Thursday, February 25, 2010

Words matter.

I love that time when little kids begin to read and spell on their own. It's an awesome world to them and you find papers littering the house with phrases like "budirfli grten" (butterfly garden) and "gwocumlley" (guacamole) and still others that you have no idea what they mean because there are no spaces between the words.

This is the world I am in right now. And I love it. It brings me oodles of pleasure to see the things Adrienne tries to write. I came home from a little coffee social this evening to find a sheet of printer paper on my table with the letters "gwocumlley" written across the middle (landscape view). Matt had served them leftover enchiladas for dinner.

I was tickled that she had tried to sound it out and write it by herself. That's my big thing these days. I am trying to teach her to read (she's doing really well) but it frustrates me to no end when she gives up and whines because she is afraid of getting it wrong. All I want is for her to try. I don't care if she gets it wrong because at least I'd know she had tried her best.

She does the same thing with math. Today I made her do her minuses first. She got all but 2 right. If I let her do her pluses first she will get half the minuses wrong because she gets distracted and wants to quit. And they are a little harder. So, she does the minuses first and gets them mostly right. Then she does the pluses, which are easier, she enjoys it and they are all correct. She's such a smart girl and she is learning so fast, I hate when she gives up and doesn't try. I know she can do it even if she doesn't.

So, it makes my heart happy to see big words (which are technically in a different language) and numbers (1-60something last I saw the page) scattered around my house.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I heart Faces

It's been quite a while since I posted an entry in an i♥faces ( weekly challenge. Usually I just gaze at all of the awesome entries and enjoy everyone elses photography. This week, though, not only do I have an awesome photo to share, but a very sweet story that goes along with it. Sometimes I think the story behind the photo makes it even better.

One day late in the summer of 2008 I got a call from my sister telling me she was pregnant with her second baby. I was happy for her. A few weeks later she got a phone call from me telling her that I was pregnant with my fourth baby. We commiserated together about how tough pregnancy can be. Face it, morning (ALL DAY) sickness sucks.

A few weeks into our pregnancies Sis called me to tell me that they had found out they were having a boy, but that they had also gotten some rough news. It looked like their baby had something wrong with his heart. After some testing and visits with a pediatric cardiologist they learned that Brodie has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Basically, the left half of his heart didn't develop and his body is functioning supported by half a heart.

Brodie was born May 1 via c-section with a whole team of doctors and nurses there to attend to any possible medical issue that might arise. 20 days later his cousin Xander was born, shocking us all with the revelation that he, too, was a boy (we thought he was girl #4 for us). So far Brodie, such a sweet little love, has had two open heart surgeries; one just days after his birth, and one when he was five months old. About a month before that second surgery was when this photo was taken.

We were able to go to visit them and officially meet Brodie for the first time last September. My sister and I laughed that our boys were going to be bestest friends. When it was their nap time we laid them down next to one another in the bassinet. They would coo together, drool together, and look curiously at each other. Basically they played together as much as a couple of 4 month old babies (who can't even roll over yet) could. Sweetest thing ever. And then one afternoon during their nap I went over to check on them and our boys were holding hands.

I snatched up my camera and took the shot. These boys are seriously going to be pals for life.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the wants of a little princess

Last night we were discussing what to do for Genevieve's 5th birthday. I asked what Matt wanted to get her and he asked me "What does she want?"

Well hells bells, I don't know! Adrienne has gotten to that age where she will say for MONTHS what she wants for birthday, Christmas, etc. Genevieve doesn't ask for much, and doesn't usually ask unless you ask her what she wants. So, I promptly called her out and asked what she wanted.

"Uuuuhhhhmmmmmm.... a unicorn?"

"You already have a unicorn, you got one for Christmas, remember?" She should, it was the ONLY thing she asked for. Not that I'm opposed to getting her another one, I just thought she might like a little variety.

"Oh yeah!" She taps her chin thoughtfully for a moment and says, "How about a Barbie?"

Ugh. I was raised playing with Barbies and I turned out just fine, but really, for my little girls I am not fond of them. Basically I just don't think my children need to be playing with a boobiferous woman doll. I buy them Polly Pockets, which do have a little bit of the womanly shape, but they are tiny and don't have porn boobies like ol' Barb. I'm not a total weirdo, there are just some things I think they could be spared from for a few more years. Maintain a little innocence for awhile and let them believe in fairies and live in dress up clothing.

Anyway, I said to her, "But what if you don't get a Barbie, what else would you like?"

"Maybe a fairy doll with brown hair?"

Ok, I can deal with that.

When I related the conversation to Matt as soon as I said the word "Barbie" he said "Oh hell no!" Glad we're on the same page here.

Genevieve is such a sweet little girl, and she sees beauty in everything. Even stuff that makes me think "That is uglier than shiiiit!" I hope she's not too disappointed that she doesn't get that dang Barbie. lol

This afternoon Charlotte was running around in her undies (she'd gotten her clothing wet and stripped, she believes clothing is optional) so Genevieve went and got her new duds. Charlotte was a turd so Genevieve walked around holding that clothing for nearly 20 minutes before I scolded Charlotte to hurry up and get her dadgum clothing on.

So Charlotte is whining, hurts herself (which I don't feel sorry about because she was naughty) and comes and tells me, "Booger!" I am trying not to laugh at her because I know having a snotty nose sucks and feels gross, but she's pointing to her nose, teary eyed, and whining, "Booooger!" She knows where the kleenexes are, she could get them. I guess she just finds some sort of comfort in telling us; she does the same thing pretty much every time she has to pee, too.

Genevieve jumps up and says "I will get her a kleenex!" I continue feeding Xander. (Adrienne, meanwhile, was being a super-helper and getting him another container of babyfood because he was inhaling it. My big girl even opened it and peeled the foil off for me.)

I hear Genevieve say to Charlotte, "You still have some boogers in your hair...."


My arms full of a wriggling Xander and baby food slime I do what only a desperate mother would do to a sweet, loving, almost 5 year old girl.

"Genevieve, honey, will you just help her wipe it off her hair?"

And she happily obliged.

She is SUCH a good girl.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Super chocolate.

Last night I made a decadent chocolate cake (which I believe needs some improvements, actually) for a special Valentine's treat (I knew it wasn't going to remain untouched until today, but I figured better to get it made a day ahead of time rather than not get it done at all on Val-day). We ate dinner before Mass and headed out the door, promises of cake for all the good girls when we got back home.

After we got home the sort of good girls got sent to their bedroom to clean up all the toy-mess (lest they be grounded again) before they could partake in the chocolatey goodness. Matt dished himself up a Large Daddy Sized Piece of Cake. As he took his first bite he closed his eyes and said, "I think I've died and gone to chocolate heaven."

I know this man so well. See, instead of making some fru-fru cupcakes or other corny Val-day cutesie treats I thought about the kind of man I married. I decided if I was going to make him something special it was going to be a treat that he'd absolutely love. When we buy ice cream I'm the kind of girl who wants cookies and cream, or maybe some vanilla with hot fudge or caramel sauce. HE is the kind of man who wants double chocolate-chocolate-chocolate, with fudge ripples, and chocolate chunks, and hot fudge poured over the top. When I saw the recipe for the chocolate cake that claimed to have fudgy frosting I knew this was the cake for us. I love fudgy frosting, too. Well, the end result wasn't as fudgy as I expected but I have some ideas on how to improve that. Or just find another recipe for the frosting part. Or even just the filling part.

Late this morning, just before noon, I prepared some lunch foodies for Xander-mander. I've been working on introducing some new foods and textures to his diet. He really loves finger foods and I decided that he cannot live off Zesty Tomato Puffies and Yogurt Meltaways. Well, those things and breastmilk. I felt that his solid foods should have more variety (he does eat some babyfood but usually only about a tub a day). So I brought out the baby mac and cheese. He doesn't seem to like it but I'm going to keep pushing it because John Tesh said on the radio yesterday that you have to introduce new foods upwards of a dozen times before a child will actually take it (on average most parents give up after 3-5 times). Sometimes I think the man is a dork and I don't care to listen to his tips, but other times I am grateful to have caught the particular insight he is sharing. I guess I only really care if I think it applies to me.

Anyway, Xander acts like he hates the baby mac and cheese. I also fed him some peas, which he has eaten before and seriously loved. Today he was rejecting them as well. So, I took a piece of the cake I had served up for myself (post lunch, thank you) and gave him a tiny taste.

He is a boy after his father's own heart. He was on cloud 9. I gave him another small taste. Happy as could be. Then I gave him a bite of his peas.

I kid you not, he CRIED.

I fed him more cake and he was happy again.

More peas. Tears.

More cake. Joy.

Peas. Sadness.

Cake. Love.

So finally I quit and decided he must not be that hungry because Matt walked past the kitchen door and Xander tried climbing out of his seat because he wanted Daddy. I think we got through about half a tub of peas.

The girls, by the way, are in love with the cake as well.

Chocolate Cake.

I think next time I need to add half cream cheese and half sour cream. The frosting isn't as fudgy as I wanted and it's a little sour still, I'm hoping that by cutting it with cream cheese it might thicken it up and add some more creamy and less sour. It's good, but I don't know how into the twang I am. I might just be disappointed because I wanted more fudge than the recipe wound up giving me.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Coolest kids on the planet.

I am so completely blessed. I have the four awesomest kids in the whole world. You could try to convince me that yours are cuter, funnier, smarter, etc., but I'd pretty much know you're a liar. I live with these kids 24-7. I know they're the best.

My sweet son, Xander B, has gotten to that stage where crawling babes begin to stand up, pulling themselves up on every object they can get a decent grip on. Including Mommy's legs. Which usually temporarily immobilizes Mommy when she has armloads of stuff. He stands there holding on crying to be picked up and I sway as I try to put up whatever items I have in my hands (food, sharp knives, baskets of laundry)... and as much as it interrupts my plans for getting crap around the house done I love it because he wants me. He loves me and he wants Mama's cuddles. That's pretty darn sweet. I can't wait till he gets bigger and starts saying all the hilarious things his sisters say.

This evening during dinner Genevieve said to me, "We are playing Chronicles of Narnia. I am Lucy!" I asked why she wanted to be Lucy and she replied, "Because I think she is pretty."

Now, you have to realize something. They haven't been watching the new Hollywood version of the Chronicles. Oh no. They got a set of audio CDs as a Christmas present from their uncles and have been listening to it every night before bed. In addition to that their friend next door lent them the old BBC Chronicles of Narnia movies. Which, if you haven't seen, Lucy is not particularly adorable. My siblings and I used to laugh about it (especially after the new movies came out) because you read the books and have this image in your head of what they look like... and here comes the BBC, God love them, with Buck-tooth-Lucy. My kids are SO much nicer than I am. haha

But I digress. Adrienne says, following Genevieve's "I am Lucy!" comments, "I wish Peter and Susan and Lucy and Edmund were real. That would be so cool!" How frikkin adorable is that?

Then while I gave them their bath Charlotte (who is just turned 3 a couple weeks ago) says to me, "I am Susan!" It was dang cute. They played in the bath for awhile and I turned around to grab their towels and, as I turned back, I see Genevieve has bubbles on her face and Adrienne has them on top of her head. Genevieve declares, "I am Santa and Adrienne is Mrs. Santa!"

I kick them out of the tub and send them to get jammies on. Take prune-toed Xander in to get a clean dry diaper and jammies on and next thing I know Charlotte is in my bedroom doorway wearing, not panties or jammies, but a pair of Adrienne's socks. Black socks, which, since they are Adrienne's come up to her knees. Butt nekkid except for knee socks. She's such a beautiful little twit.

The girls are in bed and my little drooling, leg grabbing, glasses stealer wants some Mommy time. Pulling on my leg and saying "Bub-bub-bub!"

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Radiology ftw

So, a few days ago a girl I knew in college had a baby. ("Girl" might not be quite the right term since she's like 28, but I digress.) She and her husband were told at their 22 week ultrasound that they were having a girl. They were happy that their daughter would have a sister to play with, even though I get the distinct impression that she thinks her 2 boys are much easier to deal with.

They planned for the past 19 weeks for a girl.

When the beautiful little darling was born, with a head full of super thick dark hair, the doctor announced:

"She's a BOY!"

I am very happy for them, they are loving their newest addition even if he wasn't exactly what they expected. But, I still couldn't help but laugh at the whole scenario. I am sure they were in total shock for a few minutes. I know we were when we had our boy (we didn't find out but we totally expected another girl). I really think it's pretty hilarious.

Also, how the heck did the u/s tech MISS that? I thought it was supposed to be really obvious.

I thought this was going to be a really funny blog but it's kind of flopping. Maybe if I posted more I'd get back into the swing of being humorous. haha