Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tick Tick

The kiddie car in the dining room is ticking.  It could be a bomb, but I think it's more likely the cow kitchen timer, tucked carefully within it's innards by an industrious child.  We have several industrious children in this household.

This car is Layla's car.  But Caroline YEARNS for it.  It is just her size and she loves to climb on and she can ride pretty well.  Layla will share with her, but is still somewhat territorial about it being hers.   It's not that there aren't other things around here to ride on.  Roll of eyes.  I am buying a used fireman car with lights and noises from someone tomorrow that I was planning to give to Caroline for Christmas, but I think I'm going to go ahead and give it to her early, as my mommy's heart is moved by the naked longing on her face as she watches Layla zoom around.

Now it's later and Caroline is sleeping while Layla watches a video.  I keep trying to motivate myself to get the house picked up but I'm having issues with needing to hold down the chair in front of the computer with my tired and lazy body.  Layla has been sleeping in our bed the past few nights because of a bad cough that made her vomit two separate nights.  Treatment is Vicks on the feet, an albuterol nebulizer when the coughing restarts, and sleeping under a cold mist vaporizer aimed straight for her head.  She actually has slept so well in our bed without the normal wake up and scream sessions that she often has, that it's sort of conducive to sleep.  Last night Zion popped up in our room asking if I could go to Layla's bed to lay down with him because he was scared, and I had him just crawl under the covers at the foot of our bed, where he spent the rest of the night.  So there were four people in our queen sized bed.  Yawn.


"What brung that up with you?"  Israel-speak for "What brought that up?"

Monday, November 24, 2014


Today I accomplished the taking of pictures that I have been WANTING to get done: the weather had been cold and rainy and today was a warm and sunny day and I was SO HAPPY to get this checked off my mental "to do" list!! 'Cause chillun's they keeps on a'growin'.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I love the coziness of these evenings, when the house is warm and happily humming, the pellet stove burning.  Yesterday I was making up a Facebook status in my head while I was working in the kitchen that went like this:  Pinterest-worthy status - cold outside, warm inside, Christmas music playing on the radio, onions frying on the stovetop, children happily coloring on the dining room table - my heart is happy.  Real life thrown in status - I have a dull constant headache from sleep deprivation from 4 of the 5 children having bad colds that involve bad nighttime croup and coughing until you vomit, and the daughter keeps shucking off her clothes.  ;)

I stayed home today, which was a Sunday, for the second week in a row, as this cold is working it's way down the line of chillun's.  This week it was Zion, Layla, and Caroline who needed to stay home.  Last week it was Israel and Layla.  Layla is ok during the day but coughs up a storm at night.  Our bed has been puked in 3?? times now this week.  But running a cold mist vaporizer helps a lot.

This evening Israel was a motivated little industrious child.  He came up with the idea of having a tea party in the boy's room and asked me if I could move the (very heavy) toybox for them to use as a table.  I tugged at it briefly and halfheartedly for a bit, then declared it a lost cause and not remotely worth the effort.  He thanked me for the bit of progress I had made and then proceeded to pull and wiggle it out more into the center of the room.  Then he found a nice green sheet to use as a tablecloth and he and Zion and Layla bustled around busily and quite delightedly looking for food for their tea party, while their mama cocked her eyebrow a bit Scrooge-ily and was all like, "nope" to requests like, "can we use the red cabbage for our tea party".  Mama has had too many experiences where she is the one cleaning up the leftover mess despite everyone else's most devout and sincere of intentions.  They found some apples and I think some gummy Vitamin D bears and Israel brewed Raspberry Zinger tea for the whole crowd AND popped a bowl of popcorn (his new skill of late) in the Stir Crazy.  They clustered happily around the "table" for a while, the lights dim so that they could properly enjoy Layla's new flickering LED "candle" (a prize for going to sleep on her own lately).

THEN Israel got the idea of connecting the VCR to our old unused TV in the boy's room, which has been sitting there ever since Gabe's birthday party in August, and he found all the cords and rifled through the videos to find the one he wanted and got the whole shebang hooked up and really was quite impressive with all his hard work.

When Tim came home this evening, we all watched Godzilla, with the exception of Layla and Israel who eventually went and enjoyed their TV and popcorn in the boy's room while leaning against the table toybox.  :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I brought Caroline and Layla with me tonight to a friend's house for supper and to discuss children's church, and on the way home, it was bedtime and Caroline went from displeased to very displeased and cried and cried and cried and could not be soothed with toys or her lighted mirror or me talking to her from the front seat.  "Ma ma ma!!" she cried, which is how she calls for me.  Finally, I painstakingly reached back behind my seat with one hand to her seat, which was situated directly behind mine, and touched her wildly flailing warm hand covered with tears, and gently rested my hand against her teary cheek - and she immediately and completely quieted and stayed quiet the rest of the ride home, with an occasional tentative exploratory pat of my hand.  I think she must not fully realize that I am still there when she can't see me, and it was very endearing to me how much a touch from her mama meant to her.


"Can I have dees much?  Can I have dees much?"  Layla holds up a baggie with about 10 M&M's remaining.  "Can I have all dees muches?"

Monday, November 3, 2014

Just a Nice Day

I went out with Gabe to Applebee's on Halloween so that we could have some Special Mommy Time.  It was just feeling like it was time again lately.  The kids actually had the day off of school, so it worked perfectly.

We've (Tim and I, taking turns) been doing "special times" with the kids for about two years, on no set schedule, just rotating, and it had been over a year (!!!) since we had been out together.  Last year we went to IHOP, and Gabe got to order whatever he wanted, and he ordered a t-bone steak that came with scrambled eggs, pancakes, and hashbrowns, and he also ordered bacon on top of that meal, and chocolate milk to drink, and he ate an ASTOUNDING amount of food.  I seriously could not believe it.  He drank all his milk, ate all but a bite or two of his steak, most of his eggs, all of his bacon, a little of his hashbrowns (he wasn't really interested in them to begin with), and maybe 30% of his pancakes.  It just wowed me. :)

This year we went to Applebee's since someone anonymous gave us a giftcard to Applebee's (THANK YOU anonymous person!!!), and it just so happened that on Halloween, children ate free from the kid's menu. So that was nice!  This time Gabe ordered a 4 oz steak and four pieces of bacon and mashed potatoes.  He also finished up with an Oreo shake.  He informed me that he was "actually still hungry" but he didn't finish his shake (I did...yummy!!) so I think he liked the idea of still being hungry after all that food more than he actually was hungry.  ;)  

Applebee's has this little computer thing on the table that you can reorder drinks with, or call your server, and it also has a game tab, and Gabe really wanted to pay the 99 cents for "unlimited access" to all the games during your meal.  At first I said no, but then I changed my mind because it was only 99 cents and I usually try to let them do whatever they want within reason during their special time, and it made him very happy and actually I really enjoyed it too!! :)  We took pictures of each other and decorated them,

and did quizzes with each other, and both tried to beat this totally impossible game where you tried to get this bird to fly through holes in a tree.

I really enjoyed being out with just Gabe.  It's so fun to take them each out individually.  I honestly don't remember even much of what we talked about; just relaxed conversation as he wiggled around in his seat.  He talked about wanting to watch football.

I think this is the third time we have been out.  The first time was probably about two years ago, and we went to Panera Bread after I took him to the dentist and he got macaroni and cheese and he wiggled and squirmed and made silly faces and noises and laid all over the seat and honestly exasperated me a bit :D, and this time he did all of the same things still two years later (with less silly noises, and less squirming) and by this point, I just let it go and mostly let him lay down on the seat when he wanted, because it's just part of being with him and he really wasn't causing anybody any trouble, and the restaurant was mostly empty mid-afternoon.  He was fun to talk to and fun to play games with.

After the restaurant we did a super quick Walmart run for diapers for Caroline, and I also bought Gabe a little container of Lifesaver mints.  He was thrilled that he didn't have to use his allowance for them.

We started giving the boys allowance a few months ago, and I REALLY really like it.  We give them $1 X their age per week, and they put 25% into savings, and tithe 10%, and have the remainder to spend on what they like.  It frees me up from having to decide what to spend money on for them, and lets them prioritize.  So it was a treat for Gabe to not have to pay for something he wanted.  Gabe, so far, is the saver of the three boys. He doesn't spend money quickly, but when he does, it is generally something he really wants and he doesn't regret his purchase.

We got back home in time to get everybody into their costumes.  This was accomplished later than planned and with some amount of tearful angst on Israel's part, who couldn't find a mask he wanted for his costume and then it was broken and then he had to make a mask out of construction paper and then it wouldn't stay taped and then he couldn't find socks and Zion kept changing his costume finally was Spiderman and he had to find the right mask that he wanted and Gabe was Ironman with an ever-changing array add-on items like a sword and gloves and Layla was a giraffe and then it was finally time to go trick or treating.  Pheeeewweee.

Caroline stayed home with her daddy.

I just LOVE taking the kids out trick or treating.  I really wished I had brought my camera along, because they were just SO STINKIN' CUTE running happily from house to house, with Layla's curls and giraffe tail bouncing, and Zion was this cute little happy Spiderman and they were just all cheerful and had a great time.  I told them that they needed to say "Trick or treat!" (because I have discovered that it is awkward and seems kind of rude when someone comes to the door and they just stand there silently and wait for candy) and then they need to say a nice loud "Thank you!!" that the people could hear or they could say "God bless you!"  By the end, they were all saying "God bless you!!", even Layla who said some cute variation in her cute little voice.  Gabe said later - "Mom, at first I was really kind of scared to say God bless you, but by the end it wasn't hard anymore at all!" :)  The air was cool but not too cold and people are always so friendly and kind.  There were very few trick-or-treaters out this year, for some reason, and Tim said that no one came to our door while we were gone.  We got two giant bowls of candy

and I let them eat a happy amount that night, and then even some happy amounts the next day, before putting the brakes on more firmly.


Caroline is walking now more than she is crawling.  She walked really for the first time on Israel's birthday, October 15, about ten steps, and she walked to him. :)  She is just so stinking adorable.  She is cuddly and affectionate, and likes you to hold her so that she can tell you where she wants you to go by pointing her arm out and saying "ENNNHH!!" urgently.  She loves books and loves to be read to.  She LOOOOVES the dishwasher

(I know, I know, it's bad for her to sit on the door and I usually stop her but I needed a picture.).