Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Big's Adventures

This week has been quite a crazy one for Big thus far. On Sunday he was cruising around the fridge on his feet and managed to do a face plant on the tile.  The fall resulted in a chipped front tooth (and a lot of blood).  

Yesterday we all went to the dentist as a family in the afternoon. When we got home, Rophone put Big down to play and began to help me get dinner ready.  After a minute we heard Bud yell, "Hey!  Big is going down the stairs!" Rophone and I hollered and ran but only got there in time to see Big picking himself up at the bottom while he screamed.  Apparently someone had left the gate open and Rophone forgot to check.

Today at lunchtime Big was playing "cooking" with Bud. They like to pretend using spices from my cupboard, so I gave them a few to use and got busy doing dishes and making lunch. I wasn't paying a ton of attention since Big was safely seated in his highchair. Well, apparently the ground ginger has a flip top (Oops!  I never would have given it to him if I had noticed, I swear!) and Big managed to get it open and eat a mouthful.  For those of you who don't know, ginger is hot!  I wanted to take a picture of his face (you should have seen it!), but I was too busy trying to get him to drink some water to keep him from throwing up.

I am hoping the rest of Big's week is a lot less eventful. As you can see from the picture, he doesn't seem to be any worse for wear:

Tomorrow is Bud's 3rd birthday, so check back for details and pictures!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Deep Thoughts

It's funny how different Pen and Ginger are.  Ginger talked to me again yesterday about how excited she is to drive, while Pen constantly tells me how she wishes Neverland were a real place because she doesn't want to grow up.  (If Michael Jackson couldn't make it real no one can!) Unfortunately for Pen they are both getting older.

As the kids are getting older and are having more experiences outside the home, I begin to wonder how those experiences will shape their lives.  Pen had her first real catty girlfriend drama this year and I can see how it has changed her.  Ginger has always gotten a lot of attention from boys, even in preschool they would fight over who got to play with her, sit next to her, etc. I'll never forget when she announced to me one day after preschool that she had figured out how much the boys liked her and that they would do whatever she asked them to do. Frightening! (Really, does anybody speak girl?)

All of this thinking got me started on some introspection.  How had my experiences shaped me?  I have always been really shy.  As a kid this would often manifest itself with a kick to someone's shins and a quick retreat (I know one person in particular that used to wear shin guards to church).  I was always playing with boys, and was pretty comfortable around my friends, but when I hit middle school things changed. Girls didn't play with boys anymore so I was thrust into Girldom.  I was overwhelmed by the ways of girls and assumed that every girl was prettier, funnier, cooler than me.  I clammed up.  I couldn't do girl-speak.  I was sure that people would make fun of me if I tried to talk to them.

Near the end of 8th grade, I overheard two girls talking about me.  They were saying what a snob I was and that I thought I was so much cooler than everyone else.  I was shocked that I had been so misunderstood!  I vowed then and there that starting in 9th grade I would be different, I would be outgoing and friendly. Anyway, so people who know me now think I'm kidding when I say that I am shy, but it's still true.  I have to think about it less, but every day I still have to make decisions about which route to take.  Do I wave at the neighbor, or pretend I don't see them?  Do I smile and chat with the checker at the store, or pretend to be occupied with my kids?  

How different would my life be if I hadn't overheard that conversation?  Would I have tried harder in high school if I hadn't been made fun of for my straight A's? How different would it be if I hadn't married Rophone-- if I had married someone who cared how skinny (or not) I was, or who hated it when I beat them at sports? Lucky for me I married someone who loves me no matter how I look and brags to his friends that I can beat him at sports.  Rophone is the right one for me. 

These are the types of things that I know will shape my kids and change their lives.  I can't wait to see who they turn out to be. 

Here's a real deep thought to lighten things up a bit (from Auntie Art's MySpace page):

"Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it's made up of two separate words "mank" and "ind". What do these words mean? It's a mystery and that's why so is mankind."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Sick of the Lion

It snowed off and on all morning, so I think a picture of Ginger from this winter is appropriate:

I'm not super eager for summer to come, but a normal spring would be nice. I'm tired of this lion stuff.  The lamb must be running on MST (Mormon Standard Time). I'm afraid we're going to go straight from snow to weather in the 90's. That wouldn't make me happy.

I awoke in the middle of the night Sunday to find myself suffering from the Gamboo, as my mom calls it. It is otherwise known as the stomach yucks. Anyway, I am feeling much better now, and I seem to be the only one so afflicted (knock on wood).  When I had gotten to the point when I was feeling somewhat better, but not up to normal activities, I decided to read a book that I recently purchased and was excited to read.  The first chapter opened with the main character hunched over the toilet suffering from a terrible case of food poisoning. Needless to say, the book went straight back on the shelf.  I think I'll try again in a few months when my own experiences aren't so fresh in my memory.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Here is a picture I took of Pen in the early evening light.  The sunset, and her pink sweater, lend everything a bit of a pink hue:

Rophone is thinking he might have to become a gun owner once the dating years come around.  

Friday, April 18, 2008

Do They Have a 12 Step Program for That?

Here are some cute pictures I snapped of Big this afternoon:

Too bad the kid's an addict.  Yeah, I said addict. Apparently I am raising a toilet-oholic.  He managed to get into the bathroom again today (Thanks, Rophone, for leaving the bathroom door open--talk about an invitation!).  I need a dedicated playroom for this kid! One where I can shut the door and he can do whatever he likes.  

Do you think the toilet seat tastes better than we think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Giant Teething Ring

After dinner tonight, I asked Ginger if she could keep an eye on Big for a few minutes while I cleaned the kitchen. Ginger, normally a great babysitter, started playing with Bud (also appreciated) and got distracted from her assigned task. Pen headed to the bathroom a few minutes later for a squirt of Purell (I know you must be aware of what comes next) and found Big sucking on the toilet seat.  

I know it seems like I am reporting this rather calmly, without even an exclamation point at the end of the big shocker, but those of you who know me know that I am a bit of a germophobe.  So, in my mind it's more like this: "SUCKING ON THE TOILET SEAT (GASP!)"  The cursed bathroom door won't shut all the way, so it was probably bound to happen sooner or later.  Of course he had to choose the day before I normally clean the bathrooms to try out the giant teething ring instead of the day after.  

I do derive some comfort, however, from the knowledge that my youngest sister, Auntie Art, used to drink out of the toilet and seems to have suffered no ill effects.  I don't blame her.  I mean, using the reasoning of a toddler....what else are those little cups covering the bolts at the base of the toilet for?  They're just perfect for dipping.

When Big tried to give me a kiss at bedtime I gave him my cheek.  Maybe I'm a bad mom, but when I saw his lips heading toward mine I just couldn't do it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Funny Bud

I went to the dermatologist this morning to have a few moles checked out.  For some reason, Bud mistakenly calls my moles "nipples".  As we were on our way to the appointment, Bud announced, "We are going to the Dentistologist to have your nipples checked!"  I think he just created a new specialty.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Swimming, Anyone?

We were in the living room tonight, just hanging out as a family, when somehow goggles came into the mix. You can probably guess what happened next.  The best part of it all was Big's constant belly laugh.  It made us laugh all that much harder.  I realize that these probably aren't the best photos of Rophone and me with which to make our blog debut, but it was just too fun!

You'll notice that Bud is wearing his helmet again.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"The Best Day of My Life!"

At least that's what Pen said at the end of the day today.  Rophone has been working a lot of weekends and usually has band practice on Saturday mornings, so for us to have a complete day to spend together as a family is definitely a novelty.  We decided to make the most of it. 

First thing this morning, Rophone took Pen and the boys to pick up the new bike we purchased for Pen yesterday.  The shop made some adjustments and added a bell.  Pen's first word (besides Mom, Dad and Hi) was "bike", so to say she was excited is an understatement.  I can't believe she's 9 1/2 and can ride a bike only one frame size smaller than mine.  I think I may end up being the shortest in the family again.

After picking up the bike, we headed out to have some creative fun.  My youngest sister (we'll call her Auntie Art) teaches high school art, so we went to her school to see what we could create.  While I threw a pot on the wheel Auntie Art and the kids had a blast working with clay and painting pictures.

Here is one of Pen's creations (a bird):

Ginger made a snowman with a long carrot nose.

Bud and his ladybug.

A great mask that Pen created.  I'll post a picture of the finished product in a few weeks.

After working with clay the kids got a chance to paint.

Ginger is having a good time.

Today was the first really good day for a bike ride.  Warm enough that the wind wasn't cutting, yet cool enough that you wouldn't get sweaty, and since Pen has her new bike we decided to take advantage.  So, after lunch, the 3 older kids rode around the block again, and again....and again.  Ginger is a little worried about learning to ride without training wheels, so we allowed her to ride her old bike one last time.

All of the kids loved the bike ride, especially Bud.  He must have gone around the block 10 times.  They rode for about an hour and a half .  Trying to get Bud inside took a little persuading, and then once we got him in he wanted to keep his helmet on.  He was so proud of himself....I think he just wanted to keep living the moment.  He ended up wearing the helmet through snack-time, to Costco (where we saw a Joey Buttafuoco look-alike), during dinner and to the grocery store.  He finally allowed me to remove it to get him ready for bed.  Bud wore the helmet for 5 1/2 hours!!!  Gives new meaning to hat head.

We are really beginning to realize how much we enjoy being together as a family.  Hopefully we'll have another free Saturday soon so we can have more fun.  I told Pen how sad I will be when she doesn't want to hang out with the family anymore.  She looked at me like I was talking crazy. How I wish I were.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fun with Surgery

As I sat nervously in the surgeon's waiting room and waited for my name to be called, I wondered how the procedure would go.  How involved would it be? Then my name was called, "Mama!".  I got up from my seat on the fireplace hearth and settled in on the couch and waited to hear what the surgeon had to say.  "It's your toes," he said, "they need to be fixed."

Bud has really loved playing "surgery" lately, especially since I told him how nice it is to have a surgeon in the family.  He takes it very seriously. Sometimes he lets Big be his assistant, in which case licking becomes part of the treatment.

Here is a picture of my toes post-surgery.  They felt much better when he was done, really!

Here is the proud surgeon after completing the procedure:

I have had surgery on a lot of body parts and have never felt so good (although I think that perhaps when he fixed my head so it wouldn't fall off that maybe he tightened it a bit too much).  I really like it when the procedure includes the application of lotion.

My favorite surgery to date, however, has been the breast replacement.  As I settled myself on the couch, Surgeon Bud looked me over and said, "You need new boobs!"  Having nursed four kids....well, let's just say that I agreed right away.  The best part was the extra boobs Bud gave me to take home in case I needed them.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Big Hair for Big

Perhaps I toweled Big's hair dry a tad too vigorously?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Unmatched Socks?

I just realized.....maybe the kids should be the unmatched socks?  Well, I 'll keep them as the mismatched socks.  I mean, none of them match.  Pen has brown hair and blue eyes, Ginger has red hair and blue eyes, Bud has brown and brown and Big has blonde and blue.  It's nice to have a variety.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Mismatched Socks

So, what about the mismatched socks?  I am referring to my kids as the mismatched socks because a) I started my blog with this laundry theme and I'm not sure how to get out of it and b) Since they are kids they have not yet found their match (if you want to put more thought into it and like the sappy stuff.  I'm not into the cutesy or sappy, so it's really because of a).   I will also refer to my husband, Rophone, in this blog, but he, of course, has his match and therefore is not pictured with the mismatched socks.

Rophone is the best husband for me.  He has always loved and accepted me for who I am and has in the process helped me to be better at being that way about myself.  He "gets" me and often understands what makes me tick better than I do.  Rophone is an audio engineer and luckily for me he's very good at it. He is currently working doing broadcast engineering, post-production, mastering, sound design and mixing (among other things).  Right now he is out gigging with his band as their drummer.

Pen (aka Fine!) is 9 1/2 and is in the 4th grade.  She is named Pen because she loves to write and hopes to be an author someday.  On occasion I may refer to her as Fine! (her favorite response at the moment-- so read the name with the appropriate exasperation and eye rolling), depending on how pre-teenish she's being.

Ginger is so named because of her fantastic hair and dramatic personality.  She is 7 and is in the 1st grade. She frightens me a bit with her talk of what she's going to do when she can drive and wear make-up, etc. Often you'll find her having pretend conversations on an old cell phone she's appropriated.  I was a huge tomboy, so I think I'll be needing help soon. Does anybody out there speak Girl?

Bud is a total Mama's boy.  He is often to be heard yelling at his sisters, trying to enforce some rule or regulation he's afraid they're going to break.  Rophone and I created the issue by making him the "shower enforcer" when he was one.  When the girls were taking too long in the shower we would send him in to yell, "Wash your body!", "Shampoo your hair!", etc. So I guess he's just expanded his job description.  Bud is almost 3 years old, but we often think of him as being older.  It's not our fault.  He used the word telescoping properly in a sentence last week, for pete's sake!

Big is a Daddy's boy.  He is almost always smiling and loves to wrestle.  He is named Big because he's rather...... well, big.  He is almost 11 months old.  

Anyway, those are the people you'll be reading about when you stop by.  Of course, you'll also be reading about me, The Laundry Queen.  All the thoughts, opinions, experiences and hopes that I wish to share. All the dryer lint from my mind, basically. 

By the way, if you happen to know me or my kids and wish to make a comment, please refer to us by our blog names for safety's sake.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Blog is Born

Okay, so I know I'm not THE Laundry Queen or even a laundry queen at all.  In fact, I'm not even that good at laundry.  Stains often defeat me, and to tell you the truth I usually don't even care.  With 4 kids it sometimes seems as if laundry is my life, and it kind of gets to me that the kids don't even notice the effort I put in (a belated sorry, Mom).  So tonight, as I put in the 3rd load of the day, I told the kids that I wanted them to start referring to me as the Laundry Queen.  Show me some laundry respect!