Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cereal and Ice Cream for Dinner

On Friday, CJ asked me to make cereal and ice cream for dinner. I wanted to please him, but the weather was bad and I didn't have enough of everything to do that. Last night, I decided to surprise him. I bought several of those over priced tiny boxes of cereal, two kinds of ice cream, bananas, hot fudge, chopped nuts, magic shell, cherries, whipped cream, strawberry sauce, and something else I can't remember right now.

When I served them, I'm pretty sure they decided in that moment that I am the COOLEST MOM EVER. Of course, it was a short-lived coolness. Still, for that moment in time, I was pretty cool. And, to think, all it took was cereal and ice cream for dinner.

Pots Rock!

On Friday, I found myself in a particularly good mood and feeling rather open minded. I didn't accomplish a whole lot around the house because Rachel, Drezden, and Liam were all home "helping" me. As I tried to clean the kitchen, they decided to see what they could do to make noise. At first, Rachel wanted to use some glass mixing bowls which I immediately nixed. I hate cleaning up shards of glass with the bottoms of my feet. I must have had some sort of out of body experience because I suddenly heard myself saying, "Hey! Let's make a rock band!" They were so delighted. I handed each of them a pot or metal mixing bowl and a variety of kitchen utensils to bang with. It was so loud that Liam was able to enjoy it even without his hearing aids in.
You can watch the video of their first pot rock concert right here. As you can plainly see, it was all fun and games until someone got hit by a flying utensil or Godzilla Baby came crawling through.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Big Bully!

Aiden has been especially grumpy the past couple of days, particularly when talking about school. I knew something was probably up, but have learned from experience that it's best to let him bring it up. Finally this morning, while screaming that he just couldn't go to school anymore, he told me what has been going on.

"I'm being bullied, mom". Now my brain goes immediately to some big kid picking on my poor moderately scrawny kid. I'm picturing him being threatened within inches of his life or being given swirlies in the bathroom or having his lunch shoved up his nose when no one is looking. My blood is boiling that someone would bully my kid.

In my effort to be sympathetic, I ask "Can you tell me who is bullying you?". Big tears come. "It's Taylor." Taylor? Who the heck is Taylor? I've never heard of him before. I ask him to tell me more about Taylor. "SHE sits by me in class."

Great! He's being picked on by one of those mean girls. She's probably poking fun at his rather large ears (he gets that from my side of the family) or maybe it's about all of his freckles (also from me, and I LOVE them) or perhaps even his clothes. You know how girls can be. Just mean, right? Again, trying to be sympathetic, I ask "Well, what is she doing that is bullying you?". More big tears. "She's saying untrue things about me that are hurtful". I knew it! Mean girl, I tell you.

"Can you tell me what she says about you that are untrue?" I'm bracing myself for the worst. Maybe she'd say he lives in the ghetto, or his mama is so fat she buys new refrigerators so she can wear the boxes, or or or...well, something just awful.

He buried his head in his pillow and just yelled and yelled nothingness. I finally calmed him down and said, "I need to have you tell me what she is saying so I can help make it better". Finally, he told me what the bullying was about. Are you ready for this?

"She says I have poor penmanship". Yep. That's the bullying he's suffering.

I told him about the cruel stuff I endured as a kid. I grew up in a less conventional home and was always poor. I had Salvation Army glasses, tacky clothes, bad hair, teeth with a big gap in them, and a last name that was rather easy to make fun of.

He finally decided to suck it up and go to school. Crisis averted. But, really? Penmanship? Really? Here I was all ready to stick up for my kid for the long haul when all he really needs is a better pencil sharpener. Nice.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What a week!

I swear I'm walking around with a big fat "Kick Me!" sign attached to my back. That's the only thing that can explain some of the wild things that go on around here. This past week has been no exception. I've blogged the details RIGHT HERE. Get some popcorn. This is a long one. And I haven't even written the strongly worded letter yet.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Note to Self: Wear a Raincoat

Liam has had some trouble with eating. He is gaining plenty of weight and takes a bottle like a champ, but solid foods aren't going so well. Anything with chunks or that doesn't have the same flavor as vanilla yogurt or bananas will usually result in heavy gagging, choking, and a general feeling of impending death. We're working with him on it, but he seems to be winning the battle.

On top of that, he is incredibly stubbourn about not wanting to wear his hearing aids. I know this comes as a shock to hear that one of my precious angels might be stubbourn about anything. Rest assured, though, it's true. I'm sure I have no idea where any of them might have gotten that trait from. The problem with him refusing to wear his hearing aids is that we aren't stimulating his auditory brainstem, and speech will be more difficult for him later.

We had his annual ECI IFSP meeting this past week, and I was instructed that it's time to stop telling him no with a smile when he pulls off his aids. I'm supposed to show him my grumpy face and firmly say no while also signing it. Have you met this kid??!? He is just adorable and sweet and happy and loving, and someone is telling me to tell him no??? (Actually, I'm fine with that. Just ask Aiden. I say no all the time. According to him, in fact, I am the "meanest mom in the world".) It's the part where I have to show grumpiness that I hate. Poor kid.

Plus, I'm supposed to start introducing more flavors. The best suggestion is to go ahead and dip his binky in a new flavor and offer it that way. Okay, I guess that seems reasonable enough, right?

Friday, I decided to get a babysitter so Byron could surprise me by taking me out on a date. (Yes, you read that right. Sometimes a girl has to take matters into her own hands if she wants to be taken out). Since Liam has some issues and there are five kids, we opted to bring him with us. I decided that this would be a great chance to work on requiring the aids and offering him new flavors.

We went to the Olive Garden so we could use Byron's gift card from Christmas. As soon as we sat at the table, Liam went for his hearing aids. He was determined NOT to wear those suckers no matter what. Three times in a row he did it, and three times in a row I showed him no with my very firm face and the sign while also taking his hand away from his ears. The result? A broken heart!!! Poor Liam's eyes just filled with tears and a big frown came over his face. It was like I'd just told him there is no Santa Clause. Finally, I just did him a favor and took the hearing aids out for hm so they could be put in a safe place.

Then the food came out. Byron loves to order extra alfredo dipping sauce for the bread sticks. Suddenly I had a really bright idea!!! I would dip Liam's binky in the alfredo sauce. What could go wrong there? I fed him a full container of his yogurt, and then dipped the binky in the sauce. I was just sure this was going to be my most genius idea yet...right up there with taking all five kids to Target by myself just for fun.

Almost as quickly as I put the binky in his mouth the gagging began, then some sputtering and then tears coming down his cheeks as he tried for all he was worth to hold his beloved yogurt with him. And then it happened. Picture a scene from The Exorcist. I had no idea that one little tongue full of alfredo sauce could elicit such a response, but I was wearing the proof that it was indeed possible.

The moral of the story? Next time I listen to and fullow through with instructions from ECI, I should be fully prepared to feel like an ogre...and I should at the very least wear a raincoat.

Rachel and the Grabby Thing

For Christmas, Hen got Drezden one of those reaching tools. Drezden isn't really sure what to do with it, but everyone else LOVES it. Byron loves it most of all. He thinks it's wonderful that he can finally help me around the house without ever bending over to pick up a toy. I don't honestly care how the toys get picked up as long as they're picked up.

Last night, Byron was relaxing in his recliner when Rachel found the grabber. He had the chair back and was resting comfortably while I was cleaning up one of the day's many spills and messes. Suddenly, I heard Byron jump and squeel a little. Immediately after his jump, I heard her tiny, naughty little voice say, "I got your penit". And then there was a giggle. And really, I'm pretty sure that's all I need to tell of that story.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Onion Cake

I think I've mentioned that The Beast has been known to adopt friends as he sees fit. He doesn't tend to adopt friends his own age, but instead chooses friends who are much older than him to befriend. Really, it's very sweet. He has this uncanny ability to choose people who probably need him in their lives as much as he needs them in his.
One of his original "picks" was Jim and Linda. They go to church with us and have two grown sons. For whatever reason, CJ gets along great with Jim and Linda and he's pretty sure they are truly his adopted grandparents. And, crazy as it sounds, they've reciprocated the love. Go figure. He's spent a few nights at their house, usually at his own request. He is a pro at melting Linda's heart with his big brown eyes, freckly cheeks, and a couple of well spent tears. She just can't bear to break his little heart and tell him no. (I, on the other hand, am apparently like the Grinch. I tell him no all the time. Somehow it almost never phases me one bit).
Anyway, I digress. The purpose of this post is to talk about onion cake, right? Jim had a birthday this week. It wasn't just any birthday. He turned...well, I don't know if it's kind to say...ummm...put it this way, if you multiply the Beast's age time ten, you know how old Jim is.
The Beast came home from school, and I told him he could call and sing Happy Birthday over the phone. This immediately brought on a host of tears. What?? What did I say? You see, there was no envelope in the mail inviting the Beast to Jim's party. I explained that there was no party for Jim. WHAT?!?!? Oh the horror!!!! No party?? You can't have a birthday without a party!! The Beast was completely horrified at such a thought. Still, he called Jim and fought back the tears as he sang the birthday song. Then he asked Jim what kind of cake he was having. Jim and Linda just happened to be at a restaurant having a bloomin' onion, so he told the Beast he didn't get a cake for his birthday, but an onion instead. There are no words to adequately describe the look on the Beast's face at that moment. I'm pretty sure therapy is going to be required to help him get over the post traumatic stress disorder he's developed just imagining such a thing.
He insisted that Jim needed a cake. Since it appeared that Jim likes onions, the Beast wanted an onion cake. For some strange reason, those kind of cakes mixes are hard to find at your local grocery store. Go figure. So, the Beast settled on a chocolate cake mix. (Thank you, Jim, for telling him you like chocolate. It could have been an rough night for all of us if he'd insisted on getting the onion.)
We brought the mix home, and The Beast immediately did all of his chores, ate his dinner, cleared his place and let me know he was ready to bake the cake. I did the measuring, but he and Pretty did the dumping and mixing. We let the cake cool overnight, and I let the Beast get up this morning and decorate it before church.
He was very precise with every movement he made as he decorated this morning. I'm pretty sure he used every cake topping I had in my cabinet, all the toppings he purchased last night, and still wanted to add more "of whatever you have in there, Mom", but I discouraged him from using the seasoning shakers to add to the cake. I haven't seen the Beast so proud of himself in a long time as he was this morning marching into church just sure he'd saved the day for Jim's birthday. With all the toppings on that cake, I'm confident Jim and Linda are soon to die of insulin shock, but it's the thought that counts. Right?

Flower Child

It appears that over the Christmas vacation, Pretty has taken some sort of naughty pill. She finds anything and everything she can do to drive me nuts. Doesn't she know I'm already out of my mind without her adding to it?!?!
In addition to my daughter making me crazy, I have had a bit of a cold. Just a little one, and really not anything to worry about. I am, after all, a mom. Moms don't get sick. But, on the off occasion that I do get sick, I sometimes opt to take a little NyQuil. Should I need to be on drugs, the King becomes in charge of the children. Are you seeing where I'm going with this? Yeah. Not to a good place.
I had gotten Pretty some of those craft foam stickers at the Target Dollar Spot thinking she'd have fun with them. I must not have been thinking clearly (NyQuil, remember?) because it didn't even occur to me that she'd likely stick them all over her walls, my mirrors, and HER BABY BROTHER.
I was drugged out to next week, so I was clearly not thinking straight. Beyond having the sense to grab the camera, it didn't jump out at me to remove the stickers from Little Guy's face. Apparently it didn't occur to the King either because the stickers were still on his face the next morning. The lovely part of all that is the fact that Little Guy STILL (three days later) has red marks in the shape of the stickers all over his face.
The irony of the situation? Look closely. He took off the canula. I can't get the kid to keep that thing on for anything. But flower stickers? Oh yeah. Those he'll wear all week.

Mr. Potato Head

Ever since he started walking, Snort has been making progress by leaps and bounds. He is picking up new words left and right, has developed his own twisted sense of humor that could only have come to a child in this family, and is actually trying to form sentences.

One thing Snort has always been REALLY good at is eating. It may have taken him a little while to learn how to eat, but he's never looked back ever since he learned this particular all important skill. Snort really believes in getting into his food. One of his favorite treats is my "Better Than Sex Mashed Potatoes". Yes. That is what we call them. No. We don't say it in front of the kids.

I happened to make mashed potatoes for dinner last weekend, and Snort was delighted to learn that he could have the whole mixing bowl with the left-over's in it. There really wasn't very much left, but he didn't care. He was just in awe over the fact that he got the whole bowl. As soon as I put it on his tray for him, he started dancing. As you can see in the video, he was well pleased with his dinner that night.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how to upload the video. But you can still see the potato dance by clicking RIGHT HERE.

What Mom Doesn't Blog Christmas???

I keep meaning to make it back to my blog and record all the fabulous details of every single day, you know, in my free time. It must be obvious how much free time I have based on the fact that my dog had to write our Christmas letters. Not that it's a legitimate excuse, but whatever works, right?

Suffice it to say that Christmas this year was PERFECT. There was absolutely nothing fancy about it. No huge presents found their way under the tree, Santa only partly threw up in our living room, and we didn't have any fancy dinners. Still, it was perfect.

This was the first year out of three that we were all home together and none of us were in the hospital. I had five healthy, very happy children all home with me all happily enjoying their new Christmas treasures.

Number One and The Beast each got a Nintendo DS. They were delighted. Pretty got a new bed for her baby doll as well as The Little Mermaid costume, doll, and movie. She's pretty sure she was meant to be a mermaid in her next life, I think. Snort got some new building blocks and a magna-doodle. Little Guy got himself a new shape sorter and some rubber duckies. They were all quite pleased, and enjoyed their day.

Instead of a fancy dinner, we opted to have yummy finger foods and spend the evening playing board games together. It's sort of a tradition the King has with his family that he has really taken pride in hanging on to.

So, I don't have any pictures of Christmas. Yes, I know it's Little Guy's first Christmas. I don't even have tons of fabulous details of the day. Suffice it to say, though, that we enjoyed being together as a family.