Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In a nutshell

You know how every once in a while you get a photo or a letter from someone and it is just so...them?  Well, here's each of my kids in a nutshell.


D almost always has a preface before he speaks.  "I have something to tell you,"  or  "This is an exciting thing!" or "Do you want to know something?"  Then he tells you whatever he wanted to.  Then he usual either sums it up for you again or repeats himself.  I'm sure somewhere there's some writing teacher who teaches these three steps.  Introduce your thesis, State your thesis, Repeat your thesis. 

I got this cute letter from him the other day.  Besides being so adorable it made me want to squeeze him, it is also written in perfect Daltonese. 

Belle vs. Liam

Here are two pictures that tell you a lot about those two. 

1. Belle and Liam in a chair together.

Belle doing her usual crazy dramatics about whatever she finds amusing and Liam staring fixedly at something random, like her hand, wishing he could eat it.

2.  Belle, again with the emotions, this time I believe she just walked backwards into the kitchen table.  Poor sad little face.  But every time one of the other kids starts crying, Liam looks at me and grins.  It's odd, but very predictable.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Goal of the week(ish) - Leap week.

There's no way I'm going to get this posted every week.  Thus the week(ish).

So my goal last time I posted weekly goals (two weeks ago...) was to spend some one on one time with each "big" kid.  And I have to say it was good to make the goal because it made me more conscious of it.

I did get to do some fun reading time with just Dalton on a couple different days which was just peaceful and fun. 

I also got to take "nighttime walks" with Belle.  These thrilling walks consist of walking for about 2 1/2 minutes around the cul de sac in the dark before she goes to bed.

Safely in the house before each walk she declares, "And this time I will not be scared of anything."  Then she bursts out with, "This is so exciting!"  

But she gets about four steps down the driveway before starting to get anxious and attaching herself to my leg laughing nervously and saying things like, "I think a car is coming! I hear a car!  Oh oh oooh!"  Then at the other side of the cul de sac she can't bear it any more and says, "We should go home, quick!  Quick!  Quick!"and she starts tugging on my hand and walking as fast as her tiny legs can go.

And the next night she begs to do it again.  ("THIS time I will not be scared of anything!")

New goal?   Ummmmm, I have some boring ones about laundry and dishes, but let's pick something more interesting.  Ok, be more prepared for homeschool craft day.  As in actually buying the crayons I want to use for Thursday's craft that I've meant to do for 3 weeks but never get around to picking up the crayons....

A bonus is that if I remember to buy them you guys should get to see a cool craft.  Or a big screw up.  You know I'll post pictures either way....

So how 'bout you, dear reader.  Any goals for the week?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Highs and Lows - End of February


For my first high (which is actually from a couple weeks ago) doesn't my blog look cute?  I befriended the blog designer Fairy Blogmother without even knowing she was the Fairy Blogmother and she very sweetly helped me out of the mess I had made of my blog because I have no clue what I am doing. So a million thank yous to Erika.  (Yes, those of you who never click through to look at my actual blog from your email, click here.  Really.  Then tell me how pretty it looks.)

  • Dalton started taking violin last year.  The first song the munchkins learn is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Very sweet.  And of course learning a song on the violin involves tremendously more than just learning notes.  There's things like squishy octopi, highways and sandwiches. So he has finally mastered Twinkle and we were able to begin the next piece.  It was exciting to see that Dalton has learned so much that he could sound out most of the song himself.  It's fun to see him not only learning to play an instrument but really getting a feel for music.
  • Lizzy is this sweet girl in our violin class with Down Syndrome.  She is infallibly kind to all the other kids and they all just adore her.  I don't think her mom was sure at first how much she would learn, but last Thursday we were able to hear her play all the way through Twinkle by herself.  She just makes the most beautiful noise when she plays.  I'm so grateful that her mom put her in lessons so we could meet her and my kids could become friends with such a great person.  
  • I had a funny conversation with Dalton that went as follows:
    • Dalton: "I did a decrescendo.  Did you hear it?"
    • Me: "Yup, great job.  Do you remember what the opposite of decrescendo is?"
    • Dalton: "Umm...night crescendo?"


Vacuum:  My vacuum sucks because it doesn't suck.  At least not well.  And this week it stopped sucking all together.  Which sucked.

And of course, it was not actually broken so that I could tell Medman, "I NEED to go buy a new vacuum that doesn't suck!  'Cause mine doesn't suck!  So I can't vacuum!"  To which he would have replied, "You know how to vacuum?"

But it wasn't broken.  Just clogged with grossness.  And by grossness I mean cheerios and hair.  Blech.  So I had to clean it out.  Which sucked.  And now it sucks again.

Urine:  If only children could see the big picture.  Like if they started having an accident in their big brother's room while standing on a big stuffed animal the decision to then run across his room, down the hallway and across the bathroom to the potty while continuing to have said accident is not really helpful.  Yes, I know I say you should try to get your pee to the potty.  But a close second is to keep your pee localized.  Thanks for trying to help, sweetie. 

Biggest Low of the Week:
The biggest low was this dreadful night with Belle last week.  Well, it was mostly Belle.  I also had a friend in the ER who might need a ride home at midnight, a husband on call who had to run off to help deliver a baby or some such rubbish and a six month old who decided he was incredibly hungry all night. 

The friend, the husband and the baby are pretty self explanatory as to why I missed out on sleep, but Belle was the kicker.  She was up at least once an hour crying for me but then when I appeared she was fine and would look around the room saying, "Ummmm..." until she could think of a reason worth having me in the room.  A reason like, "Do you want to read me that book?"  It was like she was just awake and bored.  Until 3:30 am. 

The only time there was actually a crisis she screamed bloody murder.  I ran in to see her trying to claw her way up the walls because, "THERE'S A LADY BUG ON MY PUSH LIGHT!"

Belle's developed a phobia of bugs.  Poor thing is terrified of them.  And especially those menacing lady bugs.  I've been letting Belle have this little light you push to turn on in her room as a nightlight and of course the bug is going to be attracted to the light...

Anyway, the drama has been immortalized in song now and it is a house-wide hit.  "Lady Bug on a Push Light" is sung continually around here.  It's really catchy.

You want to hear it?  No problem.  Show up at Walmart while we are there.  Dalton must like the acoustics there, because he belts it out non-stop and pesters every employee we see with, "Excuse me, lady.  Can I sing you a song called Lady Bug on the Push Light?"  


So, dear friend, have any highs or lows you'd like to share?  Feel free to leave them in the comments or email me.  It'd feel like we were chatting. 

Linking up with Jen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Highs and Lows - One month 'til my birthday edition! (and my Weekly Goal)

Ok, so most people are focusing on how Tuesday is Valentine's Day.  Some of you know that I don't really like Valentine's Day.  Something about the day irks me.  So Medman is always off the hook.  I don't know if people believe him when he says he's not doing anything for Valentine's Day because I don't want him to, but it's true.  If he stops on the way home on Tuesday and buys me flowers for triple the normal price, I'm going to call him an idiot.  If you want to buy me candy, do it on the 15th when it's half off.  And please don't buy it if it has both pink and red on it.  Pink and red should not sit next to each other.  Blech.

Oops-Insensitive Rant Alert...uh...I hope you all have lovely Valentine's Days filled with flowers and pink and red chocolates...

Anyway, I choose to find significance in the fact that February 14th is EXACTLY one month before my birthday.  Thus my title.

And now...Highs and Lows by topic:


Liam is working his way up to Favorite Child status.  He sleeps through the night, every night.  12-13 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  He goes to bed before 7 pm and gets up between 7-8 am. Sweet, beautiful child.

Belle has decided she does not want to sleep through the night any more.  Lots of nights it's just issues like a twisted up blanket that she can't straighten, or more often nothing intelligible.  Just needs a hug and to be put back to bed.

But one night earlier this week I woke up to hear her shrieking in her room.  It took a while to understand that she was saying, "My bed is opening!  My bed is opening!"

My response to this was a hazy, sleepy, open-mouthed stare.

I think she had some sort of nightmare about the back of her crib opening up. Not sure what happened once it opened but the result was that she was terrified of her crib.  Her entire little body was shaking.  She kept insisting it needed medicine.  I admit I was at a loss here, and since the only medicine I had in her room was butt paste, I pretended to wipe that on her crib.  But it didn't work, I guess, because the crying continued.

It took 3 hours that night to get her to go back to sleep.  I'd like to say that I handled the whole three hours with grace, patience and creative parenting.  But it was from 1:30 am to 4:30 am.  Let's just say that time period had its ups and downs.  Thankfully I had just made her this little pillow bed thingy that she could sleep on so she didn't have to sleep on the floor.  

Until now she has loved her crib.  Just hangs out in it and sings or talks or whatever.  But no more. 

That was 5 days ago and she still won't go back in her crib.  We'd been planning to get her a big girl bed sometime sooner or later, so I guess we're doing it sooner.

Funny part: The next morning at breakfast she told Dalton the following,
"Dalton, I got to sleep on my pillow bed!  I was very, very scared because my crib was opening and even the butt paste didn't fix it."

He looked at her like she was crazy, and behind her back I twirled my finger around by my temple and rolled my eyes around in the universal sign for craziness. 

I commented here that Belle had started calling us Mom and Dad instead of Mommy and Daddy.  This unfortunately has continued.  And now that they are pretending to be pteranodons, it's just getting worse.  You see, the pteranodons call their parents Mom and Dad.  I'm terribly afraid that Mommy and Daddy are a thing of the past.


Our very favorite TV show is Psych.  Endless hours of fun, there.

The other night we were watching an old episode and a woman yelled "Hoffenpfeffer!" at another character.  She yelled it very fast in an angry German accent.  It's really fun to do.  Try it.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.  One more time, faster and louder.  Good.

I've decided I'm going to start yelling it when the kids are driving me crazy.  It will help me blow off steam without yelling anything that will be emotionally scarring to the little tykes.

Weekly Goal

My friend Erika posts weekly goals on her blog and she's started making it a little party where people can link up their own goals.  Last week I picked a goal and it was really helpful to remember to be intentional about something. 

I decided that it would be good to have some one-on-one time with Dalton.  The biggest change about having three kids is how I never seem to have time for any kid individually.  I'm always juggling two or all three of them.

So I kept Dalton up a little longer at nap time (which was a huge deal for me in and of itself) and we did a little craft that involved melting a crayon over a candle and using the melted wax to make a picture.  It came out cute and we really did have a good time.

So this weeks goal is to spend one-on-one focussed time with each of my oldest two.  It seems like a stay at home mom shouldn't have to be intentional about that, but its very easy to let the busyness of life take over and suck up time that could be spent in better ways.

I'll try to remember to tell whether I met my goal or not next week.

Linking up to


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cute, Not So Cute 3rd edition

Backseat driver
It has just been the last couple months that Belle has begun to comment on things going on outside the car while we are driving.  The first time it happened she looked straight out her window to the side of the road and yelled, "Oh no! We're driving on the grass!"

Just yesterday we were driving and she looked ahead of us and quivering with excitement she exclaimed, "We are going up up up that big hill!  THIS IS SO FUN!"

Not So Cute:
She clearly doesn't understand the rules of the road.  Or maybe physics.  Or something.  Because often we will be driving along listening to Dalton chatter about how many points he has for finding Slug Bugs, Mustangs, PT Cruisers or HHR's (You'll only think this is weird if you don't have a little boy obsessed with vehicles..) when Belle will suddenly shriek, "WATCH OUT, MOMMY! THAT TRUCK IS GOING TO BONK US!"

As I look frantically around for this truck that is going to crush us I notice a small pickup truck on the other side of the road driving along calmly in its own lane. 

After I stop shaking I try to explain to Belle that not every car that looks like it's coming toward us is going to hit us. 

She's started to do it a lot.  Sometimes it's just a frantic shout of "MOMMY! BE CAREFUL!" that apparently nothing has triggered.  Sometimes it's "MOMMY!  YOU MUST SLOW DOWN! YOU MUST SLOW DOWN!" when I'm driving 25 miles an hour through the downtown area of our town. 

The big problem with all this shouting is that I don't feel like I can categorically disregard shouts like that from my passengers.  So each and every time I have to look around wildly for the source of the supposed danger before I can rule out that there really isn't a fire truck about to run into us.

And it stresses me out.


Ok, I'm working on what is cute about this next one....Hold on...I'm sure there's something...

I know!  It is cute when my kids pretend to be stuff.   Especially when they pretend to be some other set of siblings and have little pretend adventures together. 

Lately they've been pretending to be pteranodons from Dinosaur Train.

Not So Cute:
Have you ever watched Dinosaur Train?  It's a little show about a pteranodon family (flying dinosaurs) and their adopted son who is a tyrannosaurus rex. 

Fine.  They're a couple little siblings that learn about different types of dinosaurs and have barrels of fun comparing and contrasting things. 

The Not So Cute part is that these pteranodons make a pteranodon noise.  It's like a ear-splitting squawk.  A terrible, dinosaur, ear-splitting squawk.  And my kids have decided that when we are all "TEAM PTERANODON! HOORAY!!!" that it just doesn't feel real unless they squawk before everything they say to each other.  And sometimes after everything they say.

(SQUAWK) Hey Shiney! What are you doing?
(SQUAWK) Playing with trains, Dawn. What you doing? (SQUAWK)
(SQUAWK) Drinking juice
(SQUAWK) Cool.

Hundreds of squawks every day. 

And it's driving me crazy. 

I've even had to make rules. 

I think I hate pteranodons.   I am glad they are extinct.