Sunday, November 30, 2008

Friday in the Park

While we were in Arizona for Thanksgiving, we stayed with Rophone's sister, Teeny, and her husband Lick. The kids had a lot of fun playing with Uncle Lick and their cousin, Charlie. The day after Thanksgiving we took the kids to the park and had even more fun.

Here's a picture of Charlie (the reason for his name will become clear later):

Every time he went down, Big yelled, "Slide!":

Another picture of Charlie:

Ginger, triumphant conqueror of the monkey bars:

See? Calling him Charlie seemed so much nicer than Hitler, don't you think?

Thanks again to Teeny and Lick for their hospitality! We had a great time!

Our Thanksgiving

We just got back from spending Thanksgiving with Rophone's family. Thanks to all-- we had a lot of fun! Here are photos of some of the kids that were there-- I wasn't able to get good shots of all of them, since there seemed to be just shy of a trillion! (And no photos of the adults-- they didn't seem too thrilled that I was snapping their picture)

So, here we go:

We had a great Thanksgiving! I hope that all of you did, too! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Headin' Out

We're headin' to Arizona in the morning for Thanksgiving. Rophone had to teach his class tonight, so that left me seriously outnumbered as I set about trying to clean, pack and bathe kids. The kids seem to sense the power advantage has shifted the minute he walks out the door, so things went south fairly quickly.

The girls both had playdates over here this afternoon (what was I thinking?!) so, of course, snacks were refused by all as there was too much fun to be had. That meant that as dinner time approached the melt downs began to occur. Not a stellar 30 minutes, if I do say so myself!

During dinner, the 3 older kids seemed to perk up a bit, although Big just threw all his food at the window (which reminds me, I'd better go wipe it down!). I think he liked the way the cheese stuck for just a moment before falling to the floor. Lovely.

Luckily, Rophone bathed the boys before he left and I was able to threaten the girls successfully enough to get them taken care of, too. (yes, I said threaten-- sometimes it's the only tool that works!) Quite frankly, I was having one of those evenings where I was just lucky to be keeping my cool (generally) and to be keeping the kids under control (barely).

Not much trip preparation was being done, that's for sure. Until a glorious thing occurred. They began to play together-- NICELY! Wow! Hide and Seek is now my favorite game in the entire world! The best part was that they let Big take turns being "it" (and hid extra fast since he can only count to 10).

I only got a few hours of sleep last night-- was up with Big 6 times or so, with Bud 3. (I've really got to figure out a way to keep them warm! Their rooms are like ice!) So, if this post is a little boring/haphazard/can't think of another word because I'm too tired.... that would be why. I am determined to get a little more sleep tonight, so I'd better get back at it. 

I'm sure I'll have stuff to post about when we get back and lots of pictures to share. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mork Can Count!

I am not trying to brag with this post, but since this blog is meant to be a journal of sorts for me (and I have a terrible memory these days) I figured I'd better make note. It seems that Big can count to 13! 

I often count with him while I change his diaper as a distraction technique... and I guess it stuck! I held his finger this morning and helped him count 3 bees in a book and he just kept going all the way to 10. I was rather dumbstruck.

Then, later, while changing Big's diaper we counted to 10 together a few times (he seems to skip 8 for some reason), and when we were done he said, "Next... leven, felve, dirteen..."! Wow! (We counted a little further together, too, just because I love to hear how he mis-pronounces the numbers.)

I think I'll definitely keep up the counting! It seems to work to keep him occupied during diaper changes, which is always helpful since he's started doing the "Mork". Do any of you remember the "Mork and MIndy" episode where Mork gets frozen or something, so when he goes to sit on the couch his body doesn't bend and he's held up stiffly only by the backs of his legs and shoulders where they touch the couch?

Anyway, Big has started doing that during diaper changes, so the only way to get the diaper underneath him is to roll him sideways and then back. Makes things a bit tricky! He thinks he's pretty funny, you can tell. Counting makes him forget to do it. Yay for counting!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pen's On!

Well, after repeated requests and not just a little begging, Pen convinced me to let her start a blog. She loves to write, so I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. She's super excited about it and maybe it will help her hone her writing skills. She will be using the same nicknames for everyone, so it shouldn't be too hard to follow. You can check it out here if you'd like.

On a side note: I was getting a little frustrated when driving yesterday and at one point I said, "You're crazy, Lady!" Well, I guess I need to remember that Big is at that stage where he repeats everything I say. So, if he calls you "Crazy Lady", don't hold it against him. That would be my fault. (Any swear words, however, he surely picked up somewhere else!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spotlight or Mood Lighting?

The women's restroom at our church building has 4 stalls. The two middle stalls have bright lights directly overhead, while the two outside stalls make do with whatever light filters their way. 

For some reason, I always use the outside stalls.... until a few weeks ago that is. On this particular Sunday, I opted to use one of the inside stalls. As I went about my business, I started to feel a little uncomfortable, as though I were under a spotlight and someone was waiting for me to perform. I swear it felt like performance anxiety was about to set in!

Needless to say, I have since gone back to using the outside stalls. Apparently, I am one who prefers mood lighting to being in the spotlight. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun Fall

I took the boys out for a walk yesterday morning, like I almost always do, and tried to take some pictures, but it was really too bright. I managed to take a few in the shade, but decided to head back out later in the afternoon with all of the kids. Once the girls finished their homework and the light had softened a bit we went out to have some fun.

Here are a few shots from the morning. Bud, an unwilling subject:

Big, making his getaway:

Big has slimmed down quite a bit, but still has some great cheeks. Here is a shot of those cheeks in all their glorious, jiggling glory:

I am so sad this picture is blurry! I was backpedaling as fast as I could as he approached, but it's still blurry (his sweatshirt seems to be in focus, I guess I'm not too steady when backpedaling)! He has the cutest look on his face, too!

Here are some shots from the afternoon-- Big refused a snack, so I think his blood sugar was low. Anyway, he was definitely low on energy:

Ginger, being her normal, happy self:

Pen, doing two of her favorite things at once-- climbing trees and reading:

Big, just kickin' it:

Pen, laughing graciously at the only joke I know:

Ginger, after successfully rolling down the neighbors front lawn:

Bud, still not a super willing subject:

It was really pleasant and peaceful last night, made even better when Rophone made his appearance a while later. I'm glad we can enjoy being together (for the most part), and hope we can find a way to get it to continue even during the teenage years. Not an impossible task, I hope! 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Booger Farmers

I have a couple of children who have decided that blowing their nose is NOT something they want to do (even though they are old enough that they, most certainly, should have figured out how nice it can be to occasionally clear the pipes). 

Instead, they sniff, snort and snuff the snot back up over and over and over.... With the colds that we all have right now, my house sounds rather like I have some kind of nasal chorus living in residence. It's enough to drive one a little batty.

A person is unable to sniff it all up indefinitely of course, so said children who refuse to blow end up with a sort of dried booger "dam" at the bottom of each nostril for all to enjoy (fabulous to look at during meals, I tell you!). 

I have begun referring to these children of mine as booger farmers (you can tell I truly love them, if I'm willing to claim ownership of them in this state!). Maybe it means I'm a bad mom, because they surely don't like it, but that is what they are-- only willing to "harvest" that which grows at the end of their nose by wiping with a tissue (and then, seemingly, only once a season after great urging!).  

Until they see the light and change their ways.... booger farmers they shall be!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Peanut Butter Smile

I was reminded today of one of the reasons I love having young kids. They help me be aware of the little things. The things that I often fail to even notice. Without my children to help me stop (or at least pause!) to look at the fun and exciting things around me, my life would be such a BORE! I would miss out on sooo much!

Anyway, Bud pointed out to me this morning, after I finished making lunches for the girls, that our peanut butter has a smiley face (I think it kind of looks like a Gremlin from that great '80s movie). I never would have noticed! Not in a million years (maybe partially because I'm not the right height). 

Bud wouldn't let me take his picture today, but here he is making Big smile:

Even with a boogy nose and food on his face, Big still makes my heart melt!

My kids can make me feel frustrated, sad, ignored, and even angry. But, they also bring me more happiness and joy than I ever imagined! They make my life exciting and help me have fun. Thanks kids!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Purple Inside

I was letting Big color while seated in his high chair when I realized I needed to use the restroom. I looked at Big, and he was doing such a good job that I decided he would be fine. I got back just in time to find him swallowing the last of a rather large bite of purple crayon! (thank goodness they're non-toxic!)

He's not my first child to take a bite, but it got me thinking about the differences in my kids. It's not that I haven't told Big before..."Crayons are not for eating, Big" or "Crayons do not go in your mouth, Big".  But, he seems to be one of those kids who has to find out for himself whether crayons are for eating or not (for the record, when I asked him how the crayon tasted, he said, "good". When I said "Really?!", he said, "No... yucky").

I have a couple of kids who took my word for it not to eat the crayons, play doh, glue, etc. And I have a couple who have to try it out before they figure it out. I should make note of this before the teenage years come along.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still Big

Big had his 18 month appointment today. I am happy to announce that Big is still Big! He only weighed in at 28 pounds  (in the 80th percentile!), but his head size was 50 cm (95%) and his length was 34 3/4 inches (off the chart!). 

So, he is definitely thinning out (he only gained 3 oz. in the past 3 months), but is still a very Big boy overall. The good news is that he's happy and healthy. We were at the doctor's office for a very long time, which began to wear on Big-- especially since he knows what comes at the end.

Big kept announcing, "I'm done! I need suckit" and "Done, done! Want sucking!" He seems unable to say sucker with the -er ending, but that's okay because it's so much cuter this way. He finally got his "suckit" after an hour and a half! I should have given him two.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

About Pen

This is something that Pen wrote about herself for a get-to-know-you kind of assignment during the first week of school. I think it's great.

This is me. On the outside, I'm just your average girl. Inside, there are ideas for anti-gravity shoes, and soaring flights of fancy that take you to a magical land in fluffy, white clouds.

By Pen

Not Enough Brain Power

A mother has incredible brain power... when it comes to their kids. Our ability to remember where we last saw the other shoe, use the eyes in the back of our heads and to know that the faint noise we hear coming from the other room spells trouble is uncanny.

In other areas of my life, however, my brain has huge gaping holes that ooze information at a rapid rate. Rophone gets driven nuts by me asking, "Did I already ask you that?", or by the fact that yes, I have asked him-- 5 times already!! Sometimes I even think I asked him something, but I really only thought of asking him, so it was, in my swiss cheese mind, already taken care of. 

Anyway, I have recently joined in on this facebook thing. Rophone wanted me to check it out to see if it would be a good networking tool for him to use for his mastering work. Now that I'm there, I question my ability to do both facebook and this blog. There's just not enough brain power in this head of mine!

Or, maybe, I'm just in a natural lull, so the fact that I can't come up with anything fantastic or funny for my blog will pass. Hopefully it's not that seeing what all of these creative and smart people are up to is making me wonder if what I have to contribute is as great.

It's probably just because I have a cold. Right?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New 'Do Needed (apparently)

Apparently, Big is in need of a new hairdo. My sister, Martha, has informed me that Big has a tall head, and his current hairstyle only serves to accentuate that fact, so she said he needs a different cut.

So, here are a few styles up for consideration-- let me know what you think.

"The 90210":

"The Businessman":

"The Horseshoe-head":

"The Bozo":

Or, I guess we could just go with "The Caveman" (as modeled by Martha's son, The Wizard):

Clearly, "The Caveman" is a sophisticated 'do. I'm not sure that Big could pull it off with as much aplomb as The Wizard does here. But, since my sister has such good taste in cuts for kids, I'd better follow her advice. Send in your votes!

The Canker Queen

If you have trouble referring to me as The Laundry Queen (either because you know how miserably I do my laundry-- often not even trying to get stains out, or because you feel you should be the true holder of the title of Laundry Queen or King), I have a new name by which you can call me if you so desire. You can start calling me The Canker Queen. Of this, I know I am queen!

I developed a few canker sores in my mouth after the last cold I experienced. Not an uncommon experience for me, until they started to spread. I now have them down my throat too! Not super comfortable, I'm here to tell you. 

Apparently, according to my doctor, the fact that I ate some Halloween candy allowed them to spread. Nice! I didn't even eat very much candy, but since I normally don't really eat sweets at all... well, welcome to Canker City!

I am supposed to perform 4 songs in a week and a half, but having these cankers is putting a bit of a crimp in my practice plans. I hope they go away in time!

Compliments, 3 Year Old Style

I shared a handicap bathroom stall with Bud yesterday while we were out and about. After his turn was done, and I prepared to take my turn, Bud exclaimed in amazement, "Wow, Mom, your bum is really big!" Um, yeah. Thanks?

On a side note, I learned yesterday that, as a kid, Rophone (who is named after his dad) thought that his last name was Junior. How cute is that? 

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am more than just a little excited to announce that my recycling can was dropped off today! Yes, curbside recycling has finally come to our little burb! It was initially slated to begin in January, but I am happy to learn that it will actually be starting next month!

Also, the program is more comprehensive than I thought it would be. It's nothing like Portland, mind you, but at least I can recycle all plastics 1-7! I imagined that it might be only 1 and 2 and maybe 7 or something if we were lucky! 

Anyway, I am excited to be able to begin recycling once again (the private company that provided the drop-off bins to the city pulled them once they learned of the city's plans). I have quite a stockpile in my garage that I can't wait to begin unloading (although the recycling cans are skinnier than the trash cans, and they only pick up bi-weekly, so I may fill it up with new recycling and not even make a dent in the old)! 

One less thing to feel guilty about! Hooray!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Morning, In Pictures

This morning was a bit bi-polar. We went from this...

and even this...

to THIS...

and back to this:

Over and over again! Talk about exhausting! By 9:30 in the morning I was ready for the day to be over-- it most certainly felt like it should have been!

In between tantrums, Big found time to entertain me a little. Here he is showing me his tongue:

Playing with is double chin:

Here, Big is slapping his mouth while yelling to make a "cowboy" noise (let me explain-- in my family growing up, you yelled a high pitched "oooh", while slapping your mouth quickly, to make the "indian" noise, and the "cowboy" noise was made by yelling a lower pitched "aahhh" and slapping at a slightly slower pace. Who knows how we came up with it, but that's how it's done):

I am happy to report that Big is now napping, and Bud is watching Sesame Street, so I'm getting a bit of a breather. Hopefully it will be enough to rejuvenate and recharge me for the afternoon. A walk when Big wakes up will surely make everything all better, right?!