September 30, 2011

For Your Weekend Enjoyment

There are some phrases one learns never to use, or even think. The biggest one being, "It can't possibly get any worse."

Sometimes when that thought does manage to escape the locked, chained, buried, guarded by little red lasers, mental file cabinet titled "Thoughts Not to Think", and it happens to run through my mind, I give myself a good mental shake and say out loud, "I take it back, I take it back! I didn't mean it... I swear!!"

You know, just to be safe.

I hate when I'm proven wrong.

So when I posted this picture a couple weeks ago, I actually had the stupidity in that moment to think, "well, I don't suppose the book mess could get any worse than this."


I know right? Seriously, you'd think I'd know better by now. I need someone around to give me a good *whack* to the back of the head from time to time.

Where's Mark Harmon when you need him?

So, it serves me right I suppose when I came upon this.



Those two and their books. They simply have no idea how lucky they are to be so stinkin' cute.

No. Idea.




I've also learned something else. Something rather useful.

I will NOT be letting Alayna feed Claira anytime soon.


For obvious reasons.


Can I just... blame this one on her dad? You know, say that she's her daddy's child and all?

*sigh* Okay fine. She probably gets it from my side of the family.

You see... I have this one sister, who was always putting things up her nose....

You know what?  Let's just not go there.




And I have one more gift for you. Just a little something my darling, sweet, thoughtful, adorable, kind, obedient children whipped up on your behalf.

Just to make you feel a little better about your day. Aren't they just so considerate?



You're welcome.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go report a premeditated, double duct taping.




And to think, I was actually going to post a recipe today. HA!

September 28, 2011

Zucchini Warriors

Remember the 132 pounds of peaches mentioned a couple posts ago?

Yeaaaa..... soooo..... I'm just now getting around to canning those suckers.

All by myself.

Kill me now.

I spent from 10:00am to 7:00pm yesterday doing absolutely nothing other than canning those blasted things. Well, with the occasional baby feeding, diaper changing, take lunch to hubbying type of interruptions.

And the worst part is, I'm not done!  *whimper*

Okay, that's not the worst part. The worst part is, I'm out of chocolate.

Nobody should have to can alone without chocolate. I'm pretty sure it's one of the fundamental laws of the universe.

And have you ever seen what a house looks like after being left to the mercy of several toddlers over the space of nine whole hours with minimal parental intervention?

Oh ho. Believe me when I say, you don't want to. Ever.

It's the stuff nightmares are made of.

And so help me, if Alayna colors on the wall one more time.... *deep intake of breath - think happy thoughts... think happy thoughts...*

Anyway, besides those fuzzy little torture devises known as peaches, I've also been shredding our mutant monster zucchinis up for the freezer.


What? Don't you look at me like that! Whoever said you shouldn't play with your food, clearly had no sense of imagination.

Honestly.

Otherwise they could have been zucchini warriors too!


'Cause when you have that many zucchinis you might as well make the most of it. Besides all the ones in the picture, I also gave away four others and we've already eaten two.

All the size of Texas.

So now I have enough shredded zucchini to make 46 loaves of zucchini bread.

Bet you can't guess what my family will be getting for Christmas this year?

Anyway, those lean green fighting machines were so big that the kids had a hard time carrying them around. But they tried! Oh how they tried.



So next time someone tells you not to play with your food, just whip out your bandanna and say, "Oh ya? Watch this..."

September 26, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

Well, Hubby is finally home from his business trip. It was such a romantic homecoming too. Like a passionate movie scene.

Imagine the following in slow motion.  *cue romantic music*

Hubby flings open the door. Me, looking up from the opposite side of the kitchen where I had been talking on the phone.

Our eyes meet.

*kill romantic music, and the slow motion*

But I was plugged into the wall due to a dying battery. So I gave him a little wave as I said my goodbye's to my friend.

Meanwhile, Hubby was pounced upon by Alayna so he picked her up and gave her a big hug.

And so, after being gone for over a week, and leaving me to do all my grocery shopping Saturday night with all five kids, and taking them to church the next day while hauling the baby carrier and three church bags around in heels, his first words to me were, " Alayna really needs a diaper change."

Ahhh... the romance, the passion!

Haha! Oh, real life. So awesome.

Don't worry, he gave me a nice smoochy later. Which tickled, he really needs to shave.

Anyhow, it's so nice to have him home. We've missed him around here.

Now if only I could get Hubby to stop encouraging Joseph's choice of sock-ware by telling him, every time he puts on long, flashy socks, that he looks "sooooo awesome", we'd be set!


Of course, I did have to break Hubby himself of the strange habit of wearing long socks with shorts by introducing him to the wonders of ankle socks.

Like father, like son?

Anyway, I can't remember now who gave us these socks, but whoever you are, the people at the stores thank you for the entertainment.

September 23, 2011

Insignificant or Incredible?

WARNING! Thoughtful post ahead. Leave now while you still can!

I should have been cleaning, or canning, or sleeping, or doing something productive, but I wasn't.

Instead, I spent my time cruising the web last night after all the kids were in bed. Mostly jumping around blogs, and actually skimming through facebook, that sort of thing.

My time spent in the electronic world covered an amazingly wide variety of things.

People offering advise, people asking for advice. People chewing out large families, people supporting large families. People trying to build their blogs, others closing theirs down. Some were announcing huge life changes, others offering simple comical relief. There were stories of great loss, others of great triumph. Some people were crafting, others were cooking, and some still were simply trying to figure out who they are. There were political debates, and moral conflicts. There were funny stories. There were scary stories. There was simple family life. There was beautiful photography. People were having babies or getting a book published. My brother announced his church mission call, and heck, I even discovered that a girl I grew up with is now a famous lead singer!

It was quite a mixed salad to ingest all in one evening.

And it made me feel small. Strangely insignificant. It was a weird moment.

So many grand people doing so many grand things. So many regular people doing so many regular things. And I sat back in my chair and looked around the messy family room.

It occurred to me in that moment that for once, I truly understood why so many stay at home moms feel like they are doing nothing worth while with their lives. I mean, we hear about this all the time, and I think most women understand that feeling, especially the comparing. But for the first time, I feel like I finally just... got it.

We are bombarded, on a simple piece of electronic equipment with such an intense amount of information and ideas. We see the best of the best, always. There is just SO MUCH. Always so much.

And especially for women. We want to be able to sew like her, or cook like them, or be stylish or organized or frugal or musical or pretty or clever or or or or or.... or worse, feel like we have to live up to someone else's expectations.

People talk about their strengths, or something they love to do or be. And even though we know that, we still think we need to take all those strengths and be all those things at once.

Strange, isn't it?

I don't run marathons, I don't sew. I'm not stylish. I don't sing. I will never be a famous blogger. I don't know squat about photography.  I don't... I'm not...

Don't get me wrong, there are a zillion things I want to learn and know how to do. I will always want to keep developing new skills and talents. And honestly I think it's great that so many want to improve themselves and discover new things, to expand intellect and understanding or to even feel like they are making a difference in the world.

But for now, I am simply a mother. And my children need me.

I don't mean "simply" in a simple way either. Parents shape the future. They mold a human existance. They are important to someone important.

And I think that's pretty incredible.

So for now, in my little sphere of dirty laundry, homework, and hot dog dinners, it is enough.

September 21, 2011

Guys are sneaky

We were at the Seagull Book bookstore a few days ago. As we were leaving, Savannah comes up to me and says excitedly, "Mom! I found the perfect book for you. Serious... you need this book."

*arching an eyebrow* "Okaaaaaayyyyyyyyy...." I responded somewhat uncertainly.

She marches me over to a shelf and picks up this book.


"This is the book you need mom." she again reaffirmed emphatically.

There was a moment of stunned silence as I stood thinking, "Wow, am I really that transparent?"

Kidding!

Sort of.

 At this point I was just trying to keep a straight face. "Uh, okay. Why do you think I need that book?"

"Because! You need to know about guys!" she replied as if stating something obviously obvious.

Unfortunately we didn't have time to discover the inner workings of her curious little mind since there were other little bodies to keep track of. But later that night, I was recounting this event to Hubby. After telling him the title of the book, Savannah pipes up, "Yea, she needs that book because guys are sneaky."

Man, where was this advice like... fifteen years ago? Could of saved me a whole lot of trouble.

But you know what? I think she's on to something.

Hubby and I ordered three bushels of peaches for canning this year. A bushel is about 43 pounds. And we got three.


And you know what happened?

*clearing throat, imitating Hubby's voice* "Oh sorry hun, last minute business trip and all, going to be gone for the week... but uh, those peaches are going to need to get done, so.... good luck with that! And have fun!"

Uh huh! Last minute business trip... seems suspiciously sneaky if you ask me.

Maybe I should tell him a story about a little red hen....


So... anyone up for canning some peaches?

September 19, 2011

Claira meets the Twins


This is my super cute and totally amazing sister-in-law, Annie. I just love her to pieces.

And her dimples.

I want her dimples.

There are a few things in this life that are just cruelly unfair. And one of those things is that she can't let me borrow them.

Not even for the weekend.

And that fine looking young man is my brother.

He's so lucky to have her, and he knows it. And that's why I love him to pieces too.

And because he can burp the alphabet. No wait... that's my sister's trick....

Anyway, those tiny little bundles are their new twin baby girls.

Madison weighed 4 pounds 8 ounces and McKenzie weighed 6 pounds.



Last week I was finally able to sneak away for the evening to go see them.

But I didn't actually see them at first. They were all wrapped up, laying in a chair here and a swing there, looking to ity-bity they were easy to miss!

Hmmmm..... maybe that explains why I accidentally sat on Joseph when he was a six pound newborn.

I've never forgiven myself for that you know. And someday, we'll have "the talk". I can just see how the conversation will go too. I'll sit him down and say, Now son, don't take this the wrong way, but I accidentally sat on you as a baby.

*awkward silence*

So... is there anything you want to say?

What was that?

Oh um... sure, of course you can borrow the car, and no, you can't have any money.

He'll clearly be much affected by this revelation.

Anyway... I wanted Claira to meet her new little cousins, so we set them all down to say hi.


Claira of course was more than excited and thrilled to meet them! And just to make sure they new it, she gave McKenzie a good fist to the head while Madison got an elbow to the face.

Since this is the lovin' she gets from her siblings, I guess she decided that's how she'll share it.

Her dating life will be awesome.


And of course I had to try the whole twin thing on for size.


Looks good on me, aye?

Of course the next day I found this note under my pillow.

Dear Serene,

Don't even think about it.

This is a threat.

Signed,
Your Uterus

So I wrote back.

Dear Uterus,

Believe me when I say, I'm not thinking about it.

Oh, and take it up with the ovaries.

Just sayin'.

Respectfully wishing you would shrink even more,
Serene



Anyway, it was very fun to meet my sweet little nieces.

Hooray for little girls!



And just in case your wondering, which you're not, but I'll tell you anyway, my knee is starting to get much better after my epic biffage from the other day. All the evidence that's left you can kind of see on my right knee there.

And now that you've seen it, you may consider your day... fulfilled.

You're welcome.

P.S. Exciting news! One of my posts is being featured over at "Or so she says..." today. So hop on over to see me and leave some comment love! That way Mariel won't feel like it was a huge mistake to have me invade her blog.

September 15, 2011

My House is Sick


Forgive my bloggy lameness this week but, my house is really sick.

Generally it's always feeling a bit under the weather, but this week... it's bad. Every. Single. Room. in the house has thrown-up all over itself. Toys of every shape and size has been spewed forth to decorate any floor space it can reach. The books, clothes, blankets, and papers haven't been spared either.

I've tried to tend to it, honest I have! But every time I get a room on the mend, I get called away for something else. So I leave it with strict instructions not to ingest any small children. Not so much as a nibble.

It just doesn't sit well with them, you know?

And yet inevitably, upon my return I find the room deathly ill once again, sometimes worse off then it was before!

*sigh* Maybe I'll try a friend's suggestion and toss prozac around the house before I go to bed and hope it feels better in the morning.

September 13, 2011

It was Epic

After I had my first baby, I was still recovering from my first post-baby-body-shock when I lamented to my husband one day.

Me: *sigh* Someday I'll weight 1?0 again... I just know it!

Hubby: ......... Hunny...... *spoken with a kind of soft, pity-type voice* you'll never weight 1?0 again.

*GASP*

I know right? I've never let him live that one down.

Ever.

I think I'll have it inscribed on his tombstone.

Still, ever since then I have made it my goal to get down to 1?0 pounds after each baby, and so far, I've been able to do it.

Well, with Claira sleeping through the night and hardly nursing anymore, I'm finally feeling up to accomplishing that goal again. So last night, I went running for the first time since having her.

So there I was, minding my own business, focused on not hyperventilating as I jogged along at a pace of half a mile a year, when... *BIFF*!

My shoe hit a dip in the road and the loose gravel there all wrong, and I went down.

Landing on both knees and palms, but more heavily on the right, the momentum pushed me forward, banging my right shoulder as I actually flipped and landing flat on my back.

Even though I was wearing capri-length pants and a sweater, I still came home with scratched and bruised left knee and palm, and a torn up and bleeding right knee, palm, and shoulder.

Oh ya.... it was epic.

I was almost sad there was no one around to witness it.

I guess this puts a whole new twist on "no pain, no gain."

September 12, 2011

For Hire: Dishwasher


NOTICE: Young, enthusiastic dishwasher for hire.

INSTRUCTIONS:  Step 1. Tell said dishwasher it's time to do dishes and inform him that he can help.
                                Step 2. Grab a bag of popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the song and dance.

video

For a limited time only! Warranty covers first five years. After that, enthusiastic dishwashers tend to break down. Recommend finding younger model.

All payments of chocolate will be made to Serene.

Sorry, we are not accepting gummy candy at this time.

September 9, 2011

Life in the Kitchen

Have you ever seen the popular kitchen sign that says something like, "Mom's two dinner options are: Take it or Leave it"?

Well in my house, we pretty much follow this motto. I think I might even get it tattooed to my stunningly muscular bicep so I can flex it for my children now and then. Because around here, it's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

Oh come on... I'm just kidding!

Sort of.

Still, I often tell my children that since I spent my time making dinner for them, they could at least have the decency and respect not to complain about it, even if they don't like it.

So, the other day I made Chicken Alfredo Lasagna, a recipe I've never tried before. (And can I just say, wow, it was yummo!) While it was baking, I walked out of the kitchen for a moment but still overheard the following.

Hubby: What's for dinner?

Savannah: Something I don't like. But I'm not allowed to complain about it.

Me: *snort*


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


You know, when I said that it would be nice if our kitchen was just a tad bit bigger, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

Especially before eight o'clock in the morning.


And where were the two culprits after completeing this... this... stunningly masterful piece of kitchen enlargement?


Ah well, I suppose "plastic bowl lid frisbee" is a much better game than "glass bowl bash".

And much, much easier to clean up.


'Cause wow, when I opened that cupboard at 11pm only to have the bejankers scared out of me, I'm pretty sure I had ten years frightened off my life.

And who puts the dishes away in this place anyway? Sheesh, she obviously needs to take a class in, "stacking glass dishes 101".

Seriously.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


And on a totally un-kitchen related note...

...this chunky little hunk-a-cuteness started rolling over a week or so ago. Quite a feat with all those chub rolls if you ask me.

What was that? Oh, umm... no no, the other chunky little hunk-a-cuteness. The one in the pink.

I learned to roll over a couple months ago.

September 7, 2011

Nap Time



*sigh* It's moments like this that I can honestly say, I LOVE my job.

September 6, 2011

Man in Tights

Labor Day. Ha!

Oh how appropriate.

We didn't do anything except, well... labor. Thankfully not the birthing type, just the cleaning type.

So yah.... nothing interesting to say about that.... *awkward silence, crickets chirping*

Okay then, moving on.

So, I have issues with the tooth fairy. I mean, wow. She is a real slacker around here. Totally useless. Isn't there a Tooth Fairy Agency I could contact and request a new one? Or maybe just a complaint box? I need to leave a note.

Because honestly, I am running seriously low on excuses for her tardiness.

What? The tooth fairy didn't come... again? Hmmm, well....

She may have been caught in the wind storm. Oh look! The wind has died down. Maybe now that it's almost lunch time, you should check again.

She probably just got lost in the dark because her magic fairy wand batteries died. Now that the sun is shining, you should go check again!

Maybe you just have a really heavy head and maybe she doesn't work out. Quick, go check now that you're not laying on your pillow!

Maybe she got fired last night.

And so it was yet again that little miss Lame-O Tooth Fairy forgot all about this little guy.


Yes, Joseph lost his very first tooth. And boy was he ever excited.

So needless to say, he was a little bummed when he woke up to find his little tooth still tucked snugly under his pillow.

Luckily, his tooth fell out of a Saturday and apparently, Mr. Tooth Fairy works weekends.


True he too was a little late, but he came through with a crisp dollar bill and instantly all tardiness was forgiven.

And Joseph was so excited over his new dollar I was actually feeling just a little bit nervous that he was going to try and pull out another tooth just to get more money the way he was eyeing and and testing all his other teeth.

Anyway, all I can say this time around is, thank heavens for men in tights.

September 2, 2011

It's all in the wrapping paper

Two weeks ago, my first born turned seven years old.

And yes, I am just now writing about it because I am just SO on top of things like that.

As usual.

Now I confess, sometimes as I surf through blogs I see posts of all these super cute, wonderfully decorated birthday parties. And well... they kind of make me feel bad.

I don't think any of my kids have ever had a party like that.

Ah well, as long as there's cake, thankfully the kids don't seem to mind much.

It's all about the food, you know? At least they have their priorities in order.

We kept things simple. Little miss girly-pants got to invite a couple of her friends over so they could be all... well... girly!


'Cause apparently there's only so much girliness around here for her since her next two younger siblings happen to be boys. *insert eye roll*

Still, I suppose there are some advantages to that. During their play times I often hear Savannah tell the boys that she's a princess who was so beautiful that she was captured by bad guys so they needed to rescue her.

At least the boys get to practice chivalry.

Anyhow, her friends came over for lunch and I honestly assumed they'd eat then scamper off to play. Well, was I ever wrong.

As they were eating, things started heading down this direction.


And before I knew it, the girls were asking for scissors, glue, and tape as they started eyeing their paper plates, napkins and cups trying to decide what could be made out of them. Before long, we had a regular craft party going on.


And this, my friends, is the difference between boys and girls. If it had been a boy party, I'd probably be picking pizza off the ceiling and announcing that wrestling on the table is prohibited, and if they really wanted to throw their paper plates like Frisbee's, to please take it outside.

Instead, plates became shields, napkins became masks, and cups became swords as they declared themselves "The Three Musketeers!"


Soon however, the girls just couldn't take it anymore and were begging to open presents. So they did.


What was I doing this whole time? Why, making cupcakes of course! Because remember? I'm always so on top of things like that. That's right, none of this, "getting things done early" nonsense for me! *insert another eye roll and self-reprimanding sigh*

Again, I can only feel thankful that Savannah didn't seem to care about my party planning ineptness. She was perfectly happy and content to blow out her single candle.

At least cupcakes taste just as good made last minute as they do made ahead of time.

Then Jacob dropped his cupcake...

...and cleaned it up.


I've taught them well. *insert third eye roll*

Claira's wondering what the heck she's gotten herself into coming to this weird family.


After Savannah's friends left, the kids spent the rest of the day playing and popping balloons.

'Cause that's just the cool thing to do these days.

By the time daddy came home, Savannah was begging to open her present from us. She already knew what it was since she'd been begging for it ever since she first laid eyes on it.

Now, if you've been a long-time reader of this crazy blog, then you'll know that I've  never been very good at remembering to buy wrapping paper. And inevitably, birthday presents always get covered in snowflakes and snowmen since I simply just dig out the christmas paper.

Or worse, "wrap" it in a plastic sack.

Well, I am here to announce that for the first time in my parenting history, I bought wrapping paper for the sole purpose of wrapping a birthday present!

See? I have proof people... proof! Yea, go me!


But in the end, you know what I did?

Just handed her the present while still in the dang plastic bag I had brought it home in.

I have issues people. Seriously.
video

Well, again, at least she didn't seem to notice. I'm sure my kids must be use to this sort of thing by now.



And still later, her uncle Abe and Aunt Annie arrived bearing yet more gifts. She was more than thrilled.


And so, there you have it.


Happy birthday big girl!

Someday, you'll read this, shake your head and think, "Wow, I sure had a weird mom."
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