Monday, March 31, 2008

Apropos of nothing...

Abbie just came up to the screen door (the kidlets are playing outside) and hollers into the kitchen, "Mom? Hey, Mom?" To which I reply, "Yes, Abigaile?" "Ummm...I love you." Then she goes back to playing.
Sigh. I love being a mama.

I've just had the most fun (and hectic) weekend. My sister Gwenn's kids came to stay while Gwenn and Nick had some business to attend to in Raleigh. After a false start (see Gwenn's blog for the whole story! link at right), the kids arrived late Friday night. They stayed over at my house that night, and Saturday we played (and trashed the house...see pictures of "we're gonna play dress-ups!", below). Also on Saturday was my Mother of The Year moment. I was feeling very virtuous and on top of the game, because, despite getting up with the baby at 4 AM (which was no big deal, but I'm not used to it!), I fed the kids breakfast, wiped faces, gave the baby another bottle and breakfast, got all their clothes (AND SHOES!) on, put the baby back down for a nap, and shooed the kids outside to play so I could clean up the breakfast dishes. My master plan was to wait until Josiah woke up, and then pile the littles into the wagon, the baby into the sling, and to take a walk to the post office (4 blocks or so) to see Nana. So as I exit the bedroom where I've laid the baby down, Nia comes in the back door. (Keep in mind that they've been outside less than a minute at this point.) If you don't know Nia, you must imagine that the voice speaking these next words is very high, sweet and quiet. She says, almost apologetically, "Auntie Gretchen? It's raining kind of hard; do we have to stay outside?" Yes, folks. I forgot to check and make sure that the cloudy overcast skies weren't, in fact, producing rain. Which they were. Quite copiously, I might add. So, dammit, let's all come inside! Be quiet! The baby's sleeping! (And I still have to do the breakfast dishes!) So I say, "Why don't we watch a movie?" In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that it's not exactly a "treat" for my kids to watch a movie. For a TV-free family (as in, no television, network or cable, but not no television SET, and we are Netflix addicts around here), my kids sure do know how to quote a movie. But I digress. Shocking, I know. So they go back and forth about what movie they want to watch; can't agree, and then Abbie and Nia cook up the big idea to play dress-ups. I'm a little apprehensive about this, because it usually makes a big mess that requires threats and tears (or me doing it) to get put away, but since my options are few, I consent. I caution them, though, "DON'T FORGET! If you take it out, you put it away!" Like I said earlier, if you look at the picture below, you can see how well THAT worked out. Next, they decided that they could, after all, agree on a movie, and abandoned the dress-ups to go watch Shrek the Third. Notice they are still wearing their fancy clothes.
That evening, they spent the night at Nana's (well, just Gwenn's kids; mine went there for a while and then came home with Jon). They seem to have survived THAT particular brand of craziness (just kidding, Mom! You do such a great job with all of them). After church on Sunday (which the two little boys stayed home from with Nana), Micah went back to Nana and Grandad's house, and we had "girl time". Which involved shopping for earrings (because Abbie can't keep her friggin' expensive ones in...grrrr...), going out to lunch, running an errand and getting ice cream at Big Al's. Oh, and then we came home and baked pretzels and made homemade wontons and crab rangoon for dinner. (Yum! I'll post the recipes at some other time.) The capper of the night was Nia getting her hair Manic-Panicked pink. Not entirely pink, but some cutie streaks that showed up beautifully against her hair. While the color was setting in, Uncle Jon taught her to play dots and she smacked him down. (Not really, but she thinks she did.)
Speaking of Uncle Jon, he handled one of the overnight baby duties with complete cuteness. Josiah had gotten up about 3:30, sucked down half a bottle, and went right back to sleep. About 5:00, he started whimpering again, so I said to Jon, "Would you get him this time?" He quickly agreed (surprising to me!), and took the baby out on the couch for the second half of the bottle. When I got up about 7:15 this morning, Jon was dozing on the couch with the baby on his chest. I have so many memories of finding Jon the very same way (with the very same blanket!) with our own kids. It was very cute.
Before we had school this morning (spring break's over, folks!), we instructed the children in the fine art of the "dogpile". Before anyone becomes alarmed, please be informed that Josiah was, at the time, asleep in the crib, not at the bottom of the pile. I say this only because he's the only one not in the picture. And while we're on the subject of pictures, let me apologize for not getting a group shot. Those little buggers are FAST! Bring out the camera or the Flip video and they scatter like mice.
The last picture is of Micah and Nico. Jon took it in last night before he went to bed. (Oh, and I should also say that just after he took this picture, he came in our room, saw Josiah sleeping in the Pack&Play, and said, "Oh, I just want to pick him up!" I assured him that the baby would probably sleep right through it, which he did. Jon also [I guess about half an hour later?] came back in our room and WOKE ME UP just to show me the cuteness of Jo-la-la [as Nico calls him] with his arms around Jon's shoulders like he was hugging him. It was, in fact, quite sweet.) In any case, Micah shared his bed with Nico while they were there, and this is how Jon found them last night. You can't really tell in the picture, but Jon said their hands looked like they were praying.

Clean up the dress-ups? Of COURSE we will!

An attempt at a group shot...oh wait, the baby's not there!

There he is. Admittedly, that was where he stayed for quite a while. I think that kid needs to get into a 12-step program for Cheerios addiction. (Sorry to make light of addiction, but seriously, Jo-la-la...STEP AWAY FROM THE O'S!)

Playing dots and dying hair...

The end it!

And from the back...
Josiah's petting Jon's beard; Jon said he did that for quite a while. :)


Sleeping boys. They are so sweet, huh?

And just for kicks, here are two videos:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Family Pictures

I was going through some pictures on my mother's MySpace (yes, my MOTHER even has a MySpace. I'm gonna have to switch to Facebook. Just kidding), and some of the first ones in her "Family Album" are from when she and my dad first went from being a couple to a family - when I was born. These are so special to me... just wanted to share!

Look at my pretty pregnant mama!

That's me in there!

New family

Getting a sink bath at my Nana's house

This was just after my sister Gwenn
was born....I was about twenty months old.
Don't my parents look like babies? :)

Me and my looks like I
was about 18 months old or so (but I'm

Saturday, March 22, 2008

In case you need further proof....

...that I have spawned two of the MOST DRAMATIC children that ever lived, I present the evidence. (Quotes from Micah and Abbie in the past few days.)

Micah (in the car on the way home from the store): AAAAAH! I have to poop SOOOO BAD! I can't hold it any longer! I'm about to poop myself! (And it should be noted that upon arriving home, approximately 97 seconds later, he saw his sister climbing the dogwood tree in the front yard, and said, "Hey! I wanna do that too!" To which I replied, "I thought you had to go to the bathroom?" And he said, "Oh, yeah..." He went inside and did not, in fact, have to go to the bathroom.)

Abbie (climbing Jockey's Ridge, up the smallest dune there, about 50 feet after we left the parking lot onto the sand): "Ohhhhh! I can't DO this any longer! My legs are going to break off!" (And yes, she did use THOSE exact words. No one else believes she's just turned three, either.)

Micah (leaving Jockey's Ridge after being there less than an hour): "Do you have any WAAAATER?" Me: "No. It's gone." Micah: Well, then, I guess I will just DIIIIIE of THIIIIRST!"

Although these are pretty good examples, I should, for the sake of full disclosure, let you know that they are only runners-up in the Drama Queen contest to my niece, Nia. She's such a trip. My favorite one was when she and my kids were fighting over a balloon, and I took it away. She immediately started throwing a fit, and I put her in time-out in Micah's room. She was SOBBING on the bed, moaning to herself. Between big gulping gasps, she manages to choke out, "Th-th-that was the b-b-best balloon I ever HAAAD! I will NEVER have a balloon like that EVEEER AGAAAAAIN!"

I love kids. Dramatic or not. But sometimes I feel as if I should be handing out Oscars around here.

Title by Neil

My screensaver is a slideshow of all the pictures that are stored on my computer. It's endlessly entertaining to me to click through them, because I have soooo many pictures that sometimes I feel as though I'm seeing them for the first time. Neil was over, gossiping with me before he went to work, and this picture came up. Caption by Sir Neil.

"Heyyyy, man...guess what I found in Daddy's evidence locker?"

OK, maybe it's only funny to me. I'm fine with that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Public Service Announcement

This one was too funny not to share.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm a fun mom, too, right?

(The title is referencing Gwenn's post about making homemade doughnuts...which I did not do.)
But I DID make homemade pretzels today! Abbie and I had a blast.
I used this recipe.
Delightful. Although next time, I think I will use cinnamon-sugar instead of salt. Or possibly a bit less salt. (Because they were a bit reminiscent of a deer-lick. See picture of Abbie, licking salt off the table.)

A birthday parade!

Abbie turned 3 yesterday. She told everyone! With exclamation points! I AM THREEEE! To celebrate, she got an invisibility cloak (actually a tie-dyed playsilk from The Colorfarm - see link to "Joy, the reason I wear tie-dye" to the right). She also got her ears "peered" (her word). The big thing was the St. Patrick's Day parade on the beach. We were driving over there to watch it when we got a call from our friend Paul Charron, asking if the kids wanted to ride on the float the Full Moon Cafe was sponsoring. They said "yeeeeeeeahhhh! We waaaaaannnna! Yaaaaahoooo!" So we ended up all riding aboard the Castle McCain float (which won second prize, by the way!). It was COLD and WINDY, but sooo much fun. Abbie rode in the back of the truck with Jon and Keagan, and Katie and Micah rode atop one of the castle ramparts on the float (with me) and threw pennies to the crowd. Abbie was wearing her "Birthday Girl" sash atop her winter coat, so countless people shouted birthday greetings to her. She said it was her birthday parade.
I'm posting 2 videos, the first of Abbie's dialogue with Jon about her birthday "brefixt", the second is a bit from the parade; first you see the Tinkers playing (yay! They rock!)...then Pauli gets a call on his cell phone. Which he stops playing the drum to answer. It totally cracked me up.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Speaking of being selfish and whiney...

I really am. I am so totally blessed to have the health that I do. My children and husband are healthy.
I'm a wretch to complain about a cold. Thank you, God, for taking today to remind me of that.
This is a list for Tricia (their blog is linked to your right)...things that I can't wait for you to experience with Gwyneth!

* the first time she sings a song. Kate's first was a Shirley Temple song called "Early Bird".
* the first she pretends to talk on your phone (or really does)
* when she asks Jesus into her heart (and gets baptized!)
* when she first reads to you
* when she puts on your shoes and walks around
* when she tells you you are soooo beautiful
* when she asks you to put makeup on her
* when you feed her her first solid food (good times, good times!)
* finding her in your bed when you don't remember how she got there
* having a headache and having her put her hands on your head and saying, "I pray for you mama!"
* her first "concert"; whether it's childrens' choir, dance, gymnastics, soccer, what-have-you; you'll just bust with pride and awe that "THAT'S MY DAUGHTER!"

It's a ride of a lifetime, Tricia. You are so blessed!

I have no sick days.

That's the main reason that I sometimes wish I wasn't a stay-at-home-mom. For the most part, I totally love it. But when I've got a rockin' cold (or possibly the flu, but I almost don't want to say it!), it just sucks.
Thank goodness for Disney movies. It's just bought me 45 minutes to get in a warm bath and smear some hippy vicks (tee-hee...check out to buy some!) on my chest and neck.
Then we'll start school for the day (which we skipped yesterday).
I guess the main point of this post is throwing myself a pity party. Which is JUST RIDICULOUS, I know; there are way worse things going in people's lives right now.
OK, whining over. Bath time now.

Friday, March 7, 2008

What have I done to my children?

Well, the disclaimer is that - I DIDN'T do it. My sister did. And I let her. You who know my sister (or read her blog; check it out over to the right) know that Gwenn is a FUNNY woman. The other day, she observed Melody putting on makeup (just regular makeup, not full-on, drag-queen, street-walker makeup), she said, "You're inspiring me; I'm going to put on makeup tody." I'm not sure what sparked the idea to make herself over into Amy Winehouse, but that's what she did. And she offered my daughter Katie and her daughter Nia the same treatment, which they gleefully accepted. (Abbie [my youngest], on the other hand, took one look at Gwenn after I offered her some makeup, and shrieked, "I don't wanna be beautiful!") Anyway, not only did Gwenn make up our daughters as wee little tramps (just kidding, Gwenn!), she did so with an accent worthy of a drama coach (or drama queen). The girls were cracking up, as was I. Afterward, she took them outside for a "fashion shoot", pictures which appear below.
The next day, she (we) decided it was the boys' turn. I do admit that I asked my husband's opinion/permission before letting her at my son's head with a pair of "balding clippers", but my attitude, in general, about hair is: It'll grow back. So that's how Micah and her boys Nico and Josiah ended up with mohawks. For real.
We had SUCH a good "sisters' time" this week. Our children played pretty well together (for the most part; my daughter Abbie is a bit of a whiny-heiny when she doesn't get her way, and Melody's daughter Evie is known to grab big chunks of Josiah's hair and yank, but that's because they're 2 and 8 months, respectively.)
Anyway, pictures: