Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Tonight after dinner which was it's own stress with preparing 3 different meals, two children whining, one throwing up (because she ignored the repeated call for lunch and ate FunDip instead) and wanting to tell me all about it, the other banging his sippy cup, screeching at me, and throwing food on the floor and Mr. relating a troublesome conversation from work... I finally gave up and took the whining, dead-tired almost 3 year old up to her room for cuddles, hoping she would give up and fall asleep. No luck, she wanted the lights on (and can reach the switch). So after a while I went down to get a book to read and saw the kitchen still a mess and everyone else relaxing or making another mess. I sighed and went back up stairs as Nev was whining for me again. Later the eldest is sent to bed because she is too sick to clean out the dishwasher but not too sick to wrestle with her brother. So Gary and I gather up the kids sleeping bags to roll and stuff them away and 3 of the kids follow us. Nev has brought a basket full of her polly pocket type dolls, accessories, and furniture. Giddy baby is chewing on something and wants to nurse. Zurich wants cuddles.

Gary and I try to roll up the bags but Giddy is rubbing against me like a cat and clawing at me and pulling my hair and climbing on me. Nev insists that I look at how she has arranged the contents of her basket on her dad's night stand. Zurich is just puppy dog eyes in the background whimpering every so often and Gary is heaving and hoing trying to suppress the sleeping bag enough for me to keep the extra material out of the way and zip is the storage bag's zipper. Giddy is hampering my ability to move and see and Nev is making my ears ring while Z pulls on my heart strings because he's been waiting all day. Eventually both sleeping bags are zippered shut.
That's 10 minutes, maybe.

I'm nursing the baby and Nev is wandering up and down the halls. And I still have to move laundry and clean up dinner, etc.

This is the life I chose.
I am going to choose it again as I put the baby to bed, find Nev still awake, and head downstairs to spend the next two hours on chores, because I am lucky.
I have a joy that most people don't even know they are missing or that most who do have it don't know that it is a joy.
I have a family.
I have children.
I have a husband who provides for us in many ways. He lives toward a higher moral standard than most men in the world and he's imperfect at it enough to love imperfect me.

And because Gary will most likely help me with the kitchen and laundry tonight.

Sent from my iPod touch

Thursday, December 15, 2011

baseball hat

My husband isn't a fan of baseball, but he sure likes the hats.

The first glimpse my kids got of their dad, he was wearing a baseball hat.
So it's no surprise that they associate a baseball cap with dad.

After washing Gideon off after a meal I found a baseball cap that someone had left on the bathroom shelf. I put it on Giddy while he was looking in the mirror. He said, "Hi, Dad." Yup, you must be dad if you are wearing a baseball cap.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Being Rich

I always tell Gary, "when we are rich..." I want such and such. Some of those items have been pretty silly like a Lava Lamp. We must be rich, because I have one. ;)
Some are just pie in the sky... okay that makes them silly too.
Anyway: The other day I had a brain child. I've had four real children so a brain child shouldn't be too far of a stretch.

Gary was outside teaching Zurich how to ride his bike with no training wheels. Awesome. View.

Nev had just gotten run over by Olea (who was riding her bike). I took Nev inside cleaned off her knee and affixed plain brown, but super huge band-aid and had her fetch a basket.

Of course the scene of me and Nev gathering mystery objects in the grass was intriguing so eventually I had all my little helpers there adding to the basket.
Coming so close to the ground and seeing, because we were looking, Olea commented, "We are rich in acorns."
We are. Super. Rich. in Acorns.

So there. I am now super rich.

I could get the squirrels to do whatever I wanted...

We gathered lots of acorns and a few pine needles too for good measure.

Sometimes Gary is really good at taking pictures, sometimes he even lets it focus. Sometimes not so much. :)

Then some wading in the pool.

A few days later...
some awful hot glue and a ring of foam core board...
and an awesome hot glue burn...

When we are super rich: I will still make my own wreaths and I'll still have a lava lamp.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gratitude turkeys

For the last few years we have used this basic body pattern to make Gratitude Turkeys. I had a bunch already cut out this time around from when I got them ready for an activity days' activity. This worked out very nicely since it was a bit of a spontaneous desire. I started making one with Zurich, then Oma (German for grandma-my mother) and Olea, then Gary and Nev. Opa had already turned in for the night.

My mom said when asked about legs that her Turkey was sitting on them, thinking she'd get out of the legs business, so I cut her some and arranged them in a yoga pose. We got a good laugh out of my solution to Mom's comment. Zurich is grateful for things like blood and hugs. Olea wanted her legs like Oma's, but I'm not cool with copying so I cut her something different but silly too. Gary said that male pattern baldness is a problem even in turkeys. Nev kept putting glue on the front of hers. I HAD to add Surgery Monkey to my list just to get a reaction out of Gary. You can read into SM as any comfort items. :)

Always fun, quite simple, and a nice gratitude reminder. We will tape them up in the entry tomorrow.


He fell asleep
I'm still rocking
His big head on
My arm going numb
Soft breath flutters with
Cherub fists involuntarily clasping
Occasional sucking
I adore

He's too big too fast
But he's my
So I hang on
Rocking and watching his face
Soft in sleep
Alive in spirit

And want to do nothing else
But hold this soul
While I can
While he'll let me
While he's still perfect

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shooting Star

I've have four kids. The oldest is over seven years old. That means I have had experience with kids putting things in their mouths for at least 7 years.
But today was a first.

I had to call 911 for it.
We had picked up the front room this morning and had been playing elsewhere most of the day. Early this evening I put out age appropriate toys for Giddy to play with so I could go through mail, deposit a check (remote deposit) and put away dishes etc. I could hear a tv on upstairs and Zurich telling Olea to shut it off so she could do her homework and come play pirate with him so I glanced over at Giddy to check his current state of happy and he was making his way to the library bag and smiled up at me. By now Zurich was yelling and I knew someone would throw a wounding blow soon. Upstairs I intervened and reminded Olea that the rule was no tv till after homework and certainly no tv during homework.

I headed back downstairs and heard Giddy gagging. I rushed to him to find him in the same place as I'd left him, which is interesting because he drags himself around now. I did a finger swipe of his mouth and didn't feel anything. I could tell something was wrong as I picked him up and took him to the kitchen to wipe his nose. He didn't have a runny nose before and he was still crying in an unfamiliar way. Upon wiping his nose I noticed the mucus was coming from his mouth mostly, at this point I started to get worried. I tried whopping him on the back and that didn't change anything. I swept around in his mouth again. Nothing. More crying and mucus. He still had an airway but he was obviously uncomfortable. I took him upstairs with me to get a bulb syringe... Realized that wasn't of any use and called my mother in law (who is a nurse). She walked me through technique of trying to get it to exit through pushing on his diaphragm and the whomping him on the back. When that didn't produce anything but mucus and crying she told me to calm down and call 911.
I've never dialed 911.
He still had an airway but since I had no idea what he had swallowed I didn't know for how long it would be. He coughed up more mucus and little spots of blood. When I could hear the sirens dispatch hung up with me. By then I had made my way with him to the front porch since Olea and Zurich wanted to go outside. (That's silly isn't it? That while one child is choking I have to still meet the "needs" of the others so I can concentrate on the one...) and I wanted to make sure they were out of the driveway when the ambulance came.

As I sat there with him coughing, gagging and drooling mucus and hanging over my lap on my arm because I felt that was the right position to help him the most, l just prayed. Thankfully as uncomfortable as he was he had had an airway the whole time. Just as the fire truck stopped at the top of our driveway he coughed more and out shot a glob of mucus and in that pile of that m word, was a dark object.

Prayers of thanks.

He coughed twice more whimpered and stopped crying. I cuddled him and looked down to see what it was. A metal star shaped snap clip. When the paramedics made it down the drive I was still shaking and with the relief, crying now. They looked him over blood pressure, pulse and commented on what a pleasant and big boy he was. There was some miscommunication between them and dispatch though because they had another truck and expected to transport. They were told he was blue. I remember her asking me about that and I said he's been breathing the whole time, he's got good color.

That is SO scary. I am so grateful he didn't have to be transported. Grateful that we live as close as we do to the fire station. Grateful for paramedics and firefighters, dispatch. Grateful for nurses, for mother-in laws, for prayer. And for such a pleasant little boy. We have been blessed today and our prayers answered.

After they looked Giddy over and we determined he was fine and didn't need to go to the hospital they invited the two oldest up to look in the truck, sit in it and honk the horn. Cool stuff. The best was Zurich was wearing a pirate costume and towing a light blue rolling suitcase full of toys. (Nev was asleep on the couch in the front room the whole time, that was a blessing too.) Olea was shy at first and didn't want to sit in the driver's seat but I urged her to put aside shyness and take advantage if the cool opportunity. She did.

The offending object as it landed and my happy Giddy all moved on. I do expect him to have a sore throat though.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ode to being 29

When I was about 16 I or so-ish I came across this song. Love it.
Now you must listen to it now that I am 29.

"There's no intention worthy of mention if you never try."

Thank you. That is all.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer's end: The End

We are now deep into school with Olea. It got kinda crazy there at the end.
But here is how we finished it out.

Today we worked on a collaborative watercolor. Since we have very different ideas and skill levels I am glad we picked up Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzburg at the library Monday. Here is a fun read along.

Olea was very concerned with Zurich's painting style juxtaposed with hers on the same piece of paper. She totally chilled after we read the book and I took the board the water color was taped to and turned it and it started dripping all over itself thanks to Nev's awesome wash job.

What made this special to Olea was being able to use my watercolors and not their crayola washable water color. After they had had their fill of painting (well they probably could have kept going till it was all mud, but we do have to move on at some point) they got to sprinkle it with salt and place pieces of saran wrap on it. We also sprinkled some of the glitter that Nev dumped out last week that didn't get cleaned up.

Let it dry. Peel off saran wrap. Scrape off salt.

Hoping we didn't loose too much glitter. Stay Tuned....


Olea has been dying to make something with the ceramic clay. I have been re-hydrating some remnants from our last build. So I gathered them around while Nev was napping and Olea made a dish and Zurich a bowl.

It's hard for me to make anything with the kids because they either want to help on mine or need help with theirs. So I was surprisingly happy with the little whale toothbrush stand. I thought for fun I would try to make a shuttle. I didn't think it would work for use but tried to make it for it anyway. Then as I was cleaning up Zurich had a desperate desire for a spaceship. So I tried to hurry and put one together on a cork we had for use as a piggy bank.

Then let them dry for two weeks up high on the cupboards.

I got a very fine tipped Radiograph pen and the watercolor and gathered the kids around and asked them what they saw and then I drew in the outlines and details they described.

Here are some details of it:

I love it! I need a frame! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's back!

"Eek! Its back!" I exclaimed while driving home tonight. Last week I complained to Gary that they had taken it down before I got a picture of it. Gary said, "Get out your camera," and drove up to the intersection and made a u-turn and then into the rink lot so I could get a good shot on his phone. It is outside of a roller rink. I get such a great laugh out of it every time I pass. Talk about taking a biased survey. But at least they appropriately reported their survey audience.

It might be dumb, but Gary has learned over the years that though I take amusement in simple silly things, it's best to humor me in it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Summer's end: Catch up

I'm totally sure it didn't pass anyone up that I sluffed on Friday and didn't post. Whatever. :)

Here's why: at 10 am the baby was fed and down for a nap and the kids were watching a Lego movie peaceably on the DVR. I saw a nap opportunity and seized it sleeping without interruption for the next 1 hour and 45 minutes. After lunch the kids were supposed to clean their rooms so I could vacuum... That idea consumed most of the day... And then the power went out and they were too distracted with panic that they didn't clean. Power was out for 4 hours and since I was busy cleaning up stuff and the AC wasn't going 79+ degrees in a humid stuffy house was getting down right miserable. I ended up re-upholstering a chair that I had taken apart to clean by coleman lantern light. By then Gary was home and the power was on so we had glorious leftovers at 8:30 pm.
I took a nap! It was awesome! Moving on...

Today we took an outing. We piled a lot of stuff in one trip and the kids did very well it probably helped that they got to participate in a lot of it. Bread store where Olea timed me. Then we visited the Sculpture that is on the way to the library. Nev always points at it and screeches something unintelligible as we drive by. I have always wanted to go look and see if it had any artist credits. So we did that today. It is funky weird and the kids had a great time using words like triangle crotch and round butt to describe what they saw. Olea, who said it was stupid when I said we were going to get out and look at it, really took advantage of her verbal freedom while describing what was different or interesting about the sculpture.

It's name is FLAMP.
Then library, no pictures, I am spread too thin trying to help with books without a shelf being emptied.

Then post office (the big one this time) where they got to help work one of the postage machines.

Those are Nev and Zurich helping work the touch screen, Olea's photography story telling is lacking on these ones. Then Zurich hung on the lever with all his weight and Olea picked Nev up to put the letters in the drop box.

While there we were subject to an embarrassing display between a child and his parents. I mean loud and uncomfortable. The parents were way over reacting and in their attempt to keep their kid in line, made quite the display themselves. When we got in the van Olea made some observations: we had four kids they just had 1, there were three adults to the one child, and we were being pretty good, and daddy wasn't here with us, they were really loud and scary. Olea said, "I am glad that when we make sad choices in a big place like that that you talk to us quiet and if we are bad you just take us away and not be mean and noisy." (I am feeling happy about this observation.) So we got to talk about being good kids and parents so we don't embarrass ourselves or our families. Then we stopped off at a doctors office to get a refund... Which we won't be going to again, it's been a horrible hassle and they still owe me $. Then to the bank.

The kids had some money that they needed to put in the bank. Olea helped me fill out the deposit slips.

And they got to each give their money to the teller. We ended up with almost all the tellers at our attention because they were oohing and ahhing over my adorable babies, their names and their pretty eyes. One said, "she's a beautiful baby!" to my dressed in blue Giddy. The other teller corrected her, "it's a boy." "are you sure? She's so beautiful!" One asked if Nev and Zurich were twins. We get that fairly often here with them. "they all yours?!" and "you've got your hands full!" were other comments. After getting our transactions squared away the kids picked out a sucker and sat peaceably in the lounge chairs waiting for me. What a pleasure it is to have good kids. For the record they are kids, running around screeching and whatnot but they kept it all within tolerances.

Since the kids think it's great (because we rarely do it) and because they had coupons from the reading program we went to McDonalds for happy meals.

I feel awesome. We survived, the kids were so good and Giddy smiled through it all but when we got home he sure was hungry and tired.

We cleaned the house so we could have some friends over for pool play and dinner. No pictures. The End.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer's end: Floral Pens

Tuesday night while shopping with Olea she saw a pot of flower pens and said she liked them and wanted to make some so we picked up a roll of floral tape.

I already had everything else I figured we needed. So today I invited everyone out to do our outside jobs so we could do our project. Olea chose to ignore me. I figured I would let the consequences speak for themselves. As I directed the two younger kids I had to repeat myself several times, And so I figured I would open up the opportunity for Olea to listen and added some clarifying paths, "Get your shoes so we can do our jobs and then do our project." "Ok, lets hurry with our jobs so we can make flower pens." etc.

We went out back and picked up the pot from the Mother's day plant that I managed to kill (every year) and filled a barrel with leaves and then went inside.

We washed out the pot. I let the kids pick out flowers from my stash from our old house where they had hung in bunches like so: (top left of the picture of the epic battle between Olea and Zurich) I'm just not feeling it in this house, so we are going to re-purpose them.

Zurich liked the black ones and wanted them "big and tall." Nev had a hard time deciding. We wrapped the flower and pen together with the floral tape. They each did two... and had to make sure the pens still worked after being decorated.

Then Zurich poured a bag of dry beans into the pot and they arranged their flowers.

And helped decide where to put our pretty pot.

Olea never joined us. I was genuinely disappointed because this was the project she wanted to do and much more her skill level than theirs.

When I tried to talk to her and invite her to do her jobs so she could make some she plugged her ears, screamed and put herself in time out. :( Hopefully tomorrow she will get to make a pen.

There is one problem with this project. I now know how I want to decorate my kitchen... but I am so not in a position to do it. And we found an outlet under the island tonight. That could be quite useful.