Friday, December 30, 2011

Advent: Week 4

Day 22: Keep on Driving!! It's a long way from the desert to the Midwest.
Day 23: Marshmallow Snowmen (L was more interested in eating than in building). Sorry L & N are sideways -- I can't get them to stand upright.

Day 24: Make Birdseed Ornaments -- the boys didn't really like MAKING these this year, but they loved putting them up on the tree outside!

Day 25: Make Wrapping Paper Collages. In the aftermath of family Christmas #2 and opening presents, we were reminded of the gifts that the 3 Wise Men brought to Jesus (the true reason we give presents at this time of year).

What a fun-filled Advent Season it has been! Now on to the 12 Days of Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent - Week 3

It's been another busy week around our house, getting ready for Christmas:
Day 15: Bake Christmas cookies (it was hard to be patient for them to come out!)

Day 16: We put on our party hats to wish a very Happy Birthday to Jesus
L-R: W, L, N enjoying birthday cupcakes

Day 17: Donate food to a local food bank
Day 18: Family Christmas #1 - open presents. The boys were SO excited when they read the card with Daddy!
Day 19: Learn about the wise men who followed a (toothpick) star to bring gifts to Jesus
Day 20: Make Christmas garland to celebrate and welcome Jesus

Day 21: Road Trip! Headed to the Midwest to see friends and family.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent - Week 2

It's been an amazing week. Here we go...
Day 8: Auntie Jo's Birthday...this is always part of our advent celebration, even when we can't be with her. We like cake. And birthdays. And Auntie Jo.
Day 9: Learn about the birth of Jesus and make manger pictures (they kept requesting more animals & people the surround the manger)
 Day 10: See Zoo Lights (L-R: N loved the monkeys in the trees, the whole fam, W was a little afraid of the dancing trees)

 Day 11: Watch White Christmas in Mommy and Daddy's bed

Day 12: Make shepherd scenes and learn how they worshiped Jesus and told everyone that "Jesus is born!"
 Day 13: Everybody say "gingerbread house!"
 Day 14: Choose some of our old toys to give away to charity (here they are going through their toys & giving me a "thumbs up" for helping kids in need)
 I have to say that they were super sweet with this activity. When we opened the door and read it, they both thought it was a great idea. W then announced that he "would like to give away his sleeping toy, Woody, to another boy or girl." This is a precious toy to him. When I reminded him that he wouldn't have Woody any more, he said, "I know. But I will still be happy."

In the end, we decided that maybe Woody should stay at our house. But we have boxes and boxes of other great things to give away.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent: Week 1

We have one of those fun advent calendars with doors to open. We don't put candy inside. We put activities to do together as a family. This is a quick photo summary of the first week.

Day 1: Decorate the house for Christmas. L-R The kids' tree; the "family" tree; our pesebre

Day 2: Hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows, and sprinkles followed by a sleeping bag camp out on the bedroom floor.

Day 3: Go to the theater to see The Muppets (best movie I've seen in ages)
Day 3: Paint special Christmas ornaments (I think they look amazing)
Day 5: Bust out Jazz -- our Elf on the Shelf

Day 6: Make Christmas cards for some special friends we miss
Day 7: Learn about the (paper plate) angel that told Mary the good news of Jesus' upcoming birth

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anyone Need a Nap?

I call this my "Sleeping Tiger" series of portraits:

Every afternoon for a week, N would wander out of the play room having dug this size 2T tiger costume out of the costume trunk. He would ask for a little assistance in getting it on, as it is 2 sizes too small. After wandering around for a while -- perhaps helping make PBJ, perhaps playing the accordion -- he would drop off into a deep sleep that would last for several hours. When I could, I captured some photographic evidence. I may be biased, but I think it's pretty cute.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bedtime Adventures

Some of you may remember my friend Blanket Boy and how he wreaked havoc on our bedtime routine. Well it seems that Blanket Boy invited a friend to sleep over a few nights ago. I don't know his name, as we haven't been formally introduced. However, I have seen his handiwork:

I'm pretty sure his name is Captain Destructor or Demolition Man or something along those lines. That's just judging by what he did to N's bed. Apparently, the good Cap'n was jumping a little bit too exuberantly when -- in the words of a 4-year-old witness -- "the bed went down, down, down."

 In case you can't tell -- that's one of the twins' beds, and the entire side of the frame is split in half.
Needless to say, they aren't sleeping on this bed at the moment.

Amazingly, and unlike Blanket Boy, no one was harmed by Capitan Destruccion. 

Both bed frames have been temporarily relocated to the loft, and the twins' mattresses have been placed on the floor. The boys don't seem to mind.

An unforeseen result of this incident has been this:
There he is. Shorty. Sleeping on a mattress on the floor just like his big brothers.

The night the Captain visited the bedroom, after the twins were safely on the floor and sleeping soundly, the Little Man was still wide awake and shouting in his crib. When I went in to investigate, I found him grunting and shrieking as he attempted to pull his mattress out of the crib all by himself. While standing on it.

"This. Out. On floor. Off. OFF!" he insisted.

I decided to give it a go. The crib is still in the room. Sometimes he sleeps in it. Occasionally because he asks to. Other times it is punishment for raucous behavior. And sometimes he sleeps on the floor with the other big boys.

But when I asked him if he could give up sleeping with the binky -- since he is such a big boy -- he said "no."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's the Little Things...

I have found that -- in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed -- I need to break down my daily tasks into smaller steps when I put them on my "To Do" list.

For example:
  • I do not write "dishes"
  • I write "empty dishwasher" and "load dishwasher"
This way, I am able to cross things off more often & feel a sense of accomplishment. See? If I just write "dishes" and get interrupted, I feel like I haven't gotten anything done.

I think today I'm going to break it down even further:
  • put away spoons
  • put away forks
  • put away knives
  • . . . 
I feel a productive day coming on!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"I'm having a party. . .and you're not invited!"

There is a lot of testosterone in this house.

And the males are starting to bond.

The only other female is the cat.

And she really doesn't like me very much.

I guess I should get used to being on my own more when whatever activity says "No Girls Allowed."

But, I have to admit, it was a little odd last Friday night when the hubby came home from work & announced that he was putting into action a plan he had been formulating in his mind for quite some time:

The First Ever -- Boys Only -- Family Room Camp Out

After dinner, all the extra sheets in the house were located, furniture was rearranged, sleeping bags opened up, and a pile of books and movies chosen. Then a fort was constructed that pretty much encompassed the entirety of the family room. I got four kisses "goodnight," and was banished from sight.

I am either a control freak or just very curious, depending upon whom you are asking, so I sat at my upstairs desk eavesdropping working on the computer, and I could clearly hear what was going on. It was pretty cute.

I also sneaked downstairs on several occasions to spy check up on them, without being seen.

W was the first one to crash. He still likes an afternoon nap if he can get one, and he hadn't had one that day. So he didn't even make it beyond the opening credits of the movie. 

The hubby was the second one out. tee hee.

N and L watched most of the movie before giving in. 

Here's what I found right before I turned off the TV for them:
I did a bit more sneaking in the morning, and headed out to grab us all some Dunkin Donuts to celebrate their survival.

When I came back, all 3 kiddos were awake, but Daddy was still zonked. They were all staring at him, as if they could wake him up with the force and not get blamed for it. As soon as they saw me, they asked if they could "please come out."

I thought about saying "no" just to see how long they could be contained.

Instead I fed them sugar.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Adventures of Blanket Boy

Let me tell you about how I met Blanket Boy.

A few nights ago, I was chatting on the phone with the hubby, who was (once again) out of town on business when I had to drop the phone and run as fast as I could to the boys' room. Why, you ask? (and I know you are dying to know).

I had to answer the call of Blanket Boy.

Or, in terms everyone can understand, one child was screaming at the top of his lungs, clearly injured. Apparently, "as fast as I can" isn't too fast. Both of my parents had managed to come up from downstairs and turn on the kids' light before I was able to make the short trek down the hall.

What we all found there was a ghastly sight. N's entire face & both his arms were covered in blood.

Upon closer inspection, it became evident that he had banged his chin and his nose, resulting in a scrape and a bloody nose. Nothing major. But very, very bloody.

Later that evening, while we were all still recovering from the trauma, he told me he had gotten his injury on the side of W's bed. I asked if they had been jumping. They both assured me that they had not. What, then, were they doing? They calmly and casually informed me that they had been playing Blanket Boy.

That was explanation enough for the moment. They were ready to sleep, and so was I .

The next day I asked them to tell Yaya (my mom) what they had been doing when N had gotten hurt. Once again, the explanation was that they had been playing Blanket Boy. Yaya asked what that meant.

"I will show you," they quipped in unison & disappeared momentarily to find a blanket.

N put the blanket over his head and said (in a voice reminiscent of Bullwinkle), "Look at me! I'm Blanket Boy!"

W proceeded to run at him and hit him full force on the chest with both hands.

N fell to the floor. Hard. And cracked up.

Then they traded roles. W did his best Bullwinkle and said, "Hello! I'm Blanket Boy!" while completely covered. N hit him full force and knocked him down in a giggling heap.

Despite encouragement that Blanket Boy is a bad idea, this morning Shorty was standing up in his crib, blanket draped over his head, shouting, "Blanket Boy! Blanket Boy!"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Car Talk

This conversation happened on the 5-minute drive home from lunch yesterday. I swear the twins didn't even pause for breath in between sentences. I wasn't paying attention and ran over a curb, which set this whole thing off.

Thing 2: Mommy what was that big bump?
Me: I hit the sidewalk, buddy.
Thing 1: Why?
Me: Because I wasn't paying attention & was being a bad driver.
Thing 2: Why didn't somebody beep his horn at you?
Me: Because I wasn't being dangerous.
Thing 1: You're supposed to beep your horn at bad drivers.
Me: Just when they are in your way or are being dangerous.
Thing 2: Mommy that light is red, you have to stop.
Me: Okay (said light was on the next block).
Thing 1: Mommy! You have to stop at a red light!
Shorty: Look. Light.
Thing 2: Mommy, are you being a bad driver again?
Me: If it's still red when I get there, I'll stop.
Thing 1: Mommy, look. A big crane.
Thing 2: Will it lift that big box?
Thing1: Why is it not moving?
Thing 2: Is this a job site?
Thing 1: Boss says, "Lift that stone!" (quoting a library book we have at home now)
Thing 2: I don't see any stones.
Thing 1: Mommy, what's a stone?
Shorty: Look. Stone.
Me: A stone is like a big rock.
Thing 2: I don't see any rocks.
Thing 1: Boss says, "Scoop that rock!" (more quotes)
Shorty: Mommy! Mommy!
Me: Yes?
Shorty: Look. Rock.
Thing 2: Mommy, what are those?
Me: Those are pipes.
Thing 1: Mommy, what's a pipe?
Me: It makes a tunnel underground for water or things to go through.
Thing 2: We could play in pipes.
Me: You shouldn't. If the water came, you could get hurt.
Thing 1: What?
Thing 2: Would we melt?
Me: What?
Thing 1: The wicked witch melts with water.
Thing 2: Would we melt?
Me: No. You wouldn't melt, but you could get hurt.
Thing 1: Witches melt.
Thing 2: Who threw water on the witch?
Me: Dorothy.
Thing 1: Why?
Me: Because her friend the scarecrow was on fire and water puts fire out. But she hit the witch with water.
Thing 2: Is there fire in pipes?
Me: No.
Thing 1: The witch has mean monkeys.
Thing 2: Are there monkeys in pipes?
Thing 1: The monkeys take apart the scarecrow and make him in pieces.
Thing 2: Do the monkeys take apart Dorothy?
Me: No.
Thing 1: Can the monkeys in the pipes take apart us?
Me: No.
Thing 2: The other wicked witch turns into a dragon.
Me: In Sleeping Beauty. Yes.
Thing 1: I don't like that witch.
Me: That's why we have never watched that movie.
Thing 2:I don't like that dragon.
Me: That's why we have never watched that movie.
Thing 1: Somebody needs to throw water on that witch.
Thing 2: Do somebody throw water on that witch?
Me: No.
Thing 1: Somebody needs to melt her.
Thing 2: What do dragons say?
Me: *growl* and they breathe fire.
Thing 1: They breathe fire?
Thing 2: Like Uncle Rick.
Me: What?
Thing 1: Like Uncle Rick.
Me: Uncle Rick doesn't breathe fire.
Thing 2: Uncle Rick does this *growl*
Shorty: Uncle Rick.
Thing 1: I don't like witches.
Thing 2: I don't like dragons.
Me: But you do like uncle Rick.
Shorty: Mommy, look. Car.

My head hurts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


just a few random thoughts that have been on my mind...

  • i went into Hobby Lobby yesterday and was accosted by Christmas. in August. and it's 107 degrees outside. i'm not sure how this whole life-in-the-desert thing is going to work out.
  • i adore it when Shorty sings himself to sleep. tonight it's Old MacDonald.
  • i don't like it when the hubby is out of town on business. i know he's working, but in my head he is snorkeling. all day long. while i'm dealing with crabby kids and having half-eaten fish sticks for my dinner.
  • i cracked the wine tonight to have with my soggy fish.
  • perhaps the wine is contributing to the random nature of this post.
  • today i volunteered to be room mom for the twins' preschool class. i thought it would be a great way to be involved and meet people. then i realized that i don't know the first thing about being a room mom.
  • middle school teachers (which i was, once upon a time) technically have room moms, but it is about that time that room-mom enthusiasm completely ends. middle school room moms are more of a theory than a reality.
  • i don't think a theoretical preschool room mom is going to cut it.
  • monday a scorpion dropped from the vent in the bottom of the microwave onto the spoon rest on the oven, where it got stuck.
  • tuesday the microwave blew up. okay, it just shorted out.
  • is it possible for scorpions to use those pinchers to destroy a microwave's wiring?
  • i despise scorpions.
  • i will blame them for everything.
  • including global warming.
  • while it's kind of fun rambling like this, i think i need to stop. it's time to curl up with my vino, my book, my cat, and my tempurpedic sleep vortex mattress.
good night and good luck.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Anybody remember these sweet little babies?

Well...they just went to their first day of PRESCHOOL today!

Mr. W made a bee-line for the door of the school and didn't look back. Mr. N turned around and asked, "Are you leaving? Good." Shorty was not so happy that his big brothers were abandoning him for the day, but I think they were thrilled to get a little time without him.

They put on a good show of it, but about halfway in, they did apparently start asking for me. According to N, he was "a good boy until [he] started crying for Mommy." He also said he didn't like his teacher because she told him he needed to stop crying. Glad to know he missed me.

The combination of a 3-hour jet lag (which had them up before 6 a.m.) and a very big day tuckered them out and they were asleep on the playroom floor before I could even get some juice for them.

They aren't so big. ;-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

off we go...

Tomorrow morning we pack up all 3 munchkins & head to the airport for a flight to Boston, complete with one stop to change planes. While I am excited beyond words -- which is quite a feat for me, really, to be beyond words -- about our week-long vacation in Cape Cod with my cousin & her lovelies, I have to admit that I am a bit nervous about the flight with my 3 crazy boys.

They have all flown before. But never all 3 together. And never such a long flight. Both times it was to Ohio from Colorado.

The twins flew when they were about 18 months with both me & the hubby to keep them in line. More or less. I suppose it would depend on whom you asked whether they were "more" or "less" under control.

Shorty flew with me when he was just 2 months old. Easy peasy.

Now they are not quite two and nearly four. And active. And noisy. And bossy. And stubborn. And very, very excited about flying.

This time we are clearly going to be "those people."

You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones you look at while you are waiting to board and say a silent prayer that they are not on your flight.

Yeah. That's us.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm not sure I want to meet the new neighbors...

 I am positive that's what everyone on the block is thinking after this evening.

The evening started to degenerate when Shorty woke up crabby. This usually means he's still tired & should sleep another hour. There was no convincing him of this today, though. He had pooped. The nap was done.

A cranky Shorty makes for a high-maintenance evening. He wants his brothers' toys. Not that he wants what is officially "theirs" over "his"; he just wants whatever happens to be in their hands at any particular moment.

And he's not good at using words yet.

So, he screams.

If I tell him to use words, he screams "MOMMYYY!" Not sure that's better.

The twins were in rare form tonight, too. Maybe because Daddy is out of town on business (it's very convenient to blame him). Thing 2 had his Bossy Pants on and Thing 1 was going by the alias Whiney McWhinerson.

Needless to say, they did not take kindly to toys being taken from them. Screaming. Arguing. Whining. Even (dare I say it) hitting *gasp, not my children* ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

It all came to a head when, after dinner, a strawberry somehow migrated from the kitchen table to the playroom floor where at least 1 -- possibly 3 -- sets of feet decided to grind it into the carpet. We moved the party to the family room so I could clean...

And the screaming fits started. Three of them. All at the same time.

"That's it. Bedtime." I announced, knowing that they were tired & an early bedtime would be beneficial.

Cue more screaming.

Shorty was somewhat agreeable to being changed and put down. Thing 1 screamed for a while & then, decided to try his hand at listening. He became very sweet, asked for my help getting changed. And when I praised his listening...he requested M&Ms as a reward. Sly.

Thing 2. Oh, he's a stubborn one. Always has been. This is the child who defied everything all the infant books said about "self soothing." It didn't matter how long I let him cry. It didn't matter how many days in a row I "enforced" this "soothing"...he was not to be soothed. I would find him red in the face, little fists clenched, screaming in between gasping breaths. So much for "soothing."

Anyway. He did NOT want to go to bed. He screamed. He cried. He fought me as he made me change him like a baby into his overnight PullUp. He then decided that the best way not to go to bed was to strip down.

So. He was naked on his bed. Screaming:


I really hope he can't be heard from the street.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not-So-Fresh Prince

cue the music...

Now this is a story all about how
My house got flooded from the upstairs down
And I'd like to take a minute just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the queen in a house with damp air

In central Arizona wild and crazed
Chasing munchkins is how I spend most of my days
Playing games, craftin', keepin' my cool
And dreaming of the days when they'll all be in school
When a short little guy who was up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
He had a diaper blowout and mom just stared
And said, "You're getting in the bathtub that is upstairs"

I gave him a bath and cleaned up his rear
Then I turned on the faucet to clean up the smears
His brothers started screaming; I wish that this were rare
So of course I forgot it. I left the water on upstairs.

I took L up for a nap 'cause it was getting later
And I yelled; I was crabby, wading through the water
I looked at my kingdom I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Queen of Damp Air

Friday, July 22, 2011

It can't come soon enough

Counting down the days until a little of this

A little of this

And some of this

And who knows, maybe even a bit of this
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