Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Q-tips and an award

I haven't talked a lot about William recently. Why? William's doing AWESOME. He's really taken to school and comes home happy every day. He started piano lessons in June and just LOVES it. He never argues about practicing, in fact he will often ask if it's time yet. At this rate (and if Evie continues in her lazy ways) he will be playing better than Evie in a short time. I imagine that she will find someway to blame me for that when it happens.

William is also playing his first season of soccer and seems to enjoy that as well. I now find it amazing that I ever worried about William and how he would handle school - although I'm sure the shine will wear off eventually. But so far, so good, I'm not complaining.

So last night Matt and I were watching Castle and I heard a door creak upstairs. 9:45 pm and William was still up. He wanted some warm milk ('cause, you know, he didn't eat his dinner and now he's hungry). I walked him upstairs to tuck him back in and this is what I found on the floor:

A mess of q-tips scattered all over the place in front of his dresser, and the box they were in next to it with the 'pattern' he was working on. Here's a closer look so you can fully appreciate his methodical ways:

Just picture a small boy quietly organizing q-tips into precise alternating rows all by the light of his lava lamp. He makes me laugh, and shake my head at the same time :)

In other 'news' I received a fabulous blogging award from Shawn at Seriously and Val at Sew Not My Day last week! JennyMac at Let's Have a Cocktail (love her!) created the 'I give good blog' award and I'm honored to have been thought of. This is an easy one to pass on, no lists to make or scores of people to link up. Just choose 4 bloggers you feel 'Give Good Blog' and let them know about it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reality Check

I don't know where September went. I thought for sure that once Evie and William were back in school, things would ease up a little bit. And then I woke up.

Fantasy: I'll wake up at 5:45, grab a cup of coffee & get my exercise finished before getting the kids up for school. I'll have had some time for myself & will feel accomplished that I've gotten it out of the way so early.

Reality: Sarah is getting up at 6am, if not earlier (which of course makes her miserable by 11.) I find it difficult to get her settled & get down to the basement for my workout in enough time to be finished before the others need to be up. Matt seems able to manage it better, on the mornings he's at home, and he helps me fit it in. I just wish she'd sleep later & then it would be 'me' time.

Fantasy: Evie and William will be off to school and I will have time with the little ones to run errands, play with them, we'll have lunch together; they will nap for 2 hours and I will have some peace and quiet before E&W get off the bus.

Reality: Not much other than the errands is getting done because Sarah and Jason are constantly getting into things & needing to be rescued, asking for help with something, fighting with each other over a toy, wanting a snack of some sort, or helping themselves to Lucky Charms and scattering them all over the house.

He KNOWS he doesn't belong up there!

Reality Part 2: Sarah is starting to give up her naps. I figured this was coming. I've known all along, in the ironic world I live in, that I would get William off to all-day kindergarten and then Sarah would give up her nap. Here we are, September 26, and she took 2 naps this week. Which, as you all know, is causing her head to completely rotate around by lunchtime. Yesterday she actually passed out on the floor before lunch while I was vacuuming. I tried to move her upstairs, but no, that 10 minutes was her nap. Joy.

Click HERE if you're curious about what's in the background

Fantasy: I've created a craft area in the basement where I will accomplish SO much while the little ones play in the wonderland that is the playroom!

Reality: Sarah and Jason have a 5 minute attention span. Playing in the basement means getting one thing out after another and scattering it all over the floor; Jason climbing up in my lap to see whatever it is that I'm doing; carrying handfuls of toys from downstairs to upstairs, and finally losing interest in the playroom after 15 minutes total. I guess the solution would be for me to make sure that any project I start can be completed in a 5 minute time span during which time I may or may not have Jason in my lap 'helping'. I'm putting off the jewelry making class at the art studio indefinitely.

Fantasy: During S&J's 2 hour nap, I will have plenty of time to finish the projects I've started, write witty & thoughtful blog posts about my family so I have a record of everything for some later day, and read all the blogs I like to visit each day.

Reality: Sarah's naps are dwindling which gives me maybe 45 minutes a day to do whatever it is that I can't get to while they are up. Which is why those 4 pots of flowers from Lowes that I picked up 4 weeks ago are still sitting in their pots, in the same spot I left them, rather than being planted where they are destined to go. Because after dealing with S&J all morning, all I want to do in that 45 minutes is SIT. or maybe close my eyes. or (gasp) doze off for 20 minutes. Now THAT is a fantasy :)

So there you have it, my day in a nutshell. It would really be helpful if I could become a Cullen not need to sleep. Just THINK about how much I could get accomplished.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A frivolous post about clothes or: Why am I hanging on to this ill-fitting crap?

While trying to dress for church on Sunday, as I pulled out and discarded multiple terrible outfits, I was reminded - yet again - not to buy separates. Unless they are all classic. Or black. Or better yet, classic and black. The empire-waist babydoll does not flatter me. Either that, or it just feels like maternity wear after living through 4 pregnancies in 6 years. I'm pretty sure it's just unflattering. Add the 'tunic' to that pile of ill-fitting items - I am not 6 feet tall.

The pretty 'girly' blouses patiently waiting on the hangers have no pants or skirts to coordinate with them, and I can't wear jeans everywhere - much as I would like to. Honestly, I never wear blouses. During the summer I wear t-shirts, in the winter it's the rib-knit turtleneck. Or one of my many sweaters (most of whom also never see the light of day because they are too 'nice' to wear while I'm herding the kids around.) Why do I have blouses that I never wear hanging in my closet? I have no idea, but there they are. All 12 of them.

While I'm clearing out, I should probably just give up on the at-waist skirts and pants from the pre-baby days, as my waist is never going back in them without surgical intervention.

From now on, I'm going to try to take my cues from Audrey Hepburn. Simple, classic, clean and elegant.

Well, maybe not the elegant, I probably can't pull that off. But no more ill-fitting trendy purchases for me. I pledge to no longer squeeze wardrobe replenishment into 15 minutes while Matt waits patiently with the kids in the car and I try on as much as I possibly can in that time frame. I am going to stick to things that I know will work for me and not be side-tracked by what's 'it' now - because tomorrow 'it' will be something else, either something equally unflattering or else something I'd feel conspicuous or uncomfortable in - for example all the pretty graphic t-shirts with rhinestones all over them - love 'em! Have 3! Never wear them! From now on I'm taking my cues from Audrey and am going to work on my personal style.

Now to hunt down a good consignment shop.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I have a confession to make...

If you come here regularly, you know that most of the time I post about the kids, and our nutty life here. Well, Matt's been in Hawaii since Monday morning and frankly, I just don't feel like talking about them. Kind of 'done' with them for now. SO! Let's talk about something more interesting - Jenny Kate, this one's for you.....

I have a confession to make. I don't talk about it a lot on the blog, but I'm fairly addicted to Twilight. and Robsten (you know who they are, right?) Matt knows I'm addicted, but I'm not sure even he knows how far this goes. Let's break it down:

1) I lurk on Twilight blogs on a daily basis. I've pretty much narrowed it down to Letters to Rob, Letters to Twilight, and E! online's The Awful Truth. Because Ted Casablancas LOVES him some Robsten & "Deep Twi" gives us all the dish from the set. LTR and LTT are written by two Thirty-something girls who make me laugh on a daily basis and they always have something funny to say. And they make me feel normal.

2) I've been looking at the 'Twilight' jacket from BB Dakota that Bella wore in the movie for 3 months now, ever since I saw they were going to be producing it for sale. This may be moving to the top of my birthday wish list. And it would solve my problem with #3...

If you want the Twilight jacket, it's very common. You can Google it.

3) Saturday afternoon I saw on Facebook that New Moon tickets were on sale. I immediately called my fellow neighborhood Twi-hard and we instantly agreed that YES! WE ARE GOING TO THE MIDNIGHT SHOWING! Because what else do a few 30-something Moms have to do at Midnight on a Thursday in late November? And who else will be there besides Moms - after all, it's a school night. Which begs the question - what do I wear????? (and yes, the rational part of my brain tells me it doesn't matter)

So I've wasted several hundred minutes looking for...

4) The perfect T-shirt. Now this is tricky. I am soon to turn 39 and I am a Mom, and I don't want to be TOO out there. I'd also like this to be something I can wear to places other than a midnight movie showing & not feel like a total freak. So far I've come up with these, but I'm still hunting...all T's are from Cafe Press.

Can you tell I prefer black? I think the one in the middle is more suited to a magnet for my van, but the other two have possibilities. I'm thinking of layering a flannel shirt over it. Robward likes flannel. and mullets, apparently, but I'm not going there.

5) I've been surfing for bumper stickers and t-shirts to take my mind off the fact that the 6-month old issue of GQ that I spent $20 bucks on ebay for is taking forever to get here.


Evie's aware of my obession and (of course) the fact that I have a Pocket Edward. (She wants me to take her to TRU this weekend to get a Harry Potter action figure, "you know, like your Edward?") After Matt sent me this, she brought this home from school for me to find:

and I now have this in a place of prominence on my refrigerator!

A gift from my dear friend Kerri :)

Phew! I'm so glad I got all that off my chest. Hopefully nobody's slowly backing away from the crazy Twilight lady & you'll all come back again on another day. 'Cause really, all this is normal. There are plenty of people who will back me up on that. And it's not like I have a picture of Edward on my arm or a quote from the book tattooed across my collar bone. That's just crazy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Potty talk

I've done something I think I may regret. We're trying to get Sarah out of diapers, and so far she's been pretty resistant. It started out well enough - we've been talking about using the potty since before our beach trip, how after the kids started school she would learn to use the potty. The day we left for the beach she was dry when Matt woke her up & she went for the first time. After we returned she'd used it once or twice, but lately whenever we mentioned it she'd tell us no. In no uncertain terms.

We've bought Minnie Mouse panties, watched potty movies, read potty books, talked about all the people she knows who use the potty. Nothing.

Last night after her bath I had her try on a pair of underpants. Just to see how they feel. Of course, she loved them. and then didn't want to take them off. and had a fit when I made her. and then got very upset when I wouldn't let her wear them over her pull-up (because I'm not playing THAT game.) She did seem to get over it and I got her all tucked in last night with no trouble.

15 minutes ago she arrived downstairs, panties in hand, ready to use the potty. In a wet pull-up. After trying (with no result) to go and having a discussion about how you don't want to tinkle on Minnie, she's now wearing her panties & sitting on a fairly water-resistant blanket watching Clifford. I have a pretty good idea about how I will be spending my day. Did I mention yet that Matt left for Hawaii for the week yesterday morning? He gets back Saturday afternoon. I will be Extra Harried Mom this week. Doing lots of laundry.

***** UPDATED *****

Two hours later and Sarah is back in her pull-up (her choice). She does NOT want to use the potty. (sigh)

Friday, September 11, 2009

School Daze

Back to school night was last night. A revelation. My children apparently do not know how to behave themselves in public.

We've always tried to not be 'those' people - the ones everyone stares at, with the wild kids? Last night has proven, yet again, that we are indeed THOSE people.

I've always sworn that our kids are different from yours. I'm not sure how we ended up with four little people with such diverse, STRONG personalities. And it's not as if we've been oblivious to their behavior in the past - they've lost privileges, we've left places early, not done some things due to one reason or the other. They just don't seem to be learning from their mistakes.

In Evie's classroom last night I was appalled to see that she had one sticker on her 'good behavior' card. One. The next-to-lowest child had 3. Some had 15. Apparently Evie had more, but she's lost them due to squirming and talking in class. Of course, it's the other kids' fault, for talking to her - this from the child who talks non-stop all day long. My response was, no, you allowed yourself to be drawn in by their conversation. In hindsight, maybe only having one sticker on your card is better than being called to the principal's office for splashing water on kindergartners in the bathroom - which is what she did during the first week of school last year.

William? He's just oblivious. His jacket has been riding around the floor of the bus for the last 3 days because he didn't realize it was his. I thought it was in his backpack & didn't notice it was missing until I looked for it this morning.

Sarah and Jason act like the 2 and 3 year-olds they are. They're bad enough to take out in public as it is, without Evie running around like a dog on all fours and William 20 feet behind you doing God only knows what.

My key mistake was to not tell them what I expected of them before we went inside. In clear words, that they would then repeat back to me. I tend to forget to do that when Matt's with me (I don't know why), but it's something I usually do when I take all four of them out by myself.

I'm hoping that Evie's behavior will settle down a little bit once the newness of 'back to school' wears off - it seemed to last year. I'm hoping that she will remember to act her age and set an example for her brothers and sister, instead of devolving to their level. In the meantime, things will get stricter around here until attitudes improve. And she can just FORGET about getting a pet anytime soon. Harried Mom out.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Attention Walmart Shoppers

I've been a lousy blogging friend lately, I admit it. Honestly I don't know where the days go, they just seem to go. Maybe a bit of 'nothing to say' and some 'no time to say it', and there you are. The big kids are in school all day and the little ones run you ragged. Ask Matt, he watched them for about 24 hours while I took the big kids to see my Mom and sisters on Sunday :) It made me laugh to hear him say that! He did manage to get some things done, which is more than I can seem to say.

I've been busy trying to organize my Craftacular Craft Area, which brings me to the purpose of this post. Yes, I'm going to ask a favor :)

Walmart, as part of their back to school/outfit your dorm stuff had a set of 3 small Sterilite totes with hinged lid locks in various colors. I picked up 3 sets last week in "Lush Berry", and wanted to get one more. I discovered yesterday our stores are changing stock over to Halloween, and there are no more to be found anywhere in the store. They do have the same totes sold separately in their storage section, but the handles are peacock blue, and that just won't do! I've Googled and Googled and can't find them anywhere (it's almost as if they don't exist.)

Have you seen this tote?

So - if any of you will be at a Walmart in the next few days and you don't mind looking for me, I'd really appreciate it. I'll even throw in a Starbucks gift card for your trouble :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall is in the air...

Fall 2006

It's going to be 44 degrees tonight and I can't wait! Fall is coming. I heart fall. 5 of our 6 birthdays are between the end of August and early November (poor Matt is the odd man out), and Halloween is a HUGE deal around here. Almost time to put away t's and shorts & break out the jeans and sweaters. Have I told you I seem to have a sweater addiction? Love 'em!

Yesterday was a perfectly glorious day here! Cool and beautiful. Evie and William both had soccer practice and I had an hour to kill with Jason and Sarah. They played on the playground for a little bit until Sarah was tired & then we just sat & hung out with snacks while waiting for William to be finished. They crawled all over me like puppies and just had fun chasing each other. Heaven. I'm really enjoying my days with just the two little ones while the big two are at school.

Hard to get much of anything done, what with all the intervention and rescuing I must do, but this is the one year I will have the two of them at home, as Sarah will start preschool next year, so I'm out to make the most of it. At least while they aren't fighting.

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