Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amazed. Really.

Tonight it's Castle and cocktails. And if I am still inclined to watch more I'll just move on to something else. I have no idea what... Matt is playing his new PS3 game--pre-ordered birthday gift for him so he got it on the release day instead of on his birthday--which means the TV will be busy for some time to come. So no Netflix unless I use my computer.

I just had to tell my 4 year old that she needs to wear pants with her night gown because she's gotten so tall and it's way too short. That's one of the things I never really figured on having to say to kids.

Speaking of pants. Today I am wearing some capri leggings and a longish shirt. I wasn't really concerned with just how long it is because I didn't go anywhere except out in the yard to play with the kids today. My husband comes home, we eat dinner, and I am standing at the sink washing dishes when he comes out and says (you ladies are going to howl over this one) "Why does it look like your butt is sticking out farther than normal?"

Yes. He really said that.

I told him "Because I'm wearing skin tight pants and a shirt that doesn't come down far enough to cover my ass. And for the record, that's one of those things that you shouldn't really ever say to a woman."

He defended himself saying he'd only said it because he liked it (maybe TMI, but on the other hand if my husband didn't like my ass we'd probably have some issues) and that he'd never say it to someone else. I laughed at him.

Ok, OJ, vodka, Midori, and Chambord. DELICIOUS. You can thank me later. ETA: I forgot I added a couple ounces of 7up for a dash of carbonation. I made a second one and didn't add it, and then remembered and added it to the second half of the drink. It's better with the 7up.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Just me

If I swore as much on my blog as I do in real life I'm not sure I'd have other real words.

I'm just kidding. I'd have a few other real words.

I'm watching Parks and Recreation and laughing till I nearly wet myself. If I was faster on the uptake this entry would be nothing but P&R quotes.

I'm drinking a Sam Adams and eating chips off the floor.

I only ate two off the floor. The rest are in the bag.

If it weren't 9 pm I'd make myself chorizo bean dip, but I'm settling for salsa because I feel like it's too late to cook.

My kids are still up.

I'd prefer more beer.

And this concludes my random thoughts in 2 minutes. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yesterday we skipped school except for some basic reading and made the haul (all 45 minutes of it...) to the city to get some things I can't get here in our rinky-dink town. I love that about homeschooling. Technically we weren't going to skip, but we wound up getting home a lot later than I expected. It wasn't a tremendous deal because we're making up the difference today and will still be done earlier than the local schools. That's a win for me.

The other night I cut out the paper pieces for all three dress up dresses. Last night I cut all the fabric for Adrienne's dress. I figured she, out of all of them, could use it the most. The other girls still fit into all the dress ups we own, she really only fits into one or two. I am planning to start sewing tonight after I put the kids to bed. They don't have any idea what I've been up to. They know I am supposed to be making the dresses sometime but they haven't actually witnessed any of this happening. I'm hoping I can surprise each of them with a finished dress. They'll probably poop their pants.

In other super exciting news, I've been trying my hand at crockpot oatmeal. (HA! You suckers really thought it was going to be exciting, didn't you?) When you wake up it feels like you magically have breakfast made and you didn't have to do a thing. Except you really did it before you went to bed at midnight... and you don't usually eat breakfast, it's for your children. Still. It's awesome having it totally done in the morning.

When we were in the city yesterday I had to hunt down a liquor store that carries locally made wines for a gift basket. It occurred to me to wonder what they must think of a woman coming in with 4 children skipping along behind her. I imagine their thoughts ran something along the lines of "Whoa, four whole tiny humans! She must really need the booze to cope!" My kids were delighted with the lifesize statue of Captain Morgan, too. At least the kids didn't recognize him. Then the storekeepers really would have thought I have a problem.

With the way the boy is behaving right now I am thinking they might be right... there's nothing wrong with a white russian for lunch is there? Lots of calcium...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today's adventure

Today I am working on building a turtle cheesecake. I've never made this before and I'm using my friends as guinea pigs. We've been invited to their home for dinner tomorrow night. Here's hoping it doesn't suck. haha Seriously, though, it looks pretty awesome so far. And that's with the help of children and a glass of wine. Go me!

Tonight I also have to begin laying out and cutting pattern pieces for THREE lovely dress up dresses that I somehow managed to promise my girls I'd make for them. In my mind I was thinking "awesome Christmas presents!" and they decided it'd be for HALLOWEEN. WTF, kids? Thanks for ruining my slacker plans.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to work...

This morning my kids are seated around the kitchen table dutifully doing their math... well, sort of dutifully, they are way too easily distracted. (No, they don't have ADD, they're just flighty little girls.) I, too, have put my nose to the grindstone and am organizing their worksheets for the week. Reading has already been done, so hopefully we can finish up the math in record time and go to the store before it;s a madhouse.

The boy is climbing up my back trying to steal the cookies off the shelf next to me--one of my last boxes of Samoas. Yeah, that's right, I bought 16 boxes of girl scout cookies and have been hoarding them since before Easter. The only reason they haven't lasted me till next Easter is because my husband discovered my stash and my supply has been rapidly declining in the last 2 months. Next year I will have to buy 20 boxes...

As I sit here copying page after page for these kids I can't help but wish I had one of those badass office copy machines that just suck in the pages and spit them back out, do front and back, and coallate your pages automatically. I have no idea where I'd put such a monstrosity in my house, but it would be the most useful homeschooling tool I owned if I had such a thing. Now my scrawny HP all in one printer looks even crappier.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Random Memory

When I was in college I used to make mix CDs for my younger siblings back at home. On one such CD I put Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come One Eileen." This evening I had iTunes going on my computer while I puttered around and that song came on.

I've listened to it dozens upon dozens of times over the years, but tonight I remembered, quite out of the blue, having given it to one of my sisters.

When I came home for one of my breaks she played the CD I'd given her and sang along, "I'm gonna hump this chick forever!" Hilarity ensued and I spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince her that it's "I'm gonna hum this tune forever!"

And tonight I sat in front of my computer laughing like a maniac for no apparent reason because I remembered that one little instance. I love my siblings.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Reflections and realizations.

Today I (sort of) spent a day in the life of a family ridden with food allergies. I have a friend, J, who's 8 month old baby girl has been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis and allergies to gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, and eggs. Since J's breastfeeding she can't eat those things, either. And because this is going to be a problem for P's whole life the entire family has switched their diet to be allergy free. Our husbands work together and Matt told me that J's husband has been bringing his lunch to work and eating there. He isn't straying from the diet even when he could be. I told Matt that I was really impressed because there is no way I'd expect that of him. 

Anyway, all those restrictions pretty much wipes out my entire repertiore. Anyone want a hunk of meat? No marinade or condiments! (Actually, I guess I could whip up a marinade, but that takes away the fun of being dramatic.)

Tomorrow is Adrienne's 8th birthday and my darling girl (obviously) wants a party with her friends. I invited a few families, including the Allergy Family. And, because I like to think I am a conscientious hostess, I'll be damned if I'm going to leave my guest with nothing to eat but a naked hamburger patty. There's nothing I can do about the birthday cake, my girl wants chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and she's getting it, but I am putting plenty of other options out there.

Because I am OBVIOUSLY not an allergy free cook I washed and re-washed all my utensils and bowls before I prepared any of her food in them. I double checked my baked beans to make sure they were allergy free. I googled which brands are gluten free. I bought potato chips that are safe (no soy or peanut oils). I even made sure my ketchup didn't have soy in it. I made buns that are allergy free--they are dense and really different from what you'd normally imagine plopping a burger on, but they aren't bad (they were actually really good with butter and jam but, since she can't have butter, I'm not going to tell her that). I made vegan rice milk ice cream and a gluten free apple pie. Girl can't have cake but she's getting her dessert!

Now, to get to the real point. I didn't go through all that to toot my own horn about what a great friend I am. I busted my ass and I'm exhausted. It gave me a new appreciation for how EASY I have it that I don't have to do this every day. I am in awe of women like J. She once told me that one of her favorite things to eat is a fried egg sandwich. I know for fact that she loves dairy. I'm pretty sure she can't eat fake vegan cheese because (I think) it's made with soy. Options are slim, but she is SO positive and has given up so much for her child. It definitely puts my minor issues into perspective. Even when Genevieve's eczema was at it's worst all I had to do was switch to scent free soaps and detergents. When she had her Pavlik harness it looked funny but it didn't make anything harder, it fixed her. 

I might (forget might, I DO) complain a lot about piddly things like my house not being clean enough, but at least our lifestyle is EASY. I can order pizza and eat off paper plates and not worry about my child getting seriously ill from it. So, God, thank you for that. And for all the other bazillion blessings in my life. Also, thanks for the reminders that it could be a lot tougher. 

If any random readers out there have any recipes that fit the "allergy free" criteria listed above feel free to share them in the comments or post them  at the Payton's World website: She has a forum and a guestbook, so if you don't feel like registering for the forum I think you can post it in the guestbook. (I haven't tried so I don't know if there is a character limit).

Monday, August 01, 2011

My boy.

Xander drives me crazy. He climbs and gets into things. He messes. But he also loves. I mean, he straight up tackles, hugs, and smothers with kisses. A little while ago he was treating me to this display of affection and he did something that I totally love. He, climbing on my back and popping his head around to give me kisses on my cheeks, started calling me "honey." He does it because he wants me to call him honey. The adorablest part is how he says it: "honnay." It cracks me up. I play along just so I can hear him say "Honnay!"

Funny little moments like that make up for the times when he floods the kitchen or stands in the bathroom sink and throws the contents of the cabinet all over the floor. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I love it when...

I really love it when my husband helps out and just does things when I ask. I ask a lot and he always does it... if he hears me. Often I say something like, "Someone needs to wash the lid to this trashcan. It looks like someone threw up all over it. It's nasty."

I, of course, know eventually it's going to be me, but right now I am busy getting food ready to grill so I ignore it for the time being. I ask Matt to make the bacon for our fabulous bacon-blue-cheese-burgers (the kids had cheddar), he begins cooking it while I go out and throw the meat on the grill.

What I am pleasantly surprised by, and extra appreciate, is that when I come back inside to throw away the meat wrappers I find that he has thoroughly scrubbed the trash can lid. It's the little things in life that make you feel super special. Sometimes it's a foot rub, or an ice cold drink. And sometimes it's not having to plunge the toilet your son clogged with a whole roll of toilet paper, or not having to wash the barftastic trash can lid.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back in May...

My boy turned two back in May. I am finally getting around to creating a pictureful post to commemorate his two years of life and the joy he has brought us. get your scroll finger ready! (pardon the fuzzy shots, some came from my phone)

This is where it began. They didn't tell us but we were damn sure he was a girl. Whoops...
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A few months later I was given this amazing little creature. Shockingly born with man parts.
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It was love at first sight. Loved by one and all. Even the girl who cried every time we said "but what if God gives us a boy instead of a girl?"
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The boy grew, and he was damn cute.
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And sweet. And perfect.

Before we knew it he was crawling and sitting up.
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It wasn't long before he was walking and showing us how much he loved to be outside (his face doesn't convey that in the second picture, so you'll just have to trust me that it's true).
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He was a real charmer. The kind of boy you invite home for dinner to meet your folks.
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He's also a mess-maker, and if I didn't love him so much I'd probably go crazy. Jim was spot on, though, this boy loves his peanut butter.
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But he cleans up nice.
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 I'm losing my chronological order here, but there are shots I love that I can't bear not to share.

He's dirty, and looks a little stubborn, but I love this picture of him. I have it hanging on my living room wall.
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 This always makes me grin. Every time. Whatever it was that made him cry, I don't even remember anymore, but it was harmless enough to take pictures instead of console him. In fact, he was probably crying because I wouldn't let him take my camera. He likes to try.
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A day at the beach this March. The wind was chilly and he was soaked, but he loved every minute.
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And, really, what's not to love about this scenario?
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It actually happens pretty often...
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 Working hard with Mommy.

So happy to be with Daddy.


 Hanging with his Big Sissies.
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My dapper little gentleman.

A bunch of adorable moments.
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His wild hair a few weeks ago.

 And now after his latest haircut. Handsome. Charming. A turdy little trouble maker. And he's all ours. Happy 2nd birthday to my little love.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Today we took a family day and went into the city. We took the kids to lunch at a nice deli, and then for a walk along the river to hit up the candy stores. We had a wonderful day. But, on the way there we were listening to the radio... I don't know what station or program it was because my husband changed it and it wasn't one of my pre-sets. They were talking about fathers. There were two stories in particular that really got me thinking. The first was a girl who talked about a letter she'd gotten from her father, written before he passed away. She said it was the most sincere thing he'd ever said to her. The other was from a man who'd lost his father as a boy, and how now as an adult and parent he tried to look at things from what must have been his father's perspective.

It got me thinking about my own father. I've noted in the past that we don't have a relationship at all, really. There were plenty of "I love yous", but incidents over the years led me to doubt the sincerity of his words. I think the most sincere thing my father ever told me happened when I was 13 years old.

Dad had called me out and told me that there was some venison that had gone bad in the kitchen and to take it over to my grandfather's house next door and feed it to his animals (he had various cats and chickens around the property). I went out, found the bag, and did as I was asked. When I got home my dad was livid. He'd neglected to tell me there were two bags, one rotten and the other fresh and marinating. He threw the rotten bag of meat to me and made me take that one out. I got yelled at pretty good, I was upset and crying as I did the chore.

When I came back he'd mellowed out, apologized and told me he loved me. Then he told me something else, something I don't think he ever told any of my other siblings. I don't even know if he told my mother. We've never talked about it. He said, back in the late 70's when he'd gotten out of active duty Army he had had a girlfriend. She'd gotten pregnant and aborted their baby. She never told him until after it was all over. He said that at the time he didn't know why it was wrong, he just knew that somehow it wasn't right. It devastated him. He went home to his room and cried and cried. That child would have been about 2 years older than I am. I forget exactly how he made the transition from that to this next part, but he went on to tell me that sometimes when he got angry, especially with my aunt and uncle who lived next door, he thought about that baby. He thought about how difficult it had been for him to provide for our large family, and how easy it was for my aunt and uncle. That made him angry and jealous.

I told Matt about what I was thinking in the car today. I'd told him that story before, but he hadn't realized how young I was. I cried when I retold it today. I don't know if it was for me or for Dad. Maybe both of us. I'm still not really sure Dad understood the root of what he was telling me. I'm not sure I am. The most sincere thing I think my father ever told me wasn't how much he loved me, but of the gut wrenching grief he experienced when he found out that that woman had killed their child.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Normally I don't like to complain... and this isn't really a complaint per se, so much as it is a small discourse on being grateful. ...I think.

I am now officially 2 weeks post deployment. I never talked about deployment and separation during the fact because I don't like to publicize when we're here alone. It weirds me out.

Having Matt home is amazing and wonderful. And a little surreal. It's nice having someone else to take the trash out. And play with the kids at the park. And let me take naps. I didn't like to complain about him being gone or doing everything on my own because I feel like that's a crappy tactic. We chose this lot in life together. Being there for our kids and filling in when Daddy is away is my job. I never thought it'd be a cake walk. I'm not going to simper and complain about how hard it is. You just take one day at a time and do what you gotta do.

But dang it's nice that it's over. Xander has a new hero. Or an old hero restored. I'm not sure, probably a bit of both. But he's super stoked and thinks Matt is the best thing in the whole world (I have to agree). I love it. I love watching the girls pal around with him. They think everything he does is amazing. It makes my heart happy.

Friday, May 06, 2011


This blog is like a lesson in neglect. I have had no motivation or inclination to write lately.

Today I took the kids to the beach. We doubled up on school yesterday so that we could take today off and just have fun. Adrienne made her first Confession this evening, and Sunday she will make her First Holy Communion.  I figured that's something worth celebrating. It was a windy day, and the wind was chillier than it's been in a long time. We still had a blast. Xander started the day out running from the breaking waves. By the time we left he was cackling and giddy letting them splash up to his ankles. The girls ran back and forth, we found 7 dead jellyfish. Rarely do we see one, 7 was crazy.

I hurt my shoulder picking Xander up during Holy Week. I've been a lazy wretch ever since, barely working out. The last couple days I've been trying to pick up the pace as much as possible. I hate this lazy feeling. I find this humorous since I never used to work out at all, but since getting into the swing of my 5 days a week I don't like letting it slide. I still can't do weights, but I'll do what I can until my shoulder gets back to normal.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I hate spring today

I woke up with my eyes itching. It happens from time to time, I am used to it. What I am irritable about, though, is that my actual eyeball is swollen. Not the eyelid, like usual, but my freaking eyeball. It feels creepy and gross. I already popped a Zyrtec and I've got washcloths on hand to help sooth and hopefully make the swelling go down.

I look like some sort of alien monster. I kind of feel like one, too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Be warned.

If I hear one more person say that possible government shutdowns and no pay for troops isn't a big deal "because eventually they'll get their back pay" I will probably bitch slap them. You try raising 2-3 kids on an E2-E3 pay grade and see how happy you feel about the prospect of possibly not getting paid for God only knows how long. Back pay "eventually" doesn't help when your baby is out of diapers, you ran out of milk, and your rent is due.

Real people. Real bills. Real problems. Thank God the gov got their ass in gear at the last possible second. But for reals, had this happened so many people would have suffered. It infuriates me to see insensitive people making ignorant comments.

Rant over. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It's kind of a weird thing to sit and think about our family and acknowledge that you come from a broken home. My parents were married for 25 years before they split up, divorce becoming official a couple years later. I remember my childhood as having been "normal" in the sense that both my parents were present. I think I was probably ignorant or in denial for a long time about my dad being a tool. I have fond memories of my youth, some of them involve him, but most revolve around my siblings. My mom was stretched pretty thin but I know she tried hard and, I think, tried to shield us from the worst of what my dad was. Is. As a parent I want to avoid everything I think they did wrong, or do better where I think they could have done better.

That said, though, I know I have a lot of qualities that come from my dad. I want to be able to use those without being disgusted that it comes from him. I think I manage pretty well with that. Most of the worst of home life didn't happen until I was already grown and out of the house. It's easier for me not to think about it. I can still embrace things about myself that I know are most likely traits I inherited from my father. That's probably a little harder for some of my younger brothers and sisters.

What prompted these thoughts this evening is that my beautiful children broke my TV remote. Not such a big deal except that it makes volume control a pain in the ass. So after banging it on the edge of the table a couple times, shaking it around, swapping batteries I decided in one last ditch effort before buying a new one to take it apart. I didn't do much, didn't fiddle with any electronic junk, just popped it apart blew it off, put it back together. And it magically worked. This, I know for fact, is a trait that comes from my dad. My mother, who readily admits it, is "not mechanically inclined" (her words, not mine). Once the dishwasher was wobbly, I think she knew exactly what needed to be done (a screw was loose at the top and needed to be tightened) and just couldn't figure out how. I, 7 months pregnant, grabbed the drill and did the job. She was very appreciative. But, this is just one example of how I know any skill I have with a hammer or screwdriver does not come from her sweet blond soul. There are traits that I share with almost all of my siblings... that my mother does not possess.

I catch myself saying or doing things my mom did all the time, but there are times like tonight when I am reminded of all the things I have in common with a man I haven't seen in over 4 years, and not spoken to in at least 3. And I am not under any delusions (or is it illusions?) that it'd be nice to see him again. Frankly, there is just no desire to go there. I don't know if that makes me a bad daughter or just a disillusioned, jaded one. But that's where I stand today. I don't hate him. Sitting here talking about him I feel nothing. Maybe pity that his own actions have brought him to such a place (and worse) with his children.

I hope that never happens to me and mine. They are precious to me, it'd break my heart.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The things kids say...

I remember once when I was a little girl, no more than 7 or 8 (I actually think I may have been younger than that, but I can't recall exactly how old I was), my mom asked me what I would do if my kids were disobedient and didn't do what I told them to. I remember saying, with quite a bit of determination (because I was trying to come up with the most horrible punishment possible), "I'll beat 'em till they bleed!"

Violent little creature, wasn't I?

Well,  it so happened she asked me that question because I was being disobedient. My mother had told me to clean my room and I was out goofing around instead of cleaning. She very calmly said to me (something along the lines of, though I am pretty sure it was nearly exactly), "Well, Katie, if you don't go clean your room I'm going to have to beat you till you bleed." (I believe I may have sputtered about unfairness, but she had me cornered since the punishment was my own invention.)

I probably didn't do exactly as I was told and I probably got a spanking for it. But I know eventually that room got cleaned and I was not beaten till I bled.

No worries, I haven't and do not intend to inflict that punishment on my own children. But, remembering that conversation with my mom so many moons ago I posed the same question to my kids, just for kicks.

Adrienne resolutely said "I'd ground them!" I guess she sees that as the worst punishment possible. I think sometimes she'd rather be spanked than grounded because at least the spank is over and done with. Grounding is deprivation from all manner of fun things, most especially playing outside with friends. Which she lives for.

Genevieve said, with a big grin, "I'd send them to their room and make them clean up their messes!" (this from the kid who lets her big sister do the majority of the work!) I then asked her "What if they are naughty and don't clean their room?" "Then I would ground them!" she replied.

I asked Charlotte and she said "I don't know." Then I asked her all manner of things (including grounding, spanks, and kicking down the hall) and she replied yes to all of them. She is clueless.

Xander just hopped around on my bed.

The kids spent yesterday friendless because they were grounded because they didn't listen and obey that morning when they had work to do. Grounding is invariably the most effective disciplinary tactic for my kids because it deprives them of play-things they love the most; friends, movies, video games, playing outdoors. I feel like either way I go with this I could catch flack, but I'm going to forge ahead and say that I am not some hippy that's opposed to spankings. I utilize it when I have to. It's just not as effective for my kids. It might have to do with their personality types... probably has a lot to do with it, actually. Grounding didn't mean particularly much to me as a kid. When I was spanked I knew it was because I had done something wrong, and I always knew exactly what it was that I'd done. And I think every instance but one was totally justified (it was my brother's fault, I swear).

Today they are free to run as they please, just as soon as math is done. I suppose I am thankful that my children are not as blood thirsty as I, apparently, was. (I may have to talk to Matt about this and see how he would have reacted as a child. I feel certain they take after him the most.) Even when they are naughty they are very sweet kids. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Signs of the times...

It's definitely time to kick potty training into high gear. Xander has been (repeatedly) stripping naked and peeing on my floor.

This evening I offered to let the kids watch a movie before bed. Genevieve got outvoted 2-1 for Tangled. (She loves that movie so I don't know why she didn't want to watch it tonight.) After the chorus of "Rapunzel!!!" from Adrienne and Charlotte Mr. Naked started shouting "Punzel! Punzel!" I don't think he really knew what he was asking but it made me decide that we need to start watching things like Cars and The Incredibles more often (forget that the last 3 movies we watched were all Megamind). This poor boy is inundated with girly crap. Granted, he's still very masculine, but there's nothing like your son calling for Rapunzel to make you switch gears and invest in some pirates and race cars.

Being a mom to a pack of girls and then having a boy is a real shock to the system. When he was born I was stunned that we had a boy. When I was alone with him that first day in the hospital I'd nurse and change him and shake my head and whisper "What the hell am I supposed to do with you? I think you were supposed to be a girl." I'd like to think I've done pretty well so far. He loves his toy balls and cars and guns. He likes to growl and punch. But every now and then I have a "Punzel!" moment and I decide that we need more manliness in our daily life.

I think tomorrow I will arrange a boxing match. And ban pink for the day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Just a link...

My good friend the Diatribist posted this link her on twitter account today. I thought it good enough to spread around.

What your daughter wears matters.

Shameless plugs for the Diatribist. Because I love her.
Diatribist on Twitter

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I couldn't ask for better.

My oldest child is a joy to me (they all are, honestly, but she's been shortchanged on the blog stories lately so it's her turn to shine today). Adrienne has the sweetest disposition. She loves to read, frequently telling me it's her favorite thing in the whole world. Any day that's a good day is often proclaimed to be The Best Day Ever. She wants to be a scientist (a few months ago she was still intending to be an artist... I think she's keeping that on the back burner for now).

She intends to have a science room in her house when she grows up and teach her children science and math and reading. She drew me a picture of her as an adult in her laboratory. It cracked me up. She had funnels and beakers and everything. It was awesome. She said her children will only be allowed in there if she is in the room to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't do anything dangerous.

Yesterday I was going back and forth with their school and other tasks. While I was away from the table Adrienne took over reading Genevieve's instructions for her math so G didn't have to wait for me. She likes to help teach G to read, too. She is a marvelous little helper. I was taking Xander to the potty and getting him ready for his bath and asked the girls to clear the table off. I fully expected to have to put away the food and wipe the table off (because even though they try it's always a bit sticky when they are done). Adrienne did everything but load the dishwasher. Even the leftovers were nestled in the fridge in tupperware containers.

She's such a super kid. I know she must get her disposition from her father. He's generally pretty laid back and mild. He picks his battles. She can be a whiner at times, but more often she's just a nice kid. She's never been a bully or bossy. When she was really little she preferred nudity. Then she discovered dress ups and spent the next few years in tutus and princess dresses. It boggles my mind a little when I think about it. It seems like it was such a short while ago that she was Xander's age. Naked and potty training. And now she's turning into a lovely young lady.

She is currently preparing for first Confession and Communion. I don't know where the last seven years went. I am so proud of her and yet a little sad at the same time. She'll never be as innocent as she once was. She gets smarter and more mature with each passing day. But at least she's still as sweet as ever.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pet owners.

Inconsiderate pet owners are a giant pet peeve of mine. If you have pets and love 'em, good for you, I am happy for you. But for the love of all that is good and holy clean up your pets poop.

I get so sick and tired of watching people let their animals urinate on my lawn where my children play. I hate having to dodge giant piles of dog crap when we go on walks. I had a neighbor who used to let their dog poop in my yard. I took to flinging it back in their yard. I don't let my kids poop or pee in anyone's yard (and wouldn't let my animals do it either if we happened to have something bigger than a beta), why in the hell would it be ok to let your pet defecate in mine???

I don't consider myself an animal hater, but I am a very long way off from being an animal lover. They are fine as long as they don't invade my space.

I swear if I could catch the culprits in the act of leaving their animal's poop on the sidewalk I'd stalk them home and leave it on their doorstep.

I hate dog poop.

Back to the grindstone

The last 3 weeks have been spent pretty leisurely. I am finally getting back into the swing of my regular workouts and "strict" homeschooling.I cleaned house last night and steam cleaned the carpets. Spring cleaning? Maybe. The weather is beautiful and I'm loving it. I want to hurry through all the necessary stuff every day so that the kids and I can spend as much time as possible outdoors.

Matt shared this quote with me today, Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly. (George MacDonald) He said as soon as he read it he thought of me. It makes me feel like a giddy school girl. haha To be that important to someone is a very special thing. I am glad I have that with him, and that every bit of it is mutual. I pray that other people can have this on some level, with their family, spouse, or children. Right now I am watching my friend's marriage fall apart, and while I honestly believe that leaving her is the best thing for him and his children (and I don't say this lightly because I believe marriage is a sacrament and you don't just toss it aside willy nilly), it's hard because I wish that they had what we do. But, he is an amazing father and I know that he has that love for his children. That's some consolation.

My son is being destructive. He figured out how to open the dishwasher and how to turn it off and on.

I am taking the kids for a walk. It's gorgeous and sunny and we're going to enjoy it. :) Maybe when we get back I'll throw the kids in the kiddie pool and sit outside and watch them play.

I think it's high time I closed this entry down. My thoughts are becoming even more random and a certain 6 year old is being a whiner about shorts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I am seriously loving the southern weather. Sometimes I tear up a little inside when I think of moving north again someday. I would never find myself sitting in my backyard reading books and watching my children play in their inflatable pool in the middle of March up north. Never. Up there I'd be huddled under throw blankets on my sofa and tugging up my wool socks.

Honey, if you read this can we please retire in the south? ;P

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Confession time.

I have a platonic crush on Bear Grylls. (Matt is very good natured about it.)

Forget for a moment that he's completely badass leaping out of planes and scaling mountains.

What I am really impressed with is that he is an awesome example of a good husband and father (and Christian to boot). I follow him on twitter. And every other post I just think "this man is amazing!" So many of his comments are about his family, or quoting Mother Teresa or the Bible. He posted to encourage prayer for the tragedy in Japan. Every time I see him say something about his family I am glad that there is a celebrity out there setting such a positive example.

"off for a long 4 week trip filming now- always so hard leaving home."
"have made it home to family! hurray. so happy."
"also took shara on the london eye in our own bubble to tell her i adore her!"

Those phrases are so simple, and yet (to me) they speak so much about how family is the most important thing to him. He adores his wife. He misses his children. He is thrilled to come home to them. I think the reason why I love Bear is that, in some respects, I feel like his life has a lot of similarities to ours. Clearly we are missing the whole fame portion. haha

Seriously, the only way Bear could be any cooler is if he was Matthew (as much as I love Bear, Matt still pwns). Matt may not have a British accent or do push ups in the buff after jumping into frozen rivers, but he reads his kids stories, gives them baths, puts them to bed at night (just to name a few). He helps me with whatever I need. He loves me beyond measure. He sets the same example for the men he works with that Bear does on a more public scale. In some ways I think that that's actually more important. It's good to have public figures setting a good example, but I think it is also tremendously important for all the dummies out there to see the Matts of the world doing it right. I think it's easier to dismiss when it's a celebrity, what they have is something most of us will never achieve. There are so many broken families and marriages. Our way obviously won't work for everyone, but if others could just see that being faithful and supportive makes a difference that's got to count for something. As far as husbands and fathers go I don't think Matt is average. I think he is well above it. And my crush on HIM is most definitely not platonic.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

He did what...

My day has been pretty productive. A brief rundown: We got up, the kids had breakfast. We did school in record time (even though we got a late start). Adrienne, darling girl that she is, even helped teach Genevieve some reading. (I am seriously so proud of her, she's getting to be such a capable young lady.) Adrienne cleaned their room (with minor assistance from her sisters). I did some laundry. The kids had lunch. Xander napped. I cleaned up a bit. The girls played with their friends. Xander woke up. We went for a walk/bike ride to the park and back. Did some more laundry. I washed both cars. Cleaned up some more. Fed the kids dinner. Cleaned up again.

Here comes the exciting part.

I stripped Xander of his yucky clothing, took off his diaper and had him throw it away, and sat him on the potty. He sat there for a minute before going and closing himself in the pantry to raid the granola bars. He couldn't open the door on his own, so Adrienne helped him out (he had a granola bar in his hand and wanted it unwrapped for him), only to discover that in the two minutes he'd shut himself in there he had shat on the floor. I took him out sat him on the potty and told him for making me have to clean his poop up off the floor the least he could do is pee on the potty for me while I cleaned it up. I glanced back down just in time to see a little fountain of pee spurting out over the edge of the potty because his little man parts weren't pointed down well enough. I jumped to poke it down in there so as not to have any more nastiness to clean off the floor. Some got in the potty. More got on my hand and arm. I can't really be sure how much got IN the potty, honestly, because it was all soaked into a graham cracker he'd dropped in there.

Graham cracker pee and pantry poop. These are the gifts my son gives me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Because I wasn't on the ball in January.

I made a pictureful post of Genevieve for her birthday, but I neglected to do one for Charlotte. Although, to be fair, Charlotte got a big birthday party and Genevieve (by her own choosing) had a small family-only party. So it's not like I totally gypped her. Still, without further ado some fond memories of my youngest girl to celebrate the occasion of her 4th birthday.

This is the day we welcomed her into our family.

 Charlotte was our one baby to retain some her chub. We called her Chubbs for about a year.

She was also the droolingest of our daughters. It was everywhere.

She seemed excited about everything in life. (Don't ask me what Adrienne was doing, to this day I still can't figure it out.) Easter, leaves, cake. She loved it all.


And then she wasn't a baby anymore... she was a Big Girl and a Big Sister. (She will still tell you that she is little and teeny-winy.)

And crazy silly.



But apparently still baby enough to smear food all over her face. (At that I guess she still is, I caught her with butter smeared all over her face last night.)

I never did figure out what she was up to that day, but she loves the beach. And I love this picture.

She's another one with the goofy faces. My children crack me up.


Playing at the park just before her birthday.

The day after she turned 4, wearing an outfit that was given to her as a gift. She adores this outfit and would wear it daily if I let her.

And here, just a few days ago, playing at the beach.

I wub my little Charlotte-ta-Barlotte.