Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Carvin' Time


Drue hates getting messy. She quickly came up with an alternative method to sticking her hands in the goo...she turned her pumpkin upside down and tried to shake the seeds out.

Reese, on the other hand, loves getting gooey...

The scariest costume yet.

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Hmmmm...I'm in my eating chair, there's something on my tray, I have a spoon...must be time to eat.

Mommy took my spoon away.

One more look... what is the point of all this if I can't eat it?

Now this is a lovely costume. (Except for first thing in the out boys and girls!).
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Don't Ask...Don't Tell

I have borrowed this philosophy when it comes to wondering what exactly goes on when David is in charge of the children and I am away from the house.

Case in point: Yesterday I had to work late and didn't get home until around 7:45pm. David had solely been responsible for the young ones for less than 3 hours. I overlooked the kitchen, which was left in mild disarray, when I saw my children's cherubic faces smiling up at me, bathed, already in their pajamas, with no signs of obvious blunt trauma anywhere on their bodies.

I went to sleep feeling lucky to have such a dependable helpmate.

However, as I began my days' events this morning getting everyone up and ready, my thoughts of his dependability waned as I peeled off Tate's pajamas and was met by the unmistakable sheen of silver DUCT TAPE, holding my little one's diaper securely to his bum!

Don't ask...don't tell...

Monday, October 29, 2007

False Alarm

Ok, so this MRSA...Superbug...Staph scare has me freaked out. And they say to look for anything that may resemble a boil or spider bite.

So my breath caught in my throat this afternoon as my eyes were drawn to a suspicious looking red bump on the back of Tate's head right at the base of his skull!

Upon closer inspection, however, it was deemed to be leftover ravioli from todays' lunch.


Wisdom from the Potty

It was another harried morning, and we were running late as has been our trend the past few days of preschool. Reese and Tate were successfully dressed and ready to go so I turned my attention to Drue. I pried her few uneaten cheerios from her grasp and plopped her on the potty.

As I tried to convince her that now was not the time to sit and ponder life's mysteries, Tate began howling on the other side of the door, desperately wanting to come in and either topple headfirst into the tub, or gleefully climb the stepstool and brush his four front teeth.

I attempted to block him out as I sat on the edge of the tub and patiently waited for Drue to count out her last few pieces of toilet paper.

With the clock ticking, Tate crying, and one of the dogs barking to go outside, I sighed and commented, "Our life is pretty crazy isn't it Drue?".

" is," she replied, then added, "But my life is a beeeaaauuuutiful life!".

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin Patch: Take 2




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Friday, October 26, 2007

Sweet Moments

Most nights, I snuggle with the girls in their beds for a few moments before we say goodnight. I look forward to doing the same with Tate when he graduates to a big boy bed.

After I snuggled with Drue tonight, I wearily climbed out of her bed and got into Reese's. Fall weather is very snuggle friendly, I might add. I crawled under her sheet and quilt and held her close.

"What was your favorite part of the day today?" I whispered in her ear.

She turned her little face toward mine and whispered back, "This one....".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

True Love

Here's a few glimpses into what a sweet, loving, encouraging man I married:

Normally, I look into the mirror to apply makeup, do my hair, etc. These events don't usually require me to smile. In fact, it's rare that I look into the mirror and smile. That's just odd. But I guess I happened to be laughing the same moment I looked into the mirror a few weeks ago and was aghast to see distinct LINES fanning out from the outside corners of my eyes. I assure you, that was nothing to smile about. So I vowed from that moment on, no more smiling for me. Ever.

Later that evening I informed David of my decision. "What? Why?", he asked.

I went on to explain to him my smile line discovery earlier in the day, and since we can't afford Botox, my only other solution is to quit smiling altogether.

"Smile lines?", he asked, confused.

"Yes! Those little lines that creep out from my eyes when I smile!".

"Oooohhhhh. Yeah, they do make you look old. They're called crows' feet...but on me, they're called character lines."

The other day I had been doing laundry and had piled a couple of clean loads onto our bed. After getting everyone bedded down for the night, David and I went into our room to start getting ourselves ready for bed. We both eyed the mountain of clothes lying there. I will confess, I've been known to simply sweep the mountain onto the floor, or chair at times and drift off to sleep. However, when I discovered that laundry elves do not visit our house in the middle of the night to put away our clean clothes, I've tried to stop doing that.

I could see the wheels turning in David's head as he tried to figure out another location to store the clothes so we could go to sleep.

I picked up a towel and began folding it. He was standing at the end of the bed just staring.

"I have to fold these and put them away tonight because if I have to wake up to this mound of clothes tomorrow morning I am going to kill myself!" I explained. (I know, that is nothing to joke about, but drastic times call for drastic empty threats).

David didn't even blink an eye. "Well honey, please don't kill yourself on top of the clean clothes, because that would just cause an awful stinch which would be hard to get out."

Isn't he a catch?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Readers Talk....I Listen

A loyal reader and friend e-mailed me today about my lack of blog postings lately. It could have been worded, "While I do enjoy seeing that sweet little baby picture of Reese on her Birthday Blog, I look forward to reading new posts about your adorable family." But that is not her personality. It simply said, "If you people have a need to update it. I am sick of clicking and finding the SAME thing....".

As always, I have had 1,078 ideas of blogs running around in my head, yet just don't quite find the time to sit and type them all out. But this is one cute grocery store happening that hopefully you'll enjoy.

The grocery store.

Just a dreaded experience all around. For some strange reason, I have always loathed going grocery shopping. I don't mind dashing in for a couple of things, but to actually sit down, make a list, and fill up an entire cart, just makes me crazy. I've been this way my whole married life, so it really has nothing to do with dragging along three energetic wee ones whose idea of a fun afternoon is not comparing green bean prices.

David requested a specific meal for last evening. You will be proud to know, I didn't snidely respond that I am not his own personal short order cook, nor is this a 5 star hotel where he is free to pick something to his liking off the menu. I gathered up the kids and dutifully made a late afternoon trip to the grocery store, list in hand, to get all the needed ingredients for his specified delicacy.

A trip to the store isn't just the matter of plopping the kids in their seats and be-bopping on over on the spur of the moment. It takes precision and planning. First, is timing. After naptime, after snacktime, and after potty break time usually works pretty well.

Two sets of lists are made. The rough draft scribbled out with items as they come off the top of my head. Then the second list carefully constructed from that first list, only this time, I write down all my items in order of where they can be found in the store, mapping out the quickest, most direct route, to cut down on extra time spent running back and forth from the vegetable aisle to the toilet paper aisle, then realizing I forgot carrots.

Then I must mentally prepare the wee ones for every possible scenario we may encounter once we get to the store. Believe me, this is a key element and saves many a thrown fit. For instance, yesterday, I simply stated that Drue and Tate would ride in the car cart and Reese would get to walk and be my helper. I have learned how to make every position a positive one. Reese doesn't like that she can't always ride in the cart anymore, but all of a sudden walking doesn't sound so bad if I enlist her as my official helper. Of course, then Drue complains that she does have to ride in the cart, but I enlisted her to be my helper from a seated position and she was finally ok with that. Then they are quizzed on the correct and incorrect behavior to be displayed at the store.

All the way there I kept repeating as stated above: Drue and Tate would ride in a car cart, Reese would walk and be my helper. So wouldn't you know it, we get there and nary a car cart was to be found. I had to quickly change my strategy before my whole mission fizzled to pieces. "Ok, no car carts. Drue, you get to walk and be my special helper after all" then I quickly whisked Tate into the regular cart (which he feels is his own personal solitary confinement cell on wheels) praying he would be too distracted by the pretty potted fall foliage to notice.

We were off. For some odd reason, even with my orderly list, I still seem to miss that one item that's all the way back over on the other side of the store. Personally, I think grocery stores should be set up with two of every section but on opposite sides of the store. So by the time I realize I forgot to get yogurt 13 aisles ago, it wouldn't be a big deal, because, hey, lookie there, another dairy section is up ahead!

Anyway, back to our trip. Two walkers and a rider actually poses more of a threat to a relaxing time, because I now have two little fighting helpers and no one in the cart to entertain the boy. But this trip, Reese and Drue both willingly took turns, no hair pulling involved, at putting stuff into the cart for me. And Tate had no back arching incidents accompanied by his girly shriek of disdain at being strapped down.

One dad even commented that I had a lot of helpers. As I smiled back at him and probably said something stupid, Drue stopped stock still in front of my moving cart which was quickly brought to a stop by her little achilles tendons. She toppled forward spilling her bear companion. My breath literally caught in my throat as I waited for the howls. I even prepared our gentleman friend by saying in my fake sweet mommy voice, "Uh oh, we're going to cry now...we're going to cry".

But she hopped right up, gathered glow bear, and acted as though nothing happened. Of course, I bent down and closely inspected her, sure I had inadvertently switched her with someone else's child. Soft brown curls encircling large hazel eyes...yep, that was my Druebie.

We grabbed the rest of our items, Tate did attempt to stand up at one point, but I gave him my list to hold, which took his mind off everything else. We even made it through the checkout smoothly. Our baggers put bright orange circular stickers on our milk usually, I guess to show that we did, in fact, purchase it. For some reason my kids think the sun rises and sets on those stickers. Most of the time the bagger offers them one, which they readily accept. But sometimes, the baggers forget. Reese kept asking me if they could have a sticker. The bagger wasn't paying attention, so I turned to the register behind me and grabbed two off their strip. I stuck them on the girls' shirts as we headed out of the store, still amazed at our very successful afternoon.

My thoughts of disbelief were interrupted by Reese tugging on my hand saying, "Mommy, you only got two stickers". "Yes dear, one for you and one for Drue." "But Mommy, you didn't get one for Tate." Then I watched my sweet one, whose little day is brightened by these bright orange stickers, peel hers off her shirt and gently place it on her little brothers' shirt.

"Reese!", I exclaimed proudly, "That is exactly what Jesus would have done!". She shyly smiled all the way back to the van.

What a sweet ending to my story.

I almost don't want to write about how as I was getting them all buckled in to go home, Reese turned to Drue and said tauntingly, "I gave Buddy my sticker...and yoooouuuu didn't."

Pretty sure Jesus wouldn't have said that.....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Reese!


5 years ago our lives were forever changed by this tiny bundle. What an awesome journey parenthood has been thus far...and we've only just begun. We love you Reese!

You never cease to amaze me with your kind hearted spirit. And today was no exception. It was your 5th birthday, you were sick with a sore throat and couldn't go to your beloved preschool where they were going to celebrate your special day. We were stuck inside all day watching the pouring rain out our window. And we were debating whether or not to let you go sing in your first choir performance in front of big church tonight.

You were excited about your presents we let you open. So I reminded you that you would get to open even more this weekend at your Family Party. You were happy about that. Then, instead of focusing on the crummy parts of your day--being sick, the rain, etc, you said, "But greatest gift of all is from Jesus."
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Princess Party

It was the social event of the least for 4 & 5 year old little girls. Reese turns five this week, and when she recently began getting party invitations in the mail to other kids' parties, I figured it was a great year to start her official Friends Birthday Party.

Now, I can't decorate my way out of a paper bag when it comes to interior designing my house, but give me a theme of some sort, and I go crazy. All it took was for Reese to say, "I want a Sleeping Beauty party", and my wheels started turning. We had a Princess Tea Party. All the girls came dressed up as Princesses. It. Was. Too. Cute.

All I can say is, whoever invented tulle material is a genius! It is so easy to work with and made everything look so glamorous. Reese wanted pink, pink, and more pink...and that's exactly what she got. It looked like a Pepto Bismol bottle exploded in our dining room.


I had to start decorating last weekend because David was in California for most of this past week, and I didn't want to wait til the last minute to get everything done. I still spent all evening Friday decorating, then got up early Saturday morning to finish. The dining room was the Tea Room (obviously). We turned the living room into the Ballroom. David's contribution to the party (besides keeping Tate occupied for two hours) was to blow up 72 pink balloons for the ballroom dance floor, which the girls twirled around in as they danced to Princess music. The basement was transformed into the Enchanted Forest (Reese's idea) where we played the games and opened the gifts.

Here's my sweet little Sleeping Beauty...

With this being our first friends party ever, I wasn't sure how much to plan. The girls decorated treasure boxes while everyone was arriving, then I did face painting. Nothing too elaborate...I gave them the choice of a heart, star, crown, or butterfly. We played pin the crown on the frog, and a Magical Hearts game which is like musical chairs. Whoever got out after each round was supposed to give Reese their present to open. They were all so smart that when I stopped the music, they all hopped off their heart and yelled, "I'm out. I'm not on a heart. Reese gets to open my gift now!". So, we had to quickly switch to Princess Trivia, and whoever answered the question correctly got to give Reese their gift.

I was so nervous when I sent out the invitations that for some reason, no one would be able to come. It goes back to that feeling of never wanting your kids to be disappointed. I kept picturing Peter Brady sitting all alone at his party when no one was showing up. I actually went so far as to prepare Reese for that. Well, I knew at least one little girl was for sure going to come so I said in an upbeat tone, "Even if it's just us and her, we'll have a great time!".

Lo and behold, ALL 8 girls we invited were able to come! So there were 10 little princesses in all counting Reese and Drue. OK, so one little girl isn't into dressing up and came in leggings, but when her mom dropped her off she lightheartedly said, "Just pretend she's wearing a beautiful gown."

Reese was a great little hostess and really tried to play with everyone. All the little girls were from our church so they all knew each other, which made it even better. As they were sitting around the table waiting patiently for their "tea", I heard Reese give a little speech (with absolutely no prodding whatsoever.) I am kicking myself for not getting it on tape. She told the girls how she loved all the presents they brought, and she actually went around the table and called them each out by name saying how much she liked their present. "Lauren, I loved your present. And Maddy, your gift was great...". Sweetness.

It really was a fun time. I have no crazy tales of wanting to pull my hair out with 10 screaming, giggling little girls running a muck through my house. I had a blast with them. And am actually looking forward to the next kids' party we get to host. David is refusing to let me reuse any of the pink tulle for Tate's party in the Spring, however. Party Pooper.

Speaking of Tate, after everyone had gone home and we were cleaning up, we noticed Tate was missing. This is never a good thing so I went searching and this is where I found him....
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Punkin' Pickin'


Ahhhh....the Pumpkin Patch. One of the great timeless Fall traditions. Ranks right up there with watching your kids jump in a pile of leaves while you sip hot apple cider. However, wrangling around my brood at the patch today without David ranked right up there with dumping hot apple cider in my lap, then being made to eat the entire pile of leaves. No, there were some enjoyable moments I'm sure I'll look back fondly on.

I have decided it's not my kids that make the outings so's other people. Other mothers specifically. They have good intentions I'm sure, but they just stress me out. We went with Reese's preschool class today and Reese happily played with another little girl in her class. There were a lot of huge slides to go down. I felt comfortable letting Reese and Drue go down the slides while I chased Tate around. There weren't any ladders to climb up, just hills, so I didn't have to worry about them falling off backwards. Reese was excited to be with her friend, so she kept forgetting about Drue. Drue was scared of the slides so by the time her turn came around, she just froze at the top and cried. Tate loudly vocalized his distaste at being scooped up while we raced to the foot of the slide and tried to coax her down as a bunch of impatient children were yammering behind her. I tried to call sweetly to her in front of the other mothers, when all I really wanted to do was reprimand Reese for leaving her poor defenseless little sister, then yell to Drue to slide down or else.

Even after the traumatic slide event, however, she was still crying. And Tate was off to find what adventure awaited him behind the porta potty door. I wanted to just leave Drue for a minute to rescue him, but that would have looked bad also, so I grabbed her and ran as fast as is possible with a 35 pound sack of potatoes on my hip. She kept bursting into tears intermittently and the other mother we were walking around with kept sweetly trying to come up with a logical explanation for her sadness. "Is she upset because she got left behind?", she pondered. We were well past that experience, however, so I didn't really have an explanation for the her.

And of course, there are the looks. After Tate was banished back into the wagon, he kept squealing and trying to hurl himself out over the back of the seat as other mothers cast side glances at him trying to figure out if he was being abused. Drue's tears got a lot of looks also. I wanted to just scream, "Do not worry about this child! She has not severed an appendage. Her sock is probably just on crooked!". Because that is exactly the type of thing that sends her into a tailspin for some reason.

So if all those other mothers hadn't been there, and I could rent the pumpkin patch out for one afternoon for just us...I could be myself, not worrying about others' opinions of my child rearing skills and we'd all have a good time.

When we first arrived and were waiting to get in, one of the other mothers said, "My 'honey please don't do that'...will probably turn into a 'CUT IT OUT' by the end of the morning." To which I added, "Yeah, you all are going to see my true colors come out today I'm sure!". They are used to seeing me quietly standing outside the classroom waiting to pick up Reese.

One of the other mothers always comments on how well-behaved my younger two are as we gather in the hall waiting for the door to open. I usually explain to her that (a) they are either too tired to misbehave, or (b) they've already pitched a royal fit in the van before we even came inside.

As we were getting ready to leave the patch today, I saw her and asked, "Well, did you see my kids going crazy earlier?". Which she surprisingly responded, "No, I didn't. Every time I saw you guys I just couldn't understand how you do it, because they were all so well behaved." So there was a little luck on my side today after all...

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