Monday, August 2, 2010

Boy Oh Boy... Oh Boy!

The writer of this blog has:
a)  Fallen off the face of the earth.
b)  Been locked away in her son's bedroom (the room where she turned the lock around to keep them in.)
c)  Quit blogging.
d)  None of the above.

If you guessed "d," congratulations!  You are correct!  What then, say thee, has happened?  Well, you should find it no coincidence that the current last blog post is dated May 18th... the last day of preschool for the 2009-2010 year.  It turns out that being home with 3 children ages 5 and under day after day after day after day after exactly 74 days is incredibly tiring.  I've tried the pool, and while that seems to wear the kids out, it wears at me even more.  I've tried the parks, but let's face it, this summer has been hot.  Super hot.  Too hot for me, too hot for them.  I've tried craft projects, but I am out of glue and out of patience.  I've tried the library, once.  Mistake.  I've tried the mall, twice.  BIG mistake.  Same thing for Target, the grocery store, and any other retail establishment. 

Lately I have resorted to DVD's, previously recorded shows on the DVR, and Nick Jr.  Do I feel guilty? Absolutely NOT!  Afterall, I still have to get the cooking, and cleaning, and laundry, and everything else done around here. 

And then there is this other "little" project I have been working on this summer.  Turns out, that things are about to get a little lot more sticky around here.  You see, our family, {insert drum roll} is expecting another baby!!  I am currently at 20 weeks and we already know that we are having a third BOY!  Oh boy!!  The due date is December 23rd, so I expect this Christmas to be very eventful!

I have enjoyed the reactions from close friends and family as we have shared the news.  Some of my favorites include:
  • "Was it planned?"
  • "Better you than me!" 
  • "Are you excited?" (accompanied by a shoulder shrug and wince)
  • "Are you getting fixed after this one?"  (accompanied by head tilt, chin down, eyebrow lift)
  • and my favorite... "You know what causes that, right?"
And then there are those that have asked if we are working on our own reality show.  Specifically, if we are trying to be like the Duggars.  You've seen them, the family with like 14 or 17 or 18 or 20 or so kids and Still Counting.  The answer is NO.  And at my age, the only way we could ever catch up to the Duggars would be to pull an Octomom stunt twice over.  However, those questions did get me to thinking.  If we did have our own reality show, what we name it?  I thought of some adaptions of current reality shows.
  • Four Kids and Counting (Subtitled:  The amount of money they will cost us thru college)
  • The Real Housewife of O.C.  (Organized Chaos)
  • Tot Chef
  • Big Brother (and Little Brother, Sister, and a Baby)
  • Project Runaway
  • Wiped-out
I could keep going, but I think you get the idea.  For now, I will just keep blogging.  And at some point, I am going to "backfill" some blog posts that will prove we really did have a life in the month's of June and July.  Fan us on FaceBook to keep up with our latest post.   And one more thing, wish me luck and rest.  Lots of rest.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Graduation Day

My little man "Big Sticky" graduated today.  Not from college, not from high school, not from kindergarten... from pre-school.  The Fours.  My big little guy is now five and headed to the big "K".  The preschool had a graduation ceremony along with cap and gown pictures. 

My mom and I arrived at the ceremony a full 45 minutes early so we could get a seat down front and have room for Princess in her umbrella stroller.  (Without being strapped into the stroller, she would have never made it through the ceremony.)  And thankfully Little Sticky was having a year end beach party with his class. 

Big Daddy arrived just in time before the ceremony started.  All the Fours walked in to Pomp and Circumstance (and yes I got a lot teary!), and then proceeded down front to sing a few songs for the parents. 

Overall, we were so very proud.  With one exception.  As each graduate approached their teacher for their diploma, the Director shared the child's future aspirations.  Most of Big's classmates dreamed of becoming a Firefighter or an Olympic Athlete or a Teacher or even a Doctor.  Big?  He aspired to "Put his shoes on by himself."  Since he was the very first one to step onto stage and accept his diploma, I thought, "Oh, that's so (kind of) cute."  Soon after though, after hearing everyone else, I was a little embarassed, mortified, hoping no one would remember that first kid...  

That got me wondering, why he would aspire to put his shoes on by himself?  Afterall, he had been doing it since he was three.  Then I remembered, a few days earlier, Big had left his sneakers on the trampoline in the back yard.  The sprinklers came on, soaked the already tight shoes, which when dried, no longer fit.

The only option was a pair of canvas sneakers with a super thin tongue that Big struggled un-bunching each morning as we were rushing out the door in our usual late manner, causing me to assist him.  So there you go.  The mind of a pre-schooler.  The future is the present and the present is all that matters.

Notice how all the little children are facing forward... except Big.
He's the one on the corner... talking.

Getting his "diploma."

This is what a preschooler looks like when he stays up until 11:30 the night before.

With a few buddies.

His cap and gown picture.  SO grown up but still SO cute!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I typically only buy greeting cards for birthdays and the two "big" holidays.  Not Christmas and Easter, but those other two that were seemingly created by the greeting card companies just so you would buy their overpriced paper products... Mother's Day and Father's Day. 

Choosing the right Mother's Day card is no easy task.  First, you have to jockey for position in the Hallmark store.  And if you are also buying for a Grandma, or a Great Grandma, or a Mother-in-Law, or a Sister-in-Law, or a Sister, or an Aunt, then you have to fight positions several times.   And if you go to the greeting card store during lunch or just after work, that makes your struggle all the more difficult.   Waiting until the Friday or Saturday before said holiday more than quadruples the crowd.  Lucky for me, I was able to go early in the week and early in the day so I only had to throw a few elbows and "excuse me's."    

When choosing my MD and FD cards, I use the chuckle factor for my dad, and the choke factor for my mom.  When I say "choke," I am referring to the lump you get in your throat when you find just the right card. 

Before I tell you how this year's perfect card reads, I must give you two background notes.  One, when I was a tween, my mom tried her hardest to french braid my super fine hair.  She literally would spend nearly an hour twisting and combing and tucking and huffing to get my hair to stay... only for it to fall out before second period was over.  Two, in the last week, Princess has grown just enough hair to sport two of the cutest, crookedist, teeny-weeny, pig tails.

So here is the "choker."  A photo is affixed to the corner of a brunette mom french-braiding her blond little girl.  Props and credit go to Hallmark for this tear-jerker.

When does a daughter need her Mom?
She needs her when she's little...
to kiss her good night
and sing the lullaby...
to do her hair
(and get the pigtails just right)...

A girl needs her mom
when she's finally ready
to set out on her own...
to give her lots of good advice,
to hug her and tell her
she knows she'll do just fine...

A gril needs her mom
when she's not really a girl anymore...
to smile at her
when she tries on her wedding gown...
to hug her through teary eyes
at news of a baby on the way...
to sing her kids the lullaby
(and get it just right)...

When does a girl need her mom?


Happy Mother's Day!

This is what three generations looks like.

Princess with her Grandma.

Mommy and her little Princess.

And if you ZOOM out on the last photo, you get mommy and all her babies.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Monday, April 12, 2010

You Might Be a Redneck...

Below are four completely random details that eventually collide to make for one good adaptation on my part. Work with me.

Detail #1
I've been referred to many times as a Southern Belle. I think it's my accent, err, I mean drawwwwl. In fact, I have very few one syllable words in my vocabulary. Truth is though, I'm not really a Southern Belle. I'm actually just a redneck who never left "the city" after college.

Detail #2
When I had my boys 18 months apart, my mom bought me a Peg Pergo double stroller. My husband said it would be great for me to take the boys shopping. What he meant to say, was "This will be a great opportunity for me to go play golf and for you and your mom to *enjoy* yourselves shopping with the boys." Get real. With two young boys, shopping and fun do not go together. Period.

However, I really liked the stroller. It was compact and light, and remarkedly roomy for the growing boys. The bottom storage was also adequate for lots of shopping bags and once I added S-hooks to the push bar, I could tote even more bags.

The only thing I didn't like was the fact there were no cup holders. Who makes a stroller with NO cup holders? Apparently the stroller was made for structured families who have unbreakable rules as to "no food or drink away from the table." I tried several different attachable cup holders, but none worked to my liking.

Detail #3
My husband (bless his heart) needed to travel out of town for a last minute presentation. He asked me to go buy him a Sports Jacket at the mall (since I didn't have anything else to do). Like I'm just gonna walk into the mall toting two kids under 3 and *presto* find a nice jacket, in his size, at an affordable price and all in time to pick up big brother at preschool by 1:00.

Detail #4
Little Sticky apparently sprained his hamstring at a friend's birthday bounce house party on Sunday. Rendering him unable to walk.

This morning I pack up the double stroller (after dusting 80 pounds of pollen from it) so that after dropping Big Sticky off at preschool and stopping to get a much needed cup of coffee, I could take the youngest babies (one who cannot walk) to the mall to find a last minute Sports Jacket.

I had not used the stroller in quite some time and the last cup holder I used apparently had fallen off (like the previous five or six or seven or so.)  I had to do something with my coffee cup since I needed both hands to steer 60 pounds of little people.  Here is where the redneck comes out in me.  I grabbed a Toy Story sand bucket that I found in the back of the van and placed it in the S-hooks I had previously bought to hold shopping bags and VOILA...  a cup holder. 

I put two baby wipes in the bottom of the bucket to keep the cup from moving around and to absorb any potential coffee spills.  And when I was finished with my coffee, it became a great holder for my cell phone and the Buzz Lightyear and Woody action figures that the kids kept throwing to the floor.

And as we were leaving the mall (in a big hurry mind you) I remembered one other thing that I loved and hated about this stroller.  On good days, I could literally collapse the thing with one hand.  On bad days or times when I was just in a big hurry, no amount of flicking or pushing or squeezing or cursing or kicking or shoving or forcing or crying or screaming would get that thing to fold for me.  This of course, was one of those days.  So what does a girl do?

She picks it up and shoves it in the mini-van that she swore one day she would never, never, never, never, never, never, never, NEH-VERRRRR drive!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Motoring!

Exxon used to have a saying "Happy Motoring" over all their garage bays. As a tween I always wondered what did "motoring" even mean?   That just seemed like a strange saying to me.  Then, low and behold, when I was in high school one of the biggest ballads of the day was "Sister Christian" with a line "You're motoring, what's your price for flight..." Being the total geek that I was, I had to buy myself a Tiger Beat to know what they were actually singing. I mean who uses the word "motoring" anyway?

So, on Easter Sunday, I decided to get the kids all dolled up in their Easter Sunday duds and "motor" an hour and 40 minutes west to my "home" church for Easter service. Since we had just motored home from a week at the beach late Saturday evening and I knew there wouldn't be any food in the house for breakfast, we stopped at Krispy Kreme for not one, but two dozen original glazed. After we arrived home and got the kids out of the car and into bed and the van unpacked, I decided to scarf down a few donuts.  HeHe!  Then, I got serious and started ironing their clothes for church, packing a change of clothes for an Easter Egg Hunt at my brother's, and then played errr, the Easter Bunny.

I was so proud of "my team" Sunday morning. Everyone got up and dressed with enough time to see what the Easter Bunny had brought them. A bucket of Toy Story soldiers for Big Sticky, "The Princess and the Frog" movie for Little Sticky, and a Buzz Lightyear for Princess. (BTW, should I be concerned that Little wanted the Princess movie while Princess is totally infatuated with Buzz and Woody?)

With all the crazy rush of the morning, I mistakenly didn't pay enough attention to how much of the Gummie Eggs or Marshmallow Bunnies or Krispy Kreme donuts the kids ate before we took off motoring. My husband helped me load up the kids before he needed to not surprisingly work unexpectedly. I headed out of the driveway on time and off we went. About half way thru the trip, I called my dad to give him our ETA and have him reserve a seat for us.

About three minutes after hanging up with him, and while elevator music was playing in my head, I longingly looked back at my sweet and adorable children as they are watching their new movie.  {insert DJ scratch here} Instantly my heart sank as I see Little Sticky with clenched shoulders and a sour pickle look on his face. "Oh no!" I thought. Seconds later, you can only imagine what came out of that child. I guess all that sugar combined with sitting in the back seat of a vehicle travelling at highway speeds was not the best combination.

From the front seat I tried calming Little down while telling Big (who has the most sensitve gag reflex on the planet) to cover his ears and look away. Frantically, I try to figure out where to pull over.  Once I realize the next exit is two miles away, I call my dad back before he heads into Sunday School to tell him what has happened.  I kid you not, the moment I hang up the phone, Princess starts throwing up.  Are you kidding me???  This is NOT happening.  Ok, okay, calm down.  Keep your composure.  It's Easter Sunday, watch your language young lady!

I finally pull over and start to triage the situation.  With guarded hands and held breath, I climb into the back of the van (in my heels and a silk dress mind you.)  I pull Little out and ask him how he's feeling and if he thinks he might get sick again all while peeling off his layers.  He had been so proud of how handsome he looked in his little navy vest, button down, and khaki pants (minus the bow tie that he flatly refused to wear.)  After I undressed him, he looked down at himself and said with the biggest most disappointed pout "Oh no!  Now I'm just all messed up!"  I thoroughly wiped him down, cleaned off his shirt, vest, pants, shoes, and socks using about 75 scented baby wipes.  I then gave him a suuuuper big hug and a kiss on the forehead.

Surprisingly his clothes didn't smell bad at all, they smelled like, well, a Krispy Kreme glazed donut.  (hope that doesn't spoil your future appetite for a KKOG).  Luckily, I had a clean undershirt packed with the change of clothes so I put that back on him and laid his tops in the passenger seat to dry from the baby wipe scrub down.

Keep in mind that Princess is screaming this entire time.  However, Little was the priority since her bib caught most of her mess.  I climb back into the back of the van so that I can wipe down the car seat, straps, the floor, the back of the seat in front of him... did I miss any place?  I put him back in his seat and cover him with his blanket just in case he's not finished.

I then turn to Princess.  She was a little easier since her bib, bunny, and blanket caught most of her returned donut.  Fortunately, I had her dress on a hanger (since I didn't want it to wrinkle) and her cotton slip faired well thru the ordeal.

I was so glad I had put a new pack of wipes in the car the night before.  I literally used the entire pack cleaning up ALL that mess.  I tossed all the dirty wipes in a grocery bag, and all the dirty washables into another bag.  I then took the biggest sigh EVER before straightening my dress and getting back in the van.  Another deep breath before putting the car in gear and taking off into the land of motoring.  Hoppy Easter Motoring.

BTW, some how, some way, we still made it to church on time.  The second miracle of the day.

The first being the Rising of our Savior!  Happy, Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beach Bound

With three small children, "FOR-ever" is a gross under-estimate of the time it takes me to pack for a roadtrip.  And let's be honest, with at least one kid wearing diapers and using sippy cups and bottles, it doesn't matter if it's an overnighter to the grandparents or a month in a wildreness camp, kids need lots of stuff.

Adding to the choas and the need to take more things, is a transitional season beach trip when the day to day, sun up to sun down temperatures range from 52 to 92.  Not only do I need to pack everyone sunscreen, shorts, and bathing suits, but we will also need long sleeve tees and hoodies.

I despearately wish my nitpicking non-decisive self would take packing advice from my three year old (who actually sat in his car seat for two hours prior to departure).  He was SO ready to GO!

Surf board for self.... check.
Surf board for brother.... check.
Baby gate for sister.... check.
Buzz Lightyear wings.... check.
Toy Story sand bucket.... check.
Teddy.... check.

All packed and ready to leave for the beach!

And then once we got there...

All dressed and ready for a day on the beach!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Horsing Around

Big Sticky was invited to a "Dress Like a Cowboy and Ride a Horse" Birthday Party.  We didn't have any "cowboy" gear, so I Facebook'd and emailed several neighbor's that had boys. 

This is what we came up with.

Don't he and the birthday girl look so darn hootin' tootin' cute in their cowboy gear!  Aren't they just adorable?

And here he is with his "other" girl.  :-) 

Can you kind of tell he was tired of all the picture takin'?  I mean really, he just wanted to get on and ride!

And here he is on his Buckin' Bronco, Whiskey.

"They" (the clueless people at the horse farm) actually asked me to "lead" the horse. Seriously? You want me to lead? All I could think of was "What if I do something wrong and the horse goes from trot to gallop in less than 60 seconds taking my baby through the woods and off to the next county all the while dragging me behind still holding on to the lead?"

While Big looks a little brave here, I don't think he's quite ready for a bull ride.  Whiskey was quite the tame horse.  Although I did have a little trouble keeping him (the horse) away from the grass.  Apparently grass is like candy to a horse.  I had no idea.

I also had no idea that when a horse eats a lot of grass, it makes him poop.

And if you are ever by chance leading a horse and he stops, it might just mean he has to poop. And if he does, you might want to stand back a bit.

At first I thought "Why our horse?" Then I quickly realized, better our horse than the horse in front of us.

And if you are ever leading a horse that is following another horse and the horse he is following stops to "relieve" themself, you might just want to watch your step...

And don't he look just so grown up in this one?

And while I've got you looking at this last photo, don't you think the people that make horse ridin' helmets should make one that looks like a cowboy hat?  I mean he kind of looks like a kid that got dressed up in cowboy gear only to change his mind at the last minute and go skateboarding instead.  Still cute and all, but I'm just saying...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Soooo 2010

I cannot tell you exactly what my brother and I may have done on a typical Saturday morning when we were 5 and 3. More than likely there was a conversation in front of the TV that went something like this.

"Mo-mmy! Da-ddy! There are fuzzy things on Bugs Bunny again! Can you fix the TV?"

I can tell you it did not look anything like below.

Yes. That is my 5 year old on an iTouch playing games and my 3 year old watching himself pretending to be Buzz Lightyear on the Flip Video.

Soooo 2010. I don't even want to think what my grandchildren may be doing in 2050. Dear Lord! I will be 80 then. I'll be lucky if I'm still breathing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reuben Casserole

I am 40 years old and not until today did I realize people made cabbage and corn beef to eat on St. Patricks day. I learned this from the most trusty sources... while talking to other moms on the playground after preschool and reading several Facebook posts today. And I thought I was good on March 17th by simply consuming a Green Beer and wearing a shamrock lapel pin because at the last minute I forgot I was supposed to don the earth friendly color. Oh well, I guess you learn something new every day!

So, in honor of this tradition I thought I would share a suuuuuper easy casserole with you.

Layer the following in a 9x13 baking dish:
:: 1 pound of shaved corn beef
:: 1 14 oz can of sauerkraut
:: 1 1/2 cups of Thousand Island Dressing
:: 2 cups shredded or 8 slices of Swiss Cheese
:: 6-8 slices of cubed and toasted rye bread

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese melts.

This recipe is SO easy, that you CANNOT mess it up. In fact, you can easily change it to your liking with no fear of ruining the final product. If you like yours more or less meaty, add more or less meat. If you like it more or less tangy, add more or less kraut, if you like it more or less creamy, then add more or less dressing. Well, you get the idea. You really can't mess this one up.

Come to think of it, any other day of the year you can subsitute Pastrami for the Corn Beef. OR, you could even use Ham and maybe Gilled Onions and BBQ sauce with Cheddar Cheese and Texas Toast. Mmmm! Or how about Roast Beef with Peppers, Horseradish, Provolone, and Sourdough? Okay, okay, I'm getting a little off track, but hopefully that will give you a few ideas of some things you could do to switch up this super easy concoction.

I hope you enjoy the meal and all the time you will save!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Blake!

My nephew turns eleven years old today!

He had a super fun Survivor Themed birthday party.

All the kids (ages 3-12) were divided into two teams for Survivor Challenges.

My boys gearing up for the Curling inspired Bocce ball contest.

The teams were evenly matched. The Yellow Team won the Bocce contest 3-0 while the Green Team filled their container from the water ballon toss in record time. In the end, the Green Team pulled out the overall victory by completing their "TRIBE" puzzle necklace relay ahead of the Yellow Team.

We ended the festivities with some super yummy cake!

(Seriously, the cake was quite yummy!)

I dug through my archives and found this picture of Blake

on one of his first attempts at fishing.

How cute is he??

Oh, they grow up SO fast!!
Happy, Happy Birthday Buddy!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Five on Friday :: A Week in Photos

These photos represent a somewhat typcial week for us.

1) Little Sticky attends a birthday party with classmates. Notice how he is hanging with the girls. Turns out he has at least 2 girlfriends. Hay-a-nah (Hannah) and Tay-wor (Taylor.)

2) Since Little has a summer birthday, we celebrated his "half" birthday with cupcakes at preschool.
3) Big Sticky in his Martial Arts attire. Watch out Ralph Macchio!!
4) Princess after her bath. She loves looking at "Flower Girl" in the mirror!
5) The boys caught me touching up my piggie polish. They decided they wanted their piggies painted too! (Don't tell their daddy!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Five on Friday :: Night at the Oscars

Five on Friday. In honor of the upcoming Academy Awards, this list gives tribute to Mr. Oscar with a few of my own categories and nominees.

And the nominees are...

Best Director
:: Big Sticky in his role as Big Brother (aka The Boss)
:: Little Sticky in his role as the Middle Child (aka No, I'M The Boss)
:: Princess in her role as the Baby (aka The Real Boss)

Best Supporting Cast
:: Four Lambies

:: Lamby and Teddy

:: Bunny

Foreign Film (not the kind with subtitles, more like, something very foreign to reality)
:: Big Sticky for "Boy Who Goes to Bed Early and Can't Imagine A Thing"
:: Little Sticky for "Quiet One That Eats His Veggies"
:: Princess for "Girl That Wears Hairbows and Plays With Dolls"

Costume Design

:: Big Sticky --> Karate Kid Remake

:: Little Sticky --> Urban Cowboy Remake

:: Princess --> Pirates of the Carribean

Best Adaption
:: Little Sticky quoting Buzz Lightyear, "To Infinity and BE GONE."
:: Big Sticky saying the blessing at dinner, "And thank you for our DA-VID (daily bread)"
:: Princess of Sticky with "Hmmm bah wha" (your guess is as good as mine)


Sound Editing
:: Mommy for remembering not to say dirty words when driving in traffic
:: Mommy for realizing that the oldest will ask what I am saying when I try to spell a "code" word aloud.
:: Mommy and Daddy for remembering not to raise our voices when "discussing" important topics.

Picture of the Year

And just for the record, if I happened to be a member of the Academy, then all of these nominees would be winners!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Final Rose... Are You Kidding Me?

"Hold on everybody. This is my friend Molly. She's home watching The Bachelor, The Final Rose. I need to take this."

"Hold on Molly.
They are singing that silly Happy Birthday song again!
It is SO loud in here.
Can you speak up?"

"So what's the deal. Who did he pick?"

"WHAT? He picked Vienna? Are you kidding me???"

"Ewww! She is just sooooo trampy.
I mean with the fake boobies
and the nudie calendar
and the ex-husband
and everything!!
What is he thinking??"

"I saw all the rumors that he was going to pick her,
but I just couldn't believe them!"

"And how could he do that to Tenley?
She dreams in cartoons and has rainbows in her diapers!!"
(according to Gia anyway)

"I mean really, how cool is that?"
"And OMG she even made his dad cry! CRY!
Are you kidding me??"
"I'm just in shock over this one!"

"I am SO not watching that show anymore!"