Thursday, February 24, 2011

All Thumbs Thursday

Reviving MEP's genius format for sharing random things that keep circulating as potential posts.

Thumbs Down:

Solo Parenting
J. was gone three nights this week, and I am super exhausted tonight, feeling like I gave far too little quality time to my kids today. Having no business writing this post, but unable to focus on anything else.

The paper towel holder that threatens to cut my tenuous grip on sanity.
We keep our paper towels on a rack inside the sink cabinet door. We have enough other junk on the counters, so try to keep permanent fixtures there to a minimum. We had two plastic ones in a row that broke, so I purchased a metal one to replace it. It is spring loaded, so every time (and I mean every. single. time.) I try to rip off a sheet of paper towel, the entire roll bounces off the rack, and rolls across the kitchen floor, completely unraveling as it goes. J. swears there is a way to rip one off and not have this happen. Apparently you cannot be in a hurry to wipe up a spill, be fighting with a three year old about wiping yogurt off her chin, or holding a baby at the same time. So. I need a new one. Only they don't sell them. We've tried in three stores recently. So, if you see one, will you just go ahead and send it to me?

The Cat in the Hat animated series
Let's go, go go! On an adventure. The thingamagig is up and away! Oh my goodness. This is the most annoying song and series since Caillou first assaulted my ears. And I can't get it out of my head. Help.

Thumbs Up:

Easy solutions to potentially complicated problems:
The other day it was freezing in here, and I kept checking to see which door had been left open. None that I could tell. Finally checked the thermostat and found the message "LOW BATT." Because J. was out of town, I was sure this meant that until I dragged all three kids out at 7PM in search of some watch sized battery we would be shivering. But NO. Thanks to handy location of thermostat user manual on the bookshelf next to it, I found that I could very easily dismantle and replace the two AA batteries. And it didn't even take a screwdriver, unlike most of the battery replacing I do around here.

Wild Kratts:
New PBS show featuring cartoon versions of the Kratt brothers, of Zooboomafoo fame. Wildly popular in this house, thanks to focus on wild animals as well as the hilarious (to O&N) money shot of character crashing into a tree. There is also a computer game version on PBS Kids, which is currently a little buggy and made my day a little ridiculous today because O. was determined to play it even though it was not working right. But he is so excited about the whole series that the promise of a new episode gets him out of bed immediately in the morning.

Bubble Guppies:
Another new morning viewing option: Nick Jr. variety. Semi-obnoxious in content and nothing new on the educational front, but the songs are pretty catchy. And did you really think we would escape anything with mermaids in this house?

Clean Van:
I cleared out all trash, random toys, and abandoned articles of clothing recently, and am blissfully relieved every time I slide open the doors to buckle everyone in. Biggest plus: found the missing Beauty and the Beast DVD.

Membership to Nature Center:
I recently signed O. up for a camp at our local nature center this summer, and went ahead and purchased a family membership to receive a discounted rate. When the weather was lovely last week, we went and wandered around the woods a little, and I was SO happy to think about all the afternoons we'll be able to go there whenever we want as soon as spring is here for good. Extra bonus: they are getting rid of their "Free Mondays" so I'm probably saving money no matter what!

Have I mentioned that I'm getting two of them?? At the same time?? My brother and sister in law are due with twins in June, and I'm having such fun shopping for them, planning a shower for them and thinking about things to share with them. We delivered boxes of baby clothes to their house last week, and even though it was a tiny bit sad to have all those baby girl clothes leave this house for good, I am thrilled that some of them will be on little ones that I will get to hug.

Valentine's Day:
It was so fun this year. O. really got into signing and preparing his cards for his class, was super excited about his class party, and seemed to think it was a great treat to have a holiday on what would otherwise have been a regular old Monday. We had a fun special dinner: steaks, green beans, potatoes and wine for J. and I; heart hot dogs for the kids in place of the steak, (and water with heart ice cubes in place of the wine).

Princess Dress Up day at preschool:
This isn't actually the costume N. ended up wearing, because we had about three trial runs, but she was super excited about the idea that she could actually wear one of her beloved princess get-ups out of the house!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lovey Dovey All the Time

Little L. hit the five month mark on Sunday.

He and I were talking about what we should say about month five yesterday while the other kids were at school. What? I'm going to discuss these matters with the dog?

"You're a drooler. You're a spitter. And now you're almost a sitter," I said. Then of course, I was stuck with "The Joker" in my head the rest of the day.

So, here, with my apologies to the Steve Miller Band (who am I kidding? I don't really care about offending them) and to you, here is a little musical tribute to the cutest thing I've ever seen. Okay, okay. Really just an excuse to show you lots of pictures from this month.

Some people call you the third baby yeah
Some call me the gangster of laundry
Some people call me Mommy
Cause' I speak of the pompetous of love

People talk about you baby
Say I'm doin' you wrong, doin' you wrong
But don't you worry, baby, don't worry
someday you'll nap at home

Cause' you're a grabber
You're a grinner

I'm a lover
and you're a sitter.
Soon we'll be playing music in the sun

You're a spitter
and a raspberry blower
You're a mid-night waker;
I get to hold you all day long.
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
You're the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your dimples,
you just want to chew your feet.
Lovey dovey, lovey dovey,
lovey dovey all the time.

Ooh wee baby,
I sure show you a good time
Cause you're a roller and a watcher
I'm your rocker;
you dig your saucer
and that toy that plays you
music on the run.

You're a laugher
you're a paper crumpler
and still a mid-night waker
But you are sure glad to see someone.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
You're the cutest thing that I ever did see
I really love your dimples,
you just want to chew your feet.
Lovey dovey, lovey dovey,
lovey dovey all the time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I'm having a little trouble keeping up with the posts these days. The laundry is relentless*, and so are those kids of mine, though their relentlessness is more lovable. Have I mentioned there are no naps? Well, L. takes them, but not on any predictable schedule, and not for any predictable time.

Anyhow, it's taken me a couple of weeks to get the following photos uploaded.

O.'s school was sponsoring a movie night as a family activity and fundraiser. O. really wanted to go, but the idea of mobilizing the troops starting at 8:00 and hanging out in the elementary school gym was not exactly my idea of Friday night fun.

O. has been begging for a fire in our fireplace, mostly so he could roast marshmallows. We just haven't really gotten it together to do so all winter. I decided we would make our own Friday night family fun and have a little indoor camp out.
Daddy could build the fire, I would supervise the marshmallows, and the two big kids could hang out in O.'s shark tent and watch a flick.

O. took to this idea immediately. I didn't mention the movie right away, and he jumped right to his own idealized version of a camp out. It involved sleeping bags, flashlights, and scary stories. J. wondered aloud "Didn't we used to have a tent?"

And that led to this:
Apparently, we did still have a tent. Apparently we also never actually used it. Everything was still in its original packaging. Guess we can never claim to have been 'outdoorsy' in our pre-children life.
However, we did have the foresight to buy one big enough for our five person family, even back when we were dating!Align Left

They were so excited about this new fixture of the family room they were doing full body dives in and out of it.

All moved in for the night and full of toasted marshmallows. How do you like the hair?

Yeah, they really look like they are going to sleep in there, don't they?

We let them goof around and giggle and somersault from end to end of it on their own until about 10:00. Then they both were crying about the other being too close or too far away from the other, and fighting over having the lights on or off. J. had to lay the smack down, and tell them if they didn't go to sleep right now, they'd be heading back to their own beds. Some sobbing ensued, but they fell asleep and STAYED THERE until 7:00AM. The baby slept in his own crib, J. and I in our own bed. Beautiful. The tent stayed up through the weekend and became a favorite napping spot for the dog.

More tears when we took it down, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing it re-emerge this summer. Any bets on whether anyone would actually make it through the night in the backyard?

*I'm not sure why it's the laundry that's getting to me lately. All the house stuff is relentless. I guess we actually do need clean clothes to wear. Clean surfaces to live in, not so much. Though they would be nice.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Back in the fall, we decided to try our hand at raising fish as pets again. We don't have the best luck with that around here, as you may or may not remember.
The time before this had included three fish who lasted three days. (RIP, Rainbow Tail, Shiny as Day and Likes To Eat Algae)

This time, we took a sample of our fish tank water to the store and had it tested to make sure we weren't poisoning the fish right from the start. Everything checked out just fine, so we got three more fish. Well, two fish and a little frog. New names: Shine Shine for N.'s orange one, Pancake for the yes, very flat frog. (I cannot remember the other fish's name. He died on day two.)

O. was very taken by his little frog. Watched him try to jump out of the tank, laughed when he darted all around, and was tickled when he seemed to hang from his feet from the fake plants.
He fed him every night, checked on him every time he returned to the house from school.
And he died less than two weeks later. When I texted J., who was out of town, to let him know we'd had to have another little toilet funeral, I suspect he might have been more than a little choked up.

O. was okay with it. Sad, but okay. Okay enough that I am a little worried that this "circle of life" thing is getting a little too familiar. So we're not rushing out to get any new fish or frogs so that he can go through it again. Luckily, Shine Shine seems to be hanging in there. And given O's report that shortly before the other creatures' demise, they seemed to be "wrestling," perhaps we have a bit of a bully on our hands.

A month after Pancake left us, this came home in O's backpack. It was perhaps the saddest piece of construction paper I have ever seen. He tells me he drew it before Pancake died. It is a remarkable likeness.

If you came here hoping for sweet flapjack recipe love, my apologies. I just rediscovered this in O.'s room, and decided before I pitched it (I really can't take looking at it all the time!), I would post it here for memory's sake.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

O and N Speak: Winter 2011 Edition

Driving home from dropping the dog off at the kennel with Daddy (Mommy is at the grocery store with the baby):
N: I miss Mommy.
O: N., it's not like we left Mommy at the kennel.

In the car at the post office:
O: Does Jesus have a last name?
N: Yes, O. it's Christ. You know. They call him Jesus Christ.
(At least they don't know his middle initial, H.!)

N., every time she lies to me: "I'm serious. Really. I'm serious."

N., describing something very big: "It's Jew-normous!"

O. trying to express his disinterest/unconcern with a problem: "It doesn't care."

N., setting up yet another princess scenario: "I have a splendid idea!"

Praying before dinner, N. makes a funny face and says nonsense words instead of the prayer.
Me: N., you can't act silly while you're praying.
O: Yeah, N. God will turn you into a chicken.

O., after yet another warning against the use of potty language:
"But God just made us like that, to think pee and poop and toots are funny."

O., chasing his sister around with a pretend sword:
"Booshay, Pussy Cat!"
(I immediately knew there had been a little too much Tom and Jerry)

O., threatening me with the nozzle of the kitchen sink:
"Get ready for a dramatic spray!"

Getting into the car, O. kicks his brother's car seat, waking him up.
O: Don't worry, he's sleeping again.
Me: No thanks to you.
(A minute or so passes.)
O: Mom, thanks for taking us to your friend's house to visit.
Me: You're welcome, bud. That was nice of you to say.
O: (whispering to himself) Okay, good. I didn't want to be down to zero thanks.

O. complains after a haircut that his back is all itchy. I tell him it's all the hairs that fell down there bothering him and that we'll change when we get home.
O: "What? You mean I have touch buds all over my back?"

N, whispering after climbing into bed with me:
"Are wolves dunna eat us?"

Playing animal families :
N: I am a panda and I am going to lay my eggs right here.
O: Pandas don't lay eggs. They are mammals, so they poop the babies out.

O. tells me he is going to take a nap (cue the halleluiah chorus!) then returns a very short while later.
Me: That was a short one. How long did that last?
O: Three minutes.
Me: Oh, you had a timer, did you?
O: Pocket watch.