Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ramblings: Christmas Catch Up

Ok. I know, I know. It's been like a whole entire WEEK since I posted any weird drivel. And my three faithful readers (all blood relatives, I'm sure) are getting bored of looking at Mrs. Claus down there. But I've been in a posting funk. Plus, with all the kids home all day for the past week and a half the house is in a constant state of chaotic messiness. Tyson is getting his hearty daily workout sucking up all the crushed ornaments, crackers, potting soil, human limbs...just checking to see if you were paying attention. And since Alex has a growing love for his online computer games, I have to fight him for computer time and he bites harder and has a stronger kung fu grip on the keyboard than I do. 

Those are most of my excuses for my blogging vacation. The other involves becoming mildly depressed after attending a funeral two days after Christmas for a baby of a couple from church. That one took a while to get over. And I'm pretty sure everyone else there thought I was having some sort of severe emotional breakdown. Or they just thought I was choking on something based on all the weird snarfing and snorting that erupting as I tried to stifle the sobbing. But my tear ducts are officially shriveled up and my body's completely dehydrated, so I figure I'll get back to posting now. 

On a happier note, some of  "the girls" managed to sneak away from the Christmas Story marathon playing all day and night on cable for a girls' night out dinner.  We're trying to make this a regular occurrence, but we need some more COOPERATION from the girls. Only four of us were available--everyone else got sucked into the Christmas Story I guess. 

We literally spent about 30 minutes after dinner trying to get a decent shot of all of us during a horrendous humid wind storm outside the restaurant. FYI-never ask a four foot tall middle schooler hanging out with her friends to take a picture of you, because from that angle, NO ONE looks good. We finally got one of the restaurant guys to take this one from a normal angle where none of us looked like Jabba the Hutt
We did a White Elephant Exchange (which I DO know how to play, Jessica, but I just didn't know if we wanted to be all hard core and steal gifts from each other, possibly hurting the feelings of the more sensitive (or, the girls that are actually nice) on the opposite side of our table.) 
I received the awesomest silver brick, err I mean box, with a stack of deceased pens molded on the top. It looks like a Pen version of a war memorial and weighs about as much as I would guess my minivan weighs. We decided that I'll put all my pens in it so the twins can't get them out and write all over the walls for the millionth time. They may not be strong enough to get that lid off until they're seniors in high school, so I think I'm safe. Unless they decide to use it as a weapon, which of course they  will, so it may go into hiding soon. Plus, it looks like it could be covered with lead based paint, so I'll probably croak soon from that anyway. 

Jessica got the gift I brought--a battery operated American Idol microphone that will "Amplify Your Voice so Everyone Can Hear You Sing!" Perfect for all her imitations and Britney Spears wanna be dance video reenactments. She should be flattered that I peeled it out of Jeremy's kung fu grip after I told him it was signed by David Archuleta, which it wasn't, but I wanted to see that glimmer of hope and excitement in his eyes. Or she can use it to throw at Austin during their next fight instead of sentimental fertility statues from foreign countries like the last time. 

And not only did Isela get a free meal outta the night because 
they discovered they were out of what she had ordered, (which was hilarious because she realized she had forgotten her wallet about 3 minutes before they came out and told us) but she also scored some ultimate Mom accessories. *The Krust Buster and some sandwich stamps*. 
But really, she just spent the whole night flirting with all the 16 year old waiters in Spanish when she thought we couldn't understand her. Busted. Four years of Spanish classes didn't prove worthless after all. 

Jessica really, really enjoyed the bath salts and the neck massaging towel thingy that she got. Perhaps they were magic bath salts because she looks kinda intoxicated in this picture. That would also explain how crazy eyed she looks in the last one when I told her not to get squinty-eyed. 

She's gonna really love me for putting that one on here.  Almost as much as me warning everyone--never, ever, ever ask her if  you can go boating. Seriously. You will live to regret it. Until the wee hours of the morning. 

A fun night was had by all, except Jeremy who thought I was dead around 11 PM and started calling around to friends and family to make sure I wasn't. My phone just happened to still be on vibrate, and I assumed he would realize that when four girlies get together, we can chat all night long. I'll be back to post about Christmas as soon as I can get MY allotted computer time again. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rant: Behind every successful FAT man...

Why is it that Santa gets all the credit for pulling Christmas off when I'm 99% sure that it's the woman behind the Fat Man that has done all the work to make it happen. In fact, she probably worked for weeks to get all the necessary items made, purchased, and wrapped WHILE AT THE SAME TIME dealing with the cranky, hyper, and "bored" elves that have minimal interest in promoting the Christmas spirit.

And I'm also pretty sure on Christmas Eve after he's finished arranging all the presents underneath the tree, and he's finally laying his head down to go to sleep, that Santa turns to Mrs. Claus (if he can find her buried under all of his body pillows) and says, "Oh, what did we get everyone for Christmas this year?"

P.S. When I was trying to find a Mrs. Claus image via google, I was surprised at the numerous amount of Claus-themed lingerie that's apparently available out there. Yikes. I never knew guys thought Mrs. Claus was so hot.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ramblings: Welcome the New Addition

Say hello to the newest addition to the family. No! Calm down. My teeter totter will remain balanced for the near (and if you ask me on most days, the distant) future.
We had to replace the boys' door knob with this beauty after a relatively violent (at least to the door) timeout battle. I think they had taken a bowl of decorative Christmas ball ornaments and smashed them one by one on the tile floor--but I can't really remember. Most days are a blur. Anyway, the boys busted their handle so it only opened the door from their side of the room and I couldn't get in. If only it was the other way around---oh wait! NOW IT IS! Yes, that is a lock on the wrong side of the door. But it's on the PERFECT side of the door if you have some crazy two year olds you'd like to contain for a short (or long--depending on the disaster I'm trying to clean up) amount of time. I recognize there is a down side to this--the very definite and absolute fact that they will wholeheartedly commit, with 110% effort, to completely destroying everything and anything in their bedroom during their imprisonment. But at least then the evil geniuses will be confined to one room as opposed to having full reign of the house.

As I was taking this picture, I couldn't help but wonder how the two sweet little angel babies in the picture hanging right by the door could be the same wrecking crew that I plan on locking in there several times tomorrow. Enlarge that picture if you don't believe me--look at that cuteness. You could just bite them, they look so sweet and cuddly. These days if I feel like biting them, it's for very, very different reasons.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ramblings: All He Wants for Christmas

Dear Tooth Fairy,

I wanted to swallow it so I would not feel pain. But it was literally hanging on by one thread and dad said to pull it so I gripped it and POP! It came out! And it never bled! So I would like 5.00.

Sunday afternoon the last of his front teeth--the one that he has been sneaking up on me and shoving in my face to freak me out with--finally broke from the last tiny thread that had been holding it in his mouth. He has spent the last week twisting, flicking, wiggling, and generally grossing everyone out with it. Maddie told me one day after they got off the bus, "Alex can even make his tooth buck!" Say what? After some investigating, she meant that he could push it out with his tongue to make it look like a buck tooth. That right there is some definite material for the school talent show.

Alex must think the Tooth Fairy's really loaded--$5 a tooth? And do you get more if you manage to get the teeth out without bleeding on them? I guess if you factor in inflation, that's probably about the same amount I got from Ms. T.F. back in my day. At least this time he didn't make any false representations about giving his money to “the poor.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rant: How much Christmas spirit is too much Christmas spirit?

I'm all for decking the halls and stringing up some Christmas lights, but there are a few houses around us that are completely out of control. One house in particular comes to mind. There are so many inflatable Christmas creatures, fake sleighs being pulled by mechanical reindeer, giant snow globes, ridiculously sacrilegious character nativity scenes (isn't anyone else out there disturbed by Scooby Doo dressed up like a wiseman?), and crazy wooden cutouts that there isn't an inch of lawn showing anywhere around the house. The "lawn ornaments" are practically stacked on top of each other.  It looks like the lawn and garden sections at Home Depot and Lowe's threw up all over the place. 

I would take some pictures, but I'm quite sure that the immense amount of light all their Christmas spirit is giving off would result in my camera totally imploding as it tried to figure out what was going on (that is if my camera wasn't already currently broken...sniff, sniff)--plus without a wide angle lens, this sight really couldn't be fully appreciated. I'm really impressed at how much these folks must be shelling out in extra $ to pay for the electricity to keep all these things lit up, turning, blown-up, and levitating all night long. One of these lawns alone probably uses more watts in one night than some small countries use in a whole month.

I promise I'm not anti-Christmas lawn decor. Really, I'm not. It's just that sometimes less really is more. And something about seeing a glowing 8 foot statue of a heavenly looking winged baby Jesus, propped right next to an equally huge inflatable Spongebob wearing a stocking hat and popping out of a chimney is just WRONG.

And no, this is not the particular house that I'm referring to, but it's a pretty good example of the going overboard that I'm talking about. Except, this one isn't quite tacky enough and there aren't enough fake religious figurines...

Ramblings: Funny Things I Heard before 8 AM

Maddie: "I don't like the left turns on my toast."

Aidan: "Not that one. That paci have germs on it."

I've decided that 1) I need to convince Maddie that her crust is all right turns and 2) when your 2 year old is capable of articulating his germ phobia, he's probably too old for his pacifier. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ramblings: Jam-packed weekend o' fun

Alex turned EIGHT on Thursday and we celebrated by going CrAzY for the next few days....or maybe that was just me. The weekend was sort of a blur.  Jeremy's parents flew in from Washington on Thursday night and were in town until this morning.  The kids loved every minute of being entertained by Grandma and Grandpa Apples. 

(This name evolved when Alex and Maddie were little in an attempt to help them distinguish between sets of grandparents. Jeremy's parents live on an orchard, and the logical name of G&G Apples has stuck every since. And since my parents have the ranch, we'll just call them G&G Manure Factory. I'm still trying to get that one to stick.  When we told Aidan that G&G Apples were coming, he got all excited and screamed, "Yeah, I gonna EAT ONE!" I don't think he really quite got it yet. But after a few days, he has decided they are not actually giant apples with arms and legs.)

Since they don't get to see them that often, we let the big kids skip school on Friday which is about as exciting as Christmas morning I guess. I don't really know why--they really like school--I think it was just the thrill of knowing they were skipping and bragging to all their friends. Jeremy's brother's family even made the long haul from Dallas (heehee) to hang out with us. Alex spent every spare moment training Grandpa in a variety of sports and trampoline skills. He kept saying stuff like, "I'm turning this old man into a real football player," and Grandpa agreed because now he can throw a nice spiral. 

Grandma braved Gingerbread House making with the kids while the boys were napping (wise decision, Grandma). And that project just allowed them to make sneaky candy-snatching trips into the kitchen over the next two days until they ate it down to the gingerbread two by fours.

We had a little birthday party for Alex, complete with the chocolate cake he requested. I wrote '8 is great!' in icing and then Aidan walked up and stabbed his fork straight into the 'great' because he "needed a taste." Eight didn't look so great after that. I tried to repair it but it just ended up looking like I had a momentary bout of Parkinson's when I was decorating it. 

On Friday night we even managed to sneak out for a dinner with just the adults...and the world's cutest little newborn.  And Andrea, since you are slacking on your own blog, just refer your friends and family here to see recent pics of the little guy. Even though those 2 AM feedings would be perfect for a little computer activity---think of it as mulit-tasking for the grossly sleep deprived. And I'm guessing it would be a funnier blog when you're half asleep. Seriously though--don't you just want to eat this little guy? Especially in that last one with his little kangaroo hands in his papoose. I was mean enough to post this picture even though G-ma was in the middle of enjoying her enchilada and not saying cheese like instructed. 

I took a picture of Spencer and Andrea (who will from now on be referred to as "Spandrea" in Brangelina's honor ) with little J.A., who thought Grandpa was telling a pretty funny joke at the time.  I have mentioned the Fielding boys have the mouth-gaping-open tendency in photos, right? More evidence-from both Spence and the wee one. 

The worst news of the night: my purse with my Nikon camera inside fell off the counter when we got home. I realized the lens had broken when I tried to take pictures during our game playing later that evening. Jeremy insisted on testing it before he'd believe me...and I was right--busted lens meant no focus. I wanted to barf--I think you can tell that in this pic even without the focus. I don't usually haul around my nice camera to restaurants but I knew they'd turn out better, but now that was the most expensive dinner ever. 

Saturday was Alex's baptism at our church. (In the LDS church, age 8 is typically the age that children are baptized. They are baptized in white in a font (or tub sort of thing) of water--which Alex was majorly stressing would be too cold.) He was doing all sorts of jobs around the house Sunday morning and when I asked him why, he said, "Well, I'm like an adult now so I've got to do lots of work and more jobs around the house." If only that attitude would stick...

We had alot of friends and family attend and it was definitely a special little program. Maddie and her cousins did a fabulous job singing together and I was just relieved that none of her bootie-shaking moves emerged.  The boys were HORRENDOUSLY CRAZY, and left the room screaming about gum and finding the shoot-its (basketball hoops) in the gym. Luckily someone volunteered to play with them in there so I didn't miss the whole thing.  I think Aidan confused the quick picture-taking with a frantic game of head, shoulders, knees, and toes. 

Pretty much right after that, Jeremy and I had to leave for his firm's Christmas party. UGH is the only thing I can think to say about it. Finding something formal-ish with the necessary coverage is practically impossible.  If
I needed something that barely covered the business, then I would've had plenty of "dresses" (a.k.a. tiny, spandexy patches of material) to choose from. But getting all dressed up at the end of a long day, and heading downtown to stand around, chatting while everyone else drinks isn't my dream night on the town without the kids. 
Jeremy can't ride three minutes in the car without hooking up his ipod first. He has to know that he can reach Manilow and Archuleta in under five seconds in case he gets carjacked by a middle aged woman, a gay man, or a geeky tween. The idea being that he could woo them into submission and then bond with them over Copacabana. Here I am annoyed that we're running late and he's getting it all cued up...

The party's never as bad as I convince myself it's going to be in the weeks leading up to it, and by the end of the night, it actually becomes funny being the only entirely sober people there. We were taking bets on how long it was going to take before some inappropriate photos were taken in the mall-type photo booth they had set up in one corner. 

Sunday was much more relaxing--that is after we fought the boys for the first hour of church to keep them from running around and getting into the gym to "shoot it" again. They are so ridiculously obsessed with basketball it's starting to cause some serious issues. 

G&G Apples had a long day of traveling today to make it back to their B&B in Washington. We loved having them for the quick visit and hope we didn't wear them out too much. Today I had to get back to the normal routine that I've been neglecting all weekend. I tackled 8 loads of laundry, vacuumed three times due to some major cracker fiascos, attempted to scrub ink pen drawings that are carved into one whole end of the kitchen table, and grocery shopping. Now I'm going to vege out and watch a most cheesy episode of Prison Break--where the lead guy squints for a full hour. And tomorrow I'll tackle the rest of the cleaning and start on my Christmas shopping...Any bright ideas (or requests) out there?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rave: Mental breakdown=fun jewelry

Jeremy must have sensed I was on the verge of a complete and total mental breakdown, because on Tuesday morning I found a little surprise waiting for me. (Wow! Who knew that dealing with poo and other fabulously horrible disasters until you are quite literally pulling your hair out in mental anguish could yield something so pretty?)

I'm guessing he ordered it for an intended Christmas present, but sensing the urgency to boost my will to live and ability to function on a day to day basis, deciding to spring it on me earlier.  It turns out he was actually listening a couple weeks ago when I laid on some pretty heavy hinting about a few items while looking through the Sundance jewelry catalog.  
Good. Good husband. Sit. Now Stay. Staaaay. 

But the sad thing is, I'm kinda afraid to wear it for fear it will get tangled in the hair I'm attempting to pull out. Quite a dilemma...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rant: We've reached AN ALL TIME LOW







Apparently a pebble-sized little poo-nugget fell out of his diaper and onto the floor. (Yes, he was wearing pants AND a diaper the entire time.) A few minutes later, he found it and thought it was some sort of fruit snack(?) or something and decided to give it a try. He came and got me in the kitchen-- spitting and wiping his tongue.

What's wrong? I asked, already worrying about the reply.
"Me ate poop."
"Me ate poop nugget."
"In dinding room."
"See-Right dere."

And yes, indeed it was right there. The tiny little poo-poo nugget, bit in half, lying on the dining room carpet.


Ramblings: A Beefy Turkey Day

My intended post about Thanksgiving that I've been mentally writing for the last several days already seems like ancient history. That's what always seems to happen right after Thanksgiving...tons of things to do in a few busy weeks and then all of a sudden it's Christmas. But I'm going to go ahead and post it because we took some funny pictures. And I managed to sneak Alex away and get one or two to update the photo wall-- so all that's left of the football of dread is the family shot, which will be the worst of all.
**As I type this I'm trying to calm heart palpitations because I've just noticed that on the corner of my giant new fabulously bright and clear Mac screen, someone (I'm guessing one of two short, trouble-making "someones") has drawn about a five inch line in blue marker. It's not coming off and I'm quite sure it was done with the blue permanent marker I hijacked yesterday from a sprinting "I know I'm busted so I'm going to run like the wind" Avery. Let's just say it's a good thing he's napping right now or he'd be getting the business.**

Anyway, we spent Thanksgiving at my parents house this year. Apparently my mom wanted to replace all of her fragile decor with new stuff and she knew the best way to justify this was to have the twins over and break anything and everything in sight. Or she wanted to see if their new treadmill was really capable of killing several small children. Verdict on that--almost. The small children were a bit closer to killing the treadmill by hanging, swinging, and chucking things at it.

Before dinner, we took the herd out to see a herd of a different species at my parents' ranch. The older kids have been out there alot, but it was the first time the little boys were old enough to be amazed by all the horseys and cows. Once they were convinced the animals weren't trying to eat them for Thanksgiving dinner, they thought it was a pretty fun deal. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees so it was a great day to be outside.

They even got to ride in the back of Grandpa's truck on some hay bales--Aidan liked to "fly" in the wind. Avery was, of course, annoyed by the wind.
As we were driving on some back roads to the gate entrance, Maddie spotted this utility shed and got all excited.."Are we going over to that baby house over there?!" I think she imagined it was full of new toys and hot chocolate with warm cookies or something.

We drove though the pastures to see all the animals and check on some of the mama cows that were due to have their babies soon. All four kids were mostly impressed by the amount of cow pies that were everywhere. Aidan just kept pointing at the cows and screaming, "He have POOP on him!" He was probably just excited to think that someone other than Avery and himself liked to lounge around in their own feces.

The kids and Grandpa made the most giant bottle ever to feed to a little orphaned calf. Aidan LOVED this little guy--he didn't want to leave his side. He just kept rubbing his head and getting really close to him to chat (probably about the best products to remove those stubborn poop stains). Avery was not too interested in the animals, but all the fun fences and gates and other death traps were much more entertaining. He was having a staring contest with a mama cow from his perch.

This picture of Alex was him explaining why he was a bit nervous to let the slobbery calf suck on his finger like Grandpa kept trying to convince him to--he didn't like the chance that he'd be riding back home with one less finger than he came with, even though he watched three other people do it just fine.

Do you think CPS would have a problem with me installing one of these inside of my house? (FYI for non-cowboys: this is the place where you run the cow in and the gate closes behind them and you can squeeze 'em really tight with the sides. Their head sticks out and they can't move around so you can give them shots or whatever.) 
I promise I wouldn't squeeze them too tight--I mainly just need it for caging purposes.

Avery was reading my mind and refused to stand in it on the off chance (or quite probable chance) that I wouldn't ever let him out.It was a little overwhelming for all the kids when we walked back to get in the truck and most of a herd had gathered around waiting to bite their faces off. Just joking, cows. Stop sending me hate emails! They just know the truck usually means chow time so they were anxiously optimistic that these little miniature cowboy-wannabes were going to offer them some grub. No luck unless they were able to find the five or six handfuls of hay the boys chucked into the wind for them. Alex told me I should try to sell my cow pictures to Chick-fil A. (I told you he's always trying to think of ways to make money.) But do you think they'd send me free salad coupons in exchange?

Jeremy got the awesome job of locking and unlocking the gates that my brothers refer to with a very naughty name--hmm, let's just say it rhymes with Gate Witch. We let Avery take a few rounds on the four wheelers before calling it quits on the ranch. We wanted to give the kids every possible opportunity to maim or disfigure themselves before we left.

And in the barn, Alex was once again reminded that we are the only people on the face of the whole entire earth that don't own a dog. And the fact that we don't makes mom PURE EVIL. And then when he asked what kind of dog Rufus was, the "hound" reply led to a "Where the Red Fern Grows" reference, and then the plot summary was almost enough to make Alex start crying right there on top of poor Rufus. I'm guessing watching it won't be on our "to-do" list anytime soon.

And if the other family pictures don't turn out, we may just send out this very, very redneck version. And then we checked everyone's shoes for cow poop and loaded up to go home so we could stuff our faces for about 20 minutes on a meal that took about 20 hours to prepare. (I'm starting to think it might not be worth it---all that cooking and dish cleaning for 20 minutes of eating. Seems like if we ordered pizza and focused our baking efforts on the dessert portion of the meal, it'd be much more enjoyable.)

Whilst the men unbuttoned their pants in front of the football game and the women finished the dishes (why is that always the case?!), the big kids made some Perler bead ornaments. They got really into it and Alex was so proud of the Christmas tree he made---that is, until he tried to show Uncle Greg who thought they were already stuck together and wrecked the whole thing. Alex just started screaming "Get started. Get started--you have to fix it!" and then he ran out. So guilt-ridden Greg used his freshly-completed college degree in Perler-bead design to spell out ALEX inside the ornament. All was forgiven...but I did not post the next picture where Greg was covertly raising his middle finger in my general direction because I was harassing him about taking over the kids' craft project.We had a great time and a very thankful Thanksgiving. Sorry that was a novel--but my memory's failing in my old age and I wanted to journal it so I have a chance of remembering it in the future. We hope everyone was also able to enjoy their Turkey Day with friends and family.

Alex's 8th birthday is on Thursday, so I'll be posting sooner than later...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ramblings:White Trash Birthday

Sunday was Jeremy's birthday--the big 3-4. As you can tell, he was super excited that I made him wear one of the twins' "Birthday Boy" hats from last year. Before I show you what he got for his birthday, I have to explain my reasoning. 

Since we've lived in Texas for 4 years now, Jeremy is getting close to the deadline. What deadline? you ask. Well, the unofficial law requiring men to fulfill at least one (with bonus W.T. points for completing all three) of the following activities within the first five years of residence: 1) sit shirtless in a lawn chair on your front porch to chat with your neighbors before and/or after mowing your lawn--which also must be done mostly undressed 2) attend a NASCAR event with your dog and/or wife; or 3) purchase a small appliance or piece of cookware that would allow you to eat a diet consisting entirely of fried food. 

So that explains why I got Jeremy his very own "Professional Deep Fryer," a gallon of peanut oil, and 4 pounds of chicken wings. Because let's face it, he only mowed our 1/2 acre lawn for one summer before deciding to hire a mowing crew, his upper body is blindingly white (I'm talking albino here), and most of our neighbors are really, really weird and are the type that continually offer entirely TMI (too much info--like detailed conversations they overheard on the phone between their teenage son and his girlfriend. Yikes.). That, and I won't let him buy a dog until the dog's poop is the only poop in or out of the house that I have to clean up. And since the twins' fascination with playing in their own feces continues with no end in sight, there is no doggy or NASCAR in our future.

And that's why I had to make the W.T. purchase to make food frying easier--plus he's been wanting to try all these recipes from the Food Network that require you to deep fry various chicken body parts wrapped in bacon, with a side of battered clogged arteries, and a triple bypass for dessert.  I also got him a new sports coat to wear to work, but that's much less exciting...or fattening. And Alex made him a Lego airplane creation for his desk at work--"complete with guy" he told Jeremy. 

He broke in the thing with a batch of fried chicken wings, tater tots, and breaded green beans. See his face dripping with anticipation??--oh wait, it's just dripping from the greasy fumes blasting at his head.  Maddie was a bit baffled when we told her "No dessert until you go eat all of your grease first." 
Our entire house smelled like a vat of steaming lard. It's been almost 24 hours and the stink is still lingering. I feel like everything I touch is slimed in a layer of peanut oil. But even I will admit those were some tasty tater tots. 

P.S. I figured out how to program my mouse to have the right click functions, so I can go back to taking the right click for granted again. Life is getting easier to navigate on planet Mac.  Do you think I can program it to scrub poop out of the carpet?