November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving? Or Monster Mash?

Try as we might, we never seem to know exactly how our holiday plans will turn out. Trips to Florida are always spur of the moment since they are based on plane ticket prices or how poor we are feeling. Sometimes our stay at the in-laws depends on what we've got going on, or how well the kids are doing. Goodness, isn't there suppose to be some sort of planning involved in "plans"?
Well, this Thanksgiving we ended up at the in-laws, and when I say the in-laws I mean my in-laws. The kids had fun terrorizing Grandma and Grandpa and playing with their cousins. It was definitely more like a monster mash.
I didn't take many pictures of the festivities, just some of my own monsters in true character.

Savannah, feeling very victimized and wronged over... something, but I don't remember what.

Joseph, pretending to be totally oblivious and innocent of whatever crime was just committed.

Jacob, probably upset because the red sea didn't part for him.

Still, he sure does know how to be cute and cuddly. He's sleeping.

Jacob can finally get his revenge on his unaware older brother for all the crimes committed against him! Nothing like the ole' chapstick in the hair prank!

Definitely happy to be with her cousins.

Taking a break from all the long, hard, grueling playing! Oh the torture!

What do you think? Is Joseph sleeping on a fluffy white pillow? Or a stale marshmallow?

I'm going with the stale marshmallow. And yes, that is indeed my belly.

Savannah is finally applying all that engineering mumbo-jumbo daddy is always spouting at her. She's so much smarter than I am. At least she seems to be able to make some sense of what he's saying!

You gotta ask yourself, do I feel lucky?

Oh ya, definitely lucky! Lucky enough to look upon my ultimate cuteness!

Savannah, feeling all important while she drills and tests her cousin on the types of food being eaten in "The Hungry Caterpillar".

So, I'm curious, who went shopping at some insanely early hour on black Friday? No, I didn't, but I still want to know if you did.

November 25, 2008

Ah, the Good Life!

Savannah is playing at a friends house. I put the boys down for naps and all is still. I glance at the sink full of dishes and my dirty counter tops, I view the toy and book-strewn living room which comes complete with a decapitated and mutilated couch. My bed is still not made and the bathrooms are in dire need of a make-over.
I put my hands on my hips and survey the wreckage with a critical eye. There were just so many opportunities for fun I was having a hard time choosing! Finally, exhausted from trying to make up my mind, I plop down in a chair and for the next two hours, I manage to do nothing even remotely productive. Yes, it was indeed a great time in my life.
But thanks to my super-natural, ultra-mega-mommy skills, I still managed to do the dishes and make dinner before the boys got up. Now that's power!

November 24, 2008

Daddy is so Cool

Do you ever wonder what triggers a good day or a bad day? Why is it sometimes you handle things so well, but at other times you just want to duct tape your kids to a chair while you hide in the bathroom? Yes, today was such a day. Its amazing how these miniature people can drive a grown adult to the brink of insanity!
So, after a day of breaking up fighting, cleaning up potty accidents, making food, getting drinks, changing diapers, getting yelled at, cleaning up a million messes; daddy waltzes in the door and the kids pounce on him.
Yes, daddy is by far, the cool one. He has the ability and the energy to play with the kids. After all, it is somewhat hard to waddle quickly, or even bend over at this point. And after the kids are ready for a small break from playing with him, they turn to mommy and say, "Mom, I need a drink! Mom, can you get me a snack? Mom, I need help!" Well, what can ya do?
Still, I can't deny feeling loved when all the kids are fighting over who gets to sit with me for prayers.

Daddy suggested we make hand turkeys for Family Home Evening. The kids loved it!

Jacob mostly just crumpled his turkey while Joseph managed to decapitate his.

This is Savannah's turkey. In case you can't read it, it says, (and I was just writing down what she told me to) "I am thankful for my turkey and all my stuff. Oh, and my family".

Daddy and mommy's turkeys. Our hands are about the same length although Luke's hands are, well, considerably wider. He was making fun of me for the way I added the different colored feathers to my turkey.

And here's our little family. What a bunch of turkeys! Ha ha!! No pun intended. Okay, I take it back, the pun was intended.
Just in case you're wondering, the orange oval is an egg that says "baby".

November 21, 2008

The Shoe Story

I love organization. I like everything to have a place. If you saw my apartment at this moment you would call me a lying, delusional fool. But I tell myself its true.
But I'm not obsessive compulsive, at least, I think I'm not. But I do have one pet peeve, stuff without a place. In my world, loose clutter must have some method of containment so I can hide it from view. Just like I can't stand appliances sitting on my counter top, loose clutter must have a spot.
So, when it come to the kids shoes, they need to be put somewhere. I know what you're thinking, well, you just keep them in the closet right? Uh, sorry, wrong. Their closet contains all their toys and so I'm afraid there is no room for shoes. Even if there were, I would want them all lined up in a nice neat row. Like that's going to happen! So, I use to keep them in here... till the kids broke it from shoving shoes in there then yanking it back open.

Well, it was clear that it was time to find a new source of containment. It was a blessed day indeed when I found this amazingly perfect basket at a garage sale for a whole $2!! It was perfect! I put it right by the kids bedroom door. They know where it is and it doesn't require any organization on anybodys part! Perfect right!

If you said "right"! I would say to you, Oh you are so wrong! You think its easy? Well, so do I! But I'm here to tell you its not! For example, I searched high and low for Savannah's church shoe. I looked forever Saturday night, then again Sunday morning! It was no where to be found! Sunday night, as I was getting Jacob's bed ready, I finally found that shiny black piece of frustration.

I was trying to get out the door, but as usual, I couldn't find shoes. I searched high and low, in and out! Nothing. When I finally picked the kids pajamas off the floor that had been sitting by the couch all morning, guess what I found?

And I know I checked under the couch, at least twice!
I think I should invent a shoe detector. They could be implanted into the sole of the shoe and all you would need to do is push a little button and it would lead you right to that sneaky little piece of footwear.

You'd think a basket would be easy enough for all involved, but apparently, there are much better places to stash your shoes.

November 19, 2008

Does It Mean You're a Good Mom When?

- The kids were playing outside on the patio when Savannah hears some kids yelling at each other. Suddenly she comes running inside with a horrified look on her face as she frantically exclaims, "Mom! Those kids said 'shut-up'! That's not a nice word!" As she sprints back out I see Joseph standing by the bars pointing and yelling at the kids, "Naughty! Naughty!"

- Your kids get mad at you for kissing the wrong part of the boo boo.

- True to our usual house conditions, the kids had pulled all the cushions off the couch. Savannah was trying to roll off of one and managed to do a perfect somersault. Completely and utterly excited she yells, "Look mom! I did a flip-off!" I guess I should be proud that she lacks knowledge of the true meaning to the phrase "flip-off".

- You hear your two-year-old talking about telescopes.

- What about when, one night, all the kids are crying because no one wants to say the prayer and then the next night, they are all crying because they are fighting over who gets to say the prayer?

- When your four-year-old daughter tells a complete stranger, who just got on her bike, that she needs to get off because its Sunday, and Sunday is a special day. The poor girl didn't quite know what to make of Savannah.

- Your daughter stares at herself in the mirror while saying, "I'm so beautiful!" Followed by your son coming up next to her and saying in a growling voice, "I'm a handsome boy!"

November 18, 2008

I Desperately Need to Know...

...when do you start decorating for Christmas?
In years past, I have always believed it a great sin to set up for Christmas before Thanksgiving. After all, one holiday at a time! And why should Thanksgiving be overlooked anyway? My family goes camping every year for Thanksgiving (they live in Florida of course) so, Christmas could just wait till that was all done.
But this year, there is no trip to Florida, no campout to look forward to. And for some reason, I want to decorate SO badly for Christmas already!
I LOVE Christmas decorations. While the actual day is nice, it is really that decorations that make me happy. I love all the colors and sparkle of it. One of my favorite things to do still, is drive around and look at Christmas lights.
My parent's house looks somewhat like a log cabin. And as a kid, my dad would put those big, colored lights on the roof, perfectly straight. Since our house is set back a ways from the road, I loved coming home at night and seeing our house all lit up! It always reminded me of a gingerbread house.
So, while I love the colorful traditional "red and green", I have a slight obsession with snowflakes and snowmen. I know, ironic for someone who hates snow. But I am all about the sparkle! And I LOVE the deep royal blue with the snowflakes! That is true happiness. So this year, when I saw what sort of decor was available, I just could help myself! I had to have them! I had even wanted to do a snowflake theme for my wedding. But you try finding snowflake stuff in Florida in the middle of June! Especially if you only had six weeks to plan everything!

Anyway, I found this gorgeous tree skirt, and I just had to get! (It was 40% off!) And as I've been checking out the craft stores they have so many things available that I want that is all sparkly!! Granted, our tiny little six foot tree will only get its top half decorated, thanks to the kidlets, but I still can't wait to do it!
I've decided someday, when we live in a mansion, I will need two rooms, one for my blue, silver, iridescent stuff, and the other for all my colorful Christmas stuff.
So anyway, I really, really, need to know, when is it okay to start decorating for Christmas??

November 17, 2008

Recap of the Week

I know, I've been slacking on the blog. But hey, between potty training, making books for an art show, being pregnant, cleaning up from potty training, cooking, cleaning up from cooking, cleaning up from eating, cleaning up from living... oh sorry, enough of the cleaning.

Anyway, here's just an ever so brief recap of the past week.

The kids were acting kind of bored, so I helped them build this little fort. After they were happily playing with it, I left them to go get a couple other things done.

Suddenly, Savannah cries out, "Oh no! My fortune!" At first I thought that was part of the game, but when tears started to flow, I knew something was wrong.

As it turns out, Jacob had destroyed their fort. But Savannah and Joseph were bemoaning their "fortune". Which apparently is code for "fort".

Playing "doggy" or "kitty". But I guess its much more fun to play in heels...

...especially if you're the dog catcher!

Daddy is certainly a novelty around here. The poor guy can't get a moments peace! Of course, I have no sympathy for him! =)

Hmmm, he definitely has some Smith blood in him. And no, I don't mean he got that from me! *couABEgh*

And here's the doggy and kitty again. Only this time, the doggy comes complete with a hoodie and a tie!

My three little monkeys.

I would like to state for the record that he did not get the idea to lounge in his underwear with heels on from me!

And last, but certainly not least, Jacob found one of Savannah's markers!

Okay, one last quick story to give everyone a laugh at my expense. Well, at least Hubby thinks its funny.

No, no--he thinks its hilarious.

So, this whole potty training thing, let's just say, its not going as well as I had hoped. But I'll spare you the details.

Anyway, on one of the rare occasions Joseph actually informed me that he needed to go, before he already went, I had placed him on the toilet and was moving in to help him position everything so he wouldn't miss or make a mess. At that moment, he let loose and as it hit the toilet, it managed to splash right back into my face!

Words cannot describe that horror, and the nastiness of the situation.

 And yes, Hubby laughed his head off when I told him.

I think I'll leave Jacob in diapers till he's five!

November 11, 2008

Too much Fluid for One Morning

Its day two for Joseph and potty training. So far, nothing disastrous. We only went through eight pairs of underwear yesterday. But like I said, just little things, nothing bad.
Today started out just fine. However, I wasn't feeling too great. The new vitamins my doctor gave me makes me very nauseous, which consequently causes headaches. So, I decided to sit for a minute. Something told me I should take Joseph to the bathroom first but, hey, I was already lounging, no point getting up again if he wasn't going to go, so I thought I would wait a few more minutes. About 5.7 seconds after I shut my eyes I hear the sound of splashing liquid against the carpet. My eyes fly open and there is Joseph, bent over in an arch, hands and head on the floor, watching his homemade waterfall bring... joy and happiness to the living room.
I leap off the couch, whisk Joseph into the bathroom, strip him down and toss him into the tub. After turning the water on for him, I go back out and start scrubbing away at the carpet. I had barely started cleaning up the artistic endeavors of my son when Savannah suddenly yells, "Mommy! Jacob is in the bathtub!"
Once again, I leap up and race to the bathroom. Sure enough...

As I felt my temperature rise, my breathing increase, and my fists clench, it suddenly occurred to me that this should actually be funny! I stared at him for a second, then stormed down the hallway and grabbed that camera. By the time I took the photos, I was actually smiling. I remember being a kid, and well, a teenager too, and finding it really fun to get all wet or go swimming while in my clothes. So, I let Jacob have his moment, for about 10 more seconds, before removing his newly washed, yet now need to be washed again clothes.
Perhaps its a good thing we still live in an apartment. The more kids we get potty trained before moving into a house, the better!

November 10, 2008

Where Do Babies Come From?

People are always telling me about the show, "Jon and Kate Plus 8". Having never seen it before, I decided to check it out online and see what the fuss was all about.
While they were showing pictures of what her belly looked like with the sextuplets, Savannah happened to join me. The following conversation took place.
Savannah :"Mom, how did she get six babies in her tummy?"
Me: "Well, sometimes its hard for people to get pregnant so they take special "vitamins" (like I'm going to tell a four year old that they are taking fertility "drugs") to help them get pregnant. And sometimes, it makes them get lots of babies in their tummy. "
S: "Well, how did you get only one baby in your tummy?"
M: "I don't have to take those special vitamins, so I only have one."
S: "No, HOW did you get one in your tummy?"
Oh...! The realization hit me. How on earth do I explain THAT to a four year old? I have enough people who think I don't know where my babies come from, and now I have to explain it to my daughter!?
M: "Ummm... well... uh... Daddy put it there."
S: "Oh. How did daddy put it there?"
M: "....................................................................................................................... well............................ when two people get married, they love each other so much that sometimes it makes a baby!"
S: "Oh."
Whew! At least she didn't ask anymore questions.

November 9, 2008

Keeping it Real

Sunday is a day of rest... hahaha! Oh wow, that's a good one!
6:30am, I know, not too early, but definitely too early for someone who hasn't slept in a week! Anyway, Savannah wakes up because somehow her pull-up had managed to escape her bum during the night so she wet the bed. Oh what great joys greet parents in the mornings! While getting her and her bed cleaned up, Jacob let us know that he was ready to party as well. But this is good right? Everyone is getting up early to get ready for church.
And yet, somehow, not long before church starts, we are rushing, trying to convince kids to leave shoes on, not to mess up the hair, put coats on... and no, get off! Jacob is not a horse!! Anyway, it is Sunday after all and for at least one day out of the week I would like people to think that I have children and not a bunch of little hobos. Eh, I don't really care what they think the rest of the week.
Magically, we make it to church on time. Still, Luke has to convince the boys that the nursery people really are nice while I go and perform for the Primary Sharing Time.
Then comes Sacrament meeting. Now, we have this (not sure if its good or bad) habit of sitting in the front. The building we meet in is rather old. There are no doors at the front of the chapel, just the back. So, when we need to take the kids out for diaper changes, potty breaks, or for screaming and crying, we have to take a nice long walk in front of the whole ward. Every time I do I can't help but hope that none of the kids snacks are stuck anywhere unseemly, that my hair isn't too disheveled since the kids like to play with it, or that all the clothes are properly positioned as they should be, especially since I have to make that trip many times in one meeting. Its amazing how many pairs of eyes you can tell are watching you without even looking!
After the closing prayer (Oh, did I mention we had to give the prayers today?) is said, I can't help but sigh a bit of relief. We start collecting all the many things that have been scattered about to and fro, under and over.
Now, usually, we try and make sure we have everything cleaned up Saturday night so we don't have to worry about it on Sunday. See, we try to be decent people once-in-a-while! But yesterday we had spent most of the day running errands so by the time we were done with all the walking, I was in no mood to start cleaning, especially with the contractions.
So, a great mess greeted us as we walked in the door, didn't smell too great either. Of course it just gets worse as the day progresses but come dinner, I knew something had to be done. You know when people use that "If Christ where to come to your home today" example in their lessons? Yea, not good. So, after everyone had finished dinner, I set to cleaning up.
Once I finally got both sides of the sink cleared out I moved onto what was left on the counter. Oh no, its the old food I had pulled out of the fridge last night to make way for the new groceries that has been sitting on the counter since then. I cringe, squint, take a deep breath, then pry open the lid. Whew! Without even breathing I can smell it! Oh wow that was powerful nasty! As I dumped the food down the disposal and quickly tried to wash away the smell I thought, how in the world does a responsible, self-respecting woman who has been married for over 5 years, has 3.75 kids, and holds a college degree allow such extreme nastiness to dwell in her fridge! Eww! Pretty soon, I notice Luke is wrinkling his nose as he turns accusingly to the boys and demands to know which little bum is responsible for that powerfully overwhelming smell! I timidly confess it was the nasty food I had just dumped down the drain.
Finally, dishes are done, table is cleared, floor is swept. Ah, time to rest. Nope! I spot the pile of dirty sheets from Savannah's accident this morning still sitting in the hallway. Oh dear, better get those things washed. But first I need to clear out the dryer (folding and hanging is always involved) and transfer clothes from the washer.
While playing with the kids for a bit before bed time, Jacob was sitting by me on the couch playing with a little toy. Suddenly, his eyes shift from his toy to his bare belly and he starts to pat it while saying, "Baby, baby." Then he looks at my belly and does the same thing. It was really cute.
Well, its time to get them ready for bed. I probably don't need to go into too much detail about the effort that goes into that!
Ahhh, the kids are finally asleep. What a day of rest.

And for your enjoyment, the picture of the day. (Actually, it wasn't taken today but, whatever)
Daddy's socks got plenty of wear before he even got a chance to enjoy them himself. So, do you think leg warmers will come back into style?

And last but not least, a Savannah moment:
"Dad, you can call me, Princess!"
Well, at least she knows who's boss!

November 7, 2008

Has the Chocoholic Met Her Match?

As most of you long time readers know, I'm a chocoholic, so I can hold my chocolate pretty well. See, I freely admit it. I even confessed to most of my greatest sins here.
But when it comes to my chocolate, I like it in the pure candy form. Not really the cake and stuff. So, when I saw this recipe that claimed to be the "The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever". I was highly skeptical as to the truth of such a statement.
Now, I've made something called "Texas Sheet Cake" before, and its alright, but certainly not on my list of favorites. Still, after I saw the amount of sugar vs. flour, I decided, what the heck? I'll give this recipe a shot.
Wowsers! By the time I was done sampling the batter and then the frosting, (What? Isn't that the best part?) I was done. I could not bring myself to sample the finished product... for a while. This thing is rich, very good and very rich. Its so good in fact, that it has to live on top of our fridge or else the following happens.

Just as a warning, this has not made it to the Weight Watchers list yet so if you're trying to watch your weight, I wouldn't recommend this recipe. Still, next time I make it, I think I'll double the frosting batch. Oh ya, now you're talking!!
Of course, I should probably be watching what I eat, making sure I don't gain too much weight... nah! That will have to wait until after the Cadbury Christmas Balls go away. And yes, they are just like the Cadbury Mini Eggs. Oh yum!!
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