Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Big Sick

I don't know why it is, but my boys sure don't handle being sick very well (Rophone included). Big is suffering from a cold right now, poor kid. Being stuffed up makes him miserable and he wants to be sure everyone is aware of how bad he feels. 

Last night, Big moaned almost the whole night long. For a while, I tried going in there to wipe his nose and tell him to go to sleep so he could get feeling better. That didn't do any good, of course, because his nose just kept running and he wanted me to know it. (Moaaan.. "Nose wipe!", MOOAAAN... "Nose wipe, Mom!") 

Then, I tried to ignore the moaning, which ended up being even worse. I began to have awake/asleep dreams (you know what I'm talking about) that I was a school bus driver, driving 50 rambunctious kids on a field trip. Yeah, I know-- awful! And there was this one kid on the bus, with the most annoying moan, that could be heard above all of the yells and screams of the other children on the bus! (Oh, and the engine of the bus sounded like Rophone's snoring! Yes, lovely!) 

Finally, at about 4:00 am, I just gave up and rocked Big for about an hour until he settled down and managed to wipe his nose on my shoulder until it was fairly clear. It was really too late for me to get any good sleep, but I think Big managed to get a few hours after that. Hopefully this cold will pass quickly. I really can't handle that bus driver dream again. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The 3 older kids spent some time outside today, even though it was freezing cold out. I felt bad that Big couldn't enjoy the snow too, but it's too deep for him to walk in. He ends up just standing in one place, completely stuck. So, Rophone took Big to run errands to keep him occupied. 

I went outside to take some pictures (of course), and found Ginger happily eating snow...

...until I told her that it's not as clean as it looks.

But she decided to continue eating it anyway.

Here's Bud, looking a little cold:

Pen spent her time making "snowburst art" on the street by throwing snowballs from different angles and seeing the fun patterns she could create.

I suggested going inside for some hot chocolate with marshmallows and was rewarded with a smile.

I am really enjoying the snow this year, and I'm glad we keep getting storms to keep it fresh and white. It's helping combat the usual winter doldrums that I experience around here-- when there's no snow I begin to feel rather like I'm stuck in a brown cardboard box... yuck. So, keep the snow coming! 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Fabulous!

We had a fabulous Christmas today-- I'm glad we are able to enjoy being together as a family (yes, it's true that the giving and receiving of gifts helps with that). The kids actually slept in until about 8:30, which is a Christmas Miracle! What a great way to start the day!

By the time we showered, ate a leisurely breakfast of our traditional scrambled eggs and bran muffins (I know you're thinking, "What a mean (and gross?) Christmas breakfast!", but believe me, my cheesy scrambled eggs and bran muffins ROCK!), cleaned the kitchen and did a room check, it was after 10:00 by the time we started opening gifts. 

I love the way taking it slow prolongs the celebration and makes every part more enjoyable. I much prefer it to a whirlwind at 5:00 am, but that's just me. I think it serves to remind the kids that it's not all about what they're receiving.  

I took only a few shots of this morning's activities, as I preferred to enjoy it all NOT looking through the lens for once.

Here are the kids lined up, ready to check out what Santa brought:

Bud, looking in his stocking:

Santa always brings toothbrushes!

I guess he brings a few toys, too:

I had a hard time capturing a good picture of Big, so this will have to do. He LOVED the little play structure Santa brought:

Bud, showing off some of his loot:

A gift loved by all was the pile of Geo Trax received by Rophone (yes, I said Rophone) to go with what he had already gotten for his birthday last month. The space was really too small to get a good angle on it, but here is a sampling:

I am glad to have a husband who derives such joy from doing things with his kids, and regularly asks for things they can enjoy together. They have been having a blast! What a fabulous day!

Eve Celebration

Yesterday, Christmas Eve, we spent the afternoon and evening at my folks' house. My brother, Rib, and his family were there, so the company was great. Add in some good food... it's hard to go wrong! 

It's a family tradition to do a live reenactment of the nativity on Christmas Eve so that we'll keep in mind what the season is truly about. In the old days, we used to scramble around the house finding whatever we thought would work to create the costumes. These days, my mom has taken the time to make costumes-- it's a little less creative, but a lot easier to tell who and what people are supposed to be. 

Here is Bud as a Wise Man in two different headpieces-- one big, one small (thus the tilting of the head in the first picture to keep it from falling over his eyes):

Here is Big, wearing the same large Wise Man head piece, about to take it off:

Angel Ginger, bringing good tidings:

Pen, as Mary, with cousin George playing the part of Baby Jesus:

My brother, Rib, as a Wise Man, with his son, The Genealogist, playing the part of Joseph:

George with Aunt Jazz Hands, another Wise Man:

Captain Tornado made one happy (and cute!) shepherd:

We had a great evening with family sharing the joy and love of the season! I hope you have all had as much fun as we have!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Today, Rophone and I are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary! Wow! It doesn't feel like it's been that long! On the other hand, I don't feel like we've ever been without each other. So, for our anniversary I give a little tribute to Rophone:

Romantic (not the candlelight dinner type, but in his own way)
Excellent husband

I had a terrible time thinking of good descriptive words to go with his blog name-- but could think of a ton to go with his real name! This darn swiss cheese brain of mine! Well, what it all boils down to is this:

I could not have found a better partner for myself. Rophone loves and accepts me for who I am. He makes life more fun! He makes me realize that I am special and that I have a lot to offer. He is a fantastic father and is a hard worker. What woman could ask for more than that? 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Daily Grind

This is a conversation that Big and I have that is repeated almost daily. It makes me laugh every time.

Me: "Hey, Big, do you want a snack?"

Big: "Yup."

Me: "What does Big want?"

Big: "Cake."

Me: "No, I'm sorry, you can't have cake."

Big: "Why?"

Me: "Because cake is a dessert, not a snack."

Big: "Why?"

Me: "Well, because cake is full of sugar. Your snack should be healthy."

Big: "Why?"

Me: "Because eating too much sugar is not good for you"

Big: "Why?"

So, you get the idea. It really could go on forever, but I usually find a way to change the subject. Although, sometimes he doesn't want to let it drop and keeps insisting that he should have cake (and keeps asking why, of course). Just giving you a taste of the Laundry Queen's daily grind (lest you think that my job is a piece of cake!). 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Out of the Box

A while back, I mentioned in a post that Rophone and I used to color together when we were dating. I was always the one who colored in the realistic details and made sure the character's "skin" color was just right. I have never been one of those people who can color a horse purple and feel okay about it (it just isn't right!). 

Yesterday I colored a picture of Bert from Sesame Street (or, Dirt, as Big calls him). Ginger started it all with the boots, and then I just kept it going from there. I am quite proud of the finished product:

Do those look like the pants of a bottle cap collector? Is that the scarf of a muppet who eats oatmeal with raisins EVERY day? NO! I made him look carefree, not anal at all-- just as I am learning to be! (Yeah, (sniff) I know it's good.... thanks.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I Love

I was just thinking about how much I really do love my family-- even though, at times, that love can be clouded by the petty annoyances that occur during day to day living. I also have been realizing that I need to do a better job of getting to know each person in my family as individuals, not just as part of the whole. I am hoping that doing this post will help me to focus on the things I love about the people in my family, not spend so much time pointing out and criticizing the things I don't.

What I love:

Rophone works hard at his job. He has been given a gift/talent and has worked hard to be not just good, but great, at his craft. I love that he loves me and our children and is always working toward being a better husband and father. When Rophone looks at me, I feel beautiful (and maybe even like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model in her later, more out of shape years)! 

Pen is a great writer, bike rider and tree climber. She puts a lot of effort into improving as a ballerina. I love that she has such a grand imagination that she shares with us all. I really love the fact that Pen is beginning to realize what power she has as an older sister, and is trying more often to use that power for good.

Ginger is friendly and kind. She is great at accepting others for who they are and for what they have to offer. She spends a lot of time with her little brothers, establishing lasting relationships with them. I love that Ginger loves to talk, and talk, and talk about her day, always with a sparkle in her eyes. When Ginger is happy, everyone around her is happy!

Bud is sensitive, and is always looking out for the welfare of others. He wants to be sure that everyone is happy and safe. When someone is hurt or sad, he feels great empathy for them and tries to make them feel better. I love to hear Bud singing a song with his clear, pure voice. It always makes me smile inside. 

Big is a great hugger and kisser! I love that he says, "Mama, Mama, love yoo!" and that he calls his snow pants "snowman pants". Big is happiest when we are all together as a family, and I love that. 

I truly love my family, both as individuals and as a unit. I hope that I am able to emphasize the things that I love about each of the members of my family, making them feel loved and appreciated for who they are. I want to learn more about each of them and grow closer to them and not let life (or nothing!) get in the way. Wish me luck! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Close, but No Cigar

*WARNING* The following post contains pictures and content of the potty variety! There is nothing graphic, but if this type of post will offend your delicate senses, PLEASE do not read! Wait until the next post to get your Laundry Queen fix! ; )

Tonight at dinner, Big told me he needed to go poop in the potty. I was a little surprised, since he's only sat on the potty a couple of times to try it out, but what the hay? So, I put him on the potty to see what would happen. We spent about 10 minutes trying out different methods, hoping for success.

Meditating with our eyes closed:

Attempting to relax it out:

Extreme concentration:

Even a little "eee-yaw" grunting:

And....yeah, I'm not sure WHAT he's doing here:

Despite all our efforts, Big got off the potty about 10 minutes later without experiencing success. Oh, well. About 5 minutes after getting off the potty, however, he presented me with a present in his diaper-- SO close, but no cigar. At least he seems to be grasping the idea of the whole thing, now we just need to work on the timing. 


It seems I've been tagged again, Christmas style! Since I'm tired from shoveling the driveway (and have to go out and do it again, since it snowed again) and riding the stationary bike, I won't even try to escape. Plus, these taggy things give my tired brain a break from having to think things up on my own. Here goes:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper! Gift bags are only for emergencies-- like when you're buying the gift on the way to the party because you forgot all about it.

2. Real tree or artificial? REAL, REAL, REAL!!! I will admit to having used a small artificial tree once out of necessity, but touching an artificial tree really gives me the heebies. Plus, I make homemade gingerbread to put on the tree and the fresh cut tree/gingerbread smell combination is heavenly! Not quite the same with a fake tree, obviously!

3. When do you put up the tree? Mid-December.

4. When do you take the tree down? New Year's Day, or the next (depends on how lazy we are).

5. Do you like eggnog? Oh, yeah! I have to "water" it down a bit with milk, though.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? A desk when I was 10 (I think) and there were things in all the drawers. I was especially excited about the 22 caliber shells for target shooting!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My husband, Rophone. All the stuff he really wants is way out of our budget, and I can't seem to pick much that he likes even after 14 years of marriage! (Shopping just isn't my gift!)

8. Easiest person/people to buy for? My kids!

9. Do you have a nativity set? Nope.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I believe in the paper version, although since my Palm fried and lost all of my addresses (no, I wasn't smart enough to have them backed up!), I am struggling to find the motivation to send them this year. ALL of those addresses need to be re-gathered.... ugh.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can't really recall any bad ones. I was always SO well-behaved! ; )

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? The original, claymation, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"! 

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually the beginning of December-- let's give Thanksgiving some attention!

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? The traditional turkey dinner, followed by left-overs of course!

16. Lights on the tree? Is this a rhetorical question? WHAT?! Of course!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home! Once, Rophone and I traveled (by plane) from Phoenix to Portland for Christmas. With all the delays, it took us 15 hours to get there! And, they lost our luggage both ways! Needless to say, we have made the decision to stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Of course, but if I list them then the people I tag will be able to cheat!

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? As a kid, we always opened one on Christmas Eve, but Rophone and I don't do that... there are never so many gifts that we feel we want to "waste" one. Plus, the anticipation is most of the fun!

21. Most annoying thing about this time of year?  The Holiday traffic! If people were courteous, it wouldn't be so bad. It just seems like everyone thinks that where they're going and what they're doing is more important than what anyone else is doing. See, annoying!

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't really have a favorite. I buy ornaments on vacation sometimes, and I love the ones the kids make. (Of course there's the white felt circle with my 7th grade school picture on it that the kids always insist on placing front and center). I love the smell of the gingerbread men I make.. it just isn't the same without that smell.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? For everyone to be healthy and happy and just to enjoy being together.  

My good friend, Lima, who tagged me, had #14 missing from her list-- I seem to be missing #15! (Yeah, I'll wait while you scroll up and look) I was going to tag #15 but he was too fast (and I felt bad that he is the # most often forgotten by children when they count to 20), so I'll tag YOU instead: jwise, Tamsen and janeannechovy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to go to Hell because of the lies I tell my children. Those of you who have been following my blog may remember the Toe Curse lie I told Pen. Well, I've told her another one. I just couldn't resist. 

Yesterday, I told Pen that the seemingly uncontrollable eye rolling she is doing is a disease that I read about online. I informed her that the only cure is eliminating all sugar from her diet. (She tried telling me it was something she's doing on purpose, but I told her I was certain it was the disease because I would never raise a child to be so rude as to roll their eyes on purpose! Most certainly not!)

So, I let Pen know that for now we'll just keep our eyes on the disease, but if it gets any worse (or doesn't get any better) we'll for sure have to take steps to try and cure her of her awful affliction! Those of you who know Pen can just imagine her response at the thought of the treatment a cure would require! Oh, I was laughing inside! Yes, I'm quite possibly going to Hell.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Left to Their Own Devices

I decided to brave getting in the shower this morning, thus leaving the 2 boys to their own devices. It's something I do on a regular basis, but this morning the boys were both on the ornery side so it made it a bit more of a risky proposition. But, I did it anyway. (I mean, I gave Bud strict instructions to watch his brother! He's 3 1/2-- it's high time he learned some responsibility!)

This is what I heard through the bathroom door as I turned off the water:

Bud: "Mom, Big hurt his head!"

Me: "He did?" (Big wasn't crying, just whining a bit-- so I wasn't too concerned) "How did he hurt it?"

Bud: "He hit his head on the kitchen tile!"

Me: (drying off) "Is he going to be okay?"

Bud: "No!"

Me: (still drying off) "He isn't? Why not, is it bleeding?"

Bud: "Yes!"

Me: (drying off a little faster) "Really?!"

Bud: "Yes, here on the side."

Me: "Okay, I'll be right out!"

Bud: (says to Big) "Don't worry Big, the blood will dry, it will dry. Does it hurt when I move it?"  (I wish I could have seen how he was moving Big's head around to test it out)

So, I open the door and see...... absolutely nothing. Wait, now I see a little bump on his forehead and, if I squint, I can see an old, mostly healed, little (and I mean teeny) scratch on the side of Big's head. It has a bit of a scab on it, so that must be the blood Bud was referring to. Reassured, I again shut the door to get dressed, etc. 

Through the door, I hear Bud say to Big:

"I'm really sorry this happened to you, Big. REALLY sorry."

How sweet.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Best Of?

I got this idea from my friend, Lima. Now that the year is coming to a close, I thought I'd revisit some of the posts that I wrote this year. Considering that I've only been blogging since April, and I have 200 posts to search through.... well, I can't promise that these are the best, funniest or most thought provoking. If you think of one that I've missed, please feel free to mention it. (Not that I think you're such a HUGE fan of my blog that you'd even remember the posts well enough to have a favorite!)

Anyway, here goes:

I know it's quite the list. Pick and choose if you'd like, or just skip reading them all together. Even though this is just a smattering of what I have posted thus far this year, I feel the entries I've chosen do a pretty good job of illustrating the daily life I lead. 

I skipped over the more deep, thoughtful posts, thinking that once is probably enough for those-- and there were tons of "photo" posts that I would have loved to include, but that's just because I love to look at my kids. Really, I'm just hoping this will keep you occupied for long enough for my brain to come up with something else to write about. Happy reading! ; )

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Looks Like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas-- both indoors and out! The weather is finally coinciding with the season. I think the mosquitos may finally be gone! I spent some time with the kids out in the snow this afternoon (and took pictures, of course!). 

Here is a shot of a Christmas decoration to start with:

Tons of outside shots-- here we go:

Playing in the snow is exhausting!

Some mean sister threw snow on Big. He wasn't happy about the snow that made it down his neck:

We had a lot of fun outside. I had snow boots and pants for the first time, so was finally well equipped to be out with the kids (yeah, I know we've lived in snow country for 7 years). We're excited for what this new season has to bring, and are excited to see what the future has in store for us, too! Most importantly, we hope we can always have fun and love one another no matter what!