March 30, 2011

Alayna cuts her hair, and I cry.

I know what you're going to think, and I know what you're going to say.

Heck, even I know it's really not that big of a deal, and of course I know that it will grow back! I even know that it could have been worse!

But hang it all, ever since Alayna's surgery, when she went from this


to this



and the surgeon handed me all her shaved off hair in a little bag that said, "toxic waste" on it, I just kind of freak out anytime someone suggests or offers to give her a hair cut. It always takes me back to those images for some reason.

Pish, I know right, toxic waste? So rude.

And you know what the worst part is? I was in the room when it happened, and I missed it! Ack! I just... *deep breaths... deep breaths...* Grrr.... you know what I'm saying?

The deal was, the boys were cutting up paper at the kitchen table. No biggie right, they do it all the time! I had my back turned to them, making them lunch when all of a sudden Joseph yells, "Mom! Mom! Alayna's cutting her hair!!"

I whip around to find Alayna, scissors in hand looking at me like it was no big deal.

At first, I felt relief that it didn't appear to be so bad, but as I combed out her hair, the big, giant clumps just kept coming and coming and coming.


That's when I cried.

No I, really did.

She gave herself a mullet! Ahhhhh!!!! Like I said, I know it could have been worse, but *sniffle* she gave herself a mullet.


It was just getting long enough to put in cute pigtails and such. She was even getting her Utah poof on while we were down there last weekend. You know, trying to fit in and all.


And so it was with a heavy heart, that I gave her a hair cut last night.

I didn't want to cut it as short as she had, but I needed to blend it in a little so it wasn't so blatantly obvious either.

So this was my compromise.


If I comb it just right, I can almost hide her butcher job.

So all day long I kept thinking and wondering how she could do such a thing! She's knows better, they all do!

It wasn't until later in the day that I noticed two bald spots on the top of Jacob's head. That's when it all clicked.

Jacob had been cutting his hair, that's why there was really blonde hair on the ground that had looked too light to be Alayna's. I guess she was just trying to be like her big brother.

Go figure.

I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.

Like, next year.

Maybe.

March 29, 2011

Ya... I get that a lot

A salesman came to the door the other day. There was no way to get out of opening it and talking to him since the herd of little feet sounded like a stampede as they pounded their way over and fought about who got to open the door.

Once it was open, it was like a dam had suddenly broken. My children flooded through, barely glancing at the poor, stunned salesman, and started running around the driveway yelling, screaming and frolicking (yes, we frolic around here) as if they had never been outside before.

The young salesman looked at me, then the kids, then back at me. Looking totally incredulous he asked, "Are all of these yours?"

"Yup, they're mine."

"Wow", he said with rather large eyes, "you look WAY too young to have that many kids. In fact, when you came to the door, I was about to ask if your mom was home."

My big pregnant belly saved him the humiliation of that question.

And then out came my cookie cutter answer, "Ya, I get that a lot."

As we discussed at my birthday trial last year, here, and here, and here, people seem to assume I am fresh out of high school. Which I think is pushing it a little.

I have wrinkles! I have stretch marks! (although I don't think people would appreciate me showing those off) I mean come on, do I need to point out the white hair and developing smile wrinkles gathering around my eyes?

So, with a shake of his head and disbelief in his eyes, they young salesman again said, "Wow" before launching into his speech.

I use to joke that I should pay myself a nickel for every time someone used the expression, "You sure have your hands full!"

But surprisingly, I haven't heard that one very often lately.

The new one is, "You look way too young to have five kids!"

Ya... I get that a lot.

I wonder how much money I could earn if I carried around a donation jar and got a nickel for every time someone said that?

You know, I think I just came up with a rather brilliant "get rich quick" scheme.

March 28, 2011

It's Monday Alright

Hubby is back from his week-long business trip. My children are alive so I must have done alright on my own.

I bow before all of you out there in deep, deep humility and awe who's hubby's travel frequently for work.

I am back from my weekend in Utah to see my newest little nephew's baby blessing. (I'll write more about that once I get a hold of my mom's photos)

My parents even came down bearing thoughtful gifts.


And now, it's shaping up to be a very normal week.


*smash... crash... screeeaaammmm... sob*

*hugs, kisses... snot smeared all over my shirt*

Yup, a very normal week indeed.

March 25, 2011

Cheap, Cheaper, Cheapest

It's nothing more than the concept that kids love to play more with the box than the toy.

We don't own any computerized or electronic gadgets or toys for our kids. They are fascinated by them for sure and love to play them when other people have them, but we've never bought any, for lots of reasons. The fact that we are cheap being a big one.

The kids always want to play games on the computer, but mine is a nine year old iMac, it doesn't have any games on it. And Hubby's computer died, so he's using a computer from work, and it has no games on it.

I suppose someday it will all change, but for now, we have to find entertainment the old-fashioned way. Which is still fairly easy since our children are still young. Heaven help me when they become teenagers.

You know what? I don't even want to think about it.

CHEAP

Ah, butcher paper, such a bad name for such a wonderful product.

Found at almost any craft store, you can buy it for mere cents a yard. (Okay, so this roll was given to me but I have bought butcher paper plenty of times before)


There's just nothing cooler than having your whole table covered in it so the kids can go wild!

Well, nothing cooler except for maybe balloons.

CHEAPER

Whoever said balloons were only for special occasions? A bag of balloons for a dollar can go a long way. And the best part is, they are easily replaceable when broken.

For the last three days, my kids have been playing with them nonstop. *sigh* It's been bliss.

They always start off by playing "don't let your balloon touch the mud, or the hot lava" (isn't hot lava a little redundant?) and ends up turning into...


balloon wars! Dueling with balloons tends to create far less tears and we end up using far less bandaids than just about anything else they dual with.


Well, except for perhaps when they get out their...

CHEAPEST

Pillows! They have been so into pillow fights lately. And I'm totally cool with that. I really am. 



Because of all the pillow fights I've ever been in, and all the ones I've seen my kids get into, I have never once seen feathers fly like they always show in the movies.

*sniffle* I think that's a little unfair, quite frankly. Lame stuffing.

Hmmm... my parents used to have feather pillows. Maybe I could borrow them sometime....

And speaking of the box being more entertaining than the toy, I may just have to bring some old boxes up from the basement. Just to keep them busy and entertained for a while.

So I can shower and eat chocolate in peace.

March 23, 2011

The "Three Scoop" Method

After reading my lovely post about our fist fighting in church experience, my mom commented that I should start instigating the "three scoop" method. Stacy inquired as to what that means.

Well, here's the scoop. (Ha! "Scoop".... clever, I know)

As it has been mentioned fairly frequently on this blog, sugar was an oh-so-very-rare and highly precious commodity in our house when we were young kids. There were only two nights a week when after dinner treats were given.

Sunday and Monday nights. And honestly, half the time the "treat" was popcorn.

But Sundays seemed to be ice cream day. Now the "three scoops" refers to the three scoops of ice cream you got when my dad would dish up the bowls. We never got more than three. Three was the ultimate magic number one could aspire to.

So this is how my parents used the magic number as a torture device.

It was explained to us before church that we all had three scoops of ice cream waiting for us after dinner. But if we acted up in church, we would start loosing scoops.

And sure enough if we got out of hand, all my dad had to do was lean towards us and hold up three fingers.

Oh, believe me, we knew EXACTLY what that meant.

If that first warning was not enough and we continued to act up, he would then hold up three fingers and ever so torturously slow so we didn't miss one horrible moment of it, he would lower one finger, indicating that we had just lost one of our coveted scoops of ice cream.

I can't even begin to explain the total devastation as well as perfect behavior it got out of us.

I do remember just once, having lost all three of my scoops. I'm pretty sure I still have nightmares from that.

Oh, I'm kidding! Mostly....

My parents never backed down, they never gave in with one of those weak, "okay fine, but next time, you really won't get them" things that you hope your parents will say after you've been bad. Oh no! They were hard core and VERY consistent. We fully understood that my parents stuck by this rule.

I promise you I never lost all three of my scoops again, ever.

I'm a fast learner.

So if anyone in our congregation had the notion that we were just naturally reverent children, they would be sorely mistaken.

We were just trying hard to get our ice cream! Dang those consequences! Oh believe me, we understood the concept of "choice and accountability" reeeaaaallll well. *smile*

I suppose I should also mention that my parents sat all of us in the front row for two reasons.

1. They understood that the closer you sit to the speaker, the easier it is to pay attention.
2. As we got older, we were aware of the fact that the entire congregation were sitting behind us and could see everything we did.

Eeek!

March 21, 2011

Fist fighting and flying disks-in Church

Hubby was out of town yesterday. This obviously meant I was getting the kids ready and taking them to church all by my lonesome. Eh, no biggie, right?

So, I got the kids bathed, with only about half a gallon of water splashed onto the floor. Miracles do happen. The other half ended up on the walls and bathroom door. But at least they were all clean, and so was the bathroom after I made them wipe it all up.

I got them dressed, and for once in the history of our home, no one complained about their church clothes; until I told Joseph he was not allowed to wear his Bob the Builder snow boots to church. That didn't go over too well.

I got them fed, with minimal cereal finding it's way to the floor. Although I couldn't say the same for the crackers the kids snuck into the living room. The enormous pile of crumbs over by the little dvd player totally gave them away.

But, believe it or not, we were at church on time.

Things were going well, surprisingly well. Alayna sat on my lap, with Jacob and Joseph next to me, and Savannah sat on the end. They were contently coloring and I just thought, Wow! This is going really well! 

Oh I was feeling so pleased.

Until about halfway through the meeting....

Alayna, getting quite restless as she always does, had started searching through the diaper bag for anything that would peak her interest.

She happen to find this little toy.



It's just a cheap-o toy that I think the kids got in their Halloween baskets. But here's the thing, when you squeeze the two sides in together, it shoots the little disk out.

Well, I was okay with her playing with it, anything to keep her calm and quiet, and she was happily squeezing the little disk into my hands.

But after a few moments, a small commotion to my right had me turning to see BOTH my boys, fists raised, teeth bared, as they just started laying into each other.

I'm talking, full out punching each other.

Yes, my boys actually got into a fist fight in the middle of Sacrament meeting.

Ah, the reverence.

I turned my attention to them and broke up the fight. Once I was assured they had stopped, I turned back to Alayna, just in time to see her shoot that little disk out several feet away.

I'm seriously starting to question our choice to always sit near the front of the chapel.

When someone picked it up for us and tried to get Alayna to come get it, she freaked out, assuming he was taking it. And the small, limited space where we sat didn't give her much space to throw a good tantrum, so she tripped over the diaper bag and fell backwards.

Can I just say that girl has a very good set of lungs.

It wasn't ten minutes later when I experienced some major de'ja vu.

I was keeping Alayna distracted when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Joseph elbowing Jacob repeatedly and with force in the stomach.

Seriously? What's with the violence all of a sudden! And in church of all places! Again, turning my attention to them to break up the fight, Alayna managed to get the disk to shoot off yet again, luckily missing any poor, unsuspecting listeners.

At least we had that much going for us.

I can only hope, oh so fervently hope, that someone out there can tell me that boys fist fighting in church is perfectly normal.

'Cause when I dream, I dream big.

March 16, 2011

The Super Sacks Squad!

If ever there was one thing I loathe to buy, it's garbage bags.

Doesn't it seem like a bit of an oxymoron to buy something with the express intention of just, throwing it away?

I know what you're thinking, yet I do NOT feel the same way about diapers. Disposable diapers have a very grand purpose in this life, and I thank them everyday for their great sacrifice on my sanity's behalf.

Truly.

But I never buy garbage bags unless I have to. We just use the grocery sacks from the store. It may be a little tight and small, but they fit okay in our little garbage can under the sink. 

Now, I know they are quite necessary sometimes. In my house growing up there was a never ending stream of friends and visitors, stopping by at all times of the day and night, besides the ten of us who lived there. And the amount of paper plates, bowls and cups that were used and disposed of would put my diaper stash to shame. And so, my parents finally put a huge garbage can in the corner of our family room.

You know, the round kind that people often use to set out on the curb for the garbage man.

Yea, that kind.

It may have been a little ghetto, but it was better than emptying the kitchen garbage 200 times a day. Obviously, grocery sacks wouldn't have worked out for that.

I tried to find a picture of it for you, I really did. But all I could dig up were pictures of us kids wrestling on the couches, my parents making out, or my sisters pulling water bras out of the gag christmas presents given to them from my brothers.

At any rate, my stash of grocery sacks get well used.

But perhaps not always in the manner that you're thinkin'.


Seriously, the hands on the hips thing just kills me. So awesome.

You see, it all started one day when out of pure desperation, I told the kids we should have a sack race. So out came the sacks, and it worked out well for a time.

But after a while, the kids' feet would tear through the bottom.

Thus, a new dress-up outfit was born.

Not that we've ever encouraged our children in such behavior...


 ...*pssst... Honey! You're in my shot. You'll give away our secret!*

Eh hem, where was I? Oh yes, new dress-up clothes. And in case you hadn't noticed, pull-ups are also very much in style these days as well.


This seemingly simple outfit, seems to provide some mysterious sort of energetic happiness that generates hours of amusement.


So watch out bad guys, the Super Sacks Squad is here to save the day!


Pull-ups and grocery sacks.

Now you what what you give your kids and their friends at their next birthday party.

You're welcome.

March 15, 2011

At this very moment...

I can hear my kids my kids fighting and screaming in the background... wait, was that a smack or a punch?

*sigh* Does it make me a bad mom if I just... sit here and ignore them for a while?

Ah nuts, they found me. Here they come, all three storming into my bedroom and all screaming and crying in an effort for their tale to be heard and wanting me to punish their offender. Well, too much crying so I can't tell who started it all...

Hmm, no blood, guess they're fine.

Excuse me for a moment will you...  


*insert elevator music and images of creamy chocolate here so you can't hear or see my response*


Eh hem, sorry 'bout that. I just had to let them know that I saw their lives flash before my eyes. I don't think they realized they had just encountered a near death experience... if you know what I mean.

Anyway, just had to blog a common moment in time. A few of my sweet friends have confessed to me that they are under the sorely mistaken impression that I handle everything so well, and my whole day is fun and entertaining.

Oh, it's so not. 

We are quite normal around here. Quite normal.

Now you know the truth.

The End. 

March 14, 2011

They get it from their dad... well, mostly

I cringed as I watched Joseph lick his melted marshmallow from off the counter. Gross.

I told him to stop.

A moment later, I gagged when I saw him licking his hands like a puppy. Gross-er.

I told him to stop.

Hubby walked in and asked what was going on. I told him that Joseph had been licking his marshmallow from off the counter, then was lapping away at his hands.

Suddenly Savannah piped up, eyes round and large. "Yea! Then he licked his tongue!"




Says the girl who thought she was hysterical for putting a bobby pin on her nose.

~~~~


In a moment of indignation, Joseph turned on me, pointing his finger and firmly declared, "Mommy, bathtubs are not people!"



Who knew?  

~~~~

Jacob... well, Jacob handles things his own way.



What can I say. 

~~~~

One of Alayna's favorite words is "someping" (aka something). 

Me: Alayna! What are you doing behind the counter?

A: Someping!

Me: Layna!
A: Ya mommeee!
Me: Are you in the fridge again?
A: Yaaaa!
M: What are you trying to get?
A: Someping!

Me: Alayna Grace! What do you have in your mouth young lady?
A: Someping!

Me: What the... what in the world? (secretly trying not to laugh) Eeewww! What do you have in your nose young lady?
A: Ha ha ha... someping!


 

~~~~

I'm just going to lovingly blame it all on their father.


Well... okay fine. I guess I can't blame the crayon-in-the-nose thing on him.

I may, but I'm actually saying that I do, have a sister, but I'm not saying we're related, who likes to set the mood at the dinner table by inserting food items into her nose, not that I'm saying I've ever been privy to witnessing this.

Nor have I ever, ever, ever, on one or two occasions, given into peer pressure, and tried a straw or two on for size.

Nor do I have a father, who lovingly instilled all these traits in us.

March 11, 2011

Breaking News: Homeschooler receives blog awards

I was homeschooled, did you know that?

It's true.

I am a third grade, public school graduate. After which I lived out the rest of my schooling days at home until my sixteenth birthday, when I started college.

Not because I'm a genius or any such ridiculous nonsense, but because that's one of the benefits of homeschooling, you can often get done faster.

I know there are many people out there with preconceived notions about homeschooling, and now some of you are wondering what I must be like in real life. How strange am I really? Right?

If it's any consolation, most people are really surprised and on many, many occasions, they get this weird look on their face before hesitantly saying, "But you seem so... normal."

Because back in my growing up days, homeschooling wasn't all that popular yet. I'm not kidding when I say I got this reaction.... a lot.


I should get a plaque, or a t-shirt.
 
At any rate, it was a choice my parents made for many reasons, most of them moral, none of which were that us kids were super smart or super challenged.

Well, unless we're talking about my brothers.... okay, just kidding.... mostly.

But aside for being homeschooled, I was more or less a normal kid. I worked, I went to prom, dated, attended sports games for all my friends, I even ran track one year through dual enrollment... well, kind of. I ended up throwing shot put. 'Cause I'm so strong and buff like that.

I promise it wasn't because they were so, so, so, very, very desperate.

Anyhow, homeschooling today is getting more and more popular, and these days and it's not so strange for a lot of people anymore. In fact, I think there is a healthy respect growing out there for the homeschooling community.

So, it was super fun and I was quite stunned and flattered when Tristan from Our Busy Homeschool gave me some bloggy awards! Wahoo!

Tristan has a great site if you're interested in homeschooling. So be sure to stop by and look around!

P.S. In case you're wondering why I'm such a total lame-o when it comes to fulfilling blog award requirements or passing them on, it's because of guilt, pure and simple.

There have been many occasions where I have fallen way behind in the bloggy world and there have been several wonderfully awesome people who have given me awards and I never got around to blogging about them.

So I feel guilty that I have blogged about some and not others. I figured if I just highlight the person who gave them to me, I could treat them all equal.

Does that make sense?

If not, just refer to the picture above. It should clear things up for you. 

March 9, 2011

Joseph turns Five

'Tis the year for low-key I guess. It's not that I'm doing it intentionally mind you, it just seems to work out that way.

I had always planned on doing the kid's first big "friend party" when they turned five. I did one for Savannah and had always planned on doing one for Joseph too.

But circumstances were such that it just didn't work out this year. Thankfully, Joseph didn't seem to mind or care. He has never asked for a party or for friends to come over or anything, so I figured he'd forgive me this year.

So last week, my little man turned five years old.

When I gave him a choice, he chose to have a chocolate cake. A boy after my own heart.


Although, I really was surprised when he offered one of the cake beaters to his sister so they could share.

Ahhhwww! 

I'm pretty sure I would have hoarded mine and anyone who approached me would have discovered why they're called beaters in the first place! 

I mean, err... *cough* had it been my fifth birthday. 'Cause I would never do such a thing now in my old age!

Promise! *crossing fingers behind my back*  


Already my kids are better than me. Sharing and all that.

They even went so far as to clean the bowls and spatulas for me.

*sniffle* So thoughtful.


While the cake was cooling, my brother and SIL came down to celebrate with us. (They probably heard chocolate cake was on the menu)

We decided now was as good a time as any to hand out presents.


He loved it! Now the boys can finally stop fighting over his old bike. And despite it being negative 800 degrees outside, he wanted to try it out.

What a stud.

And just as cool (if not cooler) was the present Uncle Abe and Aunt Annie brought for him.


I've had a hard time getting him out of it at all! After all, it's not exactly appropriate church attire.

Then we took the kids to see this:

It was really cute.

Now Savannah's more convinced than ever that she never wants to cut her hair. 

Oh great, just great.

And the boys told Aunt Annie that it was "the bestest movie they ever seen!!"

But maybe that was just the popcorn talking.

After we stuffed ourselves on pizza and I was frantically trying to finished decorating the cake, Granny called on skype to wish Joseph a happy birthday.


And now, the REAL moment you've all been waiting for...

Ta Da!!



What?? What!? 

Oh, okay fine! I see how it is! Laugh if you want to! Just because my baseball bat looks nothing like a baseball bat!

Humph! And you know what Luke said it looked like? A fish!

A fish?? Please! I was totally crushed! Devastated really. Can you believe he called it a fish!! 

Rude.

Because quite frankly, I think it looks like a blimp.

So there. *thrppt*

video

The kids hardly made it past the song before they started digging in.



And there you have it.


That's how we party around here.

March 8, 2011

Winner!

And the winner of the $50 CSN giveaway is...




See Marcie? There's a first for everything!  I'll be emailing you soon!

Thanks everyone who entered! Wish I had something cool to give to all of you. After the way our night went last night I thought about offering one or two of my children as a consolation prize, but then realized that most of you actually read my blog.

So I figured that wouldn't work.



And now, I'm off to the doctors to take the 28 week glucose test. But never fear! While half you women out there are gagging at the very thought of drinking the fizzy sugar drink, just know it has never bothered me in the least.

Tastes like soda! I like soda when I'm pregnant. Yummm....

And apparently, I'm not the only one excited for a new baby. Alayna's been brushing up on her skills.



I'm thinkin' she's a natural!

Well, as long as we avoid walls and stairs. Oh, and water. And lots of blankets.

Her doll has been through a lot.
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