Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Following Directions

The boys are supposed to be cleaning the living room, but instead they are playing. They are pretending that it's R2-D2's birthday, and turning out the lights and singing "Happy Birthday" over and over again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trophy Day!

Andrew should get a trophy for sitting through every gymnastics class.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Baby Boom

I don't usually post pictures of other people's kids. But today I am going to. I'm not using names, and I'm not even naming the parents.

I want to preface this post by saying that I am not pregnant. You hear that, internet? Me, not pregnant, not now! Steve, you may resume breathing.

In fact, this is the longest I've gone without being pregnant since... well, since I first became pregnant. I know this because when Nick was Andy's age, I was due to have a baby at almost any moment, and when Nate was Andy's age I was again weeding through my maternity clothes and trying to find something that didn't make me look (or feel) like the stay-puff marshmallow man.

Maybe this pause between pregnancies is why my baby hormones have suddenly gone into overdrive. For the first time since before I became a mom, I am looking at infants and coveting. Sure, I looked at babies and infants and loved them. I thought they were cute. I wised I could dress my kids in pink polka dots and cute shoes. But I didn't feel any need associated with them. I could think they were adorable smushes, and that was it.

These days the feeling is overwhelming. I look at an infant and think "I gotta have one!" Lucky for me I have an actual brain that steps in and says "YOU ARE SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT, MORON! YOU HAVE ONE MORE YEAR OF DIAPERS AND SIX MORE MONTHS OF WHOLE MILK! YOU ALMOST HAVE YOUR LIFE BACK!" Besides all that, the logistics of having a fourth child, not to mention the pregnancy, would most likely be like a hydrogen bomb exploding in our home. We simply could not deal with it. So a fourth child is out. And frankly, that makes me sad, because part of me knows I could do four.

These feelings are hitting me at a time when it seems everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is pregnant, or just had a baby. Take the liks on this site. Debs of It's my Life is halfway through her own pregnancy. And you can check out Dooce for updates about her new addition. No fewer than five of my facebook friends are currently expecting. And a few of them have newbies. And in my crazed state, I sometimes wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something.

This is when you post comments to tell me I'm wrong, and that three is enough.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Blood

For those of you who have not noticed, I have added a couple of new links to my site.

The first is Awkward Family Photos. This is a funny site. Some photos are bad. Some are bizarre. Some are just... awkward. Go there. Browse it. I dare you not to laugh at a few.

The second is The Abehsiras in Singapore. This is my cousin Keli's blog, and I've added it because she's family, and most of the readers of this blog are, I think, family, so what better way to stay in touch? But for the rest of you... Keli and Alex are a beautiful couple. They got married a little over a month ago. A few weeks later they relocated from New York to Singapore. The pictures so far are amazing. Check it out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Andy in the Bounce House

He refused to come out. I had to climb in and drag him out.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

He didn't get it from ME!

Today I went to the grocery store with the boys, where Nicholas asked me to buy him a pack of lip balms. Chapsticks. Specifically, skittles flavored lip smackers.

The conversation went something like this:

ME: No.

Nick: But I WANT THEM!

ME: No.

Nick: But Mohhhhhmmmmm!

ME: You don't need them and there's no way I'm paying for them. If you want to buy them -

Nick: I'll buy them.

When he turned five, I started giving Nick an allowance. The idea was to start giving him the freedom to buy a few of his own toys, to buy some of the junk kids want on his own, and to start getting an idea about how money works. To get his allowance, Nick needs to make his bed every morning, and to feed the dog at night. For these jobs, he gets a whopping $2 a week. (I know, slave labor, someone call child protective services.) The whole project was a bit thrown off when he got a much larger sum of cash for his birthday from his grandparents. He spent most of this money on Bakugan, and what remained was just enough to purchase the lip smackers he so coveted.

My thinking is that he'll spend enough money on trashy or stupid items to realize that they are stupid and trashy, and then he'll start making wiser purchases.

So he bought the lip smackers.

This afternoon we were outside, and Nicholas began complaining mightily. "I hate the outside!" he raged. "It's so hot, I can't stand it! And there are too many bugs! I hate bugs! I'm going inside to play with my make-up!"


Hence, the title of today's post.

Signed, the grown up who does not own foundation and still has the mascara she purchased in 2003.

Monday, June 15, 2009


The other morning, after listening to the boys play more or less quietly for twenty minutes, I pulled myself out of bed and stepped into the hallway to find Andrew standing there, smiling at me. It actually took me a few moments to realize what was wrong. Andrew. Standing. Out of his crib.

Oh, bother.

The next few mornings were also quiet, but Andrew would stand and cry in his crib after nap, and I witnessed Nathan trying to "help" him by boosting him. So I decided that it probably required a collaborative effort at this stage.

And today, as I was sitting with Nathan at nap, which I am required to do if I expect him to fall asleep at all, we all heard a "Mama!" as Andrew burst into the room and launched himself at Nathan's bed.

What ensued was hilarity, at least according to Nick and Nate and Andrew. They laughed for twenty minutes as I kept returning Andy to his crib only to have him follow me into the boys room seconds later. I grew more and more frustrated. But there are more of them than there are of me.

Putting them to bed tonight seemed to go smoothly. Nick hadn't napped (he's five, what can you do?) so he fell asleep as I read bedtime books. I placed Andy in his crib and he stayed there, and Nathan babbled on and on. Fifteen minutes later I was speaking on the phone when Andrew simply walked in and climbed into my bed.

What followed was a true battle - Andrew screamed and kept climbing out of bed, and I kept walking in and tucking him back in, and Nathan provided background music and occasional commentary.

Eventually Andy went to sleep. But given his recent habit for waking up and screaming in the middle of the night, I expect to do battle again before dawn.

Oh, boy. Now I'm really in trouble.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Today I took Nicholas and Nathan to see the movie UP!

I thought it was a really good movie. I cried at the beginning, and also at the end. We saw it in 3D, and it was kinda cool.

But I must say 2 things:

1 - if you are in a group of more than 2 people, and you are going to see a movie and wish to sit together, please show up BEFORE the movie start time. Especially if there are kids with you. Especially if you then have to discuss the seating arrangements loudly and then discuss who gets to hold the nachos and versus who gets to hold the pretzels. It's annoying.

2 - Nick and Nate are extremely well behaved at the movies. Now, I know this isn't exactly like having a kid who can play a sonata or recite the constitution. And it would help if they could also behave at the dinner table. But... I was so proud. They sat quietly, watching the movie. They whispered their questions. They never once shouted anything out. Unlike the late-comers who sat their two children next to Nate, on the aisle. The boy was, unfortunately, also named Nathan. And he appeared older than Nick. But instead of sitting quietly, he turned to speak to his mother, who was sitting a row behind him, in a loud voice. "Mom, this is in 3D!" or "Mom, hold this!" And his mother actually reached over and spoke loudly a couple of times. "I'll take the rest of those!" Sheesh!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Andy Bouncing

He had a good time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Balloon Fun

This is a "transformer balloon." It was a giraffe, a dinosaur, a hat, and finally a snake.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Stuff

So the boys have been playing pretend a lot more, lately. The trouble is, they refuse to break character when I speak to them. They insist I call Andrew "Yoshi" at all times. And Nathan has developed the habit of pulling his pants down around his ankles for some unknown reason, and slowly making his way around the house, growling. "Nathan - " I'll start, but before I can say anything more he'll have cut in. "No! I'm the Underwear Guy!"

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Series of Unfortunate Events

This morning I was full of optimism and go-gettitness. School is over, and I have all three boys at home. Yet I was all set to Accomplish, and Do, and to smile and dance and whistle my way through it.

Before lunch I vacuumed the house, cleaned the bathrooms, mopped the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry and hung it out to dry. With the kids. I was superwoman!

And then the kids went down for a nap, and I decided to keep painting the garage - a project I'm about a third of the way through.

Last night, Puck got locked in there - apparently he hung out as I painted and didn't take the hint as I cleaned up, turned the lights off, and left the room. He peed in a trash can lid which was housing a couple of used ink cartridges - the kind you aren't supposed to throw away, but you can recycle if you take them to the post office. I don't know what to do with them once they're drenched in cat piss. I didn't even know how to start cleaning the mess. I just placed the whole thing in the corner of the deck so that I could rinse it all out when the boys were playing outside.

Puck also pooped in a handful of kitty litter which spilled out of a punctured bag. I found a second pool of pee on a bag of salt. Lovely, huh?

After nap, while I was folding laundry, Andy found the mop I had put out to dry - a new one I had used only once, to replace the old one which was covered in fluffy mold the last time I tried to use it. He then tried to mop up the cat pee from the lid of the trash can, which was sitting in the corner waiting for me to wash it out.

I attempted to transplant the tomato plants from the indoors to the vegetable patch. Andrew, for the first time in his life, didn't want to be out. But apparently he wanted to help plant the tomatoes, because half of them ended up hacked with a plastic shovel while my back was turned. When I went to fill the watering can to water the poor things, Andy had found a wad of chewing gum which had been warming in the sun, and had it sticking to both palms.

I burned supper because I was busy trying to clean out the mop. I gave the boys too much milk in their cups, and then Nathan accidentally knocked his over. Half of the milk ended up on the floor I had mopped earlier with my new mop now soaked in cat pee. The other half of the milk ended up in my lap.

And after dinner, Gunther re-mopped the entire section of the floor between the sink and the trash can with his tongue.

All things considered, I wonder why I try.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Today was the infamous Strawberry Festival that our town has yearly to raise money for the Library.

It's a good time - the kids get to bounce and climb on inflatable slides, there's a dunk tank with a schedule of "sitters" ranging from local politicians to school teachers, there are booths where kids can make bookmarks or do and art, the police and the fire departments park their vehicles and the kids can climb all over them. The community band plays their works, this year including the Star Wars theme, the Spiderman theme, and a suite from Mama Mia. Not to mention food and Strawberry Shortcakes!

And there's a raffle.

I purchased a number of raffle tickets because I want to support the library. Not because I thought I'd win anything.

But you know, we're lucky at raffles.

I went back this afternoon to pick up our basket of tub toys, musical instruments, and discounts to Kindermusic and a nearby toy store.

Really... I feel guilty when we win.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Waiting for That Straw...

Not only did Nicholas turn five last week, bringing him to an age that, in my own life, I can recall vivid details and events and even dreams from, and sending me into a whirlpool of nostalgia. Not only that, but school ended today, leaving me with all three boys and no school, camp, or even lessons planned for the summer.

Time to bring back those teaching skills.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cranky Pants

Did I mention that Andy loves to play outside? He doesn't like to go back in.

And for the record, yes, he does own shirts. But for whatever reason they get removed frequently. (Usually a spill or an older brother turning on the hose when I said "Not Today!")

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Andy's No Fool

The kids love the little plastic pool we have. Andy refuses to leave it. But he won't get in it, either.

To be fair, the water is well water. It comes from the ground, and it is numbingly cold.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Birthday Time!

Last Friday Nicholas had a birthday party. It was a movie night party, where we ordered pizza and turned on a movie on the big screen, and the kids watch quietly for twenty whole minutes before rushing off and pulling every single toy we own off the shelves.

I knew Nicholas was a popular name - so far every class Nick has been in has had at least one other Nick. When he introduces himself to adults, Nick will say "I'm Nick G. " Using the initial, G. The letter. Because that's how he differentiates himself . I always thought it was a little odd, but that he's get over it.

At his party, during all the chatter of kids with cupcakes and parents chatting, one kid yelled out "Hey! Nick G.'s Mom! Nick wants a juice box!" Everyone laughed, and Steve shouted back "Thanks Nick G.'s friend!" And it was kind of funny, I thought. Especially since Nick O. wasn't at the party.

But then, when Nick was opening gifts, every child pressed their little bodies close to his, shoving their gifts into his hands. "Nick G! Open mine! Nick G! Nick G! This one!"

And that's when I realized - THEY THINK THAT'S HIS NAME! NICKGEE!

Maybe we should have named him Hubert?