Sunday, December 19, 2010

Annie Bananie Pic!

Sweet Annie. December 16th, 2010 and about 1 hour into this crazy world.

We think she holds a remarkable resemblance to her oldest sister, who thinks that is awesome. She was ~ 4 days??

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Early Christmas Present

Annie, formerly known as Cinco, safely arrived into this world!

As John would put it, here's the Tale of the Tape:

Arrival: December 16th
Length: 21"
Weight: 7 lb, 14 oz

It was completely surreal to not go into labor and just breeze into the hospital and have a baby. We had this c-section scheduled 5 days after our due date because we were attempting a v-back, but Annie would have nothing of it. She had only granted me a few Braxton-Hicks to get my hopes up, but we are supposing the kid simply had too much play space (thank you triplet sibs) and had no desire to exit the premises.

Pics to follow...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quick Note To Cinco

You are 4 days past due and do not appear to be in a hurry or concerned your mother is down to only a couple clothing choices, neither of which are flattering and make me feel as though I should walk around in fuzzy slippers with curlers in my hair and smoking a cig to make the outfit look complete.

I had an ultrasound today to make sure everything is okay with you and the only surprise is that you appear to be enormous (pushing 8 lbs), at least by this family's standards.

You have made me so big that your brother pointed to a picture of a whale yesterday and announced "Mommy, that is you!". Note: NO ONE in this house, including myself, has mentioned anything about my ginormous belly. The Boy, who is now firmly planted on my list, came up with it all on his own.

You are deeply loved.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Who would have thought these two would form a friendship. My boy and my girly-girl princess play together more often any other combo and I can't figure it out. One would assume, knowing these two, that he would be ignored by her (at best). For some reason he thinks she's the berries and she is nicer to him than the girls. Not sure if it's the fact that the current littlest girls are so incredibly independent they don't need to play with anyone, or that they don't allow themselves to be directed by Ainsley like Johnny does (which does not endear them to her), or a combination of the two...

Regardless, it's fun to see Ainsley finally enjoying one of her siblings and to also have two of them in non-battle mode. Actually, it's sweet. Very, very sweet.

John had a meeting one night and Ainsley informed me I wouldn't have to put Johnny to bed - she would do it. And she did. Right down to the reading of books and snuggle time, which was a total surprise since A is one of my two cold-pricklies. What was even more of a surprise was that he cried when she left because he wanted her to snuggle longer.

He is also willing (please forgive me, Sweet Boy, for posting this!) to play "Beauty Shop" with her. Today she brought him down and he proudly showed off his new hairdo, which of course I don't have a picture of. He looked good, though. Trust me.

Typical beauty shop set-up.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well, This Is Embarrassing

So for the last few days I've been meaning to tell John something was wrong with the steering in the super-hot minivan. Every time I turned the wheel I would hear some sort of rasping sound and I was bummed every time because I was not looking forward to the logistics of how to handle life without the ability to cart all the kids around for the several hours/days it would take to have the thing fixed.

I diagnosed the problem on my way to pick up the littlest ones from preschool and was mortified. The sound? My steering wheel scraping against my ginormous belly every time I made a turn.

Four more weeks. I can do this.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Love Cows

Actually, I don't love cows that much - one summer afternoon I was chased by a few during my teen years as I cut across a field while training for an upcoming cross country season, which means I no longer think they belong in the "cute farm animal" category. I do love what they give us, though. I'm not sure what I would do if I was lactose intolerant. Why? Because throughout this pregnancy, all I want to eat (and what Cinco tolerates) are dairy products. Cinco violently rejects anything but comfort food, fruit, and sugar. Vegetables are unnecessary, which is fine by me. I've always had to force myself to eat them anyway. But slap a yukon gold on a plate, slather it with butter and cheese and sour cream, and she is super happy, which makes me super happy.

So thank you, cows. Thank you, dairy farmers. You have provided a significant proportion of my caloric intake for the past 34 weeks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Sweet Ainsley,

It is shocking to me that you are now six. Part of me loves having you grow up and be older and a greater part of me is in mourning, especially as I look back at pictures of you when you were little. You are simultaneously very silly, very serious, and very smart. You are also kind and empathetic to others and I value that in you more than you know. I need to remember to praise you for that more often because as you hopefully will understand someday, your dad and I would choose an honorable character and wisdom over ACT scores every time (but don't believe for a skinny minute that means slacking off will be accepted :)).

You make my world so much easier sometimes and I pray, pray, pray you don't feel lost in the shuffle in our crazy house. I know it is hard sometimes, especially when you ask so nicely for me to play with you and I can't because I have to do something imperative with your siblings. But this phase will pass and there will be a day when everyone is more independent and I can hopefully say "yes" when you need me. Just hang on a little while longer and remember that I love you, not for the things you do, but because you are mine.

Age 1

Age 6

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bus Ride Shenanigans

Between another mom in A's class and I, we are able to piece together what really goes on at school. It's amazing what I am not told by my child (I do believe it is unintentional - if you knew Ains, you would get this). One of the reasons why I love to volunteer in her classroom is because it gives me significantly more insight into her daily world.

One area this mom and I have talked about that we have NO clue on is the bus ride. I do trust the bus driver and the aide (Mr. Eric and Mr. Derrick - Ainsley thinks it is HILARIOUS that their names rhyme) because they've known all the kids names from the beginning, they know the parents, it's only kindergartners, and the kids adore them. However, I don't know what goes on during that 20 minutes from the time they leave school until the bus stop. But I did get a glimpse last week...

The afore-mentioned mom's son told her the kids sometimes chant "Eat It! Eat It!" on the bus. Of course she asked why and he either feigned cluelessness or was too vague. This conversation happened after school on the playground and since we were also there, as A was eating her snack I asked her if the kids chant "Eat It! Eat It!" on the bus. Her response? "Why are you asking that question." Totally serious, as if I had discovered a State Secret. Hmm...further investigation obviously required. Eventually is comes out that our children sometimes bring Mr. Eric and Mr. Derrick candy, whereupon a big production is made to get the driver to "eat it" (opening his mouth really wide, pausing for dramatic effect, etc). Okay, I can handle that. The kids need some sense of independence and a coolness factor in their lives. And because I am not cool and am psycho about letting my children out of my sight, I'll happily give on this one.

Candy eating is much more tolerable than what happened when I rode the bus in elementary school. The naughty 5th and 6th graders would sing the latest Queen songs and direct us wee ones on our jobs. Example: it was the kindergartners - 2nd graders' responsibility to keep the rhythm for "We Will Rock You" (I realize I just dated myself) while the big kids sang. You know, the "stomp, stomp, clap" part. Of course we happily obliged.

So thank you, Misters Eric and Derrick for bringing my child some fun and the feeling of independence and grown-upness she otherwise wouldn't get from home. No wonder she thinks she's super-cool for riding the bus and won't allow me to pick her up from school any longer, no matter what.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I Am Late II. AKA Story Of The Day

I was all fired up yesterday because we had everything together and organized to get Ainsley to school with more than a couple minutes to spare. Lunch was not rushed, hair was brushed, and everyone was cheery until...

...I noticed Johnny was doing the potty dance. Why I asked him the "do you have to go tee-tee?" question (because he had a diaper on so what difference would it have made), I don't know and regret because what happened next is a classic example of why we're always on the run.

Of course he said "yes!" and took off for the bathroom, ridding himself of pants/diaper along the way. Ainsley was being awesome and ran ahead to turn on the light and get the stool ready for Johnny to stand on, I was getting some pants on Lizzy, and then I heard shrieking. Shrieking followed by "MOMMY!!!!!! MOMMY HELP!!!! JOHNNY'S PEEING!". I race over to witness The Boy tee-teeing ON HIS SISTER and, of course, the floor. He was standing in the threshold and sweet A was trapped inside, utterly incapable to escape a few hours' worth of stored-up urine.

Shockingly, she was cool about it. "Well, I've thrown up on you lots. This kind of stuff happens I guess" was her rationale. I didn't want to point out that it's pretty disgusting to have pee running down your legs, soaking your socks.

Not shockingly, Johnny thought it was funny. I absolutely know the event started as an accident, but what brother wouldn't get a kick out of watching his sister dance around while trying to not get sprayed? I am hoping and praying this is an isolated incident. If not, he'll be sent to his dad for a conversation.

Shockingly, we still got Ainsley to school on time. I managed to clean up the small lake of tee-tee, get Ainsley washed up and new socks discovered, and all of us out the door in five minutes. Of course, two of the trips did not have pants on and Ainsley and I were the only ones wearing shoes, but we made it.

I don't think I'll ever be on time or early for anything in the next 18 years.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Know.

I am huge and we still have 9 more weeks until Cinco arrives. I look as though I should have delivered this sweet little girl (and she will be sweet) a couple weeks ago. I know this. I know this because I look like a redneck with a beer belly and have grown out of my maternity tops and now have to go shopping. I know this because I have to see myself in the mirror and in pictures. I know. I know.

That is why I am not in need of the comments, the shocked facial expressions I have to experience after I tell people when I am due, all the "wows", and the "oh my's", and the "are you sure there's just one in there's".

It is tiresome, especially because the general public believes it is okay to say these things in front of my children who are almost always with me.

Moral of the story? The next time you are in the parking lot at the grocery store and see a very preggers woman handling her four children and two grocery carts...well, perhaps instead of stating the obvious you could help her out instead of standing there, forcing her to call on every ounce of restraint and speak kindly to you as she's negotiating carts and kids and car seats on a warm day. Instead, say "let me help you" and maybe put a bag or two of produce in the car. Unless you're creepy. Then just keep walking.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Swim Lessons

The Trips were generously given swim lessons for their birthdays and it was awful until the last two sessions. Awful in the crying-so-hard-they-vomit way. Well, only Lizzy and Johnny threw up. Gracie is way too cool for that. She just sobbed. And the thing about it was that they talked about "Mr. Mark" all_the_time. Every day.

"Mr. Mark is nice."

"Mr. Mark helps keep kids safe."

"Mr. Mark teaches us to swim and be safe."

And Mr. Mark is nice and fabulous and wonderful and if you live in our area, I'm not going to give you his number because the guy knows what he's doing and is difficult to book. And get this - we found out he donates his earnings to a local children's hospital and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He's a retired teacher and lives solely off his retirement income.

And, of course, some pics from Swim Lessons 2010:

Lizzy, all grins and charm before Mr. Mark shows up.

Lizzy's countenance as soon as she would see Mark appear. All kinds of serious.

Never got a pic of a Johnny freak-out swim lesson. This is obviously before or after his. The thing is that he is the best swimmer of the three...goofball.

Gracie would cry off and on, but generally never got 100% worked up.

My big girl. Between lessons with an old friend (who was amazing with her) and Mark, the kid turned into a little fish this summer.

The kids' fav time - Mr. Mark always had candy afterward. Johnny would be sobbing hysterically and then be Mark's best buddy as soon as the Twizzlers would break out.

Mark and the Backyard Swim Gang. We combined lessons with another family and now I miss our Saturday evenings together.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

So Stinkin' Cool

At least that's what her siblings think. I picked up Ainsley from school about 5 times before I changed my mind about making riding-the-bus-home an option. The decision was easier for me to handle emotionally because:
1. only kindergartners are on the bus (so no shenanigans from those hooligan 3rd-graders!)
2. she was shockingly game for it.

Of course I was a total nerd and brought my camera to document my baby's first-ever bus ride. Embarrassing, but not enough to keep me from doing it.

There are two great things about this:
1. Johnny, Lizzy, and Gracie seriously think Ainsley is the coolest sibling in the world because she rides the bus. They can't wait to go get her and they wave like crazy and jump around when it turns the corner. Johnny and Lizzy run right up to her and hug her and generally make her feel like a million bucks.
2. I no longer have to wake the kidlets up from their nap, throw them in the car sans shoes, scramble to find a parking space, jam the shoes I threw in the car after the kids on their feet, throw them out of the car and race to pick A up when her teacher brings the class out of the building (there is no organized carpool line since most of the students are supposed to walk). All of this = less crabbiness in the household = happier mommy.

Side note (and purely for my documentation):

The kids aren't allowed off the bus until the driver and his aide see the parent. After a few weeks, they obviously know me and John well enough that Ainsley does not have to point us out, but she still does and it cracks them up. Every day she stops when she gets to the driver and (very quietly in her Ainsley way) tells them I'm there, and every day they say "I know, Ainsley. Thank you." And then they laugh because the Three are jumping up and down and yelling "Hi Bus! Hi Mr. Bus Driver! Hi! Hi! Hi!".

Friday, October 1, 2010


I hate to be late. This may be shocking for those of you in my world because I am usually tardy for nearly everything, but my blood pressure starts racing for the roof every minute past an expected arrival.

But you see this?

It is a classic example of why I rarely make it somewhere on time. I know, I shouldn't have left my lipstick in an obvious place in the car. And part of me was impressed she kept it only to the lip area. But still. This sort of thing happens every_single_day in my house and always just as we're getting ready to leave.

So, apologies to everyone who has to deal with me and my family and our inability to be anywhere on time. I'm sure you understand.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Daddy Tax

Ainsley attended a birthday party a couple weeks ago and is still making her way through the candy bag. Smarties were chosen as tonight's treat and as she started in, John informed her of the "Daddy Tax" (as in: all food is supposed to be shared with Daddy). Not sure if he was kidding, Ainsley glanced up at me to see what I thought. You see, the kids really is nicer than her mother and would have begrudgingly given her dad some of her candy. I nodded "no", because I don't willingly share food with anyone. It makes me nutso that the triplets eat 1/4 of anything I ever have.

John then told Ainsley that when Halloween comes, they get to go through her loot and the program would be "one for Daddy, one for Ainsley". With no pause, Ains replied "I'll just give you what I don't like".

Yup. Raising her right.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Now I Get It

School is cramping my style. I can finally understand why some kids don't like to go back to school, because I'm beginning to not care for it myself. After a summer of total freedom with what we could do, where we could go, and whenever we wanted, our lives are now dictated by school bells. Or whatever they use these days. It just isn't cool.

Of course I get it. I'm a teacher by trade and I still get fired up when the school supplies start appearing in the stores and when I see the cross country kids beginning to get ready for the season (I'm biased). For crying out loud, I LOVED school growing up.

But when the really beautiful fall weather hits here, it's going to take every ounce of self control to not wake up and say to my little girl "You know, you're not going to school today. It's a play day". And then load everyone up for a leisurely day at the botanical gardens or zoo.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


See this little bundle of sweetness?

There's a rock in her nose.

Well, there was a rock in her nose at some point. A few at several different times, to be honest. But one got stuck. And by the time we got her home from the playground and I got the tweezers out to extract it, the dang thing had disappeared. So it's either still there and journeyed further up and out of flashlight range, or it has managed to...oh, I don't know. Let's just assume she sneezed it out.

Good grief.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day

How did we get to this point? When did this happen? Someone at church warned me, after I'd had a horrible week with the triplets, that I would turn around twice and the kids would be off to college. I knew at the time this was true, but I didn't know the heartache would start so soon.

Ainsley was so ready and so excited for Kindergarten. It isn't her fault I still think of her in this stage:

The dreaded drop-off went as predicted. We walked back to the playground, milled around a bit with the other parents and kids, and then our babies were called to line up with their teachers to go inside. I didn't know we were allowed to go inside to their room, so I kissed her and then started crying. Regaining my composure to follow her class inside wasn't too difficult, but this was where the hard stuff started. You see, once the kids got to their classroom and found a spot to sit for circle time, there was this moment. A moment where, when all these little bitty wee ones were sitting there, cross-legged, so sweet with their huge backpacks and new shoes, all totally unsure of what was going to happen, that I had to fight every instinct to grab my girl and say "Okay, that's enough for this year. We'll see you in first grade!", and take her with me.

I wanted to bring her home and hold her and cuddle her and rock her and never let go.

I'm not sure I want to take her back tomorrow. One day is enough, right?

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Morning conversation with Johnny. Verbatim.

Context: I'm in the bathroom, trying to get contacts in so I can function properly.

Enter: The Boy

Johnny: "Hi Mommy!! Whatcha doin'?". Proceeds to open every_single_drawer and cabinet.

Me: "Shut the drawer please. Shut the drawer please. Close the door, please. Don't dig around in there. That's not for you"

Johnny: "What's this?" (after pulling open the 4th drawer and discovering my obviously rarely-used hairdryer)

Me: "It's a hairdryer. Please don't play with it."

Johnny: "Why?"

Me: "Because it isn't safe for you to play with cords."

Johnny: "Why is it a hay-uh-dwyer?" (the "w" is intentional)

Me: "Because it is used to dry peoples' hair."

Johnny: "Why?"

Me: "Because that's what it does. That's its job."

Johnny: "Why"

Me: "Go find Daddy."

Johnny: Exits room.

Me: Sigh.

I swear that kid talks to hear his head rattle. Most of me hopes he never stops...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Promises Kept

I take the kids to the zoo as often as possible, which usually ends up being at least 1x/month. Problem: there is a train and a carousel and I can't do those things by myself. Even when we're with friends (which we usually are), they're usually needing to practice injury prevention with their own kids and aren't available to help - as much as they'd like. Every time we go I promise, promise, promise that John will come with us sometime and THEN we can do all the "fun stuff".

Finally, finally we had a free morning this past weekend. It was a last-second decision and we impressed ourselves with mobilizing in less than 15 minutes. It's unbelievable how quickly my kids can move when told they're going somewhere fun.

3 Notes:

1. I can't believe we didn't get any other pictures. The kids were beside themselves to FINALLY ride the train and carousel and were so good. So very, very patient and sweet. And so excited to be there with their Dad. He doesn't get to do the fun stuff very often.

2. I forget that people actually come to our town to vacation. I get used to visiting in the fall and winter months, when we practically have the entire place to ourselves and I can let the kids run wild-ish. The place was packed this weekend and, to be honest, I got a little indignant. I mean, this is MY zoo. Who ARE all these people?!?!!

3. Shout-out to War Eagle Family - the kids were dressed in their gear which elicited a friendly "Roll Tide!" from some other visitors. After a laugh from us and a "Please, you have got to be kidding, it's War Eagle all day, people!", and a word of explanation why our 4 children are decked out when the parental units have never stepped foot on Auburn grounds, we had a friendly conversation with the Bama folk who actually like Coach Chizik and what he wants from the team. Someday we'll get to a game...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let's Think About This

I don't want to hear any more "poor Johnny" malarkey.

The Boy will never have to share a room. The Boy will never have to share ANYTHING. The Boy will get to live in a house with loads of tween and teenage girls during slumber parties. Will there be an overabundance of estrogen? Yes. But The Boy will come out smelling like a rose because ultimately he will have no male competition sibling-wise.

He is the lone prince and the benefits, folks, definitely outweigh the cost.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Things To Fling And To NOT Fling

First, the thing to definitely not fling is the arrival of my latest niece! Maggie took her sweet time into this world, much to the consternation of my sister, arriving over a week past the deadline.

Because she is so stinkin' cute, I think we'll forgive her. It's killing me I haven't seen her in a bit.

Thing to fling:

The first day I visited my sister in the hospital I witnessed a few splendid t-shirts. Now I wasn't dressed to the nines (my clothing is hardly fashionable, especially the maternity sort), but I think I would choose to wear something a little more presentable than a "Thank God I'm drunk" shirt to visit a loved one in the hospital. Truly. Or the overly-buxom woman with the too-short tank top that exposed her muffin-tops - among other things - and read: "I get frisky when I drink whisky!". At least she was walking with the guy wearing the shirt that said "Drunk chicks dig me!". So at least we know their relationship history.

I would punt my child if I caught them wearing something like that.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arriving Sometime In December...

A Girl!!! A girl. Wow. Let's see...that will make FOUR girls, one boy, and two very tired parents.

Oh my stars.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mother Of The Year

I was driving home today and was sitting at a stoplight when a sweet little hand touched my arm and a sweet little voice said "Hi Mommy! I come up here with you!".

WHAT????!!!! That is NOT supposed to happen when driving four little ones around town.

Freaked, I looked down and saw Lizzy standing right behind me. I must not have strapped her into her car seat and she decided a stoplight would be a good time to take a stroll from the back of the too-cool minivan to be close to The Mommy.

Me: "Lizzy! You scared the daylights out of me! Hold my hand, sweet girl. I'm going to pull over and get you back in your seat."

Lizzy: "Mommy! I want to sit in your lap!" (visions of Britney Spears appeared)

Light turned green, I held on tight. She still staggered back a bit.

Johnny: "Lizzy! Hold my hand! I keep you safe!" (such the gentleman)

Me: (silently) Please, please, please don't get pulled over. But I'm sure he would understand...right? I mean, look at this mess of car seats and with one on the way SURELY I would just get a warning.

Everything worked out, of course.

Good grief.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Morning Conversation:

John: "Johnny, you're looking ornery this morning."

The Boy: "Yes I am."

I'm in for it today.

Ignore the mess of our garage. Of course there's an excuse...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Potty Training

I hate it. Ainsley wasn't potty trained until she was 3 1/2 and it is 100% my fault. I was preggers with the Three, we only had one bathroom and it was upstairs (there was NO WAY I was going to stagger up and down the stairs every 1/2-hour), and we were doing major construction on our house, which disrupted everything for 6 months. When she did decide, on her own, that she was done with diapers, she was trained in 2 days. She made it easy on me.

I've been dreading and putting off training for the crumbgobblers (which they still are - they'll eat anything they find...anywhere) forever and they're starting to call me on it. I'm fairly certain Lizzy and Johnny could experience the joy of a Target trip for big kid underpants if I encouraged them, which I don't. They voluntarily go 3-5 times/day and the ordeal is so lengthy it drives me crazy because if one has to go, then everyone wants to have a swing at it. Gracie is barely interested and she really doesn't get it. She'll sit there and just stare and stare at her loo-loo (which is what we call it - thanks Elizabeth for bringing that into our lives), waiting for something to come out, which it never does.

So I'm blase' about the whole thing and my 2 1/2-year-olds are still running around, everyone blissfully and unashamedly wearing diapers. I guess I need to do something about this before preschool starts in September, right? Ugh. Sigh. Dang it.

Maybe I'll put it off until they're 3...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kindred Spirits

One of the gifts in Ainsley's life is her friend, C. C is great because...well...she gets my sweet girl when I don't think everyone in her world does. C understands how important - necessary, even - it is to celebrate the favorite stuffed-animal's birthday (and half-birthday) with an impressive tea party. She understands that it is important to have a real tea party, every month, complete with invitations and a theme. She understood when Ainsley went through her 1 1/2-year phase of being a different character every day and preferred to be called by that name. C would come over and say "so who are you today?" without hesitating. Neither girl thinks it odd when my child says "C! Watch my arm movements when I jump!" and C says "Wow! That's really great!". And vice versa.

There is much more, and while these two don't embody Anne Shirley and Diana Barry in character, they do personify what it means to have and be a kindred spirit.

Sometimes I'll find them reading to each other...taking turns and just being content to sit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Perfect Ending

When we found out we were pregnant with Cinco, a good friend commented that this event was like "the perfect end to a love story". She was right, even though our story would still have been perfect if there wasn't going to be a fifth Laird child, or any Laird children for that matter. No, Catherine was on target because Cinco is the final chapter of our 11 years of longing for and being granted children and this baby could not feel more...right.

This wee one is our bookend and the one that completes the family. The triplets, as much as we are madly in love with them, somehow did not bring closure. But this one...this one does.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Keepin' Busy

It has rained here the past few months - tons. Way too much because lots of rain = wet playgrounds and being unable to go places because you never know when the next storm is going to come = no fun for the Laird kids? Nope. Why? Because of rain boots, that's why. They have nearly worn theirs out of existence and splashing in puddles never gets old...does it?

They do this thing where they take turns racing down the puddle path. Obviously Johnny's up next - he's in the "set" position. When can they go to track camp??

My ducklings.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

All Aboard The Crazy Train!

Meet the 5th Laird. If all goes well, the newest and wee-est one will arrive sometime mid-December and we are thrilled.

More info to come when I have some energy.

Choo Choo!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank You, Miss Christine!

During the school year, one of my neighbors is kind enough to hang out with me and the kiddos during the mornings on Wednesdays. I try to use the time to go somewhere fun, but we generally end up running errands. Anyway, it's summer vacation and her son has the audacity to need his mother around, so we're without Mrs. Pookie (not her real name) for a few months. I hope she wants to come play with us again come September...

A rare photo w/Mrs. Pookie and a couple of the girlies on a non-errand day.

Oh No! Oh No!

A couple nights ago, Johnny was walking across his room and he stepped on a book. This is not unusual - there are usually books scattered all over the place. The problem is, it was one of the kids' baby bibles (that almost always have a picture of Jesus with children on the cover). I heard him say "Oh no! Oh NO! I stepped on Jesus!".

I told him I thought Jesus would be okay, but we picked up the book so he wouldn't have to worry about doing it again.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Trusting only in thy merit,
Would I seek thy face:
Heal my wounded, broken spirit,
Save me by thy grace.

We sang this in church two Sundays ago and it is still with me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How Do They Do It?

I sort of single-parented this weekend. I say "sort of" because Fooz grabbed a couple kids Saturday morning and I blissfully only had two. Two toddlers in the grocery store and out-and-about is simply dreamy, by the way. Johnny and Gracie were divine. And another "sort of" is that my FRIEND, Joan, had all four at her house for more than several minutes while I ran home (we live across the street) and threw dinner in the oven. However, there were times this weekend when there was no back-up and it was not emotionally cool.

At one point Saturday night I had all of this happening at once, as we're going up to bed:

1. Lizzy putting on her very best throw-down-tantrum
2. Johnny dumping an entire box of tacks all over the middle of the floor (which meant I had to keep Gracie, Johnny, and Ainsley from running all over them)
3. Johnny crying because I yelled "JOHNNY. DO NOT MOVE!!!!" and freaked him out.
4. Ainsley crying because she managed to step on the lone tack that had skittered across the hardwood.

And I paused and wondered how people manage when it's just them and there isn't another adult around to help. Scenes like this are totally common in this house, multiple times/day. I would be an even worse mess than I am now if John wasn't around to share in managing the chaos.

So I tip my hat and throw out loads of respect to anyone who truly single-parents. I don't know how you do it without losing your mind or at least maintaining some semblance of dignity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pup-pee Dawoog!!!! (as miss gracie calls them)

Oh, how I wish we had a video monitor for the triplets' room. The conversations I hear when they're supposed to be sleeping, the shrieking, the "One, Two, Three, GO!" followed by jumping and laughing...I would give anything to see what is actually going on. I'd like to know who really is the one who wakes everyone up, which ones staccato-kick their beds, the leader of my lil' packages of sweetness.

The other day I heard them chattering as they woke up from their nap. Then silence. Then laughter. Then...woofing? Seriously, they were all taking turns going "woof, woof" and then all three would bust their guts.

I lurked outside their room for a couple minutes and then entered to this:

The Boy.

Gracie with her classic smirk.

Lizzy, who is usually the one I hear laughing hysterically. If you ever need to feel funny, hang out with this kid - she'll laugh at just about anything.

And just because she followed me upstairs to see what the ruckus was about...

All of them had their stuffed dogs "woofing" at each other and, apparently, it is the funniest thing ever when one is 2-and-1/2.

I am not looking forward to the days when they are no longer confined to their cribs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dress Up

It's very important to my oldest and she is trying (not always in vain) to expose her siblings to the joy. We hear "who wants to play dress up!??!?!?" often and you will see that her brother gets pretty fired up about it. Poor guy. I told someone the other day that he will have no sense of pride by the time his sisters get done with him.

The Queen, as herself.


As "Tinkiebell" (as Tinkerbell is called in our home). "I'm flying! Look at me! I'm flying!" (what she was running around, saying)

A rare moment - catching Gracie with a smile on her face. The kid smiles (smirks, actually) a lot - it's nearly impossible to get on camera.

And then there's the pink bunny outfit. Poor guy. He was so excited to put it on, too. Buddy, at least I didn't put in the princess dress pics...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yeah. That's It.

I was unglamorously trying to squeeze myself into some spanx this morning and, of course, had an audience. I always have an audience. For everything. At least Ainsley is finally at the age where if I say, "mommy needs some privacy for just a little bit", she gets it and is not offended. The other three get seriously frosted at the suggestion that I'd like to be by myself for 3 seconds.

Well, Lizzy was the lucky one intently watching me doing the deep knee bends necessary to don the "shapewear" (which doesn't work THAT well, trust me - now I'm questioning why I even bother with the stinkin' things). She was staring and staring until a huge smile took over her face and she announced "Mommy's doing ballet!!!!". Whereupon she started to do plie's and saying "I'm doing ballet, too!".

Ballet. That's exactly what I was doing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Things To Fling - April

I've been in a fairly good mood lately, so I only have one thing to fling this month:
icky super-short running shorts. After a junky winter, the local runners are gleefully abandoning their treadmills and exposing their lily-white legs (and other body parts) to the rest of us.

The shorts are from the early 80's (you know, the ones that are REALLY short and aren't connected on the sides). They look like this:

Unless you are a true elite, you have no business wearing these shorts. I don't care if you consistently win in your age-group, you have no business wearing these shorts. And if you haven't seen your 20's in 20+ years, you have no business wearing these shorts. Too much of your body is exposed...way, way, too much. My children and I should never have to see old hineys on our way home from the playground.

But then there are the moments of my day that make me forget about flinging. One of them recently arrived in the form of a little boy who wears his heart on his sleeve.

I realize the photo quality isn't fab, but it's his transparent joy that makes my heart ache.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Johnny has escaped our yard twice now. The first time I completely freaked and ran faster than I have in ages yelling for him, feeling totally nauseous. The second time I knew immediately where to look. Why? He only has to negotiate a 4-foot fence to get to the only place he desires: the neighbors. Why does he love their yard? Because the two boys that live there are his heroes (they treat him like gold - they give him whatever he wants and carry him everywhere). There are toys over there that only boys love (my girls like them, but not on the same obsessive level as their brother). And there is one of those super-nice swing sets with a ladder to a fort. A fort with boy things in it - like a pretend snake and a firetruck and other...stuff.

One of his heroes (who had just lent my adoring child his shades - hence the big smile):

And how does he get there?? He easily climbs up the side of this play set and then somehow (since we haven't seen him do it) shimmies down the other side.

Yes, yes. I know. We should move the play set. The problem is, the space where we have it (plus the other gear) is narrow and slopes on the other side. And we can't just move it a couple feet from the fence b/c I know my child - he will try to scale the thing anyway and then a bigger accident may occur.

All I know is, and my boy knows it as well, there will be big, BIG trouble if it happens again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Field Trips

We have a really nice butterfly house in our area and there's talk about taking the kidlets. I'm not so sure. The main reason is that my sweet and very sensitive boy likes to stomp on things. This is what boys do. Plus, I'm always telling him to "Be my big, brave boy and stomp on that bug for Mommy". I didn't think for a skinny minute this could be a problem, because one of my kids needs to be taught how to kill things that freak me out - what would I do if John was out of the house and some spider was stalking the family? Someone has to squish the horrid thing and it certainly isn't going to be me.

So I was showing the girls some crocuses that were just popping up and they were appropriately ooh-ing and aah-ing over them. Then Johnny stopped by for a looksie and, after I repeated "look at the sweet little flowers!", he appropriately (in his mind) tried to stomp on them. As I said earlier, that's what boys do. But if his response to something pretty like these:

is to smoosh them, what's to keep the child from extinguishing an insect this beautiful?

Knowing my luck, he'd probably do it in front of some little school children...or start a chain reaction among his siblings and it would be like a horror-show grape-stomp and we would be forever banished from the butterfly house.

Decisions. Decisions.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh, How We Love The Zoo

It was just warm enough a couple weeks ago to make a last-second decision to ditch any plans and field trip the morning. Fooz was available to herd the bairn, which is critical. Critical because none of them would be caught dead riding in a stroller or the wagon these days if they can help it - except Lizzy. But then it's only for a couple minutes to gnosh and then she wants to walk. I'd be thankful for this (because I'm tired of kid-related accessories) if I could guarantee no one would want to be held by the end of the tour. So we have gear.

The turkeys did end up walking most of the way and danced at the monkeys (it is SOOOO exciting to see MONKEYS!!!), shrieked with joy at the cheetahs, and actually were quietly awestruck at the elephants.

There was one thing that struck me: I hadn't been out in a random public place for awhile, and I'm always reminded of something when we are. We are loud. Shockingly and probably annoyingly-to-some kind of loud. The kids squealed and screeched and yelled each others' names and mine and the names of the animals so everyone in Creation could hear them. I'm busy doing head-counts every 5 seconds and then calling if I only get "three". Or two. But heads turn, and it isn't because of our freak show - it's because one or all of my kids have startled them by their voice. There were all these nice families at our zoo for their Spring Break (I know this because I am horribly nosy and listen in on every one's conversations), and they were being sweet and having fun and then my four would parade through with our happy-yelling. It's as if we have no couth.

Good grief.

I tried to take some pics, really. This is the only one with all four kidlets. We were at the penguins and there was a little cave they would have played in all day. They liked it much more than the stinky penguins.

Thank you, Fooz!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Little Leprechauns

The pics are presented in order taken. I'm not sure why I bother trying to get everyone in the same frame. Ever.

Lizzy is the only one looking at the camera. Gracie is completely frosted. Someone has offended her (probably me). Sweet lil' cherub.

Gracie is still hacked off. Ainsley is at least smiling, and Johnny is getting ready to bolt.

Johnny's gone. Gracie's thinking about joining him. Lizzy and Ainsley are wondering when my ridiculousness will be over, but are playing along.

"psst. how's about an escape?"

We've got runners!

And we're back. Ainsley busy organizing Johnny. Lizzy still performing well. Gracie has her classic smirk on her face.