Monday, June 29, 2009

Lost Memory, $100 Reward if Found

I need fewer prayers today. Thanks, Mom! She's had the kids since yesterday afternoon, and I've been trying to get too much done. Somehow, it just seems like my load is lighter, so I'm making hay. I'm trying desperately to get that crazy pink room done! I have made a decision on drapes (tiny CheeR!), found a most beautiful silver lamp and shade at PB, progress is found. Laundry is almost caught up, got groceries last night at the coolest new WM-near Promenade/Pinnacle. Very posh. I mean for a Wal-Mart. : ) Ches called it a nice convenience store. It was small, but had all we needed. I guess at a WM price? I only spent $82, so is it a good deal?

I am sometimes (well, most-times) so proud of my littlest boy (and the others too). We were at PB, checking out, and he pulled his (extra) underwear out of my purse, and told the ladies, "My Underwear!" (well, more like "unnerwear") They just looked at me. Then, I did the tiny dance/explanation-he is potty-trained, I carry extra ones in my purse, he's proud. I think when they made the "Oh, they're extras!" conclusion, then they laughed/got quiet. I guess they haven't seen small children in a few years. I mean, I'd be cheering for someone else's kids if I found out they were potty-trained (and I have!). They are just beyond, and in another land. Ches and I tried our darndest (is that a word?) last night to remember exactly what Clay had looked like at Ethan's age. He was similar, but much less hair. We were so mired in the birth of Mary Claire (when Clay was 17.5 months), so she was growing up then too. It's hard to remember that far back, and to remember their face exactly. It's like I have a collage-view.
I've read that moms lose their memories of their tiny children on purpose, or more that it's God's Plan. Apparently we wouldn't have more if we remembered the pain/sleep loss/stress/hard days. I guess that's why we tell our friends how great babies are, and we are so excited for them when we find out they're pregnant! We have selective memories, and only remember the really great/special moments. I think it's a good plan, except when my mental hard drive seems to fail me, and I WaNt to remember things.

I requested that my bible study group pray for my memory, since that's my greatest problem right now. I am thrilled it's not a worse problem, but then again, if it was something else... I don't know if I could recall it. I want to remember my kids' names (instantly), remember where I'm going, remember what I was saying to someone, remember to register my kids for swimming lesssons (insert football, dance, baseball, science or girl scout camp here), take Mary Claire to gymnastics or to pay my Gapcard bill. I've installed all these tiny reminders, but they all fail me too. Lists, tabbed notebooks, indexed schedules, my calendar, and Yahoo reminders/emails. I even call and leave myself a message if something's coming up soon. Maybe God is working his Plan on me. He's leaving out the bad, and I'm only remembering the really good. Like I almost forgot Ethan had a peepee accident at Mom's yesterday (and the wet clothes are in a bag in the van).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Growth Process

I won't even say the words. I finished the painting. It's now officially Peony Pink-very coral-y, dramatic, watermelon red. You'd just have to see it (and you WiLL! when my camera battery is recharged). I have rehung the blinds, and picked up some great Peyton drapes (in oatmeal color). They are working. The 84" were way too short, and the 96" are too long for my rod, but I'll compromise. I folded the tops backwards, and clipped them. It seemed easier than having them hemmed or moving my rods. I'm all about the easy right now!

In newer news (since this is all like day-old bread now), we got our hair(s) cut! I got mine done yesterday (and had the wits to refuse the amazing wine and drank water), and got mine cut all layer-y! It's so different, and I felt like Mrs. Brady, all mullet-y this morning when I woke up, but styled, it's okay. It's got body and movement like he promised, so I think I'm ok. Ethan, on the other hand, makes me SaD. His beautiful locks are all gone. It is the saddest thing this week. He has really super short boy hair. I just loved the big full bodied hair he had. I took before and after photos, and they make me cry even now, as they upload.

It's just a growth process. For me. These kids are causing dog-gone growth in me!! This is how you make a Mommy. Give her a couple kids, break her heart, build her up, stretch her out. Cut her hair. Or something like that.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

PiNK & Nice to meet you

If being achy means I worked really hard yesterday, then I have proof. Kendra came back (long-suffering, isn't she?) and we repainted the room (after a trip back to Benjamin Moore for the CoRRecT color! He admitted he'd used the wrong base!). It was a long afternoon, and then I painted till about 10pm. I just really wanted to finish!! After my feet were killing me (I think you are supposed to wear shoes up on the ladder...), and my hand was achey, and my back was in pain (bending over backward to paint the ceiling), it was time to quit.

The color (kind of a dark pink) looks great in the dark, very elegant, and very cheerful in the day. I plan to dress it only in neutrals, so it looks more adult. This color could get out of hand really quickly! I can just tell. I think I'll use the same drapes I have in my bedroom, but maybe a shade darker. Kind of a linen-color. Then when we make pictures on the beach in Ocean City, I'll print them in sepia tones, mat them in white, and frame them in square chocolate frames. Not too much more in there. I'd planned to polka dot the chandelier shades, and add color, but I think sometimes less is really more (especially with a loud color). I want it to just be background. I'll still have to blend in the rooms around it, and I'll do it with the linen color. Unless I order new slipcovers for the couches...which I was kinda planning anyway...

Ethan came to get me this morning after running off mad at me. (Mean old me put milk in his cereal after he'd declared no milk) He came running saying, "Peepee!" So I tried to take him, and he said, "Show You!" So I went with him. Pee. On My Carpet. How not to punish? I made him freeze (in the yucky underwear) on the bathroom floor while I ran to get cleaner and a rag to clean. I came back to him dancing around (on the carpet!). It's like he was a dog, and he was showing me. Ugh. He's cleaned up, and he made a pee on the potty chair again. So, hopefully all's well. I have another Independent Child. I'm just meeting this child I've known for two and half years.

I feel selfish taking ten minutes to blog with the house on Pause (or Play behind my back), but I need a few minutes to myself. I've been so busy with Ches gone, and it'll stay busy till he's back. I need a shower, more paint, more painting time, and I'm planning to make church today. Somehow. Say a prayer for us! If we are supposed to be there, God will make a way.

**I feel like when I don't post, there is so much missed. Yesterday, we were out getting paint, mailing packages to two soldiers (one in Afghanistan, one in Japan), and I found out how difficult it is (and expensive!). I had to fill out forms for them to go through customs (yes, they were JUST girl scout cookies), and we were at the post office way too long. We got to the car, and Ethan had to go peepee. I didn't think peeing on public (government) property was allowed, so I tried to get him to go in my van trashcan. Nope. We headed home, and he just yelled peepee, so I pulled over, and tried again. He went, and went, and went! He must've held it a long time, because there was so much! And then. What on Earth do you do with the pee that's standing in your vehicle in a trash can? Creepy. We drove home (it didn't spill), and got rid of it!! What if we hadn't been pretty close to home? Not gonna go there. But he held it! and made it in underwear again! and went again in Benjamin Moore's bathroom! (BM's bathroom just did NoT look right!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Peony Pink, Maybe

Hot Pink. It's actually called Peony Pink by Benjamin Moore. That's the color I thought I was smearing all over my breakfast room walls. Well. It was mixed wrong, we found out after three coats!! Going on it was all smooth, dark pink, luscious. Dry, it was almost the same exact color as it was before-red. But the old was dusty, new was fresh. Kendra helped me paint today-who would give up their afternoon to help me paint? Only my mom or a really great friend. It's yucky work! We opened up the can I'd bought as a sample to try-a quart-and it matched the paint strip/chip that Kendra accidentally found. The color we'd been putting up all afternoon matched the bottom color! It was a dark red not far from where we'd started. We'll try again tomorrow. Boy, what a surprise Father's Day gift for Ches when he gets home late Sunday! He knows about it, but I bet he'll be surprised! You only live once, and we live colorfully. Only when you have kids at home can you be so bold. I'll settle into blah colors when I'm older. Grandkid-days and beiges, maybe?

We made it to Story Time this morning-yay! and Early!! (on accident), checked out new books (can I just say it gets harder to find even one good book when they get older? They've read every picture book made, and they have narrowed interests when they get older, ugh, difficult), then to Lowe's to buy spray-able Seven Dust to kill my cutworms that are devouring two of our pine trees out front! It's awful! They ate all the needles off the top, and down onto a branch since last night. I ended up cutting off those branches. I pulled all the worms off (I'll post a pix of the creatures tomorrow) the bottom branches, and covered my fingers in disgusting pine tar and worm slime. Grossest job yet. : P

Then I got the kids (just Clay and MC, don't be crazy!) hair cut, then returned some books to the other library, then home for lunch and nap/rest time. Our days are running really late- nap was 1:30ish, and dinner has been sevenish in our normally 5pm lives. We've got to get it together!

It's almost midnight, and I get to do it all again tomorrow! Painting, at least. : )

ps-He was in underwear all day, even for all that running around, and No Accidents!! Yay!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grocery Chat

Do you separate your cold/warm groceries in the back of your vehicle? I totally do. But, I got to thinking after I got home (and the girls helped me unload the trunk), does everyone do this? I know that when I get home, I really do NOT want to unload the entire bit of spending right away. The weather is always not right, I'm lazy, there's never enough help, then I have to put the stupid stuff away, it's heavy, etc. So I usually put all the cold on the right (closest to the house, of course), then pile the warm (boxes, drinks) on the right, and the bread/chips/bananas all on top! (My new thing is to put fruit/veggies on the bottom shelf of the cart as the checker bags them, so I load them last into the trunk.) Then, at home, I put away the freezer, then fridge stuff, then leave the other till later. An hour or two?

Okay, started that (above) a couple of days ago, but I'm so mired in parenting alone, that I have no time to finish it.

Ches is in LA having a blast (well, not quite-teaching), and I'm here, loading up my days with tons of fun stuff!! : ) Hard at night, but we're doing okay. We're headed to story time at the library this morning, maybe I'll catch you up later? Yesterday was awesome! We went to bible study, swam and played with friends, dinner-almost at 7!! then baths, bed. Good day.

Who would've thought I'd have time to run on about groceries?? That was BEFORE the Ches-exit. heehee

Monday, June 15, 2009

Potty Train(ED)! Woo-Hoo!

Seriously, not much time, but. He is potty trained. I think. He got out of the pool three times last night, stripped down his massive body suit, and peed in the potty chair!! : ) We took it outside, since Ches couldn't convince him to pee in the grass (thank goodness). It was awesome!! My last small victory was on Saturday. We took the kids to a wedding! (Their first!) and he didn't have an accident (pull up, just in case!). He even went to pee in the bathroom! and when we ate afterward, he didn't have an accident either! When we got home, his pull up was dry, and he still had his little cars. Oh, the excitement! I think it's the potty chair in front of the tv, the week of rain (so we were inside), and the m&m's. I take very little credit-seriously-I think he was ready.

Ches is leaving EARLY Wednesday to go to LA...without cute little me. So sad. He'll be so lonely, and I so won't be. Crazy at our house. I'll get back in the game (Mommy Game) and go socialize. I have bible study on Wed, Thurs. is story time at the library, and Friday is Park Day. Saturday is church (we'll get to that when it comes), and Sunday stay home? I'll fit in CFA and some play time, maybe call Dad for a date on Father's Day? With my three kiddos? Haha. Only he won't see humor. Ches doesn't come back till almost 10pm on Sunday, so we'll celebrate late, he says. : ) I'll send some fun stuff for his suitcase. : )

Ok, babysitters (watchers? since I've no babies) will be here shortly. I'm headed out to register the kids for swimming lessons-more advanced this year!, soccer, get more groceries, thread for a friend's monogram, Target, hmm..if time, Dillard's for new sandals!! : )

Have a great day, and I'll catch ya later! : )

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Inside, Outside, Upside-Down!

Watched Stuart Little, made banana bread with the kids, played outside, started our 2009 JDRF Walk Team shirt design. I think we'll use Hercules, Zero to Hero! Not sure about the picture on the front, but it'll come. Any ideas? Know any girl heroes? Besides Wonder Woman?

Clay has had another rough day. He is so touchy, for lack of a better word. He did a lot, but spanked Ethan right after lunch. I heard the slap (on his bare bottom) from my bedroom! Ethan just cried, and Clay thought he wouldn't get in trouble? We don't even spank Ethan (it simply doesn't work for him, or we might). Ches had him write sentences, and he stopped at number 12 to read. I don't know what I'm going to do with him. I can't leave him alone with Ethan for a minute (and Ches was with them!), and they are brothers. So. Frustrating.

I missed a baby shower today. I feel bad, I totally forgot, but it was all the way in Rogers, and I'd have had to leave early for church...excuses. There's just so much to do anymore! We are going to take turns at church to keep Ethan home. Ches will take Clay at 4pm, then I'll take Mary Claire at 6-we have a wedding! It's just tough to get us all in one place (quietly) for an hour. Even church. The last few times have not been fun, so we'll tough it out a little longer. Besides the potty-training and everything (and the multiple loads of laundry that includes).

I'm sure it'll get better (it can't get worse?). I think moms have to put on this armor of Reserve and Perseverance, and just Make It. You really don't have a choice, so you suck it up and keep going. There are those tiny moments of joy (excitement over working on a recipe together) and excitement (pooping in the potty chair!), and contentment (sitting outside in the shade working together on rhyming words for a shirt), and you just have to make that fuel fill you up and sustain you. Until tomorrow.

*Potty-training update: Ethan ran around in undies all morning, and no accidents. But. Later in the morning, he went outside, and long story short: accident. Down his legs, socks, shoes. Ick. 'Nother bath. But after he came back inside, all good. He even had a great poop before nap! : )

ps-I've learned that potty training is a process. It is achieved in tiny, baby steps. It happens sometimes when you least expect it. And each time you add a variable, it knocks you back a step or two. Underwear, shorts, outside, upstairs (in a box, with a fox, I do not like green eggs and ham, I will not eat them
Sam-I-am!) Oh, sorry-maybe consequence of the rhyming dictionary?

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Think Thomas Potty-Trained My Baby

Great day! I mean besides the storms, nearby tornadoes, broken umbrella in the pool, missed Park Day with friends, and stupid tough roast beef. : ) I'm still smiling-there was a lot of good today too!

We are getting into a pretty good pattern (less griping, more complying..) with our days home from school. Ches leaves by 8:30ish, and we already have a good two hours of breakfast and random playing under our belts by then! We've been settling down and doing some work. hehe. Today we did some math (see above griping) from their workbooks. Mary Claire loves it and always wants extra work (like Clay used to!), so I try to oblige. Today Clay had to write a word problem to go with a math problem: 9 + _ = 15. He just whined and complained and really didn't see the potential for fun! So I tried to get him involved writing a dinosaur story problem, but he did not want to play along.

I was in the midst of making snack: parfaits. I made butterscotch pudding first (lighter brown), then chocolate fudge pudding (darker, so as not to have to wash my beater/bowl in between!), then layered them in tall glasses for the kids' snack (okay, they sound big, but they weren't very full). After all that hard math work. Ethan helped me make them, and then ate most of his. Mary Claire ate hers as she finished up her math, and Clay finished mad (as he spends increasingly more time these days). He grabbed the glass, and headed toward the tv. I told him he had to eat it in the kitchen, and he *slammed* the glass down on the counter with a small slide, and walked off. (If he couldn't eat it where he wanted, he didn't want it.) Yeah, he didn't say that part, but the words were so loud and clear.

Well, our new slogan, "Be respectful or be in your room" (thanks to a friend!), started to play right in there. I got a notebook, and told him to go to his room and write 10 times "I will not slam my glass on the counter" before he came back down. I absolutely hated writing sentences when I was young (and had to do it allll the time: "I will not talk or my hand will ache" was Mrs. Bishop's favorite for me), but we both needed a time out. When he come back, I had some brains and patience back, and we talked. He again (only this time with words) told me he wanted to eat in front of the tv (we don't do this, but we have twice-and the second time was Sunday night-hot dogs on beach towels in front of Nemo, so did I cause this?). I had to go through what should be perfect common sense: I made you a yummy snack, took my valuable time, made it look pretty, could've given you pretzels, I even used a glass, and you couldn't even say thank you? And he just stared at me. ? Who is this kid (and didn't my mom tell me they'd get harder as they got older?)? So, I tried to be patient, and gave him the snack again, and he said thank you and ate it at the bar.

That's just one incident. Ahh, to list or not to list? Not.

So. We are still in Potty-Training Land. It's a great land. I had no idea it'd involve so much Thomas the Tank Engine (why he's called this, I don't know, as he is a steam engine...tank of water?). Ethan immediately sits on the potty chair, and says, "Watch Train!" Which helps with the potty-ing. My research has proven he will sit longer, and produce lots of #1's and increase the likelihood of a #2, if he is engrossed in Thomas. And that helps my bottom line (and his, heehee). So, now I go around humming the Thomas song. (If you clicked, sorry to do that to you. Good luck with the rest of your day!)

Ok, so on to the rest of my great day! Ethan actually WORE UNDERWEAR MOST OF THE DAY today! Had to emphasize my enormous excitement at this great achievement! (Maybe you too have a young child? You will one day understand this pride and excitement. Hopefully before age 4?) So, I was over the moon when I found him ON the potty chair, Sans underwear, Peeing, By Himself! : D Woo Hoo! This is real news, because, if you've been following along, he was only 'trained naked. Then, we progressed to undies too soon, and he peed them. Then he sat on the potty chair and peed in them (small progress, yes?), but now. The Real Thing!! So, that alone makes my day. And I was so excited (and surprised, really), that I hung up on Mom (on the phone). Sorry, Mom. Then when I tried to give him two M&M's to share my excitement, he wouldn't even take his eyes off Thomas. So, maybe I should thank Thomas for potty-training my baby.

So, in all my home-ness, I've really been a better (friendless) Mom. I have made a nice, nourishing meal every evening, fresh hot lunches (except for Bagel Bites today...), and today was no exception! I put a roast beef in the Crockpot this morning with some carrots and onions, and set it on low to cook slowly all day. Well. It was tough. I used to have roast beef mastered, back of my hand, didn't even think about it. Now, it's work all of a sudden. I screwed up somewhere along the way, and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong now. It used to be all fork-tender, fall apart. But now-I have to use a knife. Geez, who has time for that? And I made mashed potatoes (my newest learning expedition: this morning when I wasn't four-o'clock-crazy, I cut the potatoes, rinsed off the excess starch-that causes browning-put them in cold water, and when I was ready this afternoon, put them on to boil!), and gravy (but, not enough). We hurried through dinner, got a few compliments-second greatest thing today!- and then Mary Claire and I went to the movies!

We went to see Imagine That! It was very sweet, and was a great story about a father and daughter, and was pretty clean! Mary Claire laughed at the word poop-twice in there, I think? What was hardest (besides the longing for popcorn when she was almost 300 and having to take her to the bathroom during a good part), was all the talk about the daughter, Olivia, and where she lived. She lived with her mom, but her dad was keeping her for the week. She just couldn't understand the living arrangements, and Olivia had told her dad she wanted to go home. That was tough to explain, well, why she couldn't go home yet. We've talked about divorce-came up last week actually-but, it was hard to describe. But the movie was great, and I'd recommend it! Not just for kids, but for busy dads. Yes, Ches was going to take her, but he's taken the kids to the last few kid flicks, so he figured it was my turn. Awww.

Afterward, when her b.s. had stabilized, we got some ice cream for a late night snack (9pm!-I never thought I'd see the day I'd take a child to a late/regular movie!!). Ches was out of ice cream, so we got him some too. Just plain chocolate, as he didn't feel like branching out (or maybe knowing I'd eat the rest?). We got to talk, and she's a little nervous about second grade (again). She thinks it'll be hard. She's so ready-and still an awesome reader! She read a Junie B. Jones (Jingle Bells, Batman Smells) on Wednesday-in one afternoon! She said she just wanted to know how it ended. It makes me happy to see her love reading! Sometimes I miss not having shared the book with her. But she's growing up.

Clay read in a huge Lionel train book, then started the third Indian in the Cupboard book (The Secret of the Indian) today. I'm not sure how long he read-we need to chat! I'd guess 2 or 3 hours. I eventually sent them outside after the storms cleared. I mean, who better to run mail out to the box, and where better to make necessary kid-noise? Heehee-outside! Yay, summer!

Just a nice, normal, average day. But good. All my kids being themselves. It doesn't happen so often-I have to clear my agenda to see it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Halfway There

Skipped a nap-just for you! I can't do it all by any means, so I have to pick and choose. I finished the book I just started, Remember Me? by Sophia Kinsella, so good! Ches got it for me about a year (or two?) ago, and it was so much like that goofy Samatha Who show, I wouldn't read the book. I mean, how long can a show go on-she's making memories, so what's left to explore? Anyway, it was a good book, not as good as her others, but entertaining poolside reading. When I'm in a book, I have to finish it-two or three days tops. Gotta find out what happens, then I'll take a few days off. And write for YOu! Soup for YOU! : )

Ethan is progressing...No poops in the potty today, but lots of pees! Like 10 or 12! Still naked (from the waist down). I tried underwear again this morning (so MaYBe we could go out tomorrow!), but nope. He sat on the potty chair, and peed right through them. There was some pee in the little pot, but mostly it'd soaked the 15 layer undies! : O So, small bath, and back to naked. It's working, so who am I to rock the boat?

This morning we cleaned upstairs bathrooms, washed the kids' sheets/remade their beds, gave baths, played I Spy Go Fish, did four pages each of their math workbooks (MC loved it, and said this is why she wants to homeschool-yeah, she didn't get the memo). We used unifix cubes, and then had to look forever to find them all to put them back! I made tuna salad for the kids, but had no pickles. They were nice, and didn't say much. Yesterday, they balked at lunch, and I told them lots of kids have no lunch! There are kids in our town who walk to the local elementary school to get a lunch-they started to get it. So, today they said no pickles were better than no tuna salad. Way to come around! : ) heehee

Thanks, Mom for bringing MC more Propel! : ) Ethan is drinking it now (he calls it "'Pel!"). Alrighty, kids are on the loose, Ches is home, so I gotta get busy again. Mom, have a great trip, and I'll see you in 16 days? Love you! : )

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crystal Clear Poopy Pix

Pictures!! New! I can do it!! I figured out how to upload from the new camera (check out how great and *clear!* they are!), I figured out how to open (but not really use..) Adobe Photoshop, and managed to screw up a lot, but got the word, "Potty!" over Ethan's poopy picture! Heehee : ) So, I go to bed with more self-confidence. Boy, I needed that! : )

Try underwear again next week?

Ok, sorry.. It should have just been time for a note. (Yesterday) (Or was it day before?)

Suffice it to say that it's been busy, yet again. I've learned about myself. I can handle day-to-day craziness, general business. But when it's over the top, like lots of extra events thrown in, it gets to be too much. I don't know how exactly it happens, but it always does.

Saturday was an awards ceremony for the daisy girl scouts (and those that got to move up to Brownies!!), and I could say more, but not all good, so I'll stop there. (My momma used to tell me if I couldn't say something nice, then I shouldn't say anything at all.) Then I gave a bridal shower with one of my friends yesterday, so I got the groceries and prizes on Saturday right after the awards ceremony, came home, and crashed into bed.

My plan had been for us to go to 4pm Mass on Saturday afternoon, or at least Mary Claire and I would go. Welll, Ches tried to wake me around 3:30 to no avail. He decided to let me sleep since everyone else in the house is sick (except me!) and he thought me getting rest would better help me resist, so No Church Saturday. : ( We had a late dinner, and I made dips and washed fruit, and made game cards, answer sheets, and generally got ready for the party till about 11:30 (early for me!), and went to bed.

I was up by 6:30a (as it's summer now, so why should my kids waste a precious minute in bed?) and began the breakfast/laundry/cleaning frenzy that begins with wet sheets...ick. Then ready for church (kids in bath, me in shower, etc.), off to church, then home to get ready for the shower, then partied with lots of sweet women, then what on Earth for dinner?? I had to run to Harp's for some hot dogs, buns, chips, and strawberries, then home to grill. I'd been so wrapped up in the events I hadn't gotten any food for my family. I immediately fell asleep again on the couch with the kids (absolutely SO unlike me!) yet again.

Monday-chaos. Two babysitters for the kids-one to watch the boys, one to take MC to a Brownie picnic, and me to get proper groceries! And I can say, we've been eating well this week!

I got a grill basket-so cool. You cut up your veggies (I've now done potatoes, onions, and bell peppers/onions for fajitas), put them in the large, flat basket, and grill them! There's a handy handle (heehee) that you attach to turn it over. My grill is getting older and much less dependable, so I have to adjust the temp to get what I want, but it should work better. I also got the Weber How To Grill It cookbook-very comprehensive, except it doesn't tell how exactly how to grill potatoes (and that's one reason I bought it!) But my husband is increasingly tired/busy, and no longer really wants to grill (unless he can get a brand new expensive grill), so I've taken over. It's not that hard, and I love to grill in the summer to keep the kitchen cool. I'll get better at it. : )

Potty Training. Is not for busy, weak souls. We've been at it for a week, and it's going pretty well. Ethan totally will run to the potty chair if he needs to go. He even yelled at me from upstairs, so I'd run get him and run him back down to his 'chair! He is doing well. We had one accident this morning (pee, thank goodness), but that was the first on the carpet. He is still running around naked. We tried to progress to underwear too soon (last Thursday), and he peed in them. It was apparently too much insurance like a diaper/pullup (I hate these!), so we are back to naked. He must have 12 or 13 pees a day and like 5 little poops! I had no idea! : P I'm sure he's taking advantage, as we are rewarding almost all progress with an M&M. If he doesn't remember, I don't give him one. I don't want to encourage anal retentiveness or adult problems! heehee It's hard to know the right thing to do. He's progressing, and very happy with himself, so it's working. Maybe we'll be up to underwear in another week?

Our next big issue is the bed. He wants a big boy bed (and my mom must be ready too, cause she keeps sending me beds on Craig's list!), and has attempted to sleep in Clay's lower bunk, but won't stay. We have a bed, all the bedding (sheets, quilt, bedskirt, pillow sham, etc.) since we thought we were moving him to a big bed back before Christmas! He quit climbing out, so we decided to lay low! I'm all about making my life one ounce easier (and that totally means leaving him in the crib as long as possible!!).

Ok, the sky at this very moment (8:33pm Central Time) has the absolute weirdest glow! It was DARK, rainy, and now it's glowing orange! I mean, creepy! Like the Earth is on fire! Or the western part of the US...
I took pictures, but until I learn to upload the new camera (still working on that...), they'll be stored in a tiny memory device. It's still raining outside, so I couldn't go outside. I took some pix from the window, but in the time it took me to go get my camera, the sun had dropped more, and the glow was less intense! It was already down, but just a lighter orange now.

I promise to at least try to hook up the camera. Oooo...and I have my baby with one of his first poops in the potty, and he looks so proud! : )

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Coming Soon!

New post coming soon...Really! : )
I'm making dip for a bridal shower tomorrow, so I only stopped in for a minute (to find that recipe that's eluding me!)
Today was our awards ceremony for Daisy Girl Scouts, so now I'm on to the next thing-a shower and working at the concession stand for the Susan G. Komen tournament over at JB Hunt park. Have an extra hour? Run over there and help girl scouts! : )

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poopy. Progress!

Disclaimer: Don't read if you have no kids.
Potty-Training Tally: 15 poops, 3 pees. Seriously. I think it's either all the fruit/juice that he eats, or he is in the midst of antibiotic poop. Kinda runny. I know. I told you to not read-if you have kids, you've either already experienced (and blocked it out) or you are headed to this moment in your life-it's unavoidable (unless you plan to change diapers at 5...)!! : )
Anyway, he was having the best day! : ) Every time he'd squeeze out some poopy, he'd yell, "Poopoo, peepee!!!" and we'd all run, jump up and down (sometimes with pictures), sing, bounce, and generally party! We'd wipey his bottom, flush, party down some more, then do it again (sometimes 3 minutes later..). I had a towel under the potty chair, and it got dirty twice, so it's been constant laundry. We also did undie washing... I tell you, F-U-N! : ) I'm just looking forward to the end product: fewer diapers, WooHOo! : )

Yes, I did more than that today, are you kidding? We did Room Cleaning today. The kids did REal cleaning (as opposed to Shove-It-Under-the-Bed tactics), and then Clay vacuumed all upstairs as per his agreement (to pay for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid Journal at Sam's yesterday).

While we were cleaning...Ethan made a book mess in the hearth room, pulled out games *twice* and messed all cards/toys up, dumped his Lucky Charms all over the floor, then ate the "Luckies" (the colored sugar shapes) off the floor like a dog, then I found him in the office, playing with my Fiskars cutter-ahhhhh!!!!! So, I planted him in the highchair with some snacks and a drink, and got a tiny bit done. Then I opened up Ethan's blinds/drapes, pulled out his toy tubs, and let him mess (in HIS room!) to his heart's desire. I always figure that it's an investment. If it only takes me 5-10 minutes to clean up, and it bought me 30-45 minutes of work time, I've profited! : )

So, during his nap time, me and the kids went out to enjoy our amazing 79 degree weather! The kids swam, I cleaned up, layed out, got splashed, deadheaded flowers, and killed three bees (I actually have a *technique* now!) that seemed to be chasing me! Did I mention that it's 8 hours later, and I'm a pretty shade of PiNk? Yes, I know you can get burned on cloudy days, and sunny, hot days, but somehow I just blanked out on a cool day. Hehe. It's really not that bad, and I have some color to show for all my big 3 days of summer break, so I shall call it even. I even got treated to a great House Special pizza at Mellow Mushroom, so my day wasn't half bad! We got to eat outside (and see geese) (and other people's kids run loose over to a retaining wall that's not done, almost fall down, and around the building, by a StReeT, and my kids wanted to know why their parents didn't love them), and it was perfect weather.

Back home, calm, more poop in the potty, so good day. Progress. My baby growing up. Am I feeling happy or sad?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Can I see your Membership Card?

No breakfast, flat tire, missed Bible study, Sam's for 2.5 hours to get tire fixed, forgot my Sam's card, Ethan jumped in a huge puddle and soaked his legs/shoes, umm..did I forget anything? I can say it's been a rough day.

It was raining this morning, so Ches planned to drive his car rather than bike to work, BUT. He came to tell me that my tire was not-so-full. It was really low (found out it had only 15 lbs. of air) and was undrivable. This was at 8:10am, and I had Bible study at 9! We haggled about what to do, and sweet as he is, he decided to ride to work (did I mention it was RaiNiNG?) so I could have his car. Well. I had to tell him the ugly truth that he is worth so much more to me ALIVE, so biking to work was NOT an option! He disagreed (that he wouldn't die to a crazy, sliding-on-the-wet-pavement driver), and declared he was riding. Insert exasperation here. So I called for backup (well, really to complain to Mom). She asked to speak to him, and he did the loud exhale (which I told her about!) of counter-exasperation. She talked him into driving (me minus a car), and bargained that he could take his bike to work and ride after class and before driving home. He agreed! So, before I could say boo he was gone. I mean, car gone!

So, let's talk about me. Dad said he'd come and air up my tire (with the phillips-head screw in it!), so I could make it to Sam's to get it repaired. I called Kendra since we had a playdate after Bible study, and I was having to reschedule my day. Dad soon got there, aired it up, and when he checked it a few minutes later, it'd only lost one pound of air (in five minutes!). So, put the rush on!

I gathered all my ducklings, shoed them (is that a word?), and got a move on! I figured we only had fifteen minutes at this rate! We made it Sam's as they were opening. They have this Rule. You have to have a membership card to shop there. So. I didn't have mine (and I'm on a time crunch!). I slipped through the door and was directed to Member Services, but tiptoed over to TIRES! The first thing they want is my MeMBeRSHiP card! So, I call Ches to get the number, and give it to them, expressing the time crunch so they'll know if they let it sit, they'll have to jack up the tire to get it off! (side note: so Mary Claire is carsick, tummy hurts, is going to throw up, I check her bs, she's high, give insulin, snacks and then she needs a bathroom break *which MiGHT not require a membership card!*) So, off to Member Services... wait in line... They think it's about time for a new card (since I was pregnant with Clay for the last one), but it's a rainy day (bad hair), I have three kids climbing in and out of the cart (not so conducive to a *Smiling* picture), so they give me a temporary pass (silent thanks to God). We all get some pizza, fill those tummies, another bathroom break, and off to shop...We wander around and end up in books, have some crying, and each child gets a book (saving you from the looonng story), then head back to the tire desk, since I've not heard the All-Call that my van is done! Well, apparently when you walk through the checkouts (without checking out!), they chase you down. I had a nice young man ask if he could help me (I resisted asking him to bbsit whilst I got my nails done..) then he followed me to TLE, maybe not quite believing I had a car back there! So, nope, not done yet (almost two hours now...). So we head back to flowers, as I need a pick-me-up (and it's less fattening than the Martha Stewart Cupcake cookbook might be). We all agree, and Yay! they called my name. We go through the checkout (legitimately), and head to our van! : ) Happiness all around!

And then. There was a puddle that was shouting, "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!" And yes, my baby made a run for it. He soaked his legs, socks, and little khaki Keds. : ( And then took off through the bark/grass/trees, with me in hot pursuit since he defied my screaming NO's and would have me to answer to (scary!).

Ahh.. we made it home, and I didn't have to let him "Outside!" since he had no shoes. His fault. Heehee, score one for me! : ) So, he's in bed napping, the kids have been yelling back in my room as Clay plays Wii, and Mary Claire judges/watches/sticks Bella's wet feet on his face (yes, Bella her unicorn/sidekick). Now they've been split up after a warning, and are reading quietly. I need a nap too. What a day, and it's only half over!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What makes you cool? Alligator Teeth?

Three times. That's the number of times Ethan's woken up crying during this very short nap. Ugh. I took him and Mary Claire (and Clay tagged along) to the doctor this morning. Mary Claire has an ear infection (in the ear that just lost its tube a month ago), and Ethan has an unexplained fever, and runny nose that started just Sunday. He has intermittently (that just doesn't looked spelled correctly) told me that his "tummy hurts", but the doctor dismissed it. He gave them both antibiotics (I'll still be griping about them in 10 days...), which I'm not sure was appropriate for Ethan, but here we go again.

I stopped by McDonald's to fill their tummies before we ran into WM for orange-flavored drinks to mask the orange-pineapple meds for Ethan (they all got the useless Monkey Explorer toy), and then we had an eventful trip through WM. Ethan clamored for the huge, gigantic, long, difficult cart with the attachment at the front (that makes Mother's job even more difficult), and then there are only two seats, so arguments all around. Then we got junk food (moment of weakness?) like sodas, pop-tarts, granola bars, cereal, salami, "hard Parmesan" (Clay wants to eat the big wedge whole!), spaghettios, etc. I was just driving that stupid (one of the wheels was crippled and turned inward, and didn't even touch the ground!) cart around with my ragamuffin kids. They didn't match, had messy hair, and Mary Claire's skirt needed a serious iron job. But we made it (and ran into an old friend, as well!), and lived to tell about it.

I have to further explain (Mom): I am a little less stressed about the kids Actions, not how they look! I was not excited when I got home from my school meeting to find the kids were Annie-looking. I didn't give them baths last night since it was the last day of school, and I was so busy enjoying the laying-around-watching-school-videos (and we abruptly put them to bed at 8 so I could watch John & Kate-I'd forgotten!), so they were a little messy, and I'd not hung out today's clothes.

Clay has a new "look": jeans. In 86 degree heat! I got him pulled aside long enough for him to tell me he thinks he looks "cool" in them.

*Ok, to finish later, fourth crying spell!**

Ok, back at it, 8 hours later!! Anyway, he has been told by "Cool" Ben in his class that he is not cool (I know, confusing..), so now he's trying to up his Cool Quotient by wearing jeans and long sleeved shirts (first preference) and T-Shirts (second choice). Of course, I feel like I buy him very nice clothes, so I can't believe he looks uncool in absolutely anything he owns, but what? Who the heck does this kid think he is? So I asked Clay what makes him cool. Get this. If you have lots of things, like billions of Legos, an alligator tooth, and a fox skull, you are cool. So, that's all it takes to change a little boy's opinion of himself. It makes me sad. Anyway, I still haven't connected the dots between the jeans (in summer!) and the coolness, but I'll work on it.

I have bible study in the morning, and I haven't done my homework. I really must get to it. I got an email that there's a typo in question 5-it's a good thing I didn't stress over it! Heehee, procrastination was a good thing?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Life on EARTH!

Why on Earth do we need to visit Life on other planets? We have all the fun we can handle right here! Why not just learn a little about the people on OUR planet?!

I have to say every day I visit fun blogs like this one where she encourages readers to BE NICE! I grabbed her badge (to the right), and will have to report to her Nice Things (or just refer you over to her corner of the Web)! She's out to encourage niceness (love it, don'tcha?) and bring in fun pictures and stories of those spreading kindness. I love it, and we can all grow our heart two sizes by doing the smallest things. Check it out!

I mean, there are SO many people on our planet, and how many have YOU met? or read about? I think once we conquer our territory and understand those people, then we can move on to the next section of the galaxy.

I just want to stay up after midnight every night just looking for fun (or quirky..) people! They make me laugh, like here, or cry for them. Sometimes after reading into people's lives, you feel like you really know them.

Ok, and I met someone new today-on the last day of school. I think it was a God-thing. She was saying bye to Mrs. Cheshier, and telling her to read her blog, etc. and I just blurted out, "Where are you going?" and I got the story, and ended up crying with her, and hugging her, and can I just say how proud I am of the amazing people on this Earth that heed God's call? I feel all called to minister to my daughter (in her tiny diabetes world), and Lacey Carney is moving to GUATAMALA! She has sold all of her earthly possessions, and is taking her family to another country with a mission to turn around a generation of people. She is going to be running an orphanage (not with a goal of adopting all the kids out), just raising the kids. She and her husband will be over the baby dorm, and will love them and fill them with Christ. Their plan is to raise up a new generation of Christians to fill the country, stay there, and start change in their country. I mean, wow. All I could do is keep saying wow, and God Bless You. I mean, could you do it? Leave it all behind, and GO? I know we're all called for different things, but that's an honor and a shaking from your comfort zone. Oh, of course I asked all the usual questions: where will your kids go to school? (at an American school there), where will you live? (at the baby dorm), how long will you be there? (a two-year commitment, but they have no plans to come back. At all.), are your kids ready/do they understand? (yes). So, she'll be my new person to track and learn about. You can read about her here.

Ok, not so much new with little ol' me in this big world. We had an after school (last day) party play day in which Ethan did not get in the pool (applause here), only one small injury (and mom to pick him up), only one nasty diaper, lots of sharing kids, fun racquetball/tennis games, lots of exercise, and great friends to bless our day. I do love the friends from our tiny basket with which we can be ourselves, tell the truth, and still be accepted. <3 (that's a heart!)

Oh, we had fun, and I think it relaxed my day. : ) I had worked outside at Field Day, then hung out at the school catching up, hugging teachers, crying some, and already missing the sweet people who are near my babies daily. But later, we had breakfast for dinner, and Clay poured jelly (accidentally) down his shorts, leg, and floor. I just didn't care. He cleaned it up, and we moved on. Mary Claire had about four pieces of jelly toast (not a norm), but it was the last day, and I don't think anything could have burst my bubble. We sat and watched Mary Claire's video of pictures from the year, and just had some family time.

I think what changed my messy/jelly/wild reactions: the last time I got all bent out of shape about something not-so-important (like soap wasted down the drain, clean shoes stomped through mud puddles, a fresh sweater worn for an hour and shoved in the dirty clothes, etc.), Mary Claire looked up at me and said, "Mommy, why did that make you so mad?" and I had to stop and ask myself. I did not have a decent answer. It's changed my life. Really. She's just so darn smart. : ) So, now I'm trying to let some little things go. No, Heaven forbid, not everything! Just keeping it real. And in perspective. In my tiny part of the globe.