Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ramblings: When good times go bad...

I finally downloaded the pics from my camera. All were of Trace (which should keep the Grandmas happy). At least he'll never be able to claim there aren't any pictures of him like most last-borns do.

Those Russian czars sure are fickle.

 Hello, I'm Trace. I'm sure happy. Let's try some tummy time.

Well, now this is some real fun. Wow. I can look all around.
Hey Mom! There you are!
Ok. Wait. This is getting kinda hard. 
My neck. It' of a head.
Rolling over is so over-rated. I'll eat my fist until I feel better. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rave: Pure Awesomeness

Query: When selecting tattoos for the back of your thighs (a very logical location for two giant tattoos, thank you very much), do you go for something classic--like a heart with an arrow? Or do you opt for two matching 80's hairbow tattoos to grace the back of your legs for the rest of your life?

Answer (if you're the lady standing in front of me at Macy's): HAIRBOWS, all the way.

Pure Awesomeness.

But what is that tat on her ankle, you ask? I'm not sure. I didn't want to get any closer. But here's my guess:
Long live the 80's.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ramblings: I'll try to give her a break...

Maddie. But the sympathy that she's earned having four brothers is quickly wearing off. For example, a conversation the other night when she came into the room where I was on the elliptical:
    *Mom, your stomach is all jiggly when you exercise. Probably because you're fat.
    *Well, thank you very much. That was so nice of you to notice.
    *Oh, (giggling--trying to find a friendlier word than fat) how about...large?
    *Nope. Not much nicer.
    *Medium sized?
    * How about you just refrain from commenting about people's jiggly fat?
    *Hmmm. Maybe. (Runs out of the room)

I should get this Dr. Phil poster and hang it in front of the elliptical. Or she'll probably get it for me for Mother's Day.

And I promised the story of the new TV stand. We've had the same TV cabinet for about five years. It was definitely on its last leg--literally. The kids have broken the doors off it about five separate times and we've reattached them with the wonder of wood glue and some sturdy clamps. They even used the poor thing as a launching pad to measure how far they can jump across the room. I had been searching to find its replacement for months--which explains why Maddie is still alive after doing what she did.

I was dusting it when I stopped dead in my tracks. Scratched into the wood finish right on the top in plain view was about a five inch "A L E X." I immediately thought of Maddie because I had recently caught her writing on cabinets, desks, and in weird places . But when I asked her she immediately acted surprised, shocked, and then tried to change the subject. Definitely suspicious behavior. But her 20 minute denial throughout my constant badgering was so emphatic, I let it go.

The dynamic duo of destruction (the twins) were eliminated at the beginning of my investigation because neither of them can even spell their own names correctly 100% of the time, let alone someone else's. But they were happily anxious to see which sibling was going to get busted for the crime.  They also suggested funny and highly preposterous schemes as to how it could've happened. One involved a dog sneaking into the house. If I find that literate and dexterous dog, I'll be a rich, jiggly woman. And I'd shove it into a big onesie and become one of those pet owners. (You know who you are.)

When Alex got home, I immediately questioned him. "Did you carve your name in the tv stand?" He looked genuinely surprised and said, "No," with a sort of  'why would I even do that'? sound to it. I could tell he had no idea what I was talking about, plus it really didn't fit his M.O. I officially eliminated him as a suspect.

So back to Maddie. I tried everything. 1. Guilt tripping her--I told her Alex was going to get in serious, serious trouble so if she had something to tell me she better do it soon. No confession. (Although not too surprising that she wouldn't feel bad if he went down for the crime.) 2. I tried playing nice cop. That I just needed to know to satisfy my curiosity and that everyone makes mistakes. No confession. I was using everything I learned watching my cop shows, but to no avail. 3. Threats. I told her to fess up and take her punishment like a big kid. I would go easier the sooner she folded. Nope. 4. Bluffing. Finally, I told her I knew she did it so she better just confess.  She said, "Tell me how you know...?" I refused and sent her to her room and told her I'd discuss it with her when she was ready and willing to come out and be honest.

Thirty minutes later (she's stubborn I tell you) Aidan came downstairs carrying a tiny folded up piece of paper. "It's from Maddie," he said. So I open it up and read:
Ok. I did do it. But I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want to get in trouble. But how about for my punishment I can't play with friends for two weeks. Tell me yes or no. MADDIE

Too easy. After a stern lecture about honesty and destruction of property, I tried to think of a punishment for her. Alex is easy--taking away his video game devices or friends works perfectly. But Maddie doesn't have anything like that she loves doing so much it would be a punishment if taken away.  I tried something else that works great on Alex--writing sentences. An old favorite from when we were growing up--just ask my brother Greg. I think his hand is still slightly deformed into a claw shape from the time he had to write some sentence about 1000 times. (What did you do to earn that one?)

She had to write "I will be honest and I will not destroy other people's things" fifty times. This is where my brilliant plan backfired. She ENJOYED it. It was one big "let's play pretend school"  session for her. She excitedly ran off and got her pencil, sharpened it, and picked the perfect paper. Numbered it all the way down and started writing. Half way through, she brought me her papers to admire and happily chirped, "I'm going to get it all done right now before bed!"

Grrr. Nothing worse than when you're trying to prove a point and you miss the mark completely. Maybe I should have made it 100.  Now I know for next time. But should she get any credit for being smart enough to carve someone else's name? Or was she just silly enough to think that would make her impossible to catch?

There better be no next time as far as carving into the furniture goes. We finally found a new media cabinet and coffee table and have threatened their lives if they willfully damage them. (It was an exceptionally painful process because we took the kids with us shopping. All of them. Although they didn't go into a few stores because I refused to be completely mortified by dragging them through quiet, peaceful places like Ethan Allen. That's when the DVD player in the car comes in handy. Jeremy wasn't too sad to sit out there with them either.) The countdown's on until the first big fat scratch is laid into one of new pieces and then we can relax and let them continue their five year lifespan.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ramblings: UN-eventful backlog of junk

It snowed Sunday. Which meant we spent 45 minutes gathering up warm clothes, coats, hats, and gloves for all the kids to go play in it, only to have them peeled off and strewn across the kitchen about 35 minutes after that. Luckily I started the hot chocolate machine (yeah, that's right--a machine dedicated solely to the production of hot cocoa. If you don't have one, you definitely should) the minute they all got outside. Maddie was first back in followed by Aidan. Then Trace. (Only kidding. Calm down. He was snuggled warmly in his crib snoozing the day away.) Alex lasted the longest and has a snow fort to show for his endurance and frostbite.

It's been freezing here this week. I know, I know. You folks in areas where it snows all winter long have no sympathy. But us wienies down here in Texas like our winters at a manageable 50 degrees. Because of the windchill today, it's supposed to feel about 19* or something. Completely UNACCEPTABLE. How am I supposed to lock three wild boys (and half the neighborhood kids) in the backyard to burn off their energy when it's so dang cold? Instead I have them all running through the house like wild hooligans. Completely UNMANAGEABLE.

Jeremy flew to Minnesota yesterday. Right before he left his office for the airport he called and said, "Uh-oh. I forgot to bring my coat." There's a very good reason I packed for him for the first 10 years we were married. I wonder what he'll have to show for his frostbite. But don't feel too bad. He managed to send a courier to come pick it up from the house and chauffeur it to him before his flight left. The guy gave me the strangest look when I handed him a garment bag on a hanger. I think he expected important documents or a cooler marked "HUMAN HEART" or something. I'm going to have a business card printed up reading "Please excuse my husband's ADD." I could hand it out on many occasions. The kids are jealous Dad is somewhere where there is tons of snow in the winter. Alex has proclaimed that we need to go to Minnesota for vacation next Christmas for two WHOLE weeks (he was very emphatic. I talked him down from a month) so they can have adequate time to play in the snow. Hmm. Completely UNLIKELY.

So I've hit that part of post-pregnancy when my hair sheds. Does this happen to everyone else?? I practically have a handful if I run my hand through my hair. It's everywhere. Poor little Trace has it all over him. Maybe I could save it and weave a little toupee for him to wear. He's still bald and not very much fuzz has grown back. Except that saving hair in a ziploc sounds a little too much like something serial killers do. (Because otherwise weaving a wig for a three month old would be perfectly normal, right?) This picture is over a month old, but I couldn't help but point out his resemblance to megamind.  UNCANNY. He almost even got the mouth right.

The boys had preschool again today for the first time since before Christmas. It's been about a month. In kid terms that's practically an eternity. They were a little confused--at first they thought it was a new school year and they were all geared up for their first day of kindergarten. I'm relieved it wasn't since they have no interest in learning anything they need to know before kindergarten really does start next year. Needless to say the few quiet hours around here have been welcome. A quiet house--completely UNUSUAL.

I just realized that Jeremy adjusted the office chair while he was in here working this weekend. I didn't realize I was typing with the keyboard practically at eye level. Tough life for us vertically challenged. Much better now. Just in time to sign off. Must mentally prepare for the after-school rush of snacks, fights, homework, piano lessons, dinner, showers, and finally BEDTIME. UNQUESTIONABLY the best time of day. Although getting all five in bed (and staying there) seems to take all night. Especially when my backup is freezing his hiney off in Minnesota and when my patience is UNEXISTENT. (Stuck that in just to see if you were paying attention).

Kisses from me and T til next time. He refused to smooch his lips because he caught sight of the bright computer screen taking our picture. It's a good thing I raised up that chair or all you'd have gotten is the top of my head.
Next time...the tale of the new TV cabinet.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ramblings: Top 10 ways you know it's been too long since you blogged...

10. Your kids' teeth have already grown in since the latest pictures on your blog where the teeth were missing.
9. Your ten year old lectures you about how you need to "write more stuff online" for him to read.
8. Your nine year old had a birthday and turned ten--and now he thinks he can lecture you. 
7. The newborn you were writing about last time often sleeps in 8 hour chunks at night now. WHOO-HOO!
6. It's been so long since you typed on a keyboard that you have to relearn the "home keys."
5. (Another) One of your kids has decided to pee in various rooms other than the bathroom and you haven't told the internet world about it yet.
4. The last post was before your Christmas decorations had been put up and now there's Valentines Day stuff for sale at Target and they're prepping for Easter.
3. The blogger log in page asks, "Really? I thought you were dead" when you sign in.
2. The kids have smashed 5 holes in our walls through the sheet rock and we've already gotten around to patching them. 
1. Blog? What blog?

I'll be better now. I promise. I've got new pictures and fun stories involving bodily functions and more home destruction. Just in time for the New Year.