Thursday, November 15, 2012

Juggling. Never one of my strengths.

I feel like a juggler these days.

When I think about juggling I think about people on unicycles.

And when I think about people on unicycles I think about parades.

And when I think about parades I think about clowns.

I do not like clowns... and I do not like anything that reminds me of clowns. Like juggling. (I have nothing against people on unicycles however.)

These days I've been juggling. A lot.

I do laundry on Saturday so I can plan outfits for the kids for Monday through Friday, I pull outfits together on Sunday (appropriate outfits based on what they'll be doing at school on a given day) for the whole week and I *try* to check the calendar to see if there are any special activities going on* and put out clothes that would be good for that activity. I grocery shop on the weekend in between wrangling kids and mediating fights.

*I forgot to do this a couple of weeks ago. I went to pick Katie up from school and was surrounded by kids... IN COSTUME. Dancing and listening to a DJ. Because, you know, costume parties are common for HALLOWEEN. I totally forgot kids could dress up that day, even though a note was sent home about it. I would have felt worse except that Katie wasn't mad about it. Neither of us said a word about the kids in costume all around us like it was an everyday thing. (Oh, that princess over there with the gown and gloves and tiara? Not wierd at all. Or the kid in the hulk costume with the bulging muscles? Totally normal for a Friday.) She just walked to get her backpack and coat and headed to the car saying good-bye to a few friends as we left. It was odd, but a big relief. Jacob had HIS dress up day a week later. I didn't forget. Definately some guilt going on.

It's pretty busy and I have to be totally on. Like, can't forget I paid a big bill so DON'T spend big bucks at the grocery store, even if meat is on sale on.

And in the middle of all that crazy, I have to think about holidays.

Like Halloween. All I can say is that I'm glad Jake's costume still fit him after a whole year (of wearing it around the house to play in). Even if it was a little... snug and maybe a tad bit... short in the legs. Oh, and yay that he still had all three pieces for it! We didn't buy new costumes for any of the kids this year which was nice, but I can just tell that next year we're going to need to get new costumes (or maybe we can hit some sales soon!).

So even with the usual craziness, Halloween was fun. Me, the kids, Grandma and Grandpa, and Grammy and Grampy went to church for the harvest festival. Telling knock knock jokes in the car on the way.

Candy, games, bouncy house... they had a blast. Oh, and hot dogs and chips for dinner. (I wonder why hot dogs taste better anywhere but at home...?)

Katie was... a princess (shocker, right?), Jake was batman, and Jackson was a lion. He wore the costume big sis and big bro wore when they were around his age.

When we got home at around 7:30, me, mom, and Katie and Jake* walked around the neighborhood and stopped at probably 15 houses. They were so cute running up to each house.

Along the way, Katie heard some big kids say "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat" and was facinated by it. At the second to last house, mom noticed she paused before getting to the steps... Katie was doing a quiet run through under her breath.

She wasn't quite ready to tell the people at that house but at the last house mom told the lady that Katie was practicing something and Katie did recite it. It was quiet but she got it all said and got a second piece of candy for her efforts!

Then it was back to our house. The kids dumped out their buckets and we looked at the sea of candy and oohed and ahhhed over the treats until bed time.

*Jackson stayed home; he was pretty tired after running wild at church for an hour and all of the excitement and people, but the other kids had some energy to burn!)

Finally the house quieted down... and I got to enjoy a few pieces of candy!

Me with my princess, my lion, and my batman.

Friday, October 19, 2012

And on and on and on... Where I fill you in on the past month.

Hey everyone out there!

It's been a busy last few months for us in a pretty good way.

Katie started 1st grade and loves it. She's so busy every day with her before and after school program, "centers" in her classroom, art projects and school work (I get to pull many papers out of her folder each day), that she falls into bed each night between 8 and 9 which is SUPER nice for mommy!

She's also got ... homework! Every Wednesday she brings home something for math. Wednesday is also the day she goes to Awana for church. This means that on Thursday night we're busily working on homework before (and usually after) dinner. And here I thought that when I was done with school I would be done with homework. *sigh*

At least now when she does her addition and subtraction I can check her work. Who knows what 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. grades will bring. (A little nervous for algebra over here.)

Katie went to a pumpkin farm with her day care club. She had fun. I got a call from a teacher to say that she "fell and cut her lip, and I wanted to let you know before you came to pick her up. She's okay and everything, but her lip was a little bloody and now there's a bump on it but she's fine and I just wanted to tell you so you have advance warning before you come to get her today. I hope you get this message by then... Goodbye." I got the message and chuckled a little bit. As long as they don't call to say KATIE IS IN THE HOSPITAL, HURRY, SHE'S BLEEDING PROFUSELY, I'll be okay.

It was a bit red and there was a cut... but it seems to be over her prior cut where she fell off of a bench and hit her lip on the corner of the wall in the living room.

A count of the kids' injuries (If there were tears but no blood, I didn't count it) so far:
Lip - Katie (twice), Jake (once), Jack (once)
Stitches - Jake (once - with 5 stitches)
Head - Jake (twice), Jack (twice)

If we were counting bumps and bruises, I think the list would go on and on. Especially since Jake seems to like pushing Jackson over (poor baby!) and Jackson seems to fall over a lot on his own - he fell 3 times in one day at day care, right onto a hard floor. (I took him to the clinic that night and found that he has an ear infection. Hopefully that will clear up the problem a bit.)

Yep, I said day care! Jake and Jack have taken a huge step forward. Both boys are in the childcare program at the community center Katie went to when she was younger! Jackson is in the baby room and Jake is in pre-school.

Jacob seems to like the toys but doesn't really want to go (probably because he has to share and do things with the group... and he "doesn't want to play with other kids" and he "doesn't want to eat lunch" because he wants to keep playing) but it's getting better. He's starting to conform. Not hugely, but enough so he can stay out of the take a break chair.

And the teachers told me (with raised eyebrows and a look of shock) that he's great with clean up time. Probably because he hears it all of the time. Before he started pre-school, I would get home from work and we would have to do clean up time... Jake was pretty good with that once I labeled bins with pictures for him but I was a little surprised to hear he was one of THE BEST kids when it comes to cleaning up at school!

He went on a field trip last month and was SO GOOD! He got to pick a pumpkin to bring home and he got to ride on the bus. He was thrilled. (I was thrilled that he wasn't banned from future field trips due to any naughty behavior!)

Jackson seems to like his class. Each morning when I drop him off I fill out a sheet with his name, the date, how long he slept overnight, and what he's eaten that morning. The teachers fill out his diaper changes, what he ate for each meal, something he had fun doing that day, and finally they complete the sentence: I was a little ____ and a little ___... or something like that.

When we arrive he sits in one of the chairs around the little table (on his own!) and the teacher gives him his breakfast. It's the cutest thing EVER.

Things have been changing for me, too! I started a new job as a business analyst in the IT department (at the same company I've been working for the past 8 years). It was hard leaving the comfort of my old department but this move was great for me. So far, I'm loving it.

And surprise, surprise, we're having car issues. One of the cars, you know, the one that's just been paid off, died. It cost about $100 to get it towed from the parking lot to our house until we can figure out what to do next. Dad thinks repairs might be in the THOUSANDS. I'll just say "Ugh" and leave it at that.

And John has been able to find work now that his days are free. So far he likes what he's doing and I think he likes being around other adults!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Supercalifra... Where are you, Mary Poppins?

I know why they make kids toys in such bright colors.

It's so parents know at a glance if the thing baby is banging on the wall is a toy, or something big brother or big sister happened upon in their constant search for breakables and ink pens. And markers.

And scissors. 

And cash (because what fun is scissors without something valuable to cut up?).

(That only happened once...)

So if I don't see pepto pink, princess purple, primary orange, red, blue, green, and that bright yellow, I'm pretty certain I need to intervene.

Or, if someone is sitting quietly for more than 2 minutes, usually in a different room and usually with their back to the door, that's my cue to run over. (Literally run. Those seconds saved by running vs. walking are VITAL. From one who knows.)

And when I DO catch someone doing something they shouldn't be doing, they're always shocked to see me.

If it's Jake, he gives me a big grin and if he's standing he'll usually do a little jump and his eyes dart from side to side like he's looking for an escape route.  He usually denies all. Even though the evidence is *right* in front of me.

And sometimes he just shrugs and says "Yep mommy!" when I catch him.

Always with a smile.  He stands still *just* long enough for my heart to melt at how precious/precocious?  he is... and then he's off again. Onto his next adventure (and my next few grey hairs).

Katie's quieter.  Also? She does things that we might not notice right away...  like when she cut off a chunk of her hair and I didn't notice it till I found the evidence under her bed. I confiscated scissors two days before. And I had even washed her hair the day before and didn't notice a thing. So I don't know who was MOST surprised.  Me to find a chunk of hair? Or Katie because she didn't expect to be found out. She looked at me and all I did was shake my head and ask her if she was hungry for some dinner.

Or when she made "nests" out of dry spaghetti noodles and we found them in her room under her bed, under the desk, IN the desk, under her rug, and behind the couch. And not all at once either! It was a gift that kept on giving.

Jack is pretty little yet so we've got lots and lots of time to learn his quirks. And hopefully we'll catch on quickly.

I do look forward to the days when I won't need to sleep with one eye open or jump up to check on one of the kids when things are *too* quiet, or encourage cleanup cooperation when kids are "too tired" or their "legs hurt"... or they "can't bend".

But I don't want to be too excited about time moving forward. Because once these days pass, there's no going back and I will (probably) really miss the baby/toddler stages (when I'm dealing with three teenagers and licenses and dating and busy "teen" activities).

And I've loved every moment with these kids even when I don't know weather to laugh or cry. I usually lean toward laughing. A sometimes maniacal laugh, but hey, still a laugh.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Birth certificates and taxes

Well, it's official.  Birth certificate stuff is my nemesis.

I'm not sure if you remember the birth certificate debacle from last year (if not, you can read here for a refresher) but basically I put off getting one for Katie, didn't even think about it, until I learned that we needed it to enroll her in kindergarten, then the race was on. It worked out but it was stressful.

If you do remember, well, you're probably wondering how I could have run into problems so soon. I mean, neither of the boys is old enough to enroll in school so no rush there. And we're not traveling so we don't need it for that. (Given the timing, you can probably guess why we need it but let's pretend I'm keeping you in suspense till the end of the post . Like a mystery...)

Well. I can explain. And I'm happy to report that it is not my fault. Well, not all of it is my fault.

The story begins a long time ago, in a land far away... or rather...

Back in June of 2011 when I had my third and final baby. While I was in the hospital after giving birth, I filled out a lot of forms. A whole mess of them.

On one of those forms there was a little tiny box that parents were supposed to check off if they wanted to receive a shiny new social security card in the mail mere months after giving birth.

I checked that box. Unfortunately it did not occur to me that I should have been keeping an eye out for the card to show up.

Finally, I realized* (when the clinic bill came for some of Jack's well checks and I actually opened the letter and saw that the total was in the THOUsands... and freaked out a little before I realized that it was because they didn't have a SSN for him) that I hadn't seen the card yet.

*I *might* have realized this in January (okay, yes, it was January).

So I called the hospital and explained my dilemma and before I had taken my next breath, the lady told me to call the social security office. And that was that.

So I did and let me just say, have you ever had to call the social security office? I waited for probably 25 minutes for someone to answer my call for help and was on the phone for maybe 3 minutes - just long enough to explain my problem, and listen to some fast typing by the rep, before I was told to call the hospital again because the social security office didn't show any request for a card.

Soooo, I called the hospital back. And after waiting on hold (for 15 minutes I would never get back)  then being told yet again that I needed to contact the social security office, and then INSISTING the hospital needed to look into the issue, the nurse researched. She found out that whoever sent in that batch of requests had not marked whatever she should have marked so I would get that shiny new card in the mail.

And I asked her if I had checked that box on my form (because I had a tendency to fill out the forms in the wee hours of the night when there was nothing else to do and it's entirely possible I hadn't checked it.)

But, you guys, I DID check that box!

So you can maybe imagine my frustration at being told that I would now need to request a card from the social security office. So, I called social security again to explain the situation. Hoping that there was a special "go-to-the-front-of-the-line" prize for people with my special circumstances.

I can now tell you that there is not a special prize.

You get the same sucky "prize" as the people who forgot to check the stupid box in the first place. Can you guess what that is?

Ahhh, I'm happy to tell you.

You get to mail in a request for a BIRTH CERTIFICATE. And once that arrives, *then* you get to mail in the request for a social security card.

I checked last week to see how long it would take to get the birth cert and it looks like they're starting to work on the requests received in... oh, mid to late February. Yes. They're more than 2 months behind.

More. than. two. months.

So you might wonder why it took me so long to start this whole process after talking to someone months ago and I'll tell you.

I'm not proud of it but...

I was sulking. I was grumbling. I was mad and holding a grudge against the nice hospital lady who couldn't help me at all. And every time I started thinking about it, I would get madder and I would get huffier.

And I was protesting against the injustice of it all.  (And maybe whining a little bit.)  And... well, I didn't think I would need it for 4.5 more years, so I was procrastinating the whole thing.

And then? I started filling out my taxes (on April 12). And realized that the social security number is necessary if I wanted to claim Jack... and boy did I ever!

So here it is, almost a month later. I'm still huffy. And I'm still feeling a little grudgy. But I put the form in the mail last week.

Now I wait.

And hope that I get everything by October so I can file by the extension date.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sweet, then sour, then a time out

Why can it be so hard for two children to get along for more than 8.2 seconds while sharing the same 8 x 10 space?

But then be so sweet you kinda want to check their backs for wings?

And then go back to fighting again?

And then be so sweet... well, you get the idea, right?

So this weekend I took Katie to her school carnival. I was going to take all of the kids but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that taking all three kids would be ... well... *crazy* is one word that came to mind.

So I told Katie that it was just going to be a Katie mommy/date, and isn't that going to be great!?

And Katie stopped what she was doing and looked at me with a sad face and asked if Jake was coming too, "because he would have so much fun."

After I explained that Jake would be staying home, I actually thought she would ruin my planned stealthy escape by telling Jake about the plan to go someplace ALONE (any time I go somewhere with one child, I do almost feel like I'm alone!) or decide not to go!

Luckily, she was okay with going and coming home to get Jake and bringing him later.

Off we went. Katie played lots of games, ate cotton candy, had lunch, played more games, and she won two books, purple vampire teeth (that she immediately decided should be given to Jake), a chapstick, a felt board with a scuba scene, and some candy.

She saw three of her friends and I talked to parents to give them a heads up about Katie's upcoming friend party! (That's a whole 'nother post...)

She had a great time and shared some of the candy she won with her brother. Sweet kid!

We never did go back with Jake. He didn't really miss us - he was toobusy playing with Katie's new dollhouse.

Grammy and Grampy picked her up in the evening for an overnight and church on Sunday morning. She got home at around noon and it was play/fight with Jake/play nicely with Jake/complain that Jake is pushing her/play quietly by herself/play quietly with Jake/fight with Jake/talk back to mommy/go to time out/dinner/bath/bed.

Needless to say, I was a little excited for bedtime.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Exercising... again. Finally.

So this was day 1 of the 30 Day Shred.

If that sounds familiar,  well, it should. I went through this a couple of years ago when Jake was about a year old (and there were no plans for another baby). And stopped when I found out I was pregnant with Jackson.

Yeah. Preggers. That was a surprise.  Exciting but unexpected.

That was 18 months ago and I've been great at finding excuses for why I didn't have time, energy, or child-free moments since then.

So at that point I didn't just stop doing the shred.. I pretty much stopped doing ANYthing (except eat. I did lots of that. Especially eating for two... ahem.) and now, I'm about 10 lbs. (okay, more like 15) over the weight I was when I found out I was expecting.

So I'm getting back into it.

Today was day one. And I'm partly in it to improve my health, and partly because I found a great trench, and I've *always* wanted one, on sale (my jaw dropped when I saw the price and I immediately clutched it to me and started eying other shoppers with distrust. Stopped just short of stroking it and calling it Preciousssss...) at Target last year that I MUST fit into this spring.

I'll have to post a picture when I wear it for the first time.  Can't wait.

Unfortunately this means cutting back on my candy intake. No more red hits, licorice,  or *sigh* Hot Tamales.

But it will be SO worth it.

Monday, February 27, 2012


The boys are sharing! 

So what if it's pink eye.  Sharing is sharing, right?

Um, if you just shouted "NO!" while vehemently shaking your head and making sweeping arm gestures...

well, I totally agree with you.

Sharing conjunctivitis isn't as nice as sharing oh, say, a truck or a cookie. (Mmmmm. Cookies!)

And also I want to know who came up with the name "pink eye"?  It sounds.. cute and fuzzy!

Conjunctivitis is not cute and fuzzy. It's all matted eyelashes, avoiding wet baby kisses and hands (at least if ya want to avoid catching it yourself!), crying over eye drops (Jackson) and eye ointment (Jacob... because I thought we could hold him down for a quick eye swipe better than actual drops) and is not all of the fun it's name implies.

Luckily John is really good at wrangling them for the eye stuff AND the amoxicilan Jack is taking for his neverending cold.

So, pray for us. We really don't want to get sick ... again (I still remember the puke incident from a few months ago. *sigh*).

At least Jake is still his usual, charming and sneaky (did I just type that?? Um, yeah. I did.) self.

Case in point?

John saw Jake walking to his room with a glass of water and when he walked to the kitchen and back to his room with a refill, daddy investigated. Especially after, when questioned, Jake paused to tell him that he wasn't spilling.  Which is probably true because he was probably pretty intentionally "dumping" the water out. And that's not the same as "spilling" to a 3 year old.

When he saw daddy coming down the hall, he shut his door.

Daddy opened the door and stopped him before he could dump the cup out in the middle of his floor, to add to the puddle he'd already started.

Crisis averted.

And a clean floor to boot!  Win, win!

Now, if only he would have rolled around in the water a little.

Bathtime*? Check.  We could've called it a day.

Maybe next time... maybe.

*Okay, I wouldn't classify that as a bath.  There would have to be soap involved and after the last incident of a very bubbly bubble bath and unusually foamy hair because *someone* hid the bubble bath bottle under the bath water, mommy learned to lock that stuff up. So I'm sure we won't be enjoying any spontaneous puddle baths any time soon.  Unless he convinces Katie to help him with the child proof locks (that I've already mentioned are *not* childproof for Katie).  She might help him too. If she can pin it on him (or the baby) when they get caught.

Love these kids... they keep me on my toes!  And, even with this pink eye fiasco, they're super cute!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Now my scalp is all itchy.

I just read Katie's school mail.

Can you guess what I might have seen that would make me imagine thousands of tiny bugs crawling all. over. my. head?

I'll give you one guess.

If you guessed that it was something to do with lice, well you guessed right.

Lice has been discovered at Katie's school so we're on alert.  I'm going to give Katie the talk (you know, don't share brushes, clothes, hats, etc... and, matter of fact, just... don't touch anyone) and hope that she listens really, really well.

Because lice are gross.

And my idea of a good time doesn't involve mayonnaise or a tiny comb.

Multiplied by 3.

Anyone have prior experience with the little pests?

And some pictures to, hopefully, wipe the ick away!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Go to sleep Jackson! Pretty please?

Jack sleeps quite well in his crib... for all of 2 hours.  After that, well, it's cuddle time with mom. Every. night.

Frankly, I'm a little tired of it.  I'm also a champion "find-the-nuk-in-the-middle-of-the-night"-er AND a gold medalist "find-the-nuk-in-the-dark-with-your-eyes-closed"-er. (Not that I've ever asked for either distinction. And if I did win big, really, I would like for anything I win to be awarded with a tiara, if you please.)

But, that's how it's been for the past few weeks. I wake up at 11:45 or so to get Jack. Wake again about an hour and a half later for an emergency nuk search, and pretty much repeat at random intervals all through the night culminating in a 5 a.m. series of kicks and fussing.  Not too fun.

I mean, It's not *too* bad, but I also don't want to do this for the next year (which is when Jake got the memo about going to sleep in his bed and *staying* there) so I'm trying a gentle version of sleep training a la Super Nanny. It worked for Jake so here's hoping.

(I'm about to go in to rub his back but he keeps dosing off, then waking up a bit, them dosing off again so I've been standing in the bathroom for about 10 minutes now. Asking myself if I should go in or not. I'm thinking night one might be over soon... here's hoping.

Okay, I didn't go in, Jack fell asleep, and now I'm typing this post.

Oh, yes the boys still share a room.


Oh, where's Jake?

Ummmm. He's... well, he *might* be sound asleep in my spot.  On my very comfy bed.


A sleep training refresher *might* be needed. 


Some exciting updates from the house of little sleep...

Katie took her second math test at school and she "exceeds expectations."  This girl is so smart, it's scary.

She also went to the science museum today with the community center after-school program. She had a lot of fun.

She mentioned that they watched a movie about the jungle. And the people in the movie did not wear...  pants. Conversation about different cultures is probably needed at this point... after all, we've already had the DWTS clothing conversation so she'll have something to relate it to.

Jake has been Adorable (yes, with a capital 'A') with his "please" and "thank you"s.  I had my first (understandable) phone conversation with him today!  He still loves to run around the house, loves his Batman costume (the one that fit him in October but that is now just a little tight around his neck and shoulders), loves reading his "No, David" books, loves visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house, and loves playing with Flarp.

And one final wonderful thing... Jack says 'mama'. At 7 months old, he says 'mama' and reaches for ME!  He's somehow also learned how to crawl.  I wouldn't have been surprised if he just managed to go from scooting to running around like a nut with the other two but I'm glad he's taking this mobility thing slowly.

So, busy times.  Lots of kids stuff.

Not enough sleep...

But we're getting there.

Monday, January 23, 2012

He's a crawler!

When I woke up Saturday morning I sat on the couch in my jammies and robe. Snuggled in while the kids played. So relaxing.

I made my list of to-dos. Laundry,  dishes, breakfast,  church... and... something was missing. I puzzled on it for about three minutes.

Thats how long it took me to figure out that Katie has gymnastics on Saturday at 10:00... and it was 9:33.

It goes against everything in me to get dressed without taking a shower but there was no time.

I jumped up, looked at Katie with wide eyes and told her to get ready! Leotard,  tights, teeth, hair, face, pants, coat, shoes! And hurry!

We did make it and, as usual, it was fun to watch the kids try hard to do the cartwheels, handstands,  jumps and balance beam. No one faceplanted this week so it wasn't *as* entertaining as last week but it's always fun to see how excited Katie gets when she does one of the activities well!

Katie is also super observant.  On Saturday she pointed out to me that Jackson was CRAWLING. Sure enough.

He's officially mobile now *Gulp* which means the days of setting him down and leaving him to play (without worrying that he'll make his way to Katie's room or into the pantry) are pretty much over.

Crawling is scary and awesome.

He's getting faster every day! Today he followed me and the kids to Jake's room where we were putting up Jake's Toy Story poster he got for Christmas.

I wonder if the baby fence will work better with Jack than with Jake. 

Here's hoping.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kids are fun(ny).

Me, my mom, and all three kids justh got out of the show for Elmo.  Busy event, infant,  toddler,  5-year-old (who thinks she's 15), AND over the dinner hour?  How we managed to make it out with only a minor demand for a balloon shaped like Elmo's head and a few times when *someone* wanted to wander off on his own (JACOB) I just don't know.

The Elmo balloon he wanted are super expensive... but I think Jake thought they were giving them out for free because he was saying he needed "to get my balloon" as he walked towards a little kid about 20 feet away from us.

Eventually he'll learn that, at $10 a pop (pun intended), we do not purchase fragile bits of helium filled Mylar that won't last long in our house between the pulling and the pushing and the poking and the probable popping.  Plus. $10.

Really Sesame Street people?

So, no balloon.

Hypothetically, impulse buys like oh, say popcorn for $4.50 and maybe some cotton candy for $5? Yes. For sure.   Ahem.  HYPOTHETICALLY.

Balloon? Nope.

Also, Katie started gymnastics! She loves it!  It was a little hard though to not laugh TOO much at the face plants and tipovers I saw. Katie did a great job on the things she learned from her last class and she got to wear her pink leotard.

(And I realized that I will pay inflated prices for so-so food but not for flimsy balloons.)