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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Because I can

Because babies aren't sweet enough

Today, I made this adorable cupcake hat for a baby and then I did this:

Because I can

Mckayla:  Don’t worry Hedy, I don’t like this any more than you do.  Why are we doing this?

Me:  Because I can.  Isn’t she adorable!

Her:  Did you make this for her?

Me:  No, I made it for the church bazaar.

Her:  What if the baby who gets this is allergic to dogs.

Me:  Too bad for them.  or maybe I’ll hand wash it first…

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I mustache you a question

for whatever reason, this is Mike’s go to picture face.  Some kids have silly smiles, do self bunny ears, this kid puts on this face.

A few weeks ago we went to a garage sale and found a file folder filled with printed money.  Not counterfeit money, just money graphics printed on green paper.  It was labeled something ridiculous like $5.  I passed it off, thinking I could just find a pdf on the internet and print my own money.  But then they announced everything 50% off and $2.50 didn’t seem so bad, especially since I knew I’d be way to lazy to do double sided printing.   It was probably $2.50 worth of heavy weight paper.  So, I brought it home and tormented the kids with it.

Nate: Can we cut this?

Me:  No, you have to wait until I can help you.  We have to cut this very carefully.

Jake:  I’m a really good cutter.  I can do it.  It’s not even a squiggly line!

(In my head, I was thinking, BUT YOU MIGHT RUIN THEM!  But then I realized I was worried about paper.)

Me:  Fine.  Be very, very careful.  Cut slowly, in straight lines.  Take finger breaks often if your hands are becoming tired.  

And it was seriously the best $2.50 I ever spent.  In hindsight, I would have totally paid the $5.  For probably 2 weeks straight, in every spare moment Nate and Jake cut out fives, tens twenties and the occasional hundred.  The were serious ballers.   We have a gaggle of kindergarteners come over every week and one week they had a cutting party.  Turns out cutting is universally considered fun among the 6 and under crowd.

Also, it turns out that moms find scissors just as entertaining when they mustache their children.

 

 

 

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I have given up hope that Dave will ever say yes to another baby.  My ovaries might be overacting every month, all dressed up with their good bra and matching panties and cleavage shirt on and ready to go, but they’ve got nowhere to go and no one to go with.  All little insinators of mass fertilization are blocked at the gate and alas, it’s always lonely up in my reproductive tract.

This week friends came over with their baby and she was the first baby to put her tiny little feet on our stairs.  This house will never hold a baby crib or hear late night feedings.  This poor, poor house.  All those sweet baby kisses and laughs just broke my poor little heart too.  Though there isn’t much I can do about getting a baby*, there are a lot of things I can get instead.  First, I decided I wanted a dog.

Dave:  Want kind of dog do you want?

Me:  I don’t know.  I’m torn between a big dog who we can take camping and would run with me if I ever decided to run again, and who can run around with kids and jump in the car.  Or a little tiny dog who I can carry in my purse and dress up every day.  I think I have it narrowed down between a Labrador and a Yorkie.

And when you tell an engineer you’re thinking of doing or buying something, it results in extensive research.  An engineer never impulse buys.

Dave:  Turns out that Yorkies aren’t very good with kids.

Me:  I guess we could get a lab now and then when the kids are grown we could get a Yorkie.  It will be our airplane dog.  She’ll fit in my purse with the little bow in her hair, and we’ll take her everywhere in your airplane.  We will name her Kathrine Elizabeth Cordelia.  A Yorkie may be the perfect retirement/empty nest dog.

And so the hunt for a Labrador began.  I scoured Craigslist and the local shelters.  We needed a puppy, because I really wanted one.  And we already have Frank, the killer bunny, and 20 chickens.  We need to train a puppy not to kill our already existing pets.

Serindipideously, Sunday evening  I found a puppy available to adopt Monday morning from the Humane Society.

I printed out the preliminary adoption application.

Me:  I don’t know how to fill out some of these questions.

Dave:  Like what?

Me:  Well, it asks how old everyone is.  Should I lie and say the twins are 6, every web site says “not for kids under 5”.  I don’t want them to rule us out because they don’t know how awesome our twins are.

Dave:  Just put 5 and 11/12.  What else?

Me:  There’s this trick question, ‘How often will your dog go outside’  What is the right answer?  2 hours, 4 hours? 

Dave:  How about, ‘ as much as he wants to’.   You know these aren’t hard questions. 

Me:  What if they won’t let us have a puppy.  What if we don’t qualify.  How ironic, we can raise 5 humans but not a puppy from the pound. 

When we got to the humane society we were an hour early.  We were the only ones there.

10:15 another car pulls in.

10:25  A truck pulls up.

10:35 Another car drives in the parking lot.

10:40 Two guys get out of the truck.

10:42 A lady emerges from her car.

Dave:  Well, if someone gets out, we all have to.

Me:  Do you think they are all here for Licorice?

Dave:  You could ask them.

Me:  No way. Then we’ll have to block them at the door.

By 10:50 There was quite a crowd around the door, including a few families with little kids talking about the puppies they were going to bring home.  I was getting quite anxious.  And deciding if I wanted this puppy bad enough to break a 4-year-old’s heart.  I did.

Dave:  Well, it looks like you and that other guy might be the only ones who can read directions, since you’re the only ones out of this crowd who has the preadoption application.

Me:  Or maybe everyone else is already preapproved.  I’m getting kind of nervous. 

The whole time, I’ve been positioning myself closest to the door.  So that I can be first in when the door opens (which I am not).  Fortunately the first two people in line hadn’t filled out their predoption application.  Thorough reading and direction following FOR THE WIN!

Me:  Hi!  I’m here to adopt Licorice!  

Her:  And will there be a problem with any of your other household members who aren’t with you.  Why aren’t they here?

Me:  Well, we didn’t want to break their little hearts if we didn’t get her.   If we don’t, they’ll cry and want something else, and we might end up going home with Giana, the geriatric diabetic cat over there with 4 teeth.

We went through a very quick interview and were left with the dog.

Please ignore my shaved belly, I'm now unreproducable.

Hedy

Me:  Oh, my gosh, I think if she likes us and we like her they’re going to let us take her home.

Dave: That’s kind of how it works.  I don’t think they’re too picky who takes the dogs home from the rescue shelter.  I think they really only care if you have $250. 

And $250 later we were the proud owner of a lab puppy.

When I brought her home, the kids were ecstatic.  We fight about who gets to sit closest to her, who gets to hold her leash, who gets to take her out to poo.  I can only hope that they are just excited about that next week.

We decided that though we loved licorice, she needed a better name.

Stormy, Abyss, Angel of Darkness, Gold, Killer, Cocoa, Richard Parker.

Me:  That’s a boy name.  And if she was a he, I’d name him Sean Connery or Indiana Jones.

Nate:  How about Christina? 

Me:  I don’t think Auntie Red would appreciate us naming a dog after her.  If she was yellow, we could name her Sunny, after my grandma. 

Dave:  I love that!  Sunny, is now the forerunner. 

Me:  I’m pretty sure my grandma wouldn’t appreciate a dog being named after her. I don’t think she even liked dogs, and I’m not sure if I could ever yell at a dog with my grandma’s name.  

We consulted the great internet.  I searched for famous women mathematicians.  I was partial to Sofja 

Mike:  Are you sure that’s a woman?

Dave:  Why a mathematician? 

Me:  I just think it would be better to be named after someone who discovered Calculus rather than a piece of candy.  Let’s keep the bar high. 

Dave:  How about Heddy, a beautiful smart actress who invented wifi?

Me:  It’s perfect!

And so is she!

A canvas for crochet torchet

*without losing a husband, and I’ll choose this guy over a new baby every time.

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marshall pitching

Baseball consumes our lives.  We eat, sleep, and breathe baseball.  We’ve figured that pretty much all of our time and disposable income goes to baseball.  Between the four boys, I think I spend about 30 hours a week driving to baseball practices, waiting at practices and watching games.

All of our conversations are consumed by baseball related facts.  Which team is in first place.  Who hit a home run this week.  What bat did they use.  How many pitches did so and so pitch in each game.  Can I pitch on Tuesday’s game.  Is there practice.  Are the fields flooded.  Couldn’t we just put in turf fields on all the fields.  I’m starting to find myself an expert on all things little league.

Dave is becoming even more of an expert.  Marshall wanted a new bat.  A $250 bat.  I wondered if maybe the bat was full of dollar bills.  Or if it was guaranteed a hit every at bat.  At this point in Dave’s research, I’m pretty sure that he could give up his job in Electrical Engineering and become a bat engineer.  Last week we decided to bite the bullet and order the bat.   Every day Marshall tracked the package.  What he failed to notice was that Amazon hadn’t actually processed the order.  On the day it was supposed to arrive, and didn’t, I checked the tracking.  I updated my credit cards expiration date and broke the news to marshall that he’d have to wait a few more days for el expensivo (what I’ve decided to name his bat).

Yesterday Fed Ex came at noon and brought me a new chicken feeder and watering system.  The look of disappointment on Marshall’s face was precious.  He went back to checking the bat’s tracking website followed by sitting on the porch waiting for the UPS man.  If he was a more demonstrative kid, he’d probably have kissed him when he arrived in time to take el expensivo to the game.

el expensivo

I wish I had gotten a clearer picture.  It’s almost like the look of a proud dad holding his first born son.  The look in his eye says, “Oh, baby, we’re going to have one amazing season.  I can almost count all the home runs.”

the proud owner and the picture hogs

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Bedtime is one of my favorite parts of the day.  It’s not just the peace that comes after a long day of noisy boys.  Nor is it the moment when all the kids disappear into their rooms and I can have an adult conversation without any arguing or fart noises, without any sounds of armed attack or crying or complaining.  That is nice though.

It’s the whole bedtime routine I love.  The reading and the cuddling, the singing, the tucking in, the million drinks of water, the giggling and talking long after they were tucked in.  I especially love it when Dave is home and he sings to the kids.  Dave has this amazing ability to remember any song he’s ever heard.  He can sing all the words, he’s got the general tune.  From a tone deaf wife, who can’t remember the words to the “Wheels on the Bus”, I’m constantly amazed.  I rarely participate in this nightly singing ritual.    It’s too much pressure for me. I am glad that my children haven’t inherited this fear of performing.  Nathaniel will sing along whether it’s the hundredth time or the first he’s heard the song.  He’ll sing along even if the song’s in a different language.  It’s rather sweet.

Dave’s song selection runs the gambit from Contemporary to hymns.  The twins especially love the duck song, it’s usually their first request, it’s the Freebird of our house.  They also regularly request The Man in the Moon Song,but Dave normally saves that one for the eve of a business trip.

When Dave is gone, the song repertoire is much smaller (and sometimes replaced with an extra chapter or picture book).  I class it up with songs like: Jesus loves me, The Barney Theme song, the ABC song, George of the Jungle, or Jingle Bells Batman Smells (as an aside, my cousin taught the kids this song when he came to visit.  When he left the twins told me how impressed they were that he had made up such an amazingly awesome song right on the spot. I let them go on believing he was the author of that little gem.)

Some nights, when Dave is singing, I’ll walk down the hall and hear Our God is awesome God, in Spanish.  Or maybe some B.I.G.G.Y.  Nothing is really off limits for Dave, but each session is normally ended with a hymn.   Nothing sounds sweeter than a couple of five-year-olds singing about Jesus.

 

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Supergluing his head back together

8:00 am  I’m awoken to my phone chirping that I have a text message.  I roll over and it’s from McKayla, “Can you pick me up, I’m feeling sick”.

We’ve been battling the weirdest stomach flu ever at our house.  It started with Nathaniel who complained his tummy hurt and the announced he was going to throw up and then promptly threw up all over the bathroom.  Afterwards, he was completely fine.  He ate dinner, he helped clean the kitchen, he read to me, I read to him and he fell asleep.  This was followed by Michael screaming his stomach hurt and then throwing up all over the other bathroom, declaring himself better and going back to bed.  And then Jacob woke up in the middle of the night to cry how much his tummy hurt, “Why does God make my tummy hurt?  Please pray over me!  I think I might die.” We tend toward the dramatic in this house.  Everyone woke up one more time, threw up all over the floor and then went back to bed.  We would have labeled it possible food poisoning, except the following night Marshall was hit and Michael once more.  My poor, poor carpet. On the bright side, my bathrooms are sparkly clean.

So, when McKayla said she wasn’t feeling well, I came to get her right away before she threw up all over the halls.  She’s having a hard enough time without being known as “the girl who lost her breakfast all over the halls”.  I don’t think anyone could ever live that one down.

9:00 the glamorous life of homeschooling 4 boys.

9:23  SQUIRREL!  no, not a distraction, an actual squirrel.  The largest squirrel we’ve ever seen.  It was looked less like a squirrel and more like a cat with a bushy tail.  It sat right by our bird feeder, stared through the window with a look that said, “WTF People, why is this bird feeder empty?  This is unacceptable!”

9:40 back to learning.

11:17  OH CRAP PEOPLE!!!!  GET YOUR BATHING SUITS ON RIGHT NOW!!!!!  GO!!!  GO!!!!  GO!!!!  WE HAVE TO BE AT SWIM LESSONS IN 13 MINUTES!!!!

11:22 

Jake:  Oh no mom!  I forgot to take off my underwear!

Me:  Oh, well.  That’s okay, you can swim with them and we’ll come home without underwear.

Jake:  I don’t want to go home with no underwear!

Me:  Sorry, We don’t have time to change when we get there.

11:26 Jake:  You don’t have to worry about my underwear.

Me:  I wasn’t terribly worried, but why don’t I have to worry?

Nate:  ‘Cuz he was getting naked back here!

Jake:  Yep, I took off my swim suit, took off my underwear and then put my swim suit on.  All while buckled into my car seat!  Now I can have dry underwear!

Me:  For the win!

11:30  We make it to swim lessons right on time.

I have thought about doing something with those 30 minutes of freedom.  I could totally go run for 20 minutes, but then I’d have to give up the entertainment of watching swimming lessons.  For whatever reason, Jacob is absolutely terrified of water.  He doesn’t like getting his head wet.  He doesn’t like letting go of the wall.  He doesn’t like the whole idea of getting in the water.  It’s rather comical.  Though its rather hard to swim holding on to the instructor like they are your personal life raft during a tsunami, it’s hysterical to watch.  When they got to the pool the instructor had them put on floaties that go around their middles.

Jake:  This is ridiculous, there is no way this can ever hold me.

Instructor:  No, really this works great.  Let go from the wall, I promise you won’t sink.

Jake:  No, thank you.

Jake’s swimming looks, less like swimming and more like motion by electrical shock.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel swims circles around him trying to convince him he’s completely safe.

Jake:  NATHANIEL!  You are going to drown.  Touch the wall!

Nate:  I’m fine. Perfectly safe.

Jake:  MOM WE ARE GOING TO DROWN!!!  (we tend to the dramatics here)

12:15  We arrive at home.  I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the chlorine and the screaming at the pool or the lack of caffeine but I have a killer headache.  Lunch is made, school is wrapped up and I decide to lay down before my head splits into two.

 

1:00  “Mom, are you asleep?”

Me:  I was.

Random child:  Can we jump on the jumpoline?

Me:  Okay, open the door so I can hear you.

For the next 45 minutes I hear kids happily bouncing on the trampoline intermingled with whinnying, complaining, crying and laughing.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

1:45  I hear mike scream like he was just pounced on by a tiger.  Followed by Nathaniel screaming and then Jacob screaming.  At first I wonder if maybe zombies attacked them and they are now pinned inside the trampoline net.  This may not seem like a likely scenario, but it’s probably as likely as all three of them being hurt simultaneously with enough damage to elicit the amount of screams I’m hearing.

Mike comes running in the house dripping blood from his head “He broke my head!!  Oh my gosh!  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!! CAN YOU SEE MY BRAINS???  (the drama)

I assess the head damage and it’s minor.

Me:  You’re fine.  Jump in the bathtub so you stop bleeding all over everything.

I assess Nathaniel.  He’s completely fine.  No blood anywhere.  We can’t find Jacob.  McKayla goes to look for him.  Marshall gets out all of the first aid supplies.

Marshall:  I am completely qualified to wrap his whole head in gauze.  I have almost earned my first aid merit badge.

Me:  Okay, Tell me exactly what happened.  Marshall I think we can hold off on mummyfing your brother for a few minutes.

Mike:  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!  We were jumping and Nathaniel’s chin hit my head and broke it!!!

McKayla:  I found Jacob, he was crying under the bed scared.

I look more closely at his head, but can tell if it’s ER worthy or not.  I call Dave.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him 4 times in a row.  Still no answer. I call my mother-in-law.  No answer.  I take a photo of his bloody head and text it to dave.  I call my best friend whose been to the ER for two head injuries on two separate kids.  No answer.  I call her cell.

Me:  THANK GOD YOU ANSWERED!

Her:  What’s up!  Did you know they sell vanilla vodka!  I have some in my cart!

Me:  Why do you live so far away!!!  I need Vodka!  (I promise, we always speak in such a way that requires all of these exclamation points).  How did you know that you needed to take the boys to the ER?

Her:  The copious amounts of blood on one kid and being able to see his skull on the other one.

Me:  What does skull look like?  Do you think I could text you a picture?

Her:  Didn’t you just meet your insurance deductible?

Me:  I know, but I hate the ER.

Her:  Just think of it as a little break.  Bring a book.

2:15  So off we went to the Urgent Care. There wasn’t anyone there but the intake lady was on the phone.  A nurse came by to see if we were okay.

Me:  Um, can you look at his head and let me know if you think this might need stitches?

Her:  Oh, yeah, that’s probably going to need some s-t-a-p-l-e-s (in a mock whisper).

Mike turns a little green.  While we wait for the doctor I text Mike’s coach.  “Mike probably won’t make it to practice.  We’re at the ER.  Tragic trampoline accident.  Mike’s head vs his brother’s chin.  Chin wins”

Mike:  Did you call dad?

Me:  I did but he didn’t answer.  I texted him a picture of your head.

Mike:  Is he coming?

Me:  I haven’t heard yet.  Probably not.

Mike:  Oh, I kinda need him.

Me:  What am I?  Chopped liver?

We get back to the doctor and explain the whole story. She washes the wound and offers us staples or super glue.  I was really trying to sell the staples, but Mike wanted the super glue.

Me:  Come on!  Don’t you want to see the medical stapler?  Maybe it’s run by an air compressor.  Kachunk!  Kachunk!  Kachunk!

I don’t know why that didn’t win him over.  I can’t imagine why he wanted Dave and not me…

Mike:  Do you think I can go to baseball practice?Doctor:  I don’t see why not.

3:45 We head home, Mike quickly changes into his baseball clothes and we’re off to practice.

 

6:00 Home from baseball everyone quickly eats frozen pizza, prepared by chef McKayla and changes into Awana uniforms.

6:30 All of the boys are dropped off at church.

6:45  I run home and take a quick shower, down some more Advil, because my head still feels like it might crack open at any minute and my eyeball will fall out.

7:15 I run to a Cubscout leader meeting.

8:15 I leave the riveting leaders meeting, mid discussion on Fish drops and run to pick up all the kids from church.

9:00 When we are all finally home, Dave inspects Mike’s head.

Mike:  How big is it? Do you think my brains will leak out?  Do you think we should make a doctor appointment to get my bones checked?  Don’t you think my skull has to be really wimpy because Nate’s baby chin could crack it?  Should I wear a helmet all the time? Should I sleep sitting up?

No wonder he wanted Dave.  All these unspoken fears he’d been carrying around all day.  Poor kid.

 

 

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Thankful tree

I love Pinterest.  I love all the ingenious (and sometimes not so ingenious) ideas.  I also hate Pinterest because I should be doing all these great ideas, or at least some of them.  Why don’t we ever playing outdoor bowling with our old water bottles and glow sticks?  I am a failure as a mother.  You see where this leads?  It’s never good.

I don’t think I did anything that I pinned for Halloween. No giant spiders made of Styrofoam balls, no cookies made with various candy pieces to look like Haunted mansions, no spooky decorations made of pipe cleaners.  It was rather anticlimactic and depressing around here.

I’ve decided to get on the ball for Thanksgiving.  We made a thankful tree.

The directions I found used butcher paper, but I knew that if I waited to go buy butcher paper, I’d never make the tree.  I cut apart paper grocery bags and taped them together in a tree shape.  First thing I’m thankful for:  God is an artistic God.  So, glad he’s in charge of the trees not me.  Otherwise all forests would be incredibly spooky looking.  Note to self:  Next year put up the thankful tree October 1st.  It can add to the decor.

Once I taped up the tree  trunk and the kids helped me attach the limbs, I cut out leaves from construction paper.  Again, glad I’m not in charge of leaves.  Knowing how much of a procrastinator I am, I cut out all the leaves for this week today.  Our tree is rather unique.  It has maple leaves, oak leaves, and hand leaves.  I am storing the leaves on my fridge for easy access.

Each of us picked a leaf and wrote what we were most thankful today for.  I love what they all picked, completely on their own.

thankful leaves

McKayla (not pictured):  My family

Marshall:  I’m thankful for candy.

Mike:  I’m thankful for pets.

Jake:  I’m thankful for books.

Me:  I’m thankful for a Merciful God.

and Nate’s:

thankful leaf

I can’t wait to see how full this tree looks on Thanksgiving!

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