Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Lot Can Happen in Just Two Weeks-Especially At Our House

Two weeks! I can't believe it's been two weeks since I've updated the story of our lives. Many of you probably think I've been bound and gagged by my children, and are currently calling 911 to have me rescued. While I appreciate your concern, rest assured that I am indeed still very much alive, but very busy.

Snort had a severe asthma attack last weekend. We spent some quality time in the ER where a complete idiot wearing a white lab coat and calling himself a doctor attended to his needs. Twice. We went to the ER two times, and saw the same man both times. Yep. Gotta' love small towns. The second time the dr. saw him, he still sent him home struggling to breathe. By that time, the weekend clinic had opened so we took him straight in. He was admitted in about five minutes. We only stayed for twenty-four hours, but completely missed Easter. What is it about Christian holidays that lands us in the hospital every. single. time.??? Beats me. At least this time we were in a hospital with no rodents, people drawing blood from the wrong patients, or doctors who have no idea what they're doing.

A few days after we came home, Snort somehow managed to get his diaper off in the middle of the night. (Note: if you're eating, stop now. This is going to get beyond words disgusting.) By the time I got into his room to get him up, there was poop everywhere. Now, we all know that the Beast has a long history of strange pooping incidents, so not much should surprise me. Honestly, I figured I'd seen it all when it comes to poop. Why, oh why, did I ever say that out loud??? It was like I was inviting the gods to challenge me. And challenge me they did. There was poop mushed between his toes, under his nails, and caught. between. his. teeth.!!! Gag!! I was throwing up a little in my mouth as I called the King to tell him what his son had done. He asked if I'd brushed Snort's teeth. I told him I had, and that I'd chosen to use the King's toothbrush to do it. That'll teach him to giggle under his breath at me while I'm dying a slow and miserable death at home.

The Beast has made friends with a few neighborhood kids. We're really impressed to see how well he's done with his social skills. I thought giving him a little freedom would lead him to demand more. Instead, he's been much better behaved. I think he knows it's a privilege (since I've told him so dozens of times), and is willing to do what he has to do to keep the privilege. Who knew?! My little boy is really growing up. *sigh*

Pretty spent the afternoon today with La La and Buhdo (that's how she says our neighbors' names) watering their flowers. No, she wasn't peeing on their plants. She really was doing what she was supposed to be doing. She stood there for nearly forty-five minutes holding the hose and carefully watering each individual plant. I, of course, saw this is an opportunity to grab the camera and started snapping away.
As tired as I am, it seems like I should have more to say. Surprisingly, I don't. I don't need to mention too much about the big storm we had that caused us to need to patch our roof, or the unfortunate toilet clogging incident involving an entire roll of paper towels, or the Great Bathtub Bathroom Flood of 2009, or the time Snort tried to eat Little Guy's hearing aid earmold, or the giant dog that lives next door and keeps digging under the fence so she can come in our back door, or the day the Beast ran outside with nothing to cover his bottom half. Those are, of course, fairly typical events in our household.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An Egg-Cellent Family Night

A tie egg

Pretty eating the eggs as fast as I could color them.

Big M holding Little M
The Beast loved seeing how many colored eggs he could get.
More tie eggs.
Pretty and C. (The Beast loves to play with C, too).
Number One and T enjoyed mixing egg colors. Nice.
Hmmmm....I wonder what this one's color will be...
Can you tell I loved these tie eggs?

The whole group (minus Little Guy, Snort, and little M)

Not everyone enjoyed the evening as much as others.
Little M wasn't sure what to think of the eggs. (Or maybe she was just too freaked out by how weird she thinks I am.)

Mondays at our house are supposed to be Family Night. We're not as good about doing family night as we should be, but I was feeling inspired this week that we should invite another family to join us and color eggs together. I'm so glad I went with my gut, and did it. We had an awesome time.
My friend, M, came over and brought her four kids. Number One loves playing with her two boys, the Beast loves playing with her oldest daughter, and Snort loves to play with her littlest daughter. It was a perfect combo.
I collected all the things we'd need for a fun-filled night of egg making and moved it all to the garage. You don't think I'm crazy enough to have nine kids running around with egg dye in the house, do you?!?!? The garage was the perfect place to do it. The kids could be all over the place and noisy and messy and I didn't mind one little bit. It was just fine.
I had heard about making eggs using silk ties, and it looked super cool. So, I went to Goodwill and got a bunch of ties for a buck a piece. Can't be that, can you? They turned out great!!! If you like the way they look, the instructions are here. Super easy, and oh so fun!!! (Don't boil the eggs before doing this. They'll boil while they color.)
While the tie-dyed eggs were boiling, we pulled out the traditional egg dye and let the kids go to town. They had so much fun. Number One's hands are still green, and I think he'll look like the son of Shrek for the next week, but that's okay. They were so delighted to be coloring eggs that it was all worth it. I had to laugh at Pretty because she kept eating the eggs just as quickly as I could color them. Apparently our egg salad activity the other day left a last impression on her.

After all was said and done, we had ice cream sandwiches while the big kids played on the Wii. Finally, we called it a night and let me just point out that everyone fell asleep very easily. Yay for that!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wanted: Postcards From YOU!

Number One is almost ready to earn his wolf rank in Boy Scouts. He is still in need of a couple of projects. One of them is to start a collection of something. He's chosen postcards, and is hoping all ya'll will help him. If you don't mind and have the resources, will you please send him a postcard? He's going to pin them all up on a map to show where they've all come from. And, yes, I'll post pics of the finished product.

For our address, you can e-mail me at I'll give you the mailing address then.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mother's Helper

I was working in the kitchen today trying to get dishes done, make lunch, feed kids, and put everyone down for a nap so I could get a much-needed nap. Pretty was right there wanting to help me too. She loves to be a helper, especially in the kitchen.
When Little Guy needs a change, she brings me a diaper. If he cries, she brings me a binky. When I put dishes away, she's right there helping pull them from the washer to put them into the cabinets. (Her favorite is the silverware). She helps put toys away, picks up trash, and gets a thrill from being given a paper towel and a spray bottle. She's probably the best window washer I've ever met.
Pretty couldn't resist talking about every detail of what I was doing. Before I knew it, she'd pulled up a chair and was standing right beside me at the sink. I was shelling hard boiled eggs for egg salad. She watched me, and mimicked my every move. Carefully, she tapped her egg on the edge of the sink and then peeled the egg while holding it under the running water. She checked for little slivers of shell on her egg, rinsed again, and then proudly put her egg in with the others.
After they were all peeled, I let her try the egg masher. Oh! That was exciting. She giggled as she mushed up each egg carefully. We won't even talk about the sheer delight that came with being able to squeeze the mayonnaise and mustard bottles. Mixing was apparently a real thrill, too. Finally, she got to enjoy a sandwich made with her own two sweet little hands.

As much as she sometimes drives me nuts, I'm so glad to have my very own little mother's helper. I can't think of anyone I'd rather spend time scrubbing toilets with.

A Rewarding Experience

(No clue what is up with his goofy face in this picture).

I wanted to teach Number One a lesson in work ethic. Homework with his is always a nightmare because he insists that "it's good enough". He doesn't tend to check his work, doesn't worry about the quality of his penmenship, and just generally drives me nuts about it.

This past semester, I decided that I was going to stop checking his homework, stop hounding him about the quality of his writing, and stop making sure he'd even done his work. I was going to leave the responsibility squarely on his shoulders. The rule was that, if his grades dropped, he'd be grounded until they came back up. I was going to teach him! *insert evil laugh here*
I was so excited the day report cards were set to come home. Finally, I'd have the chance to show him the importance of doing your best the first time. Instead of looking like the lame obsessive mom, I'd be the one who is RIGHT. It was a well thought-out plan.

As he walked in and handed me his report card, I invited him to come sit by me while I looked it over. This way, we could have a heart-to-heart about hard work. I opened the report card, and was stunned. Stunned and proud. Number One made honors. Honors!! His state standardized reading test results were in there, too. Perfect score. Not one question missed.
How the heck can I teach my kid that I am always right when he's the one who is right?!! How can I teach him that you always have to work hard at everything you do when academic learning comes so easily to him? *sigh*
Today, he was rewarded for being the brilliant mind that he is. At his school award ceremony, he received the reading award. I'm not shocked to see him get a reading award because he is really a voracious reader. It's a gift for him. He was able to stand with the students who earned honors and with the students who had perfect attendance as well as with the students who had met their reading goals.
I didn't get my teaching moment, but I got my learning experience. When left to his own devices, Number One has shown me that he's going to be just fine. He is ready to take on his own educational responsibilities without his mom breathing down his neck all the time. As a parent, I can't think of much of anything more rewarding than that. Good job, Number One!!!