Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

The big day has arrived! The toothbrushes of children everywhere are crying. Speaking of sugary Halloween goodness, here is my one food-related nod to the holiday. Pumpkin cupcakes made with my new Nordicware mini bundt muffin pan! We (yes - "we", I actually let my oldest the name of memory making.....good parenting.....bonding....letting go of some creative control, etc.) had fun making them and delivering them to LB's school yesterday. Believe it or not, I didn't get it together in time to carve pumpkins with the boys this year. I know....someone call CPS. It's all good though, because as is often the case - Grandma saved the day. With her help, the boys carved some really cute pumpkins which are decorating the yard as I....type. Check out the awesome skull pumpkin my Mom carved!

And last but not least, here are some pictures of my own personal JACK-o-lantern. Cute, right?

We'll be taking three little pirates out to trick or treat tonight. Big Al and I encourage (read: force) them to paint the town because....well.....we really like those little Snickers bars.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A direct quote from my 5 year old son

From the backseat, on the way home from Kindergarten.....

"So, Angelina is totally my girlfriend. She has really long hair, and she's a nice girl, and I always sit next to her at group time. "

God help me.

Monday, October 29, 2007

This little Monkey went to the Doctor

Well, it's confirmed. According to the doctor, he's the most gorgeous baby on the planet. Okay, maybe not according to the doctor.....just to me.
Anyway, at 9 weeks old, he weights 13 lbs. and is 25 inches long. 75% for weight, and 90% for height. Hmmm....only in this family do we worry when one of our babies is *only* in the 75th percentile for weight! My boys are always OFF the charts! What's going on!! Anyway, he's doing great. My little sunshine. Or little monkey. Costume #1 of 3. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"When raising young children, the days are long but the years are short"

I'm really sleep deprived. And so, I'm not as pleasant or patient as I should be with my big boys. They have been pretty difficult lately....the usual stuff.....not listening.....running amok.....being boys with a capital "B". Active, rambunctious, impulsive, boys. Crazy, wrestling, knocking-things-over, boys. "Let's see what happens if we step on a half empty juice box on the kitchen floor" boys. You know the kind. The boyish kind. The kind that take pleasure in putting every pillow and cushion that they can find into a pile at the bottom of the stairs, so that they can climb 7 (!) steps up - and then jump. And jump. And jump. Over and over and over until someone gets a bloody something or other. This is what I get for daring to take a shower.

Have no fear....the baby is never left alone with these creatures....these creatures that he will one day mimic. Creatures who LOVE potty language and use it as often as possible. Creatures who pee in the yard when I'm not looking and then crack up about it as they run around in front of God and everyone with their pants around their ankles. You know the kind....the kind who stash chewed up bubble gum in their underwear drawers, collect things like rocks and old keys and then forget to take them out of their cargo pants pockets before throwing them into the washer. The kind who draw pictures of rainbows and rocket ships....the kind who hug and kiss their Mommy and tell her that they love her....even when she was a really crappy Mommy that day. The kind who "read" each other stories, kiss each other goodnight unprompted, and are an excellent example of what friendship and brotherhood is supposed to look like. The kind who will give up their swing at the park if they notice that someone is waiting....the kind who will forgive their brother for just about anything.

Yes, my baby will undoubtedly be a whole lot like these two creatures....his big funny little boys that live here with him. I guess I can live with that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Pictures! Lots of them!

My two oldest are the best of friends. I LOVE that for them.....but they get away with murder because they're so rascally and cute. I weep for the teenage years.

Boys, boys, boys. Handsome devils - all four of them. I've heard other Mom's of three talk about how hard it is to get a good picture of all three. I get it now!
Would you believe this was the best of 10? Check out the look on Jack's's like he senses that his crazy Mommy has no less than three Halloween costumes for him.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Grab a spoon..... that you can join me in EATING HIM UP!
I was going through some pictures the other day, and this little guy looks so much like BB when he was his age - it's CRAZY!

Fuzzy Smile Shot!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And the award for creepiest looking yet highly effective baby product goes to..........


Seriously, this thing is incredible. I've always hated bulb syringes. They don't work well enough to really provide any comfort, and there isn't anything more pathetic and sad than a baby/toddler who doesn't know how to blow their nose! Can you imagine not being able to blow your nose while dealing with a really bad cold? Torture!

Despite how the picture looks, there isn't anything yucky about it! Even I don't love my kids enough to suck their boogers into my mouth.

Anyway, I read about this product ( somewhere and decided to check it out. The baby hates the syringe and it doesn't work anyway. So...I bought one of these strange looking contraptions and oh my gosh - what a difference. It's amazing. Just this morning I sucked a good teaspoon of yuck out of Jack's nose. He doesn't mind it at all, and he doesn't get all pissy like he did with the bulb. As a matter of fact, he looked pleasantly relieved! I've been using this thing for about a week and it's awesome.

Anyway, happy booger sucking.

Monday, October 15, 2007

'SNOT' a whole lot to tell....

Get it?

I have a bad cold. So do all three of my boys. Even the baby, who has been to see "Dr. McDreamy" (um...our pediatrician) three times in the last two weeks because we're keeping an eye on a low grade fever and some fluid in his ear. Poor baby....only seven weeks old. Luckily, he's very good natured and he seems to be doing okay. He's gorgeous and wonderful and sweet and beautiful and perfect. Absolutely perfect. I mean, he spits up a lot....but other than that I wouldn' t change a thing.

Speaking of spitting-up, this kid has the wardrobe of a rock star, but sadly - it's usually covered up with a bib. Granted - I also have some adorable and stylish bibs (although not in this picture) but still - it isn't quite the same as the bib-free look. Regardless, I have to use them. If I didn't use bibs, I'd be changing his clothes 10 times a day instead of 2 or 3 times a day as I do now. Luckily for us, the spitting-up isn't a medical problem - it's a laundry problem. He's just about 12 pounds already, and is two inches longer - so we're doing okay with feeding. Did I mention that I'm completely in love with him? *sigh* So sad how they grow up and start treating you like the doormat and slave that you are. And when I say "you", I mean ME. And that brings me to this next little morsel:

We were all set to go to a birthday party on Saturday. A party that we were all looking forward to. It was for a little girl who went to preschool with BB for two years, and now goes to the same school for kindergarten. Her mom is really nice, the girl is a doll, and frankly - I had a lot of fun buying her present. I really love buying birthday presents for little girls!
Anyway, the boys were in rare form all morning. I mean *bad*. One thing after another - name calling, back talk, not listening, throwing things in the family room which has always been a NO but is a HUGE NO now that the baby is almost always in there either swinging, sleeping in his little bassinet or sitting in his bouncy seat. We warned and warned and warned them that if they didn't knock it off there would be hell to pay. LB had already been sent to his room three times and it was only 11AM. Then came the capper.......

BB and LB were eating a cheese stick. LB finished his and wanted another one. I told him that we were leaving soon, and that if he wanted something else to eat, it had to be some baby carrots or grapes. No more cheese. LB sneaks over and takes BB's last bite of cheese stick when he isn't looking and pops it into his mouth. BB loses his shit completely, and kicks LB hard in the shin, sending him to the floor. "Please God, don't let him choke on that cheese" I think to myself. Mental note: take a refresher course in CPR.
So......I go through the whole necessary song and dance.

To LB: "Why did you do that? It isn't okay to take things that aren't yours."

To BB: "He shouldn't have taken your cheese, but it's never okay to kick him like that. "

Crying, snot flying, screaming, all around.

BB then makes some particularly smart ass remark, and I tell him to get upstairs to his room for 5 minutes until he can calm down and apologize to me and his brother who now has a welt on his leg. He picks up the gnarled piece of cheese that LB spit out once he hit the ground, and THROWS IT AT ME.

Aaaaaaaaaand - game over.

Needless to say, we did NOT go to the party. OVER MY DEAD BODY were they getting rewarded with a birthday party. I felt a little bad for LB. This was less his fault than BB's - but oh well. The crappy thing is, after a couple of hours they couldn't have cared less. They have fun with each other. It's not like I can separate them or know...because we live in a tree house. Those of you who have been here (very few actual doors in this house) know exactly what I'm talking about!
Funny to have such a crappy day with BB, only to have his kindergarten teacher pull me aside on Monday to tell me what an absolute joy he is to have in class. So polite. So sweet. So helpful. Gets along with everyone.
Well good. At least he has inherited my ability to fake it in public.
The more I look at the picture of the big boys, the more I realize what a bad job I did with BB's hair today. Geez, so Rico Suave....what was I thinking? And check out the look on LB's face! Priceless. Such a charmer, that one. He has that nasty look on his face because I forced him to stand there for a picture. The nerve....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Turn that frown upside down

Poor little guy......
It's a good thing he doesn't have a date tonight, because he is SO broken out!
This baby is just moments away from giving me an actual smile. When he's alert and "interacting" with me (kicking, waving his arms, breathing excitedly) I can see his eyes smiling! The real thing is just around the corner.....I have to say that his pictures don't do him justice. He is just so beautiful.
Do you like the shirt? Yes. yes, yes. *I* bought it for him, and I realize that maybe it's sort of presumptuous. The thing is, I know for certain that he loves his Mommy. Know how I know? Because shortly after this photo was taken, he spit-up DIRECTLY into my mouth as I leaned in to kiss his zitty little cheek. And if that isn't love...well....I don't know what is.

A Good Day

Over the summer, I met a really cool Mom at swimming lessons. We seemed to click right away and chatted about our kids and also about highlights, lipstick, photography (we have the same camera!), and other girly things that we have yet to surrender since becoming Mommies. She has 3 boys who are all approximately the same ages as my boys with her youngest being 4 months old. We exchanged phone numbers and made plans to get together once my baby was born and things settled down.
Before we had a chance to get together - we ran into each other at one of our weekly soccer games. Her oldest plays too.

Anyway, this morning we met up at the park with my youngest two (BB at school) and all three of her boys - her oldest goes to kindergarten in the afternoon. We all had such a nice time! We chatted, drank coffee, and coo'd at each other's babies while the older kids played. The best part was that LB managed to behave himself as he often does when he's away from his big brother.

It was a pretty basic outing, but it was just what I needed - to get out of the house, be social, get out of my head, and just enjoy my kids. I held the baby while pushing LB on the swing, called out encouraging words while he made his way across the monkey bars yelling "Mommy! Watch me! Watch me!" all the way across. I really loved it. It made me realize that I don't do this enough. Somewhere along the line I put Big Al in charge of the fun stuff. He takes them to the park, I cook their food. He plays with them outside, I wash their clothes. He takes them to the coffee shop for hot chocolate, while I change the sheets on their beds. It's my own fault. I think that at some point I wanted a break from playing....and now maybe.....just maybe....I want back in.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Parenting: Not my best event.

Here's the thing. I'm exhausted. And just.....disgusted with their behavior. The older two that is. Well, who are we kidding - mostly the middle child. The oldest will still listen to me for the most part, and if nothing else he knows the fine art of "If I kiss up to Mommy and do what I'm told, she'll be nice to me and I'll be in the clear. I think I'm going to separate myself from my brother so that I have a snow cone's chance in hell of getting a cookie out of the bakery bin when we go to the grocery store later."

However....the older one.....formerly known as the "good one".....has taken to being a real smart ass when he doesn't get his way. And not in a clever, funny way that I would have full appreciation for.

STEP IT UP PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL - STEP IT UP. I'm paying you make my children nice. Do your job.

The baby is wonderful.....sweet......adorable......the sun and the moon and the stars. I'm going to enjoy these traits in him now....while he doesn't speak. Or call me names. Or tell me to shut up.

What has happened is, the older two have basically taken over the house. Yes - A hostile take-over. We tell them to do something....or not do something.....they don't do it.......or they do exactly what it is we have told them not to do. We tell them over and over and over and over. They don't listen. They are in their own little weird brother world. They have taken to speaking this weird language with each other. It's super creepy and kind of funny all at the same time.'s exhausting. We threaten.....they don't care. We've even stepped it up a bit and have dabbled in some Super nanny stuff. Our problem is...well, we suck. We aren't good at this. We're good at GOOD KIDS. Bad, mouthy, bratty, nasty kids? Not so much.

I suppose there's a bit of laziness here on our part. Sure there is. But I haven't gotten more than 4 hours of sleep a night for the last 5 weeks, so basically - I don't give a crap what they do as long as it isn't where I can see it! Marshmallows for breakfast? Is that what you can reach and put into a bowl yourself? Knock yourself out. I don't care. Bringing your battery operated remote control car into the bathtub? Sure. I don't care. He kicked you? I'm not looking - do what you have to do, just don't leave a mark.

The thing is.....I do care. Very much. But between the exhaustion, the mild case of "baby blues", the overwhelming amount of projects that need to be done around this ENTIRELY TOO SMALL AND THEREFORE INCREASINGLY CLUTTERED house, the lack of help from Big Al because of his work schedule - I just feel stuck. And also a little trapped.

Anyway.....the boys. They bicker and fight and kick each other....and also play loudly and roughly and throw soccer balls in the living room and have races with their cars off of my coffee table.....and I'm just so tired of yelling. Really. I am SO. SICK. of yelling at them. It makes me feel like we're all on the Jerry Springer show: "WHITE TRASH FAMILIES HAVE IT OUT - TODAAAAAAAY ON THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW!!!!"

Every time the boys start fighting, I give serious consideration to locking them outside and letting them duke it out like men because I just don't want to deal with it!

Another frustrating aspect to all of this is that when I do threaten, give a warning, and then ultimately carry out some sort of punishment for the middle kid - the oldest one goes through the roof. He wants to rescue his brother from their horrible, mean, monstrous mother. It just gives me one.more.thing to handle.

I'm sure that this sudden change in their behavior has at least a little to do with the new baby. The oldest is jealous of all the attention the baby is getting, and the middle probably feels more than a little displaced. Lucky for me (and for the baby) both boys seem to really love him. Especially the middle one - he really, really loves the baby and is super sweet to him. Good....I guess that means his soul hasn't been completely overtaken by the devil. So I've got that going for me.

Haven't scrapped in months....feel pretty sure that I'll never find time again. And that makes me more sad than I can even explain. And really, there have been opportunities to scrap....but my mind is so cluttered with crap, I won't dare try to be creative. My pages are only as good as my outlook on Not going to attempt it right now.

Holidays are coming. If I run really fast, maybe I can escape them. I wish.

Usually I love this time of year. I'm the first one to get all of my darling Halloween stuff out and decorate the house.....start lighting pumpkin and apple scented candles....but this year.......I just have no urge. I don't think I'm even going to put the stuff out this year. I just don't care enough to go through it....get it down....put it out.

Something is definitely wrong with me.

Meet Miles

No, no, no. This puppy doesn't live at our house! He lives at Grandma's house. Thank God. He is undeniably cute and also very, very sweet. The boys adore him and really, who wouldn't? My whole thing is.....I'm waiting for "them" to come out with dogs who don't eliminate. Once there is a dog on the market who is poop and pee-pee free, I'm SO in. Wrap one up, I'll take it.