Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Parade

So we went to New York for Thanksgiving.

One of the many perks is that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade now goes right by the apartment. So we got to watch it from indoors.

This is what you would see if you walked into the room:

And this is what they are looking at:

But there are a few thing you don't even have to look down for:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Feed Me

Puck is always ready for supper.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I have officially stopped trying to get Nick to nap, ever. Unless he is ill or woke up at 4am.

Because Nick refuses to sleep, and he manages to keep his brothers awake, so if I do, on occasion, get the idea to try and get him to rest, no one will sleep at all.

Nathan is also growing out of his nap. More often than not I will send him to play, sometimes making him wait until Andy has fallen asleep, and sometimes not even waiting for that.

Andy will sleep. But he is very aware that he doesn't HAVE to. He wants to be up playing, like his brothers. He wants to be outdoors before it gets too dark. So he fights it.

He does not get out of the bed. No. Instead he wriggles and waves his arms and talks and turns around.

Sometimes, in an effort to model behavior and lead by example, I will put down my book, close my eyes, and stay very still. But the problem is I will fall asleep. I can hear the boys whispering and talking to themselves, but I am falling asleep.

Now, I do not want to be asleep. The days of midnight feedings are long gone. I get enough sleep at night. I have things I need to do during the day, important things such as folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher or taking those presents I purchased for Christmas out of the car while the kids are not looking. I can't fritter my time away relaxing and waiting for small boys to sleep, let alone dream the day away myself. But I am the one falling asleep, and the boys are the ones in perpetual motion to avoid unconsciousness.

If I give up and leave the bed, Andy does not sleep. If he does not sleep, Andy is fine until about 4pm, when he begins to cry. The littlest thing sets him off - the wrong cup at dinner, his brother playing with a toy that Andy wants to play with, someone else choosing the TV show to watch.... it doesn't matter. Andy can tantrum with the best of them, and there is no talking him out of it. He can't be reasoned with and refuses comfort. Because he is so tired. So, so very tired.

Putting him to bed seems the only alternative, but it's usually a good 2 hours before his bedtime. And I do not enjoy 4am.

I'm going on this way so you will understand: I am now scheduling a nap for myself each day. No. I fall asleep by accident while trying to avoid chaos.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let Us Give Thanks

It is Thanksgiving.

This is the day I thank the universe for all that I have. I am grateful for my family, for my boys and for my husband. I am thankful for our home and the warmth it gives. I am thankful for our furnace.
I am thankful for the food we eat. I am thankful for farmers, especially those who promote natural and organic farming, and those who do not use antibiotics in their feed.
I am thankful for my church and the people in it, for our library and the librarians who are so good to my boys, and to the schools my children go to. I am thankful that the boys love going to all three of these places.
I am thankful that my boys are being given the opportunity to learn. I am thankful for the internet. I am thankful for Glee. I am thankful for good books and inexpensive red wine and music that takes me by surprise.
I am thankful for our car, that we can afford to buy gas, and that we have places to go if a huge storm hits.
I am thankful we have not had a huge storm, an earthquake, a zombie infestation, or been hit my a meteor.
I am thankful for so many things I do not have time to list them all. Be thankful for little boy naps - that's the only reason this post exists in the first place.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Almost Ready

Whenever we are leaving for a long weekend, things follow a familiar pattern.

At first I am confident that all will go smoothly. I mean, I plan my chores and activities down to the last detail, so it shouldn't be too hard. I just need to find time to pack our bags before we leave.

A couple of days before we are scheduled to leave, I realize that hampers are full, drawers are empty, and that each person will need five clean changes of clothing unless we plan on doing laundry. Not including items to be worn during the days we are still at home. I begin doing twice as much laundry and start setting aside clothes I think we should bring.

I realize that there are a few things I should take care of before we leave, such as taking out the trash, the compost, and probably clearing out the hallway stacked with empty suitcases, summer beach towels I haven't stored yet, and brown boxes from UPS that Santa sent early.

I then realize there are a few jobs I do on days we will be gone that should be done before we leave, such as paying the bills, so we don't get late fees, and so the lady who takes care of our pets won't be tempted to sift through our credit card bills. And changing the cat box, because I am not cruel.

At this point, one of the boys will start throwing up or get a fever higher than 101, adding the worry that we might have to cancel.

And suddenly we have 24 hours before we leave, and I am frantic, trying to pack and wax my legs at the same time, throwing things into our bag as I mop the coffee stains off the kitchen floor (so the dog lady won't think we are as sloppy as we really are) and wash another load of vomity sheets, insisting that it's all just a fluke and he'll be better in a couple of hours.

When we leave I realize that I am already low on sleep, that I forgot to pack underwear for two of the boys, that I left a load of wet wash in the washer, and that the kids somehow managed to smuggle an entire bag of legos into the car. Also, the sick child is now well, but the other two will get ill just as we arrive, or during the last stretch of traffic.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

House Keeping Rule #35

All items shall be inside out when removed from the hamper, and mysteriously inside out again when removed from the drier.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Click it

Halfway to church when a voice from the backseat pipes up, "So, I guess nobody's going to buckle my seatbelt?"


Sunday, November 21, 2010

There's Always Something

So we got Nathan a new coat. And I was silly enough to think that was it, we were all set for winter, because I was sure Nate could still squeeze into the red snowpants, just for one more season.

I was also sure the boots we had were still good.

But for some reason, Nick insists the size 12 boots are too tight, and Nate insists the size 11 boots are too tight.

Nate can wear the size 12 boots.

I guess we need to get Nick some boots.

Before I do I guess I should get Andy to try on the size 9 Thomas boots we've had since Nick was 18 months old. Just to make sure.

And while we're at it, it would probably be wise to have Nate try on those size 4 snowpants. Just to make sure. And Andy should try on the size 3. And Nick can and will fit into the size 6/7 snowpants which were so so so big on him last year I had to roll up the cuffs to his knees.

Someone needs to invent clothing that grows with the child. Durable clothing that grows with the child. And that is not so ugly I want to scream. Something cute. With, like, rocket ships or snowflakes on it or something, in a color a normal human being would wear.

I'm going to drink more coffee now, and then keep throwing away random objects I find on the floor.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Weekend Is Here

There is so much to do over the weekend, so many possibly events, that I have become paralyzed. Instead, we will end up sitting at home, doing nothing.

But I think that could be OK. Next weekend is going to be crazy busy, so we might as well save up some excitement.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Santa

Santa, this is the first year I felt pressured to send you a letter before Thanksgiving. It seems the season begins earlier each year, but here we are, the songs on the radio, the merchandise on the shelves, and more catalogs arriving daily. If left up to me, I would leave it until Saturday after Thanksgiving. Apparently this year you would like to get a head start. I understand. Gift giving can be a challenge. And so, our yearly letter to you, letting you know just what we all need.

First The Boys:
(If you will let me know what you are giving the boys, I will try and update this list, crossing out or noting when a specific item is purchased by any one of Santa's Elves.)

The boys have enough toys. They really do not need anything else, nor do we have room for anything else in the house. The best gift you can give them is truly the gift of your time. Take them somewhere - the zoo, the movies, to a special museum, and let them know it is your gift to them. Spending time with you, um, Santa, is what is most important and will create special memories that will last forever. (Bonus - this can double as a gift to Me and Steve if you give us enough time to plan a special outing of our own!)

The boys do need clothing, specifically pants, and their sizes are listed below. There is a trickle-down theory in effect here: Nick and Nate need clothes more than Andy, who has lots of hand-me-downs, but the pants wear out very quickly because of the knee-hole phenomenon. They love PJ's but don't need them (Andy has so many he'll never wear them all).

If you would like to contribute to their bank accounts, I can arrange it, and it will be much appreciated later on.

Finally, if you are stuck with the idea that you absolutely MUST get the boys something, I suggest that you consider a book, as they all love books. Art supplies are good, but please no crayons or finger paints - regular paints would be great as we have just run out. I would ask that you avoid stuffed animals and anything with many small parts or pieces, or anything so large we need to put on an extra room in the house. Also, you may come over to help the boys pick up the toys any time you would like.

The suggestions below are merely suggestions, not requirements. In other words, Mom - I mean Santa - Don't go out and buy everything on the list. If they get nothing on it, they will survive and be well. I have put things on it they ave asked for. That is all.

Nicholas - Age 6
Pants - 5 going on 6, or 6 slim.
Shirt - 6 or small boys regular
shoes - size 11 1/2 or 12
Asking for : Games for his DS (specifically a Mario one), A Zhu Zhu Pet (Regular or Kung Zhu), and Pokemon cards.
Likes: Bakugan, zoobles, zhu zhu pets, video games

Nathan - Age 5 ( on Jan. 16)
Pants - 4 going on 5
Shirt - 5 or small boys regular
shoes - 11
Asking for: Trio blocks (we have some, he wants more), This Human Body,
Likes: Dragons, Human Anatomy, Books, anything anyone else is into.

Andrew - Age 3 ( on Dec. 17)
Pants - 3
Shirt - 3
Shoes - 9
Asking for: Thomas Take Along Sets (not the roundhouse, or knapford station),
Likes: Trains, Toy Story

Would Do For All Three (meaning they have all asked for it, but no family should have more than one / expensive) :
Stinky The Trash Truck
Criss Cross Crash

Steve is always tough to shop for. I struggle with it myself. But he is very important to me, so here are a few clues / ideas. He has a boat, which he likes, so a gift certificate to West Marine might be useful. He might also like a gift certificate to New Egg. If you want his sizes, I'll find out for you, but I just don't really know. Maybe itunes or barnes and noble gift cards? He has an ipad and likes to read books on it. I'll add more things when / if they come to mind.

And Finally, Moi:
Shirt - small / medium depending on the cut.
pants - size 6 for short people (is this petite? I'm not sure.)
shoes - 8

I would like... oh, anything really. I'll give you some ideas, but I'm telling you, if I get nothing but socks and a chocolate Santa, I'll be happy. But there better be a chocolate Santa.

I really enjoyed the soaps and shampoos I got last year, especially the natural / organic ones. I need a strap or clip for my iPod nano, so I don't have to hold it when I run. I would use a gift certificate to iTunes, but don't tell Steve. I could really use some picture frames, especially for larger sized photographs, and they don't have to be expensive. I like all kinds of chocolate, but mostly milk chocolate. I love Diet Dr. Pepper and never buy it. I could always use new clothing (ooo, a sweater!) , and appreciate everyone else's taste in style (because I have never really had any), but specifically these pants, or this shirt, or this shirt, or these tights. I like Athleta (I know!) and Acacia. I could use some workout stuff, like a a big ball, or some yoga DVDs. I also really like things people make or draw or bake, so cookies, drawings, bath salts, bookmarks, go for it!

That is all for now, Santa. I know, it's a lot to take in. You can just ignore this letter if it makes things easier, because there are no mistakes here. Thank you for your time and your patience. And Merry Merry Christmas.

Very, very early.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teacher Teacher

I had Nick's Parent / Teacher meeting the other day.

I was nervous, because of all the stressing out I've done about Nick and school. But I told the teacher, and thought I would announce to the world at large, that I was and am so, so glad that Nick is in this class this year. Taking an extra year before first grade is the best thing for him, and he is thriving in the classroom.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Angry Birds

I have choir rehearsal before services on Sunday mornings, and the kids hang out with a number of other church kids during this time. One of them is a teenager who happens to live up the street from us, named Courtney.

Courtney has a cell phone that plays games. And in an effort to please my children and perhaps even get them to leave her alone for a moment, she lets them play some of the games.

One day, after church, Nicholas said "Mom, you HAVE to get Angry Birds! It's the best game!" And I seriously had no idea what he was talking about. But not too long afterwards I was browing the apps for my iPad and I found the free version of the game. So I got it - I mean, it's free, what's the harm? Right?

I could not stop playing this game. I didn't want to fold laundry or watch my kids do gymnastics, I wanted to play this game instead.

See, it's about these pigs that steal the eggs that belong to these birds. So the birds then get angry. And attack the pigs by hurling themselves at them with a giant slingshot. Only the pigs are smart and able to build fortresses out of wood and ice and stone. And they hide in the fortresses, and you have to aim the birds just right so as to break through in just the right way.

Yes, I know, it's like it was created by a bunch of people doing madlibs. But still, it's a very addicting and absorbing game. For me. Steve never liked it.

So when I finished all the free levels, I spent the five dollars to buy the full version.

I've gotten over the initial draw. I play the game for a few minutes when Steve picks the TV program and I don't need or want to give it my full attention. But Nick still has not gotten over this game. In fact, even when he isn't begging me for the iPad, he and his brothers play Angry Birds, the live version, which involves a lot of running around and flinging of small objects. Sometimes, when they get tired of that, they play Angry Pigs, which I think must be the second part, when the pigs rise in force and re-attack.

Anyway, the music is really irritating.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finished My Homework!

All Thanksgiving school projects have now been completed and turned in.

And that is something I am thankful for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last Warm Days

The mornings are still chilly, but the days have been warming up. I practically push the kids out the door to play, just so they can be out of the house as much as they can while they still won't freeze.

Nathan's winter coat broke. It was just the zipper, but as I have never put in a zipper and it takes me three months to get to any sewing project, I decided we would buy him a new one. It was Nate's first new jacket, all other having been passed down from Nick. But as Nick's jacket is still a size too big for HIM, this time Nate would get his own.

He and Steve worked together and picked out a nice puffy black and green one. Nate was very satisfied.

He was so satisfied, in fact, that he wore the coat are refused to take it off. He was playing his computer games in it at 5pm, even though it was 65 degrees in the house and he must have been broiling.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nobody Panic

Last night we finally were able to go out for my birthday dinner.

See, we were originally going to go out Monday, my actual birthday, but then Nick came home with a headache and we decided it wasn't worth torturing him or ourselves by expecting good behavior.

I've been wanting to go to this place for some time. It's a Japanese Hibachi place, but has wonderful sushi and lunch options, kid sized hibachi options, and also has killer Mai Tais. Ask me how I know.

Anyway, the kid were excited. I knew this because once we sat down Nate explained to Andy about fifty times that they were going to cook the food ON THE TABLE! RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!

This distracted Andy from the fact that there were other people sitting with us, a family of three. When they first sat down, Andrew leaned toward them and shouted "Hey! We're sitting here!"

The first thing that the cook did was to squirt oil all over the hot stove and then ignite it, causing the flames to roar and everyone to gasp.

Except Andrew, who covered his face and started whimpering, "Mom? Mom? Mom?" As in "Fix it! Aren't you going to DO anything? Save me!"

I leaned over and rubbed his back. "It's OK," I said. "It's going away, see?"

At which point Andy looked up, saw the flames gone, and announced very loudly, for anyone else in the establishment that might still be worried, "It's OK, Everyone! It's just fire!"

Yes, yes. Nobody panic. It's only fire. Have a Mai Tai.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Caught Up

So... I have started letting things slide.

It started last Monday, which is my usual day to clean the house. Only I didn't get the chance to really clean the house because I went running in the morning before volunteering at the Library, so I just did a quick job in the afternoon.

Then Steve cleaned out the boat, bringing home a number of sheets and blankets which he claimed were fine, but smelled like boat to me. And to me, just so you know, the boat smells like a combination of antifreeze and the head, and it is not a pleasant scent. So I had a couple of extra loads of wash, which I kind of let sit there.

And then the next Monday was my birthday. And besides being very busy again, it was my birthday, and I just was not motivated to to a lot of scrubbing or folding or putting away.

So today is Thursday. I'm behind on my blog posts (I usually have a couple written ahead of time.) The house is messy and cluttered. I really need to wash the kitchen floor. The Halloween things are still out. I have laundry laundry laundry and pet hair pet hair pet hair everywhere. But the worst of it is the clutter. Sheets of paper, school projects, little toys, pencils, a cheez-it box, yarn, crayons... little things sitting there, every single tiny item belonging somewhere else. I have to push things aside to put down my laptop or make a sandwich.

The things is, I have no idea when I will have the time or the will to push through and make this place livable again. It has to be before Christmas, though. People may be coming over. They will expect me to move the laundry baskets from the dining room chairs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Leftover Candy

We still have lots and lots of candy leftover.

So here's a candid of Nate on Halloween. Lighting by Nick.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Early Thanks

I thought I was done with homework.

I mean, I was prepared, and still am prepared, to do my part in researching DNA and reacquainting myself with algebraic equations once my children are grown, I am thankful already for the blessed internet. And I consider myself not too shabby when it comes to reading flashcards and bringing in the right show-and-tell item that begins with the correct letter-of-the-week. But homework in preschool should be simple.

I have three Thanksgiving homework assignments. All three are, individually, fairly simple and heartfelt. But collectively, they are torture.

Once homework assignment consists in writing a "Thankful Book" about the things we are thankful for. We are, as a family, to come up with three things to be thankful for, write a sentence about each one, and illustrate. The second assignment consists of making a Thanksgiving collage, one that might include photos of our family, or of any happy family, or of pilgrims or turkeys or cornucopias. We are to glue these photos to a sheet of brown construction paper so that they can laminate them and make them into place mats, which will be used on the day of the thanksgiving feast (which we will not be there for.) The final assignment consists of finding photographs or images of a favorite food, a favorite toy a favorite pet or animal, and a place we are thankful for.

I thought I had it under control. I put all the assignments in one place, and this afternoon I sat the boys down and announced we were going to have a special homework time.

And then I realized I needed some thanksgiving pictures. And food pictures. And a few of pilgrims. Where the heck do I go to get pilgrim pictures? I started flipping through the magazines we had sitting around, but unless I could convince the preschool teachers that our family valued and were extremely thankful for running pants, plastic Santa ornaments, and raw steak, we were out of luck.

So... class dismissed.

I am banking on two things. 1 - that we will be getting more mail in the next few days with photos of thanksgiving items on them. 2 - well.... ok, really I just have the first thing. But at least it's something.

The point is, I feel as though I have a lot of homework. Not hard homework, but busy homework.

The one bright side is, we did have a short conversation about things that we were thankful for. After being thankful for each other, individually and in detail, and then our extended family and our pets, and then for our house and our schools and our church, we talked about "if someone needs help then you help them" and how "things that make us laugh are really funny."

Monday, November 08, 2010

Pink Bellbottoms

My college singing group did a couple of numbers from Hair. And a bunch of us drove to a thrift shop and purchased, specifically for one of these numbers, items that would look more 70's than 90's. I myself got these pink bellbottoms.

I wore them twice. Both times for the musical numbers.

I decided to wear them this year for Halloween. I was very pleased that I fit into them. But I noticed that they weren't nearly as bell bottomy as I remembered them being. In fact, they were a lot like my normal jeans, except they aren't so big that they are falling down at my hips. In fact, Steve said I could wear them on any normal day, but I still feel a little odd and not brave enough to do that.

But it's my birthday, so I'm posting this photo and asking the internet for it's opinions. What do you think?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Cavity Update

I went to the dentist to have my cleaning and my two cavities filled.

First off, I hate the dentist. I hate the scraping that goes on inside my mouth. I am always sure that the hygienist is actually scraping off large portions of my teeth. When the dentist comes in and tells me I have a receding gum line, I want to tell him it's the hygienist's fault: she scraped it all off a few moments before he walked through the door.

But today it was mostly painless. Again, there were a few changes. Remember how, halfway through the cleaning, someone handed you a dixie cup of water or listerine so you could rinse and spit? Well, there are are no little sinks or toilet bowls in this office. The water is sprayed into your mouth for you, and then suctioned out for you, even during the filling process. It's probably because they don't have to clean the sinks this way, but I like to think it's to spare me the bother of doing anything myself.

And my cavities were taken care of. I was nervous - I have only had this done once before, remember, and it was a very tiny one. It turns out that one of the ones I had this time was also very small, and the one shot of novocaine took care of both. I felt nothing, and the scariest part was when I opened my eyes and saw little flecks of wet and tooth enamel shooting out of my mouth like carbonation from a soda. And the most painful part was the stupid game show they had on the TV. In the cavity filling room. I didn't watch, but I could hear it over the buzzing.

So... this was nothing. I still consider myself lucky, and I am, I know. I've had good luck with my set of teeth, and I hope it stays that way. Because I don't want to do this again.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Nick got his purple/white belt in karate the other day. He was so excited, he danced up to the front of the dojo. I'm very proud of him.