Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Relaxing Day at the Lake

On Memorial Day, we had the chance to check out the lake in our area and go swimming. It was relaxing, fun, and we had a great time. Whenever I take the kids to the pool or lake, I like to be ready to walk out the door with as little fuss as possible. I also like to be prepared. This time, I washed all the beach towels, rolled them up, and put them in my beach bag. I also filled it with the arm floaties and sunblock, put it in the laundry room, and there it sat waiting for the day I could just grab it and go. For next time, I'll make sure the shovels and pails are ready to go with it for a fun time in the sand. It's also good to have crackers or some other kind of snack packed as well ready to go whenever you are. You know all that swimming makes for hearty appetites. For parched throats, I like to have a small cooler on hand ready to be filled with ice and water bottles. I like to use my big, strong man to carry it. The day we left for the lake all I had to do was tell the boys to go to the shorts bin and put on the swimming trunks they wanted to wear. We had a lovely drive to a very beautiful area and plopped down in the sand when we got there. The boys loved playing in the sand and splashing in the water. For me, it's the best way to relax as a family. This stress-free fun time as a family works for us.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Funny Things Kids Say

We are driving home from school one day when I asked Nathanael if he wanted a boy or a girl. He said, "I want a boy." I was surprised because he wanted a girl badly when I was pregnant with Aidan. I asked, "Why?" He said, "Girls are just too different. If we don't have a boy, I won't be proud." Okay, then.

I am making breakfast for the boys when out of the blue Caleb says, "Muslims are going to hell." Um....yeah. I wonder where he got that from?

A little while ago, Nathanael said, "I can't believe Israel started out with mostly Christians and now it's full of Muslims! How'd that happen?"

One day, I had bread dough rising on the kitchen counter. I was distracted making lunch for the boys, but I did notice Nathanael and Caleb lifting the towel, pointing to the dough, and laughing. Justin knew what they were laughing about and came over to me asking if he could play with the "fat belly".

We moved all of my husband's books into the living room and put them all on bookshelves. Caleb was looking at all of them one day and said, "I wish I could make the wall of Troy with all those books."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Goodbye Charlie


Okay, Losties, does anyone else think it is such a shame that they killed off Charlie? It seems like such a waste especially when I think he could have gotten out. My husband finally comes and sits down at the very end of the show and said, "This is after they get off the island." I said to stay out of it and knock it off. No way! They just knew each other before the island because there were indications that Jack's father was still alive. As usual, I was wrong and he was right and I was left scratching my head. I particularly liked Sawyer's comeback after killing that dude. He said, "I didn't believe him." Well, I didn't either.

For those crazy AI fans, it was no surprise that Jordin won. Duh. Of course, I was rooting for Blake. Ever since the first season, only two, Kelly and Fantasia, of the contestants that I wanted to win actually won. Clay, Bo, Dautry, and now Blake were my favorites and did they win? Nooooooo. If I weren't so addicted, I would thumb my nose at this show. Instead, I yell at all the 13-year-old girls who keep voting for people like Sanjaya. You should be 18-years-old and up to be able to vote. I'm not saying that those who won didn't deserve it. They are great singers and have experienced a lot of success. I guess I'll just have to console myself by going out and buying the losers' CDs.

Well, there was a new show this past season called Heroes. If you are not a diehard fan of comicbook heroes, then just disregard this last paragraph. If you are, didn't you just scream in excitement when this show came out? I did. I think I am an odd person. I get really excited when I get to watch the movies involving Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic 4, you name it. I'm there. Well, I really enjoyed this first season and my favorites are Peter and Hiro. I really don't think Sylar is dead. My husband wanted Ben from Lost to die and was yelling at the TV to "just kill him!" He was saying the same thing about Sylar. I kept telling him that you CAN NOT kill off the ultimate bad guy and Sylar is bad.

Well, I've vented and commented and now it's your turn. If you have a comment about any of these shows, have at it. Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more comments on Lost.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bandaid Giveaway

I never have a bandaid when I need one. The boxes that I buy at the store always run out way too fast when we know that we have them. My boys are always bleeding from some part of their body and getting blood all over the bathroom sink while washing up. So, they are always in need of bandaids. I'm cheap, though. I always get the crappy kind that never stick more than two minutes. They don't even hurt the boys when they take them off right away. So much for keeping the dirt and germs away. Well, today I was browsing through my favorite blogs and came upon Rocks In My Dryer. She wrote about another giveaway at 5 Minutes For Mom. Nexcare Bandages is giving away a year's supply (45 boxes) of bandaids....and these aren't just any bandaids. These are the heavy-duty, no dirt's getting past it, kind of bandaids. Waterproof, too. Woo-hoo! I'm so there. So, thought I'd let everyone know and the best part don't have to have a blog to enter. Cool beans. Look over at my side bar to find 5 Minutes For Mom and check it out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pee-Pee on the Sidewalk

Ten years ago, there was no problem going to the mall and picking out a very nice maternity outfit for a special occasion. Yesterday, I decided to go and look for one. Things have certainly changed these days. Do they think that women don't get pregnant anymore? That we don't care what we look like? IF I found a maternity section in a store, it was mostly casual clothing. Where were the snazzy pant suits or dresses? I also noticed they were right next to the plus size section. Do they think we are just gaining weight instead of carrying a little person inside us? I ended up doing a lot of walking and finding nothing. Every store I went into, I would stop to ask a salesperson if they had a maternity section. Their eyes would immediately jump to my 14-week-old belly and say, "No," or "A little one." When I got home with my feet yelling at me with curse words thrown in, my husband had a story to tell me. He was sitting at the computer when a mosquito flew around his head. He thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if the door is open." He goes upstairs to investigate and found not only was the door open, but our curly-headed imp was running around in the front yard. He was totally naked and my husband noticed pee-pee on the sidewalk. You can imagine his daddy's reaction to his behavior. It is a known fact in our house that if we don't lock the doors, the two-year-old will be frollicking outside without a care in the world. This one is going to give us gray hair.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sliding Doors

Caleb has a quirk. He leaves doors open wherever he goes. If anyone in the family wants to know who left the door open, we just have to look at Caleb. There were mornings when we would troop into the garage to get into the van and the sliding door would be standing open. Whenever Caleb is the last one out the door, he leaves the door standing wide open behind him. I always have to remind him to shut doors wherever we go. A couple weeks ago, I went to my 12-week visit with the midwife. I ended up taking all three boys with me and you would have thought I was bringing my dogs into the waiting room. It got decidedly cold in there and none too friendly. I mentally flipped off the secretaries and they got me in and out of there as fast as they could. Fine by me, but I was ordered to go over and get my blood drawn at LabCorp. So, we went over and parked. Feeling harassed about the whole thing, I didn't have my usual attention focused on my children. Again, we got in and out as fast as they could kick us out and when we went back to the van......the sliding door was standing wide open. "Caleb!!" I then went into my speech mode and told him about thieves, locks, etc., etc. Our next van is going to have the automatic sliding doors that shut by the flick of a button. Aaaaah, luxury.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lesson For Mom

I have learned a new lesson as a mother today. I admit I am not a perfect mom. Others may pride themselves on watching their children like hawks and, therefore, their children never get hurt. I feel guilty when women brag like that because I'm not one of them. I am not a high anxiety mother and I think one day when my sons are adults they will be grateful for that. I am more layed-back and easy-going than some and it certainly shows in the posts I have written in the past. Most of them are filled with mishaps probably because of my lack of attention or foresight. I am getting more ideas on how to organize my home in order to prevent a lot of things from happening only because I am lazy and don't wish to walk around the house all day following my sons throughout their activities. I do spend my share of time with them, but I also believe in letting them have their own play in order to develop their imaginations and learn a certain amount of independence. I also need my own space or I'll be having nervous breakdowns on a daily basis. When I need time to myself, there is a lockdown. Gates are put up, doors are locked, and sharp objects are put up high. Well, today I decided to start organizing the basement where we have homeschool. I bought nets to put all the stuffed animals in and put a chair right underneath one of them so that Caleb could stand on it in order to throw them in the net. I know what you are thinking right now. Duh! As I am putting old papers in the trash, I hear a crash. I turn to look, but the bookshelf is in the way and all I see are Caleb's legs laying on the floor. Now, most women would get off their behinds and rush to their child's side to comfort them. His crying seemed normal to me so I told him to come to me. As he pulled his hand away from his head, he noticed the blood on his fingers and his crying became hysterical. I told him to calm down, otherwise I would join him in the screaming. We went to the bathroom to inspect the damage. Seeing that he didn't need stitches, I put a cold washcloth on his head and put in a movie for him. Besides, I felt guilty for being a deadbeat mom. So, I have definitely learned a lesson as a mother. I wonder how many I will have to learn before I die.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Birds

Memorial Day is just around the corner and the little community pool will be opening. My boys have looked forward all winter to the day when we will all put on our bathing suits, grab the floaties, and troop over to the pool for a good time. I even bought a brand spanking new maternity swimsuit for the summer knowing I would never hear the end of it till they could go swimming at least 50 times. As I ponder about the wait in line just to get in the door this year, I think back on the time last summer when we had to stand behind a few teenage girls. *Pause for a huge sigh here.* These days girls have their cell phones attached to their ears and they are constantly chattering on the phone or to their friends standing in line with them. They all had deep tans and attitudes that said, "I'm sooo hot." Gag me with a spoon. They were constantly turning toward the back of the line to see all the newcomers and get themselves noticed. I stared daggers into their backs and promised that the next time they turned around making a nuisance of themselves, I would strangle them with my son's floatie. As I am thinking about how much I don't like teenage girls, a bird decides to land on my shoulder. I immediately panicked. I screamed bloody murder all the while flapping my hands on my shoulder and hair, turning in circles only to finally realize the bird was gone and probably left my shoulder at the first scream. I stopped to calm down and looked with dread over at the cancer girls. They were staring at me as if I had lost my mind. They didn't even see the bird land on my shoulder, so they probably thought I was schizophrenic. I look down at the boys staring up at me and lamely said, "There was a bird on my shoulder." They calmly said, "Oh," and went back to being bored waiting for the line to move. I moved back into position wishing I could disappear into thin air. This summer, I will be keeping my eyes peeled for that bird with my son's water gun strapped to my hip.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

I think Mother's Day is really for those moms who have been there and done that. They don't have to run around in the morning looking for those shoes that have decided to get up and walk away at the most inopportune me. My husband had to preach that morning, so I had all four boys in the pew with me. I was all alone. Moms who have been there and done that don't have to worry anymore about keeping their kids quiet in church. Or, in my case, not noticing the fact that my two-year-old turned around, took the bubbles from the kiddie table behind us, proceeded to open it and spill almost the entire contents onto his shorts. The boy spent the rest of the service and fellowship afterward in just a shirt, a diaper, and tennishoes. Mother's Day is also not for those moms with little ones especially when every single restaurant in the world is packed full and has a waiting time of one to two hours. Yeah. That doesn't go over well with little ones. So, we moms of little ones are relegated to a)making dinner for everyone as usual, or b)having husband go fetch some food. I chose b. While he was out doing the fetching, I decided to call my mom and wish her Happy Mother's Day. While I was on the phone, I was also blissfully ignorant of the goings-on downstairs. After I got off the phone, I went downstairs to be greeted by three of my children's heads covered in chocolate syrup. Apparently, they thought it would be a good idea to make sundaes of themselves. They also decided to decorate with swirls all over the family room carpet. Well, since it was Mother's Day after all, I decided to have them clean up their own mess and then sent them off to bed. Later on, I was greeted with a couple boys with their own Mother's Day cards which I will definitely make into keepsakes. So, did I have a good Mother's Day? Well, let's just say it was eventful.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thunder Cake

When I was homeschooling Nathanael in second grade, we read a story together called Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. It is about a young girl's fear of thunderstorms and how her grandmother helps her learn not to be afraid of them. After the story was read, we went into the kitchen and followed the recipe for Thunder Cake at the end of the book. It is a delightful story and made an impression on my son probably because he loves to help me in the kitchen. Now, every time he hears thunder or knows it is going to rain that day he wants to read the story and make the cake. Just the other day, he mentioned it and he is now in 4th grade. Books can make a lasting impression on children and it makes it extra special when you make or eat something that the book talked about. Nat has always learned and remembered things better using all his senses. He sees the pictures, hears the words, uses touch and action to mix the ingredients, smells the delicious chocolate from the oven, and tastes the cake at the end all the while looking out the window at the falling rain. I want to make special moments with my children that will stay with them all their lives. Maybe someday he will do the same with his own children and talk about how he did this with his mom.

Thunder Cake recipe

Cream together, one at a time

1 cup shortening, 1 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 eggs, separated, (Blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.), 1 cup cold water, 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes

Sift together

2 1/2 cups cake flour, 1/2 cup dry cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt

Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture.

Bake in two greased and floured 8 1/2-inch round pans at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting. Top with strawberries.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Easy Sunday Mornings

Sunday mornings have always been hectic for our family. I always dread it the night before because I know that I'll be running around like a chicken with my head cut off getting the boys ready for church and then myself. By the time the boys are ready to go, it's my turn and then I feel like getting back into bed. I am also a procrastinator, so getting out of bed in the first place is a challenge for me. I have learned that things go a lot smoother when I follow these easy tips:

1) give the kids their baths the night before
2) lay out what clothes everyone will wear (even yourself) and iron them if needed the night before so they are ready to be put on lickety-split
3) have something quick and easy for everyone to eat for breakfast (if you have time, a casserole made the night before is really easy to just pop in the oven the next morning)

It's really great to have a smooth Sunday morning because sometimes I even have time to put a meal in the crockpot and it's waiting for us when we come home!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Everyday Giveaway

Everyday Mommy is having a blog design giveaway! For free! Yes, that's right! I said for free! So, get on over there and leave a comment letting her know that you would absolutely LOVE a new design for your blog. I sure did. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, May 7, 2007

7 Random Facts/Habits About Myself

Oh, my gosh! I've been tagged to do a meme! This is so exciting! Okay, here goes.

1) I bite my nails. I know. It's so gross.

2) I've had three of my babies at home. People tell me I'm so brave, but I just hate hospitals.

3) I would rather eat roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, and carrots than chocolate.....and I LOVE chocolate.

4) When I was a teenager, my friends and I stayed up all night drinking non-alcoholic pina coladas. To this day, I detest the smell of coconut.

5) Clutter doesn't bother me. Loud noises do.

6) I daydream. A lot.

7) I was born on Thanksgiving and the first of four children. I wanted to be a wife and mother when I grew up.

Okay, so there it is. Whew! It was harder than I thought it would be. Anyone who would like to join in on this meme, go for it! Just leave a comment and have fun!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fun and Easy Birthday Party

When my oldest turned 10 years old, I felt he needed his first big party with his school friends. So, he invited about ten kids and I got busy planning. I wanted to make it as easy on myself as possible, so I got a cupcake cake. Easy. Just pull apart a cupcake from the rest and voila! I also got fudge bars instead of bowls of ice cream. After he opened presents, we all piled into two cars and went to Mr. Biggs. I brought with me lots of water bottles in a small cooler and put names on them for the kids. It was a good thing because they became very thirsty. I also planned for a snack right before the last event before home. That helped tide them over for dinner when they got home. I think the kids had a great time and slept well that night. Nat will never forget his big day, and me, well, I had the time of my life because I made it easy on myself and everyone else.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Aidan's Little Friend

Generally, I'm not the squeamish type when it comes to finding bugs in the house. It's just one bug everyone once in a while, so I don't get the heebie jeebies too often. As bugs go, the boys are fascinated with them. Aidan thinks of them as his little friends. One day, I'm in our cluttered homeschool room talking on the phone with my mom. We're just chatting about everyday stuff and I notice that Aidan is on his knees on the stairs talking to his hands. I thought maybe he was just talking to himself. He does tend to do that sometimes. So, I continue my conversation with my mom. A few minutes later, he brings me his new little friend. He plops a live bug right onto my hand. On the other end of the line, my mother hears my voice cut off in mid-sentence to hysterical screaming. Of course, she panics herself wondering all sorts of horrible things happening. Poor Aidan stands there looking at me as if I had lost my mind now looking for the bug that went flying. I finally calm down enough to reassure my mom that no one was dying. Yes, I know I said I'm not the squeamish type, but a bug on my hand was a little too much for me. Time for some chocolate and a bubble bath.