Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things I'm hoping not to hear at my high school reunion:

10. "Man, you look OLD." (Standard reunion comment, I know.)
9. "Hey, I remember when you wore those smashed glasses!" (Me too. ME. TOO.)

8. "Still a nerd, huh?" (REALLY hope I don't get this one...)
7. "How many books have you read now?" (A lot. And now I even talk to people about them!)

6. "Aren't you the one who had a crush on _________?" (And I thought I'd been sooo subtle.)
5. "Aren't you the one who said something mean about Jill's haircut?" (Yep. That was me. Sorry, Jill.)
4. "Didn't I send you a Facebook friend request?" (Yep. But I don't really know you...)
3. "Didn't you go to that lesbian college?" (It was a women's college. Grow up already.)

2. "So, you don't do anything then?" (Nope, I just keep 3 kids alive every. blessed. day. Pretty much nothing.)

1. "You look exactly the same!" (Yeah. This might be my nightmare.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm glad for a walk by myself. When I can get it.

The Salem book club met the other day at my house, since member G was an overnight guest (with her family) for a few nights. Six members were in attendance.

Our selection was Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (also the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Burning Bright, both of which the Club has read previously.) Like the other two novels, this one explores the life of a historical person, in this case, Mary Anning. Anning was one (if not THE) first to discover dinosaur fossils.

Here are some of the highlights of that conversation:
* At the end of the book, we were all pleasantly surprised to discover that much of the book is factual!
*Mary's lightening strike becomes a metaphor for her life
* The compulsive hunt for fossils is something a few could relate to, but I had to resort to the hunt for a garage-sale treasure. I just don't like dirt that much, I guess.
* Switching perspectives was good for the tempo of the book, which was slower (but none of us found it boring!)
* Elizabeth criticizes Jane Austen for giving girls (like her sister) false hope for marriage prospects - we of course thought that was a bit harsh and misguided! After all, Jane herself never married...
* Women's independence and being able to travel unescorted was one of the side themes in the novel
* Leading with a specific trait (nose, chin, hair, chest, etc...): we were wishing a personality inventory was available, and even brought up having a secret vote for those present. Thankfully it feel through - I'm not sure I want to know that I lead with my blathering tongue!
*The religion vs. science debate at the time was a major theme, and accurate for the time. Human assumptions about God's intentions lead to a lot of conflict. At this time the debate centered around the disbelief that God would allow any of his creatures to face extinction. Interesting!

Other topics discussed:
* How much freedom to give kids, and at what age? CB, on how she didn't get a bike as soon as other kids: "I was a FAST runner."
* Briefly discussed the Girl with a Dragon Tattoo books, but decided they were probably a little too graphic for our group. As I said, "If it had JUST sex and violence, I might have been okay."
* Fear of ticks. I shared my shock & horror when, during my teen years, my mother stripped to her undies on the sidewalk in front of the house to do a full-body check after picking juneberries.
* CB told about open-air showers on a trip in her college years and how, "It's horrible when someone peeks." Yes, indeed! This led to two of us singing, "There's a place in France..." and if you don't know the song, neither did ANYONE else at the meeting!
* The appeal of reading books about art - fictional books. Decided it must be because it's historical and somewhat factual. Several of us enjoy the topic, and we aren't artists or even art buffs.

Monday, June 28, 2010

When you give a mom a few hours off...

...first she'll stare at you.

After she's realized what that means (FREEDOM!) she'll make a list.

After she makes a list, she'll head to the store. She'll spend half the usual time getting the same amount of groceries.

After getting groceries, she'll go to Target and buy a coffee.

After getting a coffee, she'll spend some time in the clothing section. HER clothing section.

After buying some shorts and other staples, she'll head out to her car and realize that she still has time left to kill.


After weighing her options, she'll go to used bookstore or the Boys' Ranch & dilly-dally for awhile.

After having an afternoon or two off, that mom will want a few more. If you give that mom a few more afternoons off, she'll probably want to spend a couple with her husband, eating lunch at places without kid menus.

After she eats adult food, she'll probably start thinking about tasks that need to get done at home. She'll head to the local nursery to price trees.

After comparing prices & researching varieties, the husband will purchase two trees for the backyard.

And after those trees are purchased, the Handy Husband has his next job lined up! And that mom will probably have more grocery shopping to do...she'll have to make a list.

Leah had a Park District art class this past week, right during Adam's nap time, so I was lucky enough to employ a 12 year old neighbor girl to babysit the boys while I took Leah to class, ran errands, and then picked her up again. It was a perfect "training" situation - during the day, she only had 2 of the kids, one of whom would be napping for at least half the time...and she did wonderfully. Thanks, Emily!

Aaron and I enjoyed two afternoons together, which basically ended up being lunch + errands, but still - when you are together and no kids are involved, it's a date!

But now I'm spoiled and think that maybe Emily should come over EVERY time I have shopping to do...I really enjoyed the time "off"!


Aaron and I have a new nephew today! Hip, hip, hooray! He's so new we don't even know his name yet, but I'll bet he's completely adorable, judging from his big brother. Sooo looking forward to meeting him.


We have plans for the weekend that may result in even more infrequent blogging, so guys will have to deal by living your own lives. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hope you guys like my kids.

Ben has been full of funnies lately, and I've been waiting impatiently to share them with you.

About an hour into our drive to Minneapolis the other day, Ben starts sniffing the air and says, "Why does it frell wike wobster in here?" Now, DOES he know what lobster smells like? Not that I know of. Unless he's thinking of the smell of the grocery store near the lobster tanks, which is the only thing I can think of.

Also, it did NOT smell like that in the van. Adam's butt didn't smell like hazelnut a while back either, but that was Ben's assumption.

While we were eating at that Thai restaurant, he was eating his veggies and said, "You know dose peas in firfry? I'm into dem." I'm realizing that maybe I just find it hilarious cause he's my kid, and you all just think it's lame. Too bad.

While we were trying to make it up the interstate at about 4pm, Ben asks, "Is this traffic?" Yes, Ben, this is traffic, and this is also why Mommy & Daddy never want to live in a "big city". Blah.


Leah was singing a song the other day. It went something like this (with Ben's side comments in italics):

"And He's known me and He's loved me
since before the world began"
"Who's dat man you talkin' bout?"

"Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God..."
"Like Paul Bunyan?"

Yeah, Aaron and I were about rolling.

We had to make an emergency trip to a public bathroom the other day. As we went to wash our hands afterwards, Ben takes a look at the 3 sinks and says, "Dere's a lot of sinks, like on Cribs!"

Um. Yes, he's seen Cribs. I'm sorry, World. I have failed you.


On the Leah front: She has a loose front tooth! How did we figure this out? At lunch she says, "I think I know which tooth I'm going to lose first: This one, because when I bite into something with it, it hurts a little." I inspected, and sure enough! It'll be the first victim. Now the Tooth Fairy needs to decide if she's going to show up or not, and what the deposit will be. I'm leaning towards Sacagawea dollars myself.

Adam: is CRAWLING. And cutting 2 more teeth, which would bring the total to 10. He is officially only eating table food, except for some baby cereal in the morning. This kid got a slow start to the whole "eating" thing, but he's making up for lost time. He's also starting to wave "bye bye" and babble "a -dah!" and "ma-ma-ma" - tho not to anyone in particular. Come ON, words! Don't make me wait until you're 2, like your turkey-brother did!

Which childhood milestone is/was most highly anticipated and/or delayed? Ben was actually advanced with his gross motor skills, even though his language didn't come until two years old. Adam seems to be slightly delayed with both. AUGH!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rant: Ikea's Smaland

My friend Christina and I thought we were up for the challenge of bringing our combined 5 children to Ikea.

This may seem insane to you. But Christina and I are just the two moms to take on the challenge: I am passionate about Ikea's style (and prices), and Christina is simply fearless. The woman drove through a blizzard with both kids & husband in a small sedan to get to HIS family in Colorado. She also has colitis and recently had her colon removed. Can you beat that?

So we got there with the intention of depositing our 4 mobile - REALLY mobile- children Smaland, Ikea's children's play area. When we arrived, it was full, and we were told there would be a 5 minute wait. So we waited.

Then there was only room for 3, so I bribed Leah into shopping with us so that the boys could all go in - D (age 6 1/2) and J (age 3 1/2) and then my Ben. We went through Smaland protocol, which included nametags for the kids, each kid having a separate bin for their shoes, stamps on kids' hands and matching ones on the moms', and then the mom signing them in and getting a pager. I thought I was sending them to boot camp.

Off we we went to enjoy our hour without boys running circles around us. And sweet it was. Until my pager went off.

One of the requirements of Smaland is that the kids be potty trained. And no pull-ups allowed. This gave me a little anxiety, as some of you might predict, considering Ben's track record of pooping in his pants. I was basically crossing my fingers that he wouldn't crap his pants for the brief span of time that he would be in kiddie-prison.


I raced down to the Smaland door with Adam in his stroller, leaving Leah to pick out her toy/bribe in the children's showroom with Christina. At the parent pick-up area, I was told that Ben had had an accident in the bathroom, and moved to go through the gate. The employee stopped me, and explained that "parents weren't allowed" into the Smaland without their manager being present.


There I stood, with my baby & stroller, all ready to go help my kid, where for all I knew he could be in hysterics, and I WASN'T ALLOWED TO HELP HIM? I could see the bathroom door, and right in front of me were three staff members standing in the office area. All the children were either watching a video or out of sight playing. I still don't understand what magical powers the manager was supposed to have.

As I stood there and waited, a couple more moms came to the gate with their own pagers flashing. The staff explained that the children had to use the bathroom, but because there had been an accident, they couldn't use the one there, and would the parent please take them to the regular bathroom?

I was RIGHT THERE. If I had been allowed in, they could have saved themselves and those other parents a lot of grief. And then Aaron called and I became an emotional mess, even crying a bit.

Finally the manager arrived and I was permitted to enter. Adam and I went into the bathroom, and there was Ben, perfectly calm, sitting on the toilet. Thankfully, most of the poo went into the toilet. I had flushable wipes and clean undies with me, so things were quickly taken care of.

As we headed out, I went up to the manager and explained that although I knew it was policy, I thought the policy was ridiculous. The manager said something about the policy being in place to protect the other children...I never did catch what it was they were being protected from. Then a staff member interrupted and said, "Ma'am, if you want to talk, you have to come over here..." and motioned to the other side of the partition we were standing next to. At that, I just grabbed my kids and got out of there.

The afternoon was pretty much ruined for me. Unfortunately, I had promised Leah that the next time we go she could hang out in Smaland, even though at that point I pretty much never wanted to see the place again. So I'll keep my promise and then after that, keep my kids with me. It's not worth the stress.
Have any of you had similar experiences? Kid's areas that seem to have lost their common sense? Or maybe you have some insight into Smaland's policy?

Any kid potty emergency fails in a public place? I KNOW I am not the only one, people.

Vacation: Part II

Here you are, back for more of the gory details of our recent vacation. I'll try to shorten this installment up a bit, because believe it or not, there are other things I'd rather write about. Like, for instance, why I started crying in Ikea, the funny stuff Ben has been saying lately, Adam's recent developments, and what I did with my kid-free afternoon (the first of FOUR!)

So here we go.

On Friday I met my friend Kristen at the Minnesota Children's Museum. Thanks to her handy membership card, and also the fact that she only had one of her 3 kids with her, we all got in free. My total cost for the five hours we were there? Lunch at Subway and $8 for parking. Not too shabby!

This Museum rocks, and I would gladly pay the entrance fee if I knew we had a half day to kill. There was more than enough to keep all 3 of my kids entertained, and that was with a couple exhibits closed for transitions.

Adam liked the water tables best, because they were just the right height for him to stand against and splash in. Yes, he got a little damp. But look at that face! How could I say no?

Ben loves to pretend to be a dog. Why? I'm not sure. But whenever Leah plays dress-up, his only request is to be the dog. Maybe he need a doghouse of his own? Hmmm....

Leah spent an extraordinary amount of time sorting & delivering mail. Not helping were the several other kids doing the same thing, but not as methodically. I sat on a bench with Adam and watched, although it was tempting to nap like the fellow next to me. (!!!)

A few awesome things about the Museum: Each exhibit is totally hands-on, of course, but each only has ONE entrance, so as long as you keep your eyes there, the kids can pretty much run free. Also, there are a couple of family bathrooms on each floor, stocked with diaper, wipes and changing pad covers, and there are also a couple of nursing rooms in a separate gated play area for the really little ones. I think we spent about an hour in various bathrooms throughout the day.

Then came one of my proudest moments from the whole trip: I left the museum, made my way back to the University campus to our hotel, found a metered parking spot directly in front, and was there 5 minutes before Aaron was done. He hopped in, and we took off for my brother's house and the Familypalooza that was to be the weekend.


Now begins the family section. I'm going to do this in bullets and leave out the photos, since those who really care about them can see them on Facebook! You readers who aren't my family, well...there will be lots more photos of the kids to come. I promise.

Main points of the Familypalooza:

*14 of us, all together: 4 in-laws, 2 parents, 4 kids, plus 4 under the age of 7.

* 1 brand-spankin' new house big enough for us all.

* 3 air mattresses, 1 foam mattress pad

* 1 deflated air mattress

* 2 expectant mommies; 1 with her second, 1 with her first!

* 4 over-indulgent evening meals

* 1 visit from a cousin and 2 cute little boys

* 3 days of rain

* 2 nights out for the boys - 1 at local watering holes, and 1 at Dave & Buster's

* 2 nights in for the girls - 1 with birthing stories providing 3 years birth control for the non-mommy, 1 with mocktails for us all!

* 1 trip each to SuperTarget and BabiesRUs

* 1 round each (between downpours) of Frisbee golf and regular golf - well, as regular as it gets with 3 of 4 being novices

* Many of the following: movies on TV, rounds of Bananagrams, rolls of toilet paper, and baby gifts exchanged

* 8 Aunties & Uncles to cuddle the neices & nephews

* 1 baby dancer

* 1 sick baby who kept his parents (& most of the house) up all night. Fortunately this was the LAST night.

Does that sum it up? It was a fun time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the girls-only time that we don't get very often. The boys were okay, too, I guess.:) Looking forward to the next time...wait, is that going to be at MY house?!


What are your tips for surviving family get-togethers? Or reunions in general, as my 15th high school reunion is coming up in a few weeks.

Worst night away from home EVER? Give me some details.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation Part 1

I'm sorry. I've been neglectful, and I admit that updating the blog hasn't been at the top of priority list lately.
Which some of you (ahem, Aaron), may think is about time.

Anyway, we went to Minneapolis last week. Thursday and Friday Aaron was at a work convention, so the kids and I got to play. Friday evening through Tuesday morning we were at my brother David's new house in a suburb with all of my sibs & in-laws. Then Adam got sick, and I packed us up at 6am. We got home around noon and then spent 2 hours at the clinic & medical supply store, buying a nebulizer. That night, friends emailed to ask if they could stay over Thursday night.

That's the thumbnail version.

In more detail (probably waaay too much, now that I think of it):
Wednesday: Was Aaron's birthday. Because he was insistent that birthdays be celebrated on the ACTUAL DAY OF BIRTH, I decorated the van with a couple of hanging doo-hickeys and some mylar balloons. And of course, a healthy stack of party hats.

The drive was less than festive, however. After dealing with fussy, restless kids, I began to see the sense in Aaron's stance that three is enough kids for us. Thankfully, we were still able to make it to our destination in downtown Minneapolis before rush hour traffic started. Aaron picked our dinner location, a Thai restaurant within walking distance from the hotel.

Personally, I'm still in awe that we stepped foot into a Thai place with our less-than-adventurous eaters. Of course, Leah and Ben ate what amounted to chicken, rice & a salad, all in their own neat sections of the plate. But they DID try bean sprouts and pronounced them "yummy!" so I count it a complete success.

Later, Aaron took the kids to Baskin Robbins while I put Adam to bed. Poor kid was wiped out. And then we learned that putting Leah & Ben in the same bed while both are awake is a good way to spend an hour or so "shushing". We spent that hour perched on the side of the tub and the toilet seat while watching the first half of "Julie & Julia" on the laptop.

Thursday: Aaron went off to his conference nice and early and got a lovely fresh breakfast, while the kids and I noshed (ha! That's the first time I've used that word!) on grapes, Pop Tarts & juice boxes. Adam looooves Pop Tarts.

Then we packed up and headed out to meet my good friend Christina & her two boys at REI to let the kids run around for a while. And then we went to the Mall of America and Legoland and let them run around some more...on a slightly smaller scale. I did lose track of Ben entirely for about 2 minutes in the food court, but he was actually only a few feet away.

Also, just in case you were wondering, the food court at the great MoA is rather busy at noon. AND, the Sbarro line happened to be the longest of any restaurant...and of course that's the option the kids chose. AND they didn't give me any napkins. Christina swiped some off a deserted table: "They look clean!" I didn't argue. That pizza was greasy.
OH NO, we weren't done for the day, not even close! After that whole deal (and getting to, parking, getting to a location, getting to a second location, and finding your car again is definitely a "whole deal") we took a jaunt (ie, Christina almost getting hit while taking her right-of-way at an intersection) across the street to Ikea, where an incident took place which actually might diminish my fanatic patronage of the Swedish store. It didn't, however, stop me from picking up several items and a bottle of sparkling juice, chocolate & Swedish fish from the food store.
My niece Meghan & her baby girl Lyrah met us at Ikea as Christina headed home. Then I headed back to the hotel with the kids to pick up Aaron (managing to get through downtown at 4:30 in less than 20 minutes!) and turned around to head to Meghan's for dinner. So nice of them to have us over, AND there was a great bakery down the street (along with a bike/coffee shop and a bar...which pretty much describes every street in the area, we were told later) where I picked up a fantastic chocolate bread pudding. That bread pudding was my dessert that night, and the OTHER half was a treat for me plus 3 others later on in the week!
That night we put the kids to bed separately, and moved Ben over when we were ready to hit the hay. I have to say, having all 3 kids in a hotel room was really one of my nightmare scenarios, but it went super well. All the kids slept until at least 6:30, and Ben of course was the early riser. He was kept quiet with Sesame Street on the laptop in the bathroom, and the other two slept until 7:30! In fact, on the whole trip, we never got woken up in the middle of the night.
The Ikea juice, chocolate & fish were demolished during the second half of our movie date. This one was considerably more comfortable, since I trekked to the parking garage not once, but TWICE to retrieve first the kids' headphones and then the splitter. Skyways are lovely, especially at 10pm.
Tomorrow: More adventures! More cute photos! Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The kids are at VBS this week. Well, at least 3 days of the week, before we take off for several days.

The church is decked out in Western decor to emphasize the cowboy theme, named Saddleback Ranch. The kids got to see a promotional video at church on Sunday, and that thing was so flashy both the kids stood there with their mouths hanging open. Leah was convinced that she was going to get to ride horses (kinda like she was convinced she was a real in, not very), while Ben just turned around and started sputtering nonsense.

What I could make out was, "cowpokes" and that the cowpokes have, as he demonstrated by holding up two fingers, "six-shooters". I am SO GLAD he started talking!


As you read this, I am madly trying to remember everything we need for six days away from home. Six days that may include swimming, rain, and 90 degree days. All of that needs to get crammed into the van, along with the pack & play, 2 air mattresses, and amusement & snacks enough for a four hour drive with 2 - make that 3- ornery kiddos.

Wish me luck. If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, please don't panic. I'll be back soon with lots of good stories, I'm sure!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More cake for baby!

Yesterday Adam turned 1 year old. Of course, yesterday was ALSO a Monday, and so his party was held on Saturday. I'll get to why that's significant in just a minute or so.

Adam DID get a snazzy new onesie to wear for the occasion. This is one of my new little projects - appliqueing shirts & onesies. Sooo easy. And also a handy way to cover up the bratty sayings on this particular pack of Gerbers. Do I really want my kid advertising that, "I'm in Charge"? No, I'd prefer to keep that particular fact private, actually.

This is as close to crawling as Adam has gotten. He can push himself backwards pretty well, and gets from his belly to sitting up like a pro. Using this combination, he pivots his way across a room faster than you'd think he could.

But still. Walking would be quicker.

The lack of forward motion combined with nursing three times a day and no words yet seems to indicate that I have gotten my wish: he has stayed 9 months old!

Blowing out a candle was not even a consideration for baby Adam, and given his previous track record with cake, I was afraid he'd try to grab the flame itself. So this is as close as he got.

Of course we gave him a slice, though! You didn't think we were neglectful parents, did you?
Aaron has two rules for birthdays: 1) They must be celebrated on the actual day of birth, and 2) there must be party hats involved.
I didn't really know that #1 was a rule until this year, when everyone's birthdays fell on weekdays. Since I'd already thoroughly broken one rule, I've tried really hard to salvage the other. What I couldn't believe is that Adam kept that hat on! Everyone wore one, in fact, even 85 year old Grandma Gigi.
The boy likes his cake. Or your cake. Pretty much any cake he can get.

Close-up of the cake itself. For Leah & Ben's 1st birthdays, I made a Suzy's Zoo duck cake with a molded pan. It required 4 different frosting colors and using a star tip to cover the whole thing. After I spent 4 hrs the night before Ben's birthday decorating it, Aaron banned me from every making it again.
But I still had to do something special, right? So why not try fondant for the first time?
I found this photo, and this recipe, and did my own interpretation. Obviously I used regular frosting for the base - Betty Crocker tinted yellow. Although it did take me an hour to make, roll out, and cut the fondant, I still think it was easier than frosting a molded cake. I did the stars the night before and kept them covered in the fridge, putting them on the cake the afternoon of the party.
Good thing I took the recipe seriously about the fondant getting sticky - boy, did it ever! Basically all it is is marshmallows with enough powdered sugar to make it workable. Uncle JJ was kind enough to do the cutting, but he had to remove the stars to do it.
See? Party hats. Also, notice Adam eyeing that cake.
Next, of course, was presents. I highly recommend the following system: When your previous child is about 2 years old, pack up all the baby toys and put them in storage. Then, when it is time to give baby gifts, Boom! You have tons of "new" toys to give them.
Adam's two gifts from me were both given to Ben at HIS first birthday. Some new batteries, and now there are two more toys in this house to drive me batty.
Cousin MVJ loved them. Good thing Adam can't walk yet, or we would have had some baby wrestling on our hands.
The "big kids" were plenty excited, too. This ball popper toy is the bomb with all ages, am I right? (Note: If you HAPPEN to find yourself short of enough balls to make the toy work, you can buy a new set. On the Playskool website, under tabs Customer Service- replacement parts, you will find this order form. As a bonus, about a week after receiving the new set, you will start finding all the original ones, too! Now you will have too many to fit into the toy at the same time.)

Now if we could just convince the kids to let Adam play with his presents, things would be so peaceful around here!

MVJ was making the most hilarious faces! Poor thing was getting frustrated, since her whole goal was to keep those darn things inside that tube, and the toy just wasn't cooperating. Adam was trying to get them before they popped out of the top.

Even though Aaron is usually the one complaining about how the kids have too many toys, he insisted on getting Adam something "special". Despite my arguing, I have to agree that this thing is perfect. It's a pusher/ride-on, perfect for inside or out. And when you press the nose, it lights up and plays music! (Okay, that little bit there was sarcastic. But it does have an off switch, so it's forgiven.)
Don't those legs look a teensy bit unfamiliar with the concept of walking? It's okay, baby. You can stay little as long as you like.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Baby + cake = bliss

Note: This is not Adam's official birthday cake. Those photos will come later.

This was at my Grandma's 85th birthday party,held about a week ago and organized by my cousin Terri (great job, lady!) and attended by all four of Grandma's sons, all four daughters-in-law, four grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.

Adam is about 26 hours younger than Terri's daughter Paige, and she was generous to put his name on a cake along with Paige's. We plunked the babes down with the cake in front of them, and this was the second photo I had time to snap:

The first photo I took was of someone grabbing Adam's hand, already full of frosting. After they let go, and I didn't immediately move either him or the cake, Adam realized it was fair game and really dove in.

I love this photo. They might as well be an old married couple. He's all, "What? It tastes good, and no one's saying no! It must be okay! Just relax and enjoy yourself!" And she's like, "Don't you realize that you look like a fool and are acting like a pig? Have a little self-respect, man!"

Poor Paige just looked on disapprovingly while Adam demolished the cake.

The photos were so cute, and the whole thing was just so darn funny that I kept letting him go at it. Leah and Ben were dancing around laughing maniacally during most of it.

I mean, how can you NOT let this baby have as much cake as he wants? He obviously knows what to do with it. There's no messing around - it goes straight into his mouth. With a teensy bit around the lips. He may be smiley most of the time, but when it comes to eating, and especially eating cake, it is ALL BUSINESS.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At least my stairs got clean.

It's been a few days, and since that is a bit unusual, I thought I'd explain.

The blame belongs with the Kirby salesman who came knocking Tuesday morning. Do I want a room of carpet cleaned - for free? "Of course you don't have to buy anything..." And I'm cheap, so I had them do the steps that we've been meaning to have shampooed anyway. Three hours later they FINALLY left. I have to say, I rather liked Frank, the kid who did the actual demo & cleaning. His "boss" Alex I could do without - he was so obvious I could actually anticipate what he was going to say next. Which came in handy when refusing to purchase a $900 vacuum cleaner without consulting my husband first. Because I'd kind of like for him to talk to me sometime in the next five years, or as he put it, not to "have a coronary."

Because of that "presentation", when my mom showed up with plants for our newest garden bed, we had to wait until after lunch. Also not helping was Adam's refusal to take a morning nap (he didn't today either. Hopefully this isn't a permanent development.)

Because I was planting in the afternoon, no laundry got folded. It all got washed, though, so I felt pretty good. Scrapbooking WAS going to fill in the gaps between loads, but...thank Kirby, I'd MUCH rather work on the album until 11pm. Of course.

(Remember, this is Adam's baby album that I'm trying to get up to date before his birthday party on Saturday. Right now, I'm at 9 months and feeling okay about that.)

But before that scrapbooking could start, we had a soccer practice to almost miss, thanks to traffic and me not checking for the field number. Then just before showers, the hose/sprayer attachment in the kids' bathroom broke off. So we moved everything to the master bath, extending bedtime by a good half-hour.

Wednesday we had a playdate here with a two little girls, one Leah's age and a friend from gymnastics, and the other Ben's age and a friend from playgroup. Isn't it lucky that they have the same mom? I thought so. While that mom and I chatted, I folded all our laundry. (Except Aaron and my undies. I do draw the line SOMEWHERE.) After lunch I got a few more pages done in Adam's album and played with the kids, waiting for Daddy to come home from an overnight work trip.

We were going to try to watch Alice in Wonderland last night, but our 6-month old Blu-Ray DVD player hasn't been playing any of our Netflix videos. Until now we've been thinking it was because of the "region number" of the DVD's. (??) But after a few calls, it seems it's the machine's fault. The machine which had a 90 day warranty. And cost $200 or so.

REALLY? How is it that we pay TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS for something, and the manufacturer basically says, "Hey, you'll get a good 6 weeks out of it! Have fun, kids!" Also, can I point out that this is our THIRD (make that FOURTH, as we remembered later) malfunctioning DVD player in 2 years? I've had it with technology. Take me off the grid, please.

But give me my Internet. At blazing fast speed, with no quirks or errors.

Anyway. Now you see why the posting has been sparse - clearly my days were jam-packed with no down time to speak of.

Next week is worse: VBS and then heading on "vacation" (cause you know what a vacation it is to travel with 3 little kids, right? NOT. MUCH. It should be called a "change of scenery".) for almost a week. During that week, I'll get to hang out with two old friends. And then all of my sibs & their spouses! In one house! For THREE DAYS. Only the toughest will survive.

Which means I'll be out after two hours.

On the other hand, that will leave me plenty of time to blog! See? Silver lining, right there.

Any family gatherings planned? How do you survive 3 kids in a hotel room? Have you ever bought anything from a door-to-door salesman - not including kids' fundraisers?