Friday, November 15, 2013

Crime & Punishment: Putting my Mad Detective Skills to Work

It can be hard to determine, at times, which child is responsible for those undesirable behaviors that go unwitnessed. 

For instance, the simple question "Whose banana peel is this on the kitchen counter?" can elicit three very different responses.

Child #1: "Not mine."

Child #2: " I don't think I've been in the kitchen since last Thursday."

Child #3: "What are bananas?"

Or the blame is placed on someone else entirely, who isn't even present to defend themselves.

"I think it might be Daddy's."

To which I'll challenge, "Hmmm... well, I doubt Daddy would have flown all the way home from Colorado just to sneak in and eat a banana without at least saying 'hello'". 

Sometimes I'll go all King Solomon on them and threaten to do the unthinkable, like take away everyone's iPod for the week, in hopes the real perpetrator comes forward. 

Other times I guilt them into confessing by saying, "God knows whose banana peel it is..."

Or I'll just declare an outright banana ban henceforward, citing abused banana eating privileges as the cause. 

Really anything could be substituted for the banana in these scenarios. 

Who didn't hang their towel up?

Who knocked over the dogs' water bowl? 

Who used all the baking soda making this lovely volcano? 

It makes my job so much easier when the case is open and shut. As it was today, when I discovered someone drew (no pun intended, although clever nonetheless) on the bookshelf. 

And although I'm quite impressed with how well her cursive is coming along, she's still going to be handed a Mr. Clean magic eraser when she walks in the door and be instructed to "Start scrubbing."


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Vroom Vroom

Of all his Ninja moves, this one is definitely my favorite. 

I'm elated by Tate's newly discovered love for vacuuming. However, it has peaked my curiosity as well. 

I was in desperate need of help getting the house together on Halloween. So I put the kids to work after school, mainly tackling their rooms. I figured their anticipation for the evening's festivities would keep their grumbling to a minimum. I was correct. Somewhat. 

The girls share a room, and tossing them in there together to clean usually begins an all out civil war. I've tried sending them in one at a time and assigning each girl certain areas to clean, but that just results in them accusing the other of tossing items out of their designated area instead of actually cleaning. 

Since we were short on time, and I was short on patience, I opted for the civil war route and let them battle it out that day. 

As I was trying to turn hot dogs into little mummies by furiously wrapping them in strips of biscuit dough, I realized the living room still needed to be vacuumed. 

Not wanting to go near the commotion ensuing upstairs to enlist their aid, I looked around for another suitable helper. David wasn't home from work yet, and that's when I spotted my little red dragon ninja. 

"Tate, can you please vacuum the living room for me?" I asked tentatively.

"Sure!" - was his surprising response. 

I'm betting the vacuum weighs about as much as he does, but he didn't complain at all and even offered to do the upstairs. Until he saw my next project was squeezing gelatin "worms" out of straws. At which point, he quickly delegated the upstairs vacuuming to the girls. 

Who can really blame him? What little boy isn't ecstatic to play with worms, real or jello filled?

When I surveyed his work in the living room, I was impressed. He'd done a great job.  And he was so proud of himself. 

He was fast, efficient, and his technique left an interesting circular pattern in the carpet. 

This morning I asked him if he'd like to do it again. He jumped at the chance. And I figured out why he enjoys it so much when he plugged it in, grabbed the handle, and right before pressing the button said 3 little words: "Start. Your. Engines."

Monday, October 07, 2013

The Other Man in my Life

The kids are really into making bracelets out of tiny rubber bands.  The latest fashion craze amongst the young folk.  Reminds me of the silly band craze of '10.  However, I think this craze is neat because the kids are actually making them themselves.  That is, when I'm not using the loom.  I realized I might be getting a little too into it when Reese said the other day, "Mom, let me know when you're finished with the loom so I can make a bracelet." Probably just reliving a bit of my childhood, and remembering fondly the excitement of getting more colored string to make friendship bracelets. 

Last I checked, Hobby Lobby didn't carry the loom or bands, so I have to make the longer trek to Michael's when I need to replenish our supply.  Which, it seems, is just about every other day.  While I was there one day looking for more bracelet connectors, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a display of paracords. I grabbed a couple packs, and a few online tutorials later, fashioned Tate a  necklace.  

I joked with a few of my friends it was a good thing David has been out of town recently, and not here to witness the laundry piling up due to my necklace/bracelet making.  Last week when he and the kids facetimed, they decided to show him all of their new jewelry.  By the time my turn to talk came around he said, "So, uh, is that all you did today?"  Busted. 

The girls are always asking, "Can you go to Michael's to get (insert color of the rainbow here) rubber bands?".

After I made Tate a gray/white necklace, he decided he wanted an orange and white one also.  So I told him, "I need to head to Michael's today anyway, so I'll pick up some orange paracord."

Tate finally asked one day, "Who is Michael?"

Uh oh.

I quickly explained that Michael wasn't a he, it was a store.  I could just envision that conversation between Tate and David.  "Mom sure has been spending a lot of time with this guy named Michael.  She goes to see him like everyday."

During some errands the other day, we all headed to Michael's so I could dash in and look for some more bands.  Tate picked out a camo colored parachord for a new necklace.  As we headed to the car, he looked back at the store, read the sign, and said, "Thanks, Mitchell's!"

"Mitchell's?" I asked, confused.  Then I realized he must have tried to sound out the name and the ch confused him. "It's Michael's", I corrected.  "This is the store I always come to to get this stuff."

Thinking we had once and for all cleared up the mystery, Tate replied, still perplexed, "Well, then, who's Mitchell?" 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Pinterest, PJs, & Pizza

I love all those "P" words. Yep. Sure do. So what's more fun than incorporating them all into one night? Not much, I'm here to say. 

I thoroughly enjoy scrolling through the endless boards o' Pinterest. I have a hang up, however, when it comes to actually "pinning" stuff. I don't no why. Actually, I may know why, but it's weird, so that's all I have to say about that. 

But I could honestly pin every single idea I see on my followers' boards. You people all have incredibly great taste! Instead if repinning, I take screenshots of the really cool ideas or recipes. However, I rarely actually do any of the projects I like. Oh sure, a recipe here and there, but nothing crafty.

I'm one of those people who has a love/hate relationship with craft fairs. I love going to them! I hate actually buying anything. I see the cutest stuff and think, "Pssshttt... I could absolutely make that." But, as David likes to continually point out...I probably never will. 

I procrastinate. 

I let mundane things like laundry, errand running,  & toilet scrubbing get in the way. And I promise myself I'll carve out some time in the next week to make a crafty item for our home. Lo and behold, there's more laundry to do the next week, more groceries to be bought, and for some reason, the kids keep using my clean toilets! 

So, my little crafty ideas stay on my camera roll and are never brought to fruition.

There have been so many cute Fall decorations posted lately, I was finally just bursting to make something. We have one free evening during the week where no one has any activities to go to...ahhhh, glorious Thursdays! I gathered a bunch of supplies for myself, and even sprung for a loom so the girls could make those nifty rubberband bracelets that are all the rage now. 
I wish I had the patience to stop and take pictures at each step, but these projects were so super easy, no tutorial is really needed. 

Yes, that's a redbox movie amongst the craft items.  When the kids came home from school a couple Thursdays ago, I said, "Woo hoo! Tonight is craft night!" The girls were thrilled. Tate looked disappointed and said, "What's so exciting about that?"

That's when I whipped out the Batman Lego movie he's been wanting to see. And for the next 30 minutes I was the coolest Mom on the planet. David's work travel schedule this month has had him gone for 3 consecutive weeks. (Home on weekends). So there's been no one here to break up the ol' estrogen level for poor Tatey. But Batman helped a little. 

It was a rainy, cozy night, so we donned our pjs and ordered pizza. Here are the the completed projects. 

My stylish & creative niece always has the cutest pictures of her seaonal mantel. On one of her pictures this Summer she said, "I'm ashamed to admit I just changed my Spring mantel." Well, Morgan, I'm ashamed to admit, I just changed my mantel decor from 2007." 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bee Prepared

A few weekends ago, we decided to take advantage of the lovely Fall-like weather and head to Ernie Miller Nature Center. We know better than to take a family vote on our upcoming activities. It's never pretty. And it's rarely unanimous. But we went ahead and took a vote anyway.  You might be able to guess how Tate voted by his body language.
Tate needs a bit more convincing/nudging/dragging to go anywhere beyond the comfort of his own home. However, once we pry his fingers from building his magical castles in Minecraft, and reintroduce him to trees, dirt, and sticks, he thoroughly enjoys himself. 
First step, look at the map and figure out which trail we're going to try first. Many things make me laugh about this picture. Of course, the tiny backpack on David's broad shoulders. Also the fact that he still gets confused about 435 East/West, but get him out in the woods, and he really knows his way around. And finally, David has never stayed on a trail in his life. He believes the best adventures are to be had just off the beaten path.
As I was snapping all these pictures, I began thinking of what I could write about this trip. Just as I had decided it would be a pretty short story, and perhaps mostly just pictures, the excitement began to unfold. (We'd only been there about 10 minutes.)
David and the girls headed off the trail onto a side path. Tate decided to stick with me, found this super huge boulder, and had me snap a picture. 
As we continued down the trail, we heard Reese scream. Not an "Ewww, I walked into a spider web" type of scream, but a blood curdling scream that made me think she must have seen a snake. She kept screaming, so I figured I had better head back to check on things. She emerged from the path screaming and crying and holding her neck. 

A snake fell from the trees and bit her neck?! was, of course, my next thought. Between sobs and hiccups it was ascertained that she had, in fact, been stung by a bee.  Her first sting ever. 

I'm not allergic to anything so I started to at least feel relieved that she probably wouldn't be either. Remembering she also shares another person's DNA, I quickly turned to David and said, "Are you allergic to bee stings??" 

He didn't think he was. I then remembered hearing somewhere that you can't always tell from the first sting if you're allergic. It's the second one that does you in. Well, great. As if I needed anything else to worry about when the kids aren't with me. What if Reese is attacked by a swarm of killer bees when I'm not around? Guess who'll be wearing a bee keeper suit to school from here on out? 

It was turning red and swelling slightly. I felt helpless, but wanted to do something, so I started blowing on it. Hey, it was all I had. And it helped. Or, at least distracted her somewhat. I had zero first aide items on my person. David grabbed a cold water bottle from his Barbie-sized backpack and she held it against her neck. 

Drue's sympathy department can be a little, well, lacking at times, and as I hovered over Reese deciding what our next step should be, Drue acted as though she was being bothered by this whole ordeal and said, "Do we have to go home?!" 

I was about to make a fire to send up smoke signals letting others know we were in need of first aide attention STAT, when I remembered that even though it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, we were actually right off the highway. And there was a Wal-Mart just up the road. So I revised my plan, declaring that I would take Reese to get some medicine, while David and the other two continued their trek. 

It totally should have been the other way around, because David is just more sensible in these types of situations. Actually, in all situations.  We got to Walmart and I drew a complete blank. I couldn't think of anything that would help a bee sting. All I could think of was my Mom making a paste of baking soda and water for our wasp stings. 

So as we dashed into the store, I quickly Googled remedies, having to pause every few minutes to blow on Reese's sting per her request. I found a bench near the pharmacy and plopped her on it as I began looking down the aisles. But the insect bite medicine was a few aisles over, and I didn't want to leave her where I couldn't see her, so I pulled her up off the bench and brought her along. As you can imagine, the Internet is full of bee sting remedies. So i decided just to go with the first one I came across.  Toothpaste. Double score because we were almost out anyway. I grabbed a tube, as well as Tylenol (thank you, Google) all the while asking, "Do you feel strange? Are your lips swelling up or going numb?" 
We made it back and were reunited with the rest of the adventurers. (Thank you, cell phones). From there on out, it was a much calmer, more enjoyable experience. They performed a few skits in the outdoor amphitheater.
We found some other fun spots to stop at along the way. 

Tate predictably ended our time there saying, "I love this place! Can we come back?!" 
Absolutely, Buddy. But next time I'll be sure and bring the toothpaste. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shower Tales

As a mother, my heart swells with pride when I witness the kids behaving thoughtfully, with no prodding whatsoever.  Especially when it involves one of their siblings.  This morning was one such occurrence as they were getting ready for school. Well, sort of. 

Gone are the days I could just plop all 3 of them in the tub at one time and scrub them down.  Bath time at our house has never been a relaxing, nor bonding experience of any kind.  Oh, we bought the sweet lavender-smelling soap with calming capabilities after seeing the sweet toddler on the commercial peacefully getting bathed, nary a splash, then promptly falling right to sleep after his bath.  But I just slathered it on as quickly as possible and scrubbed down all their little cracks and crevices, grabbed the bottle from one child trying to pour it out to make more bubbles, then turned right around and pulled it away from Tate before he could drink more than a few teaspoonsful.  And watch out if it was David's turn to do the baths!  From my spot on the couch where I was thanking the Lord that I had a night off from giving baths, I could hear the kids squealing as as he dumped cupfuls of water directly onto their little heads, without shielding their faces and eyes from the monsoon. 

No sir, bath time was anything but calm.  It was simply a "how can we get this done as quickly and painlessly as possible so you'll smell good for church" activity.  One, because they are all three so close in age.  And, two, we were bathing them all the time!  Syrup in their hair, marker on their face, and other unbelievably messy undertakings.  Like eating.  Eating anything.  We used to buy these little baby biscuits for Reese that were supposed to help her grasping skills because her chubby little hand could hold them all by itself. They would easily entertain her for a few minutes while I tried to get some sort of supper thrown together.  Those were the absolute grossest things I have ever encountered.  They turned to mush instantly and she would be a mushy biscuit-covered mess 30 seconds into the ordeal.  Her grasping practice would have to wait.  We ceased buying those. 

I knew we had to bid farewell to collective bath times, when they began to outgrow the tub together.  Legs would be dangling over the side, the pushing and the shoving began, and I was wetter than they were by the end of it.  So we graduated to collective shower times.  We discovered the tiny shower in our room was the best bet.  They have a full tub with a shower curtain in their bathroom and the floor would be a wading pool when all was said and done. 

Our shower has a door we can pull shut.  Hallelujah!  Of course, our floor still becomes a semi-wading pool when they leave that door open to holler something out to us.  But our shower is so tiny, that only two kids could fit at a time.  Most of the time, we'd throw the girls in together, I'd soap up their hair, then leave them to their giggling, soaping up the walls, or whatever else they would do, until I would holler into the bathroom that they were going to need to get a job to pay for our water bill.  The faucet would promptly shut off. 

So now, obviously, they are way too old to shower together, so now we take the revolving door approach.  Or the automatic car wash approach if you will.  I just don't have time to keep track of who showered when, so they just do it back to back.  If one of them needs to shower, well, they're just all three going to.  And because of the girls oh-so-lovely curly locks, it's necessary that they shower in the morning. That is, if they want their hair to do anything but rat up and stick out in all directions for school.  And because Tate likes to wear remnants of his last meal on his face, his hands, etc. it's best to just always shower him right before we go, well, anywhere.   

He always goes last.  Because he's the boy.  And he just has to run his hand over his hair once, and he's ready for the day.  It's usually Reese, Drue, then Tate.  Age order.  Just another battle we don't have to fight with "who went first last time?".  They can't remember where they just took off their shoes.  But, by golly,  they'll remember who went first in the shower last, or who sat in the back of the van last Tuesday. 

And so begins the herding.  When Reese is finished, she gets out and covers up with her towel, then we send Drue in, while the water is still running.  Then Tate, after Drue gets out and toweled up.  It's just our routine.  And they have it down pat.  So much so, that if one of them does happen to need an extra shower at some point, and I'm not making the other two take one also, they'll still holler out, "Is someone else coming in?" before turning off the water. 

So, yes, that was a loooooong explanation of our showering practices, to get to this morning's event.  Reese was getting ready at my bathroom sink/mirror while Tate was in the shower.  We heard a loud crash come from the shower.  Without any prodding to check on her brother, Reese hollered out concerned, "Are you ok?!"

Thus the swelling of my heart began.  

Silence (other than the running water). 

"Hello?!" she hollered again, growing more concerned.

They really do love each other, I thought. 

My heart began to deflate at a rapid rate, when after she still didn't get an answer, she resumed brushing her hair, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "Oh well." 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Adventures in Fostering

We took our plethora o' puppies to get their booster shots this morning. I'm still recovering. If we continue fostering, it may be wise to trade in my minivan for an animal control truck. Just for convenience sake.

Large endeavors, such as piling 6 squirmy, squealing, furry beings into the car for a road trip cause me anxiety. I almost hyperventilated planning it all out last night. I calmed myself down a bit by breaking the enormous task into smaller ones, making it feel a little more manageable. 

Step 1: Make sure crates are clean.

Step 2: Bring crates around to the front of the house to await their passengers. 

Step 3: Open garage door and extract puppies from their pen one by one for the transfer, swiftly using a puppy wipe on each of them so they'll smell fresh for their appointment. 

I made it all the way to Step 3 before my carefully drawn out plan went to, well, the dogs.  As I punched in the code and the garage door began to rise, I saw a little nose peek its way out. The puppies weren't in their pen. They were loose in the garage. I believe this scene from Ben most accurately depicts what happened next when all the puppies flooded out.
I grabbed what puppies I could, then started screaming for Reese. I was pretty sure Tate was still in bed. Drue goes into automatic panic mode in stressful situations involving the puppies. Reese was my only choice of helpers left. Just one problem, she wasn't coming. Apparently she was so focused on making an outfit choice, she didn't hear her mother's blood curdling cries for help. Comforting. Neither did the neighbors, thankfully. 

Drue happened to amble out and stood there as her jaw dropped. "Grab a puppy!" I hollered. "Or three!" We managed to collect them all, and my adrenaline rush enabled me to hoist cratefuls of puppies up into the van with little difficulty. 

With the girls guarding the little prisoners, I dashed back in to pluck Tate from the top bunk. "But I'm sleepy," he groaned. (When I'm frazzled my sarcastic humor has a tendency to spin out of control.) "Awww...I'm so sorry to have disturbed your slumber at 9:30 in the morning. Perhaps these terminal disease fighting boosters can wait until a more reasonable hour, so you can continue your beauty rest." 

The puppies slept peacefully the entire way. The kids were kind enough to break the silence with their bickering. Tate has discovered his outbreak of poison ivy comes in handy as a biohazard threat against his sisters. Whenever he's bothered by them, I'll hear them scream out, "Mom! Tate's rubbing his arm on me!". 

We finally made it to the shelter where the puppies were vaccinated, weighed, and updated in the system. I felt like a proud Mother introducing them all by name and giving a mini background of their personalities and their likes and dislikes. 

As we waited for more paperwork to be completed, a shelter worker came out into the lobby and started gushing over my temporary babies. "Oh, they're adorable!" she squealed. "What are they mixed with?" 

"Their Mom is border collie, but I don't think they know what the dad is," I explained. Not even thinking about the little ears of my helpers taking in everything. 

"Oh, I see," she continued. "Dad was just a wanderer, paying a visit in the night." 

Tate was petting the puppies through the crate bars and I could see the little wheels in his mind start spinning as he started putting it all together. He stood up and said softly, "Mommy, how do dogs get married?"

Oh boy. 

I felt the color rush to my cheeks and stammered, "Well, they ... ummm...see...they probably..." 

The paperwork couldn't have come off the printer at a more perfect time.  The staff ushered us out to the car with our little bundles and we drove away as I sighed, "Whew, I need a drink!"

Lucky for me, Starbucks are everywhere. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Good, the Bad, & poor ol' Bob

For one glorious week each month (sometimes more) I get to drive around in style, pretending I actually have a smidge of coolness deep down inside myself.  When David travels, I get to trade in my 7 year old Kia minivan (which I'm considering donating to Science, to undergo testing of all the substances that are stuck to the inside of it) for his 2012 Toyota Highlander.  I'm not going to lie, I sometimes make up extra errands, just so I can get the most use and enjoyment out of it.

David keeps his car pristine.  We are not permitted to exit his vehicle unless we have in our hands everything we brought with us at the start of the trip.  If he's feeling extra generous and happens to let us eat in his car, we must grab every microscopic morsel that didn't quite make it into our mouths, and every shred of napkin, wrapper, bag, cup, straw, straw paper, etc.  Sometimes it can take up to 30 minutes for us to be cleared by him to get out of his car upon returning home.  He still makes the final sweep himself, and any missed items are tossed out onto the floor of the garage.  Doesn't matter what they are, Tate's glasses, my cell phone, perhaps an extra friend one of the children brought along. 

David's car affectionately goes by the name "Bob".  When we first got it, the kids insisted it needed a name.  "My car doesn't have a name," I objected.  "Sure it does," they assured me, "It's name is 'Van'".  Still a wee bit jealous of his new ride I continued, "Well, I'm not calling it Bob.  That's just silliness."  The name stuck, however.  I decided that before long, we'll have 3 teenage drivers in the house who won't give a darn about naming our vehicles, as they breeze past us with the keys and head out in different directions.  And David and I will be stuck at home.  Playing gin rummy.  So to embrace their littleness, I reluctantly began referring to it as "Bob" as well. 

Bob still has his new car smell for crying out loud.  Or, he did.  Until today's events.  I've composed the following letter to Bob's owner to hopefully lighten the blow.

Dearest David,

I hope your week in Denver is going well.  We certainly do miss your sense of humor and quick wit when you are absent from us.  These greetings are filled with an abundance of good news about our afternoon, interlaced with one small bit of bad news.

Good News:  Your sweet children and adoring wife (that's me, in case you were having trouble placing her) are totally and completely fine. 

Good News:  Bob has nary a scratch, dent, nor discoloration whatsoever, on his beautiful framework.

Good News:  By ensuring our children continue to develop strong bones and teeth, I am keeping the fridge stocked with calcium rich products. 

Bad News: The gallon of milk I purchased at Wal-Mart (Great Value brand, of course, because I'm always looking for ways to save your hard earned money) sprung a slow leak on our way home.

Good News:  The humongous floor mat in Bob's trunk is quite absorbent.  Impressively so, in fact.  

Good News:  Because I'm trying to get in shape by running with Reese multiple times per week, I was able to swiftly extract the floor mat, toss it onto the driveway, dash up the stairs, grab towels and carpet cleaner, and sprint back down the stairs to begin working furiously on the carpet, all without breaking a sweat.

Good News:  Remember how we used to laugh when one of the kids would drop a milk filled sippy cup under the seat, and we would find it days later by following the smell?  Keep those happy memories close to your heart if you happen to catch a familiar whiff in Bob. 

I am counting down the hours until we are together again, give or take a few, because the exact time of your flight on Friday has escaped me.

Your One True Love (that's me again, Kristen)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Fishing Tale

Fishing with our crew is always an adventure.  Or, more accurately, a misadventure.  Nevertheless, every year on Father's Day, we pack up the rods, bait, tackle, and family, and head out.  Ok, so "we", in this case, refers to "David"...I grab the really important stuff, like my hoodie (in case a rare June lake wind blows in), oh, and the camera.

Our bug spray was nowhere to be found, so a quick stop had to be made at the drugstore.  Drue's blood attracts all bugs known to mankind.  The girl can get 5 humongous bites just going from the house to the car.  As David ran in to get the spray, I turned around in my seat and gave the kids a mini lecture.  "Now listen up, this is Daddy's day.  Let's try and make this a fun outing for him.  No whining, fighting, complaining about the heat, bugs, etc.  Basically, just act like different children for a few peaceful hours."

Upon David's return, he tossed the spray into the backseat.  Tate clutched it to his chest, as though it were the last bottle in the free world, and exclaimed loudly, "I get to be the first one to have it put on!"  Perhaps he hadn't paid as close attention to my speech as I would have liked.

We were off.  We no sooner had turned onto the lake road, than the complaining started.  "Ummm...where on God's green Earth are we going?! I thought you were parking at that nice little beach area so I could get my tan on?  That's the only reason I agreed to come in the first place," remarked someone who shall remain nameless.  Of course, given the fact that our offspring are neither allowed to (a) talk to their Father in that tone, nor (b) get their tan on, it becomes fairly easy to narrow down who the first complainer might have been.   

Good-bye warm, sandy beach fishing.  Hello, steep rocky bank we practically had to rappel down with all our equipment.  David has one rule during these excursions:  If you hook any part of his body, you have to sit out.  Thankfully, hooking his shirt doesn't count, because that occurred at least twice.  My one rule is: If I see a snake, or any twig resembling one, I'm outta there and will hitchhike home.  It doesn't even have to be to our home.
In the time it took me to semi rappel down the bank and join the family, Drue had already gotten her line stuck in a tree.  She went on to do it about 12 more times during the course of the afternoon.  David got busy baiting hooks, rescuing her line, baiting more hooks, rescuing more lines from the rocks. As Tate stared intently at his bobber, he asked innocently, "Dad? Why aren't you fishing?".
Ok, so I'm sure you're wondering right about now, why I wasn't being more of a help.  I am the official "picture taker" and "runner of children to the potty".  After I take an appropriate amount of pictures, I do help with the hooking of the worms.  I just like to try and keep the worm guts and dirt on my camera to a minimum.  

Drue brought her pole to me about every 45 seconds for a new worm.  I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that every time her bobber went under, she was gazing at the trees around us, or at the pretty butterfly that had landed on her shirt.  She wanted nothing to with the worms at all.  This was our child who used to enjoy playing with the worms more than she did actually fishing.  So I said to her, "Drue, you used to love worms, and play with them all the time.  What happened?"  She crinkled up her nose and said, "Well, I don't like them anymore.  They've turned on me."  I was just glad to finally be getting rid of these creepy crawly things that have been taking up residence in my refrigerator for far too long.
At one point, after I'd baited about 35 hooks, and had done my fair share of getting lines unstuck from various impossible places, I noticed a certain person missing.  The main man of the day, in fact.  Apparently, at some point, David thought, "To heck with this gig," and had gone in search of  a secluded spot that we were all too afraid to even attempt to come over to.
Not long after we were there, I hiked up the trail with Reese so she could use the bathroom, secretly wishing for a split second she was a boy and could just go on a tree.  I made it all the way back down the trail, and found Drue patiently awaiting our arrival so I could hike back up the trail and take her to the bathroom.  On our way back down, I could hear Tate screeching loudly.  I assumed he'd taken his first accidental plunge into the water below, but he actually had caught a fish!  Not a tiny, 2-3 inch size like they'd been catching, but an actual "keeper".  He went on to tell me he named him Joey.  Just as I was thinking what a tender heart he has, he said, "I can't wait to eat him!"
As he made his next cast, he said, "I don't know how, but I'm an expert at fishing now."  Awww...tenderhearted and humble.  A few more little fish were caught before all was said and done.  Reese insisted she caught the "big one" a few times, but it kept getting off her line.  "Ugh, I hate this pond!" she announced.  Tate was beaming right next to her saying,  "I love this pond!  I caught a keeper!"  (Add sympathetic to the list),  I was proud of Tate for keeping such good track of his bobber each time he threw it in.  He referred to all his nibbles as, "Mine twitches a lot."  He even baited his worm a few times and said, "I hooked my own worm, and the fish love it!" 
Reese gave us her grand total as we were packing up, "I got two fish."  Tate said, "Oh, I got more.  I can't even count 'em".  Reese shot back, "You got three, Tate." 

We made it back to the car with most of the stuff, and as David was packing everything into the trunk, I was standing there doing nothing.  So I had the considerate idea to rappel back down and grab the bucket with Joey in it.  After I hiked back up with the 50 pound bucket of water, David proceeded to grab it and pour out at least 25 pounds of the water, so it wouldn't slosh too much on the ride home. The thought crossed my mind to pour the other 25 pounds of water on top of his head, which I probably would have followed through with if I hadn't been too tired to lift it.
David cleaned Joey when we got home and Tate ran inside to tell me, "We got all the chicken out!"  I peered into the bowl and saw 3 little nugget sized pieces of Joey.  Tate reassured me saying, "He's with Jesus now." 

Next year, I'm think I'll just hook David in the ear first thing, so I can sit out...on the beach. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

They're Watching...and Waiting

Here's a helpful hint if you ever find yourself settling in to watch a movie, or even just a TV show, with my sweet family: Do NOT, under any circumstances, get up out of your seat for the duration of the program.

Be sure you have everything you could possibly need before plopping down. Make sure you've used the bathroom. I suppose if you smell smoke, it might be ok to get up and check it out, but don't say I didn't warn you.

 As soon as you begin to rise, you will be attacked by a barrage of requests. "Can you get me a drink? A napkin? My blanket? My stuffed puppy with one eye that's been missing since since 2010?!"

And at first, you'll want to help. You really will. One look into their pleading little eyes, and you'll want to deliver the precious item they are needing so desperately at that very point in time.

Don't. Do. It.

It's a trap. A neverending trap that leads to 1001 other items they will discover they are in need of. Or, upon delivering a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice that you personally picked all the pulp out of with a fork to one child, another child will look longingly at it, licking his or her lips, and back you'll go into the kitchen. Only to discover you used the last orange and now need to make a trip to the store.

I've grown weary. Only because I know they lie in wait and specifically plan to ask me for these things as soon as I get up. They could have just eaten a stack pack of saltines causing their throat to become as dry as the Sahara and begin to close up, but instead of getting up to quench their thirst, they will keep one eye on the TV, and one eye on you, just waiting for you to shift in your seat.

As uncaring as this sounds, I've started denying them their requests. I feel it's part of my duty to help them become more independent little beings who are capable of thinking to themselves, "Hmmm, I'm a wee bit thirsty. I think I'll get up and go to the kitchen to get myself drink".  David does not share my belief, however, unless he's really, really tired. Which doesn't happen very often. I've caught him many a times, sneaking them drinks and whatnot that I've already said "Absolutely not!" to. It's all part of his quest to become the favorite parent.

The other night we were all cozily gathered in the living room and for some reason, not thinking, I got up from my seat. This time, the offending party was Reese. "Hey, Mom can you get me a glass of water?" she asked, as she shoved another handful of popcorn in her mouth.

"Ugh!" I replied. "No. I knew you were going to ask me for that as soon as I got up. I just knew it!"

I headed into the kitchen feeling proud. Teaching her a lesson that I am not her own personal handmaiden. I expected to turn around and see her following behind me to serve herself. Instead, I heard her yell from her spot on the couch, "Ok. How about lemonade then?".

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