before, and with this list I can look and say, "oh, but we did  XYZ." It also pushes you in a few ways - to be creative with your activities ( not everything has to cost $$,) to do things that you would rather not do but the kids would love, or things that you've never done before. Plus, since it's "on the Bucket List," cereal for supper suddenly becomes even more cool. (For the record, our "official" Breakfast for Supper meal was pancakes with strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. I did not take the easy way out... for that meal.)

What would you have put on your summer bucket list?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

To the Childless

This letter is not meant to be crass. It is not meant to be sarcastic. It is not meant to be unkind or unsympathetic. It is not meant to belittle your struggles and very real heartache. This... is just honest. 

I was seventeen when I first said I wanted a baby. I remember plopping down in my desk in senior lit class and announcing it. My teacher, Mrs. Anderson, lovely woman full of spunk, experience and sarcasm, well, I think her jaw hit the floor. She was, for that moment, speechless.

Many girls dream of finding a mate and starting a family, usually some time after high school/college. By age twenty-one I was ready. Sooooo ready. Only... not. Apparently God thought I could be more ready. To me, however, it seemed as though he was torturing me with abject loneliness and despair, as not only did I not have a "significant other," I neither had friends. Total suckville. For years, I watched as friends and acquaintances, all the young pups in my church and elsewhere, got married, some way way too young. Some started families, some took a bit longer. Some got divorced. During this horribly long stretch of singledom, I had rededicated my life to the Lord and began seeking my own personal relationship with God, I became active in my church (because really, what else was there for me to do), I went to bible studies, I reclaimed my virginity, and I waited. Very. very. impatiently. Many times I cried out, "what's wrong with me, God? Why not me? Why am I not worthy of getting this?" No answers were given, to which I grew more pissed off.

In this season, I surrounded myself with the women who were having babies (and sometimes marital problems to go along with that). I held babies, rocked them, listened to the mommies talk about breastfeeding and teething and everything mommy-related under the sun. I asked questions. I hung out. And mentally, I took notes.

Of coarse as the story goes, I met Kong and we got married and had babies too, lots and lots of babies, though that story has plenty of bumps along the way and didn't exactly happen overnight. But here I am today, one husband and five children richer. After a three year dating spell/engagement, I was not quite thirty when we married, and I was thirty and a half when I had my first baby. (Thirty-seven and a half when I had my fifth and final baby, in case you were wondering.) I have recognized that that time, those extra years I had, taking notes and maturing just a little bit more, were good in that I was just that much more capable of handling it all. More than my twenty-one year old self would have been. More than those nineteen and twenty year old counterparts were. So I can be thankful for it now, but the waiting really was a horribly low time for me.

I will be the first to tell you that I need to appreciate my family more. I need to spend more time reveling in what a blessing they all are. And I am doing that. I'm being more intentional. They are blessings, and I am humbled and honored to have been graced with this position. The flip side is that parenting is hard. Damned hard, and sometimes it's hard to be thankful for those "blessings." It's the most tiresome, unending, repetitive, frustrating, overwhelming, stretch you to the limits and beyond, self-sacrificing, thankless job you'll EVER have anywhere of anything. Which I say in full authority of coarse because I've been everywhere and done everything. Ok, so maybe not. But I'm pretty sure I'm right.

When you become a parent, your whole life, your sleep schedule, your body, your time, your everything - it is no longer your own. Your freedom is gone. Your "freedom" to be selfish is gone. Your ability to go somewhere on a moments notice without making major preparations (diaper bag, sitter, sleep schedule, travel time, company, food/bottles, carseats, etc) is gone. It's very easy to feel trapped, and there is even a period of mourning that loss. Your money, if you ever had any, is now spoken for. You may no longer sleep til noon. Or 8am. Or even alone. Or.. at all. You may not listen to loud music. You may not even get to listen to your music. Or watch your shows on television. What you eat changes. Where you eat changes. For some, where you live changes. You become concerned with things that were of no consequence before. Because now, everything has consequence.

You are responsible for another human being. For every minute that passes, ultimately you are responsible for their care, their livelihood, their well-being. It is your job to direct or shape their mind, their values and beliefs, their personality, their soul, their education, their goals, their future. Everything you do has an impact. Even if you manage to sneak away for an evening, a weekend, a whole blessed vacation sans children, you are still responsible for what happens to your child. No grandma, aunt, uncle, friend is more responsible for your child than you are. Ever.

My days are filled with things that frustrate the heck out of me. And... it's my job to change it. It's my job to teach them, by constant vigilance and repetition to the nth freaking degree, to put their shoes away, put their plate in the dishwasher, clothes in the hamper, to pick up toys, how to pick up toys, to look for cars, to ask before taking (anything and everything, god help me this may do me in some days), to eat what is put in front of them, to listen to complaining, to listen to whining, to stop the complaining and whining and fighting, to endure tantrums and sass and attitude. Teaching personal responsibility, personal hygiene, caring for property, manners, respect, kindness, math facts, not to cut your own hair, to ask before you hand out apples to the seven other children at the park, to not draw on walls, pee on the merry-go-round, or pull the paint off the walls - all this and more - is NEVERENDING. And when I say constant vigilance, I mean C O N S T A N T   V I G I L A N C E.

Have you ever heard that quote that says, 'Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.' ~Elizabeth Stone. It's true. You love this child (who drives you batty) so much, but a heart outside your body is unprotected. Still, most parents do everything in their power to protect their child, until they realize the frightening fact that there is a lot outside their control. Kids get sick. Kids get hurt. They encounter danger of many kinds. Sometimes they are born with physical/mental/developmental challenges. As a parent, you don't get a choice in those matters. It can make you sick to your stomach thinking of all the what if's, the things out of your control. You can never be prepared enough for that, whatever may come. 

If all that isn't tiring enough, the other thing parenting does is hold a big fat mirror up to your own inadequacies or faults. You see your mistakes repeated in your children's actions. You hear them repeat your voice - the one of criticism, pettiness, complaining, or that screechy one. You know the one. They repeat things you never should have said. They test your limits. They push you past your limits. They stomp all over your weaknesses. You find yourself filled with regret, or 'I wish I would have done that differently', or 'I wish I would have done that better.' You do or say things you never thought you would. You see where you made wrong choices, and how that impacted everyone. Being a parent is like standing in a fire. If you let it, it refines you, but it's a hot place to be, and it sure as heck isn't comfortable.

My oldest is only eight, and I have those thoughts of regret. For my one short foray into being a sorta mom to a teen I totally screwed up to degrees that still cause me great sorrow, even as I type this. I wonder daily - will that damage ever be undone, or rectified? My youngest sibling is thirty three and I hear my parents make remarks of regret all the time. And my parents were/are good parents.

All that to say... parenting is not what it seems. Not what you dream. The moments of snuggling and story reading and hand holding are crowded with much less pleasant realities.

I have several friends who have battled infertility. I have friends who are single mothers. I have friends who still have not found "the one." I have friends who have gone or are going through the long grueling adoption process. I have had a miscarriage. I have prayed many prayers for one friend who has miscarried, experienced infertility, and still hopes to adopt, though it appears as though it may never happen. (I still pray. I still have hope.) I am a regular reader of a few blogs by people who blog out their heart ache in regards to their body's inability to create or contain a child. None of this makes me an expert. None of this gives me the true understanding of your experience or heartbreak or pain. It only gives me a window, and a smidge of empathy. My heart truly aches for your longing.

I don't know why God has allowed you to go through this trial. But do not be mistaken, there is a reason. There is fruit to come. There are lessons to be learned that will, or should, come out of this time for you. Parenting (or marriage, for that matter) is not as romantic as we think it to be in our pre-child state. All my high school notions were just fantasy, not - not at ALL - reality. Once, a few years ago, I called my mom and asked, "So, tell me again why I wanted children?" Her response, "I don't know. Why did you?" Yes, there are blessings and rewards that come with being a parent, but it is a long, hard time in the making, sometimes taking years, or decades, to see. The "mama" you were once so excited to hear eventually becomes the thing you wish they would stop saying (because it's usually preceding a request, a demand, a complaint or just being said to annoy the heck out of you). I love you's become I hate you's. Hugs become slammed doors. Nothing about parenting is easy. Sometimes, not even the loving.

As they say, the grass is always greener. So take a moment, please, to consider your own lawn, and the tending that can be done there. There is good in your life right now. There are "benefits" you have that you take for granted, just as I often take for granted the five (+ hubby) blessings I have who take up my every waking minute. And just as I should find grace in the blessing of "getting" to do 14 loads of laundry a week, so should you take the opportunity - while you have it - to spend time on yourself, on your prayer life, or your marriage, your ability to travel, your freedom to help people, to go to counseling to deal with your 'issues,' to find mental health, or a career, to develop great friendships or a cure for cancer, or to sit around in your undies all day and eat chips without having to share. We all need to open our eyes wider to the opportunities, privileges and blessings that lay before us, that are already here, right here, right now.

And with that... This is what has come to mind.

May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you,
May the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.

Because truly, parent or not, we need all the blessings, grace, favor and peace He has to offer us in this life.

Monday, July 30, 2012

FriendConnect more like NEVER CONNECT

Ugh. Anyone else have any problems with Blogger and "managing your subscriptions?" I used to be able to just switch back over to the old interface and unsubscribe, because LORD KNOWS that FriendConnect is n.e.v.e.r.  a.b.l.e.  t.o.  c.o.n.n.e.c.t. At least not in my experience. So I have never managed to "manage" on the new interface. But now I can't even use the old interface. So I try in Google Reader - as per the lame instructions in Blogger. Well, it  s a y s I'm unsubscribing in Google Reader but the doggone things are still there. grumble grumble justwastedanhouronthiscrap mumble  grumble grr.

No offense to the people I'm trying to delete, y'all. Just trying to clean up ones I just don't have time to read. You're really lovely bloggers, it's just that your topic is probably not most suited to my current ear.

And, you know, the ones who haven't posted in like 2 yrs. Some of them, I'm really bummed to miss, though. Kim @Inadvertent Farmer and Mr DetzelPretzel - Pastor Ryan? Yeah, I's talkin' bout yous, buddy. What happened to your blogs? Poof. Thin air.

So Blogger... yeah, you mythicalmanintheweb. This is not a new problem. FIX IT, WILL YA! (and by not new, I mean, like since the dawn of time, or at least since the dawn of the new interface.

ok. stepping off soapbox.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


You know you've done it. Especially as a parent, given the non-stop talking. (What that's just my house? Oh, my bad.) I'm talking about Inactive Listening. This most sanity saving ineffective listening technique can be defined as hearing someone speak, but only half paying attention to what that someone is saying. You catch key words, phrases, the more important things, just not all the details. Yep. I'm guilty. Sometimes, when my kids talk to me, which is, like, all-doggone-day-long never, I sometimes am only sort of paying attention. My mind is busy thinking of the running to-do list that floats around my head, concentrating on not chopping my finger off (not that that's ever happened, ahem) or... a bazillion other things going on. For me, these someone's are usually short. Like monkeys. For you? Maybe your spouse, mother, mother-in-law? 

Consequently, this is also the same technique your children are applying when you are lecturing them for the umpteenth time about picking up their stinkin' (and in some cases that's literal) shoes. Or about manners, or making wise choices. Or.. You get the picture.

I do wonder, though, if this is how kids miss what is said that can lead to some funny versions of what they repeat.

Anyway, that is how this story was born.

This summer, we got Netflix. When the kids get to fighting, or fighting over what they want to watch, Mrs. Bananas (that's me) gets to choose. Instead of picking some show that lasts only 20 minutes, I pick a nice long movie, to prolong the break from fighting. One such day, my choice was not the best but I was busy trying not to chop off my finger and quickly prepare some sustenance for the hungry natives who needed a distraction. Which would be why I wasn't really monitoring what was on. My bad. There were questionable things. Hey, it was a movie about babies. Who thought talking babies would swear (mildly) and use innuendo???

Today, Koko was recounting one of the "funnier" parts of the story. As you might have guessed, I was applying the Inactive Listening technique. She was saying something about one of the babies kicking some man and another baby laughing and commenting about it.

This is when Koko quotes something about kicking Gomez.

"Gomez?" I asked. "What?" Clearly confused.

She giggled, pointed "down there" and said, "you know, his Gomez."

After I died laughing, I let her know that the "correct" term is 'gonads.'

At the lunch table, she then corrected her brother about this, and explained to him that Gomez is someone's last name. Gonad's are what's "down there."

Oh my.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Average Morning Adventures in the Car

George has Cub Scout Camp this week. (I wish it was longer than 2 days. For his sake, of coarse.)

I forgot to set my alarm. Fortunately, my kids have an inner excitement meter that conveniently acts as an internal alarm clock, and so I was awakened by my boy promptly at 7am wanting to know where his clothes were.

Upon rising I see that it is very clearly going to rain. (PRAISE THE LORD) This also means I need to find him rain gear of some sort. I know we have at least two rain ponchos we bought about ten years ago for a camping/fishing trip we took. Heck if I could find them. Naturally. The Kong was sure they'd have ponchos at our local Happy Dan's. They don't. "I know they carry them at Holiday," he said knowingly, since he goes there for work a lot. But of coarse there's only two Holiday's in town and neither of them are close or convenient. 

Clearly there was some running around in my future so I packed all the kids in the car and off we went to drop the boy off at camp before heading out to search for rain gear. I was trying to avoid a trip clear across town (really, about the farthest possible point from where we were) to Menards or Wally World. Kwik Trip doesn't carry them either, in case you're wondering, but they do carry delicious donuts which sounded like a "good" breakfast for the kids. I got chocolate milks for them to wash it down with, too. I knew I'd hear some "you're the best mom ever's" with this.

At least that's what you'd think. When I got to the car and began handing out the sweets, Boots was very upset that I didn't get him Bug Juice (which is just koolaid in a squirt top bottle). "Sorry, that's your treat with daddy. But I got you yummy donuts and chocolate milk." I handed it to him, he took it, reluctantly. As we're driving down the road, he continues to protest that I didn't get Bug Juice. I tell him to stop drinking the milk. He doesn't.

And please tell me where kids come up with stuff because this next bit is too funny.

He's still bemoaning the Bug Juice and complaining about milk and donuts when he says, "This stuff is going to make me barf. It's destroying my stomach."

Really? Destroying my stomach? Okay, pal. Then you just hand that right over to mommy. I'll happily let it destroy my stomach. Wouldn't want a boy to suffer, now, would we?

Among the complaints about his breakfast, he's also crying about missing his brother (which is quite endearing when you take out the whining part), and how this is so not fair that he can't go to camp. I apologize but I don't make the rules, and he can go to camp when he's six. Doesn't help. Koko, sweetie that she can be, pipes in with, "would it make you feel better if I farted my armpit?" Slight pause, followed by a quiet, "Yeah," he says.

lol. I'm baffled. Kids. Nothing like a little armpit farting to raise your spirits.

Even more astounding, she gave him a very detailed explanation about how to do it, in case he wanted to make his own armpit farts. I think this girl could be a teacher. It was seriously amazing.

I'm not sure if I should be proud of that, or mortified. 

Oh, and by the way, we did get a  poncho, but unfortunately, they were out of our favorite tortilla chips (Chi-chi's brand). Bummer.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Time Spent Well

I often lament my mothering (which sounds pathetic as I type it "out loud"). Is mommy guilt is innate? We all have dreams of what life will be like, how we will mother, the relationship we have with our kids. But the reality is, parenting is a lot of work. 

First of all, there's the actual parenting of little people who you may occasionally think exist just to try your patience. Dealing with tantrums, sass and sibling conflict. Then, there's the logistics in just plain living. The nuts and bolts. Laundry, dishes, meals, grocery shopping, vacuuming, endless picking up of toys, etc. Too often I get lost in that. So much to do that I don't enjoy life. I don't enjoy my kids.

I hate that. I'm ashamed of that.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this not enjoying my kids thing. Months being upset about it, having a bad attitude about it. Pouting. Crying, even. I want to love my kids. I want them to know that not only do I love them, but I love being with them.

Part of it is a mindset. If my attitude is different, the air around me is different. My kids' attitudes and behaviors are different. My spouse is different. Life is different.

My house is a disaster right now, and I'm getting bogged down with just the thought of it. Frustration mounts at the amount of tasks and not enough energy or time. I get mad at doing something over and over again, so that I don't even bother. Evidence: My kitchen floor looks like a casualty-filled war zone. It's truly gross. And I'm not being modest. The tot throws food on the floor when he's decided he's done eating, and 3 times a day? Not mopping three times a day. Not mopping three times a week. And if I'm really being honest here, I don't mop three times a month. I just get mad when it gets all messy again, which is dumb. PRIME EXAMPLE of where I need to change my mindset. Also, how many times a day can I clean muddy hand prints off the bathroom sink, or wipe the mirror? sigh. I should not complain. 

In every thing we do we have a choice. So, on the 4th, I made different choices. I sat on the couch and watched two episodes of Army Wives with my hubby, because that's what we like to do. The boys were gone to their cousins, but instead of cleaning the bathroom, I made the split second decision to put on my swimsuit and jumped in the pool with the girls who played with my hair, and sat on the floatie with me. I hung out with them for almost 2 hours. I didn't cook. I didn't clean. I enjoyed the people around me instead. Later, we went to a parade, and I beamed with pride watching my boys in firetrucks. I soaked-in their excitement, their kid-ness, their fun. We sweated together (100 degrees and tropical humidity). We raced for candy. We had snow cones and lit sparklers. We saw fireworks and ate popcorn.

While I often do fun stuff with my kids, I don't always have the best attitude. I take them somewhere so they can have fun, but not me. I don't have the attitude of enjoying them, of enjoying with them. More energy is spent trying to escape - the noise, the hassle, the interruption. I'm embarrassed by that. So yesterday, I dove in. I participated. Was it all fun? No. Was there the usual complaining, mischief and rivalry? Sure. But I didn't focus on that. 

It did my heart good to enjoy my children. To take notice and dote. They need that.  I  need that.

My house is still dirty today, though probably not noticeably dirtier. I still haven't made a meal, there's dishes to do, and mountains of stuff to be done. But I chose to braid the girls' hair. I hugged my boys. I let them eat candy. Hopefully my monkeys will remember that I was present in their day, that I was more than just another body in the room.

(and here is where I would insert a nice photo of the girls' braided hair but my camera battery is dead and I can't find the charger. grr. Story of my life.)

This was my facebook status last night, and I think it sums this up. 

"It was a good day. Time with my love, time with my girls, beamed with pride watching my boys ride in firetrucks, time with my wild man, pool, parade, pizza, popcorn and pyrotechnics. Nothing super spectacular, just a lot of little moments - good ones."

Are you taking time to enjoy the people in your life, or are you putting your focus on things that are less important? Take the time, challenge yourself. Set down the phone, the laundry basket, the book/paper/computer, and join in. You won't regret it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wanted: Toilet

Moms, by profession, talk about excretion a lot. Occupational hazard, I suppose. This is one of those posts.

We need more bathrooms in this house. Seriously, it's ridiculous. Once bathroom for seven people, (one not even yet potty trained) is NOT ENOUGH. Really fun with small children or while pregnant, too.

The timing of my children's bathroom needs is impeccable. If we sit down to a meal, guaranteed at least one child will have to get up, within two minutes of sitting down, to go use the bathroom. I considered charting it to see just how often it really happens, but then I decided that would be gross, and unnecessary work. Who needs more work? Not I!

Another fun fact - you know how ladies can sync their cycles? Yeah, pretty sure my monkeys have synced their cycles, too. Their bathroom cycles. So they all need to go URGENTLY all at once. Nothing like having three people who need to poop, the one who takes the longest got there first, and the two in line are the littler ones who don't do so well at holding their bowels or bladders or whatever the case may be. This makes for a rather panicky situation for all parties involved, including me, since I would be the person cleaning up any disasters. 

Maybe I need to decrease the amount of fiber in their diet. Just a thought.

And of coarse, we can't forget the leave-the-house-have-to-pee-before-arriving-at-destination or the seven different trips to the bathroom while in the W-mart. No wonder it takes me 90 minutes to get in and out of that place. Did I mention that we went on a walk last week? Not two blocks from our house and someone had to go. This particular child has some interesting practices as it is, like waiting til the last possible second before deciding or announcing she has to go and then we have to RUN for it, or when she does have to go, she loses all ability to think, particularly fun - actually, it is funny - when she wakes up and needs to go. I know what the problem is by her characteristic cry and stomping on the floor as she does the pee-pee dance while standing next to her bed. This one requires intervention as she will stand next to her bed stomping until she does in fact pee herself, but that can be avoided by quickly guiding her to the bathroom, but make sure you lift the lid for her because she will sit down without doing that. Not good.

We live in a 1 1/2 story house, and our sidewalls are short. An upstairs bathroom is not an option. But... Recently I've been wondering if their is any way we could add one in the basement. Granted, we'd have to rip up concrete and all. We used to rent a place where the was a freestanding toilet in the basement. Not ideal, but it's better than a port-a-potty and don't think I haven't thought about renting one of those for the summer. I don't know that I want the smell and the flies of that option, though. Plus, my 3-almost-4 yr old is too curious, and I'm not at all interested in fishing out toys or some such thing from that.

ugh. shivers.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Outspoken. Yep, that's me.

Hello dear, poor, neglected blog. I think about you all the time. Too bad you don't have a voice app for blog posting. Too bad I don't have something that does apps. Something in my brain so all my thoughts could be recorded would be great. Well, maybe not all my thoughts, just the ones I want to blog. I'd settle for voice recognition software in a small pocket-size device, though.

I was talking to my mom the other day about marital woes, which weren't major marital woes, (I was having other woes and navigating how my spouse could assist me), but when you mix two people from different upbringings, different histories, different ways of thinking, feeling, doing, it makes woe. Occasionally. I don't usually talk to my mom about that stuff because I don't want her to worry (she has enough going on, and woes are fleeting), because it's my marriage and I'm an adult, and I just don't feel she's the right person to share that kind of stuff with. (I don't talk about my, ahem, physical marital relationship with her either. Same sort of  'not the right person' thing.) But I just sort of leaked it out, and amidst my frustrations, tears and apologies for it all, I sort of sarcastically asked her if she and my dad ever had those sort of problems in their earlier married years or was it always smooth sailing for them. Did they have those problems of mis-communication and different ways of doing things? (Those probably weren't the words I used but we'll just go with that here. ;D) 

Her response: No, but I wasn't as outspoken as you are.

Ha.      Hmmm.       Interesting.         (long pause for contemplating)

It should be noted that my parents have been married pert near 43 years. A big whoop whoop and holla to that.

For the record, I'm not naive enough to think that *any* relationship is EVER always smooth sailing.

I have done a bit of thinking (before this and since) of what did/do those people who aren't "outspoken," who don't speak up or stand up or express their right better strong opinion do with their thoughts and emotions. Do they suffer in silence? Are they just happier than I am? Am I too dis-contented? Did I marry the wrong person? (NO, I did not. Of this I am completely sure. Totally right for me, even, or especially, when I don't like it. Iron sharpens Iron, right? sigh) Maybe those more quiet people don't have those feelings? Maybe they don't feel the need to speak up? Or feel they have the right to? 

I dunno. Can't relate. That's clearly not me. (insert a little, slight, inner giggle here. ju-u-u-u-u-ust a teeny one)

I find it hard to believe that someone wouldn't have those feelings. But the having and not expressing? Completely unfathomable to me.

Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it's not. :) Either way, I didn't get my name (which means Bold Warrior) by accident. God made me outspoken. So what's a girl to do?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cub Scout Trophy

Recently I made a cake for George's Cub Scout End of the Year Lunch and Cake Auction Fundraiser.

Hm. No wonder they didn't make signs advertising that. That's a long name.

When I asked Mr. CuriousG what kind of cake he thought I should make, he said "something with an American flag." ( *smile* Making his father proud EVERY DAY. Kong's big on patriotism.)

A little Google search got me so Cub/Boy Scout logos, with one that was flag-esque, and when I asked George what he thought he said, "OH YEEEAAAAHHH!. That's AWESOME!" So, winner winner chicken dinner... I had a fairly simple design. But, I couldn't stop there. Going with a red, white and blue theme, I decided to make red/white/blue layers.

And let me just apologize in advance for the AWFUL pics. I did try to fix them sorta. The tone is so off. This happens with my snappy camera when I'm at my table, no natural light, only those crappy CFL's (which I loathe), a flash and being close up. I probably could have adjusted the white balance or something, but I was skipping church, tending a sick baby, and racing the clock. So forgive me. Your eyes will recover.

Here's the cake put together.

After having used all my (and my friend's) red coloring for a Hello Kitty cake I made a few days prior, I decided to color the cake portion with red koolaid. Yep. Fruit punch. I just added the dry (Fit and Active from Aldi's to be exact) koolaid powder right to the batter (which gave it quite the fruit punch flavor). For the frosting, I just went to my local grocery store bakery where they sell their butter cream frosting for $3.99 / lb. It's pretty hard to get red and blue to be vibrant and truly red or blue without using ten tons of coloring. Black's another color that's worthy of just buying. The white I made myself. What you can't see (and I didn't get to see it either, would love to have had a pic of the cake when cut) is in between the red and white layers is blue frosting, and between the white and blue layer is red frosting. (So once cut, is should be red, blue, white, red, blue.) 

A trick I learned just recently so that the colors don't bleed into the outer frosting, is to pipe a line around the edge of the cake with your outside frosting before you put your layer on, then frost the middle with whatever you want. Also helpful if you are using a jelly filling or something. Another thing that's awesome is that it helps fill in the cracks. :D 

Here's the cake with the crumb coat and the design. 

I printed it out to the size I wanted and then cut the design out, laid it on the fully frosted cake, and traced it with a toothpick. I thought I could just pipe around the stars, in a "relief" style, but that didn't work so well, so I went back and free-hand frosted them in white, using a writing tip, probably a 2. The rest was piped with a 16 (star tip).

Finished product:

I don't often pipe borders, but this was definitely my first time piping a double border in 2 colors. (I also used two different size star tips for that.) Turned out great, I think.

There it is. In all of it's horribly photographed glory. lol Now, most of the cakes were made by the boys themselves, and I'm all about letting the kids do their own stuff, but this is one thing that's my thing, and since it was for a fundraiser, I wanted to help try raise as much money as possible. 

Ok, so the cake is MY trophy. hehe. But I enjoy cake decorating, it's the closest thing I have to a hobby besides late night binging, and so sue me, I like to show off my work a little. We all need something we can be proud of, and mine certainly isn't my housecleaning skills. :P (still working on that. 5 kids aren't helping.)

While the auction wasn't a great success, I have gotten a lot of compliments and questions, so I may unofficially dabble in a cake baking side business. Very, very unofficially. 

So if you need a cake, Call Me. :D

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This is my life

The bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a week, because what's the point? I can't keep up with all the mud. Though I have scrubbed the toilet and wiped down the sink at least once, the floors and the tub are probably health hazard territory, and it's really getting annoying to step out of the shower onto a rug of small pebbles and sand.

I had a garage sale last weekend that got mostly rained out, so now I have all this stuff, shoved in vehicles, that I need to deal with, but God help me it's not coming back in the house.

It looks like a bomb went off in my living room... and this is after I picked up most of the toys. And the diaper wipes that Huggyface decided to strew all over. He also likes to drag out that drat blasted "bug vacuum," aka dust buster, twenty times a day. At least the floor underneath all that was recently vacuumed. I could vacuum the entry a thousand times a day, and one kid could walk in and you wouldn't be able to tell. Nevermind the million shoes scattered throughout every room in the house. The kitchen floor needs to be swept and mopped, and next time I won't leave the mop water out for my cell phone to get "washed" in. (Totally my bad habit, to not empty the bucket.) But last time I mopped (9 days ago I think?) I broke the mop so... I did manage to get all the dishes done today, just in time to make chocolate chip cookies since I ran out of after school snacks, and supper is next on the list. 

It's a vicious cycle. 

I did start a rewards system where if each kid clears their own place without being asked then they get a few M&M's. So that helps with clearing, at least. I have considered taking away all shoes except one pair per person to help with the "shoes all over the place" problem.

The thing is, this is what I can accomplish with kids in school. What about in 20 days when they're not in school anymore and then there's NO "uninterrupted" time? Any other moms freaking out about summer? I know I should start a chores system, but I'm really great about trying to plan, and horrible about implementation. And there's just way too many options of how it could be done, what are the kinds of chores each kid should do? Should we focus on hygiene, rooms, household, homework, a bit of everything? I get stuck in being overwhelmed with it all.

And oh my gosh if the baby poops one more time today... WHAT did I FEED him???!!!! Is 17 months to early/late to toilet train?

What activities should we do? swimming? Community Ed? Gymnastics? Ballet? Baseball? Nothing? Do we want to go on vacation or get a fence (or part of one, anyway)? Summer school. Math facts. VBS. Library reading program. Trips to the park. Day trip to fun places. 


Deep breaths.

Is this how you're anticipating summer?

Ah, the life of a parent. So grand and glorious.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Literal Misunderstanding

I wish I had a mini voice recorder. I can't tell you how many blog posts I make in my head while washing dishes, how many random, crazy things my kids say that I wish could be preserved forever. Unfortunately, my mind is a wasteland and there seems to be no memory capacity left. sigh. Motherhood? Lack of sleep? Aging? All of the above?

This just happened and I flew to jot it here.

I'm pulling a cooked pizza out of the oven. Cheeks is sitting at the table and says:

Cheeks: I thought we were having pizza.
Me: We are.
Cheeks: I thought we were having frozen pizza.
Me: This is frozen pizza.
Cheeks: No, I mean still frozen.
I look at her like she's crazy.
Cheeks: What? It's really good.

Because she would know since she's eaten frozen pizza like, sooo many times.

As in... never.

Lol. Love how literal kids are sometimes.

The end. :D

Friday, April 20, 2012

Buried Treasure

Open the box

What do you see?

A little boy treasure

Who looks a little like me.

~ Kelly Berg

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Radio Play

I love it when I find unexpected surprises. I love perspective. When I can see the future and how the now plays into that. When a new perspective changes my outlook.

As a parent, I'm always usually trying to do the best for my kids so that they grow up to be fulfilled, happy, productive adults. I want to encourage them to find their niche, to pursue their passions, to develop their talents.  Sometimes talents are obvious - sports, musical ability, school, stuff like that. Its just not always obvious. (Keep looking - and pointing it out, parents. You child needs you to help them see the good in them.) While we all wish that our kids are smart and great students, that's really not the end all of success. Sometimes, having a hard time in school teaches a kid how to work hard. Regardless, every child has something that interests them, something they are good at, passions and dreams. 

Recently we took a tour of a local radio station. It actually is the home to several radio stations in our area. Country, rock, oldies, news, AM, they cover a lot of bases there. The tour was for my 8 yr old's Cub Scout pack/den, but I took all the kids. No sense standing outside. 

Stunt Monkey (No, I did not make that name up, it's actually his nickname. He never even told us his real name. But how convenient for my blog. lol) graciously gave us a tour of the studio, showed the kids the buttons, microphone, how the computer screens work to play songs and commercials, told us about the towers, asked questions of the boys and did his best to engage them.  He did a great job, though I think the vocabulary of words like signal, broadcast, "on-air" and satellite are just difficult things for 8 year olds to conceptualize. At least not without a lot more visual diagramming and demonstration. Shy first and second grade boys can be a tough audience. 

Since I was also bringing my younger kids, and my 3 yr old has been asking questions about radio lately ("Mommy, play that song again." "I can't. It's on the radio." "So play it again."), I tried to explain how radios work a little before hand, in very simple terms, while sitting in the parking lot. 

They didn't get it then, either. So don't feel bad, Stunt Monkey.

But... when the tour was done and we were back out in the car, I put on one of the radio stations and said, "This is coming from inside there. They are playing this song/cd inside that building." Oh, light bulbs went off  then and my kids were stoked. A couple of them, anyway.

While that's all interesting, it's not really what this is about. See, during our tour when showing us "the board", Stunt Monkey told us about how when he was a kid he used to play "radio" in his basement, giving interviews, playing songs and announcing stuff. Even just telling us about that, he was excited, and you could see his eyes light up with remembering. 

Cue my light bulb moment. 

Because, see, he was playing. Playing. As a child. And now, an adult, he's still playing. Only now he gets paid for it. It was his passion, his interest as a child, that led into something that he does as an adult. For a living. And I'm guessing he enjoys it, that it makes him happy. While I don't know if radio is something his parent's  encouraged for him, he found it. But kids don't always see that stuff for themselves, so we should help point it out. I want them to see success in themselves. If that happens for my kids, I'll call that successful parenting.

I want that for my kids. Even if building light sabers out of lots of duct tape and toilet paper rolls doesn't end up being George's career, building and creating just might. And while it's easy for me to get irritated by how much tape he goes through or how it's all over the house, this "playing" is not pointless or unimportant. Though he may struggle through math facts, it doesn't mean he's not smart, or not going to be successful. I have tried to notice, look for, point out things like these in each of my kids. I want them to know they're good at something, that they have skills and talents, and that grades and tests aren't the only measure of a person's abilities, even when your grades are good. Sometimes it's harder to see and takes more effort on my part. Pointing out things my kids are good at always makes them feel good. That's important to every kid. And adult.

What good can you point out in those around you today?

**Oh, and Stunt Monkey, if you ever read this, my son (the one one wearing his scout shirt) would LOVE one of those Minnesota 93 Party Cups. Red Solo Cup is his favorite song. It's the little things that make a kid's day. :D

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I know kids say the darnedest things. Everyone's got their own stories of funny / endearing / embarrassing things their kids have said. But what won't kids ask? I'm sure some neighbor kids must think I fell off a turnip truck recently as they send my youngers home asking for some of the darnedest things. Certainly kids ask for things that they don't understand the value of. Ever had your kid ask you for a laptop? a gaming system? a cell phone? Or every doggone thing they see in Walmart from sugar cereal to new bikes to the crap they sell in the checkout? Yeah, me neither. *cough* Those are kind of expected, though. But lately, I've had some pretty interesting requests.

Mom, can I have a bucket of water to take to the park? (Uh, it's 45 degrees outside and you want to make mud (my arch enemy) so no, probably not.)

Mom, can I have a shovel? (With which you can chop off a toe, whack someone in the head requiring stitches or dig a hole in my preciously tended and failing grass? Sorry. Not today.)

This one... this was the doosy.

Dad, can I have your saw?


Thursday, March 29, 2012

A day in the life...

... Or 4 minutes, rather... of a 16 month old busy boy.

I always think, man, I need to record these normal moments in time, so that I can remember what they were like, and so that one day, when my kids are older, parents themselves perhaps, that they can see what they were like. The way they walked, the way they talked, that cute little lisp, the poop stance, the temper tantrum. It's fun to look back on those things. So I did. 

So here's my busy, chatterbox, cutie pie. This was also the day he learned to say "side". As in, outside. A place he would like to be. Fortunately for him, we're having the most abnormal winter/spring on record, having had a mere 19 inches of snow (vs. last years 86) and more than our share of 70 degree plus days of glorious sunshine. In March. 80 degrees in March in Minnesota. So Nookie, aka Huggyface, has gotten a taste of glory, er, "side" and brother wants more.

I love this kid. Thanks for wasting that last 4 minutes of your life to watch my baby.

**Darned thing wasn't working. I uploaded it to youtube but holy cow it took over 74 minutes. Sheesh!