Friday, October 15, 2010

Collin has reached a new developmental milestone. He's learned how to set an alarm clock. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite developed a firm concept of what "2 o'clock in the morning" means.

Care and Compassion

Just like an episode of Leave it to Beaver, my kids love to climb trees. Just good old fashioned fun that never goes out of style. A few weeks ago, unfortunately, one of the children on our street fell out of a tree, and broke his arm. My kids, with their sense of friendship and true, nurturing spirits, made this child get well cards. Below is Lauren's attempt to cheer up her fallen friend.
I'm not sure which I like better- the frantically flailing arms, or the xs she used for eyes. I am sure it is only a matter of time before Hallmark comes calling for this original design!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Oh for crying out loud

Some days are just a fiasco, from start to finish. Why did I even get out of bed? I start to wonder. (Probably the 4 year old screaming "I NEED JUICE" had something to do with it.)

Anyway. Sunday night I decide to take the kids to King's Dominion on Monday. Right away both the older kids want to bring a friend. Okay. Fine. Sure. 8 kids, me, the big white (12 passenger) van, on a 98 degree day with 50% humidity.

So we head out, hopeful and excited. We get about 20 minutes into the trip and are stopped in traffic. Not. Moving. At. All. A road that normally takes me 26 minutes (I timed it on the way home) took me over 2 and a half hours. The car overheated. The air conditioner stopped working, and I almost ran out of gas.

We finally get there, and head right for the water park section of the theme park. I manage to get 8 kids into their swim suits, sun block on, situated under and umbrella, towels out, drinks bought, life vests on, and we head over to the wave pool. The water, it should be noted, was as warm as a bath tub. So refreshing! We'd been in for about 5 minutes when the sky clouded up. Then we heard a big boom of thunder. I'm hustling the kids out of the water when i see Declan take off running. The thunder has scared him and he is heading to the shelter about 50 feet away from us.

I tell my 2 daughters to chase after him, gather the rest of my belongings and children, and join the chase. He's gone. We can't find him anywhere. At this point the rain is falling in sheets. Icy cold, painful sheets of pouring rain. All of stuff- our towels, our extra clothes, phones, everything- is getting soaked. I find a security person and they start a search. We're all looking around trying to find him. After about 5 or 10 minutes they tell me that he was taken to lost and found when he ran past a security guard alone. Wonderful news! However, lost and found is far, far away from where we were. In the part of the park where you aren't allowed to have swim suits on. And I have 7 soaked, cold, miserable kids in tow. And one soaked, scared baby alone at lost in found.

So, I figured they could just yell at me later, and trekked off across the park in my swim suit. SOme of the kids pulled their wet stuff on over their suits, some didn't. We finally got there, found the little guy and got changed, etc etc, and went on with our day. Within 15 minutes of the rain stopping the temperature went back up to 93 degrees with the humidity worse than ever.

We decided to do rides that were not in the water park, and moved on to roller coasters. Some of the kids (Devin and Regan especially) were trying some new things- the friends we'd brought along were a bit braver, and interested in bigger rides. We head to the shock wave. And standup roller coaster, that involves a big hill, a loop and a cork screw. A big deal for first timers!

The little kids and I are waiting at the exit of the ride. I am thinking that it is taking a really long time for them to come out. Then I realize that no one has come out for a while. And that the ride has been silent. So we walk around. And yep, there they are. Stuck. 40 some feet in the air. So, there we wait. About 15 minutes for them to get the ride going again, and get my children off of the ride safely. And the whole time I am thinking- what happens if they get it started again, and it breaks again, while they are still on it? But it didn't, and everything was fine, once they finally got off. No one was even very upset about it, thank goodness.

I'm kind of thinking I might not go back to King's dominion this summer. Or ever.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

You know, there are many moments, as a parent, that you know, right when they happen, you'll never forget them. Take last Tuesday, for example.

I took my 2 middle girls, my 2 youngest sons and one of their 4 year old buddies to a local place called "Jumpin' Jimmy's". This is one of those places filled with huge inflate-ables that the kids spend hours jumping around on, and getting all sweaty, and God willing, tired.

As the boys are playing I watch them talking with a very sweet, adorable little boy who is a bit younger than they are. All 4 boys decide that they are going to be friends and play together.

Oh, gentle reader, if only my story ended there.

I'm sitting in the area roped off for parents catching up on world news, via CNN (okay, I was reading a cheesy novel) when the little boy comes running over to his mom in tears, followed by my children and their friend. "What happened?" I ask a red-faced and sobbing Collin. "That boy hit me, and I punched him," he tells me.

At this point, his helpful older sibling interjects, "NO! NO! That's not what happened!"

"Well, what did happen?" I ask, with no small amount of fear.

"That boy", my daughter explains, pointing with a flair for the dramatic, "Accidentally stepped on Collin when he was trying to get out of the slide. Because he was in a hurry."

"In a hurry?"

"Yeah, on account of he was trying to get away from the spitting."

"What spitting?" I ask, my stomach beginning to hurt.

"Oh, Declan and Jake were spitting at him in the slide."

I turn to Declan. "WHY were you spitting at him?"

"Well," Declan explains, "we decided we didn't want to be his friend any more so we spitted on him."

"So, in a nutshell, an unsuspecting child starts to play with you, and you decide you don't want to play any more, so you spit on him. Then, when he is trying to get away from you, he accidentally steps on Collin - who is LAYING ON THE FLOOR under the slide, and Collin punches him?"

"Yes, that's right mom," Declan tells me as he starts to skip off happily to the slide.

And three days later, they STILL don't understand why I made them come home. Well, maybe they do understand, but I am still being called "Meanie".

Like I said. One of those parenting moments I'll never forget. I just WISH I could.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blurry - I'm trying to give him bunny ears, and he's trying to duck away!

Last week I took Connor to sign up for sleep away camp. His very first time sleeping away at camp! At the meeting there were all sorts of different activities the kids could sign up for. He and his friend from his soccer team were looking at all the different activity sheets and deciding which to sign up for. 3 on 3 basketball; yes. Volley ball; yes. Billiards; no. Co-ed soccer; yes. So, I say nothing, but wait until they are all done and as we are all walking out to the parking lot together I say, "Hey boys, do you know what 'co-ed' means?" Blank stares. "It means boys and girls play TOGETHER." Cue the sound of a needle scratching across a record! "But, but, why?" My son asks me aghast. "Why would they ever expect boys to play soccer WITH girls?" I tell them not to worry about it. That they will have a great time. As we are all driving home I hear my son tell his friend, in a low voice- "Don't worry about. I'm pretty sure my mom doesn't know what co-ed really means."

I'm just hoping he showers at least once during the week. Or swims. I'm not fussy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Last week I take the little boys to Burger King. I realize I've forgotten the napkins, so I get up to get some. I am gone .00025 of a second. I get back and Declan is on his stomach, sliding up and down the plastic bench. "Whatcha doing?" I ask, my heart somewhat filled with dread.
"Oh. I'm drying the bench."
"Drying it?"
"Yeah, Collin spit on it, so I had to dry it off."
And didn't I feel foolish, standing there with a handful of napkins.

Dinner, last day of school

Me: "What do you want for dinner, Lauren?"
Lauren: "SMores."
Me: "No."
Lauren: "I got nothing mom."

Friday, February 5, 2010

I was thinking today about when Devin and Lauren -my soon to be 8 year olds- were born. Connor and Regan came to the hospital to meet their new sisters. We have a picture of Regan sitting on a bench in front of the window carefully holding the new baby. Connor is looking out the window at the view of the roof top. "Do you want to hold your new sister Connor?" "Do you think I could get out there and throw some rocks?" And thus began Connor's indifference toward his sisters.

That's okay, I told myself, according to the baby books, it is normal. (Maybe less normal was the way he shredded the book we bought him called "I'm a big brother") Eventually, he'll come around. For the first week he ignored his sisters completely. If someone stopped by the house Regan would eagerly take the visitor to meet her new sisters. She would tell people, "This is my new sister, DevinorLauren. And this is my other sister, DevinorLauren." But Connor would be quietly playing with his matchbox cars under the table.

On the day it was time for their 1 week check up I was packing them up into their car seats.He came over, and started asking about what I was doing and where we were going. "I'm taking them to the doctor," I explained. And then I went into detail about what we would do at the appointment. Connor was interested, and I was excited to take the opportunity to get him interested in his sisters.

When I returned from the doctor visit the first thing I saw was Connor playing in the driveway with chalk. He saw me get out of the car and his face lit up in a huge smile I hadn't seen for a while. I turned around and opened the van door and pulled out the first infant carrier. As I turned back to Connor he yelled "You brought them back! Why did you bring them back? You said you were going to take them to the doctor!"

I guess I forgot to mention the doctor doesn't keep them.

And it's been pretty much the same around here since then.
Great Grandma, Grandma, DevinorLauren, and a disinterested Connor.

Regan the big sister. My father in law took this picture, and captioned it "Regan holds one". No one could tell them apart!

Nope. Not interested!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

In December I was taking the kids to school one morning. We had been staying at my in-laws' house because we were getting new floors in our house. I was trying tog et the kids home in time to meet the bus. I was sleepy, and driving on a road I don't normally drive on. This road is a 2 lane road that wiggles it's way through the woods and around a lot of curves and up and down some hill. I was a little too close to the shoulder of the road, and went off on the one part of the whole road where the pavement was chipped away with a very loud BAM, and then tire was popped. Now, every time we drive on any road through the woods, one of the boys will yell, "LEAN, LEAN, Mommy is going to go in the woods again!" And I will look at them and they both have their hands up in the air and are leaning toward the other side of the car like they are on a roller coaster!

Yesterday we were driving on the snowy roads home from a birthday party. At one point we started to slide fairly badly and I noticed a light come on in my car. A light to let me know that I was sliding out of control. Really Toyota? Cause I wouldn't have known without that helpful warning light! If you want to make a useful light in my car give me one that lights up when I really, REALLY need to get some gas.

Random picture: Devin marching in a parade with her preschool teacher Mrs. Winger

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lauren has a diorama due in her class on Thursday. She decided she wanted to paint the outside of her box pink. So I thought spay paint would be a much faster alternative.

Yeah, you see where I am headed with this, don't you?

Stop by and enjoy my lovely new pink front door, courtesy of an anonymous 4 year old artist.

Collin, about age 1.5. Not bad for a random photo!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back in December I had the kids sit down and write letters to Santa. Collin was dictating his. "Tell Santa I want a Handy Manny toy, a train and a weasel box."

"A what?"

"A Handy Manny toy, a train and a weasel box."

"What's a weasel box?"

"You know mom, a weasel box!"

"No, I don't know. What is a weasel box?"

"Don't worry mom. Santa knows what a weasel box is!"

I sat there wondering what to do for a few minutes, when my 10 year old son, Connor, said, "Mom, I think he means a jack in the box. You know, it's in a box, and it plays 'Pop Goes the Weasel' ?"

Sure enough, on Christmas Day, Collin ran straight over to his new weasel box. He carried it around all morning and showed it off to everyone. He loves to play it and try to scare p
eople when the door pops open. Thank goodness for big brothers!

Well, today's random picture is really random. This is Devin, 4 years old, at her preschool graduation. Collin and Declan have their graduation in May. I am already dreading it. I tend to be a bit of a watering pot on the best of days, and this is going to be difficult- my last babies and my last days with this amazing school that I love so much.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So I walk in my kitchen just as Declan is throwing away a handful of quarters.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," I say.

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"It's okay mom, this money is junk."

"Not around these parts kid, those are quarters!"

"No mom, see look. I checked them all, they don't have any chocolate in them!"

WHy did I include this totally random picture? Well, see, I used to be able to see the pictures so that I could choose which one I wanted to upload. But for some reason, I can't now. So I have to choose one at random, and hope for the best. I figure, why fight it. This is a shot of the time my kids decided to use the pot from their potty to carry around their juice box and cookies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I took my middle two to their brownie meeting tonight. Things ran a bit late, and by the time I got home my older daughter had finished her social studies report. She was all "look mom, look mom!!!" so I read through her detailed and articulate report about that American legend and pioneer icon, Daniel Boom.

"Um, Regan, I think that's supposed to be Daniel Boone."

"I know mom. Daniel Boom. He's famous. Everyone knows about good old Daniel Boom."

"No, Regan, Boone. With an N, not an M."

"I don't know which pioneer you are talking about mom, because I did my report on Daniel Boom. You just don't get it! You're not in my class! You don't know mo-om."

...and (Daniel) BOOM goes the dynamite!

2 days old, in the NICU, prior to her Daniel Boom days.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New rule at our house: wrapping your new toy snake in a towel, and then leaving it under the bathroom sink is NOT okay!