28 January 2010

Randomness of the highest order

Last night (really late) I downloaded all the pictures off my camera.  Wow, that was LONG overdue!  So, in no particular order, here are the ones that don't really go anywhere else:


This is Monkey3, taking a nap with the cat.  I had to take a picture, because normally Thorvald runs away when Monkey3 decide to cuddle with him.  It's all well-intentioned (Monkey3 really does love animals), but things get a little rough.  So this was sweet.  I think Thorvald has figured out that Monkey3 really doesn't mean anything by it.  Today he was nesting on my bed, and when Monkey3 climbed up to say hello he started purring.  He ran away, but he was purring.  :-)

This is in the car on the way to PA over Christmas break.  Totally gratuitous Monkey3 shot.  He's so cute!

The monkeys, "flying a mission" with their daddy.  It's some new computer game the Mad Scientist has found, with which Monkey1 is completely in love.  I'm treated to a chorus of "Yes!  I blew up the enemy!  Look out!  Can we land on the aircraft carrier?"    The only redeeming factor is, the Mad Scientist didn't want to actually buy the game, and the demo only works for 20 minutes.  Built in automatic shut-off is a happy thing, for computer games!
Yesterday we went to Wal-mart.  I have discovered these small wooden models in the craft department.  They only cost 88 cents each.  Monkeys 1 and 2 bought 2 each, with their own money!  So we got out the paint.  Unfortunately, I didn't put it away when Monkey3 got up from his nap...so while they finished painting, he carefully unscrewed the top of the silver paint, and carefully poured it all over the paint box and his high chair.  Mostly in the paint box, so it wasn't too bad to clean up.  And the older monkeys did a very nice job painting their models.


Then yesterday evening, Bestemor called to see if she could read to Monkey1.  They are reading The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet together.  Since the Mad Scientist wasn't home yet (with the computer, for Skype), she read to him over speaker phone.  He sat and listened to two chapters before she had to go!

26 January 2010

How Not to Potty-Train

Do you all remember Monkey3?  Well, have I got a story for you!  (No pictures though.  You'll thank me later.)

So, Monkey2 is officially potty-trained, which has led to tremendous rejoicing chez moi, and specifically on the part of Yours Truly.  I will say, every. single. time. she makes it into the toilet, I feel like jumping up and down, and cheering.  (As a side note, I would like to point out that this marks the first time since Monkey2 was born, 3.5 YEARS AGO that I have had only ONE child in diapers.)

So I'm really excited about potty training these days.  Sunday my friend was telling me her son has suddenly decided to potty train himself.  ( I did this at age two.  Why can't my children take after me?)  Her son is the same age as Monkey3.

That afternoon, I was sitting on the sofa when Monkey3 came over to say hello.  As he was climbing me, the sofa, and everything else in sight, I heard a little toot.  I said "Do you need to use the potty?"  Yes, he did.  He thinks it's great fun to sit on the potty.  After watching him for three or four minutes I decided nothing was happening, but since he wasn't ready to be done yet, I just left him there and went on about my business.

Finish shaking your heads in pity and disgust, and then I'll continue.

Right, so about five minutes later, I asked my poor husband to check on Monkey3.  He walked around the corner into the bathroom, and I heard "Oh, no.  Oh, disgusting!"

I overcame my urge to suddenly become very occupied with Something Very Important That Cannot Be Put On Hold, and peered nervously through the bathroom door.  What a sight.  There was Monkey3 on the changing table with poop smeared all over his legs.  There was poop on the floor.  There was poop on the counter.  There were several large pieces in the sink.  I asked the Mad Scientist "Did you put this in the sink?"  He just looked at me.  (I deserved that.)

So he cleaned up the monkey, while trying not step in any smears.  I cleaned up everything else.  We gave Monkey3 a stern explanation of the idea that poop belongs in the potty.  (I thought about my poor MOPS leader, who shared at the last meeting that she had just explained to her son that "Poop is not art."  Now I have also had that talk.)  Then we threw him in the bathtub.

It makes the finger paint all over my walls seem like such a blessing.  :-)  It could be so much worse...

(To see the post that inspired me to tell you this story, head over to Vita Familiae.)

21 January 2010

A funny family story

Reading Dandy's post over at Spontaneous Clapping, about her difficulties choosing a Twitter name, reminded me of this story:

My dad's father always used to say, that what is supposed to be will be.  Shortly after my grandfather died, my dad got a new truck and decided on a vanity plate.  To remember his dad he wanted it to say "Supposed to be", but of course that wouldn't fit.  He shortened it to "Supzed2B."  Every time I saw it, all I could think was "'S'up, Z?"  Very homeboy, but not really what my dad was going for.  Then one day, he and my mother were sitting in a parking lot, having a Major Disagreement.  About 20 minutes into this "discussion" someone knocked on his window...

It was a lady, who, when he opened the window, said "I can't stand it anymore, you have to tell me what that license plate is supposed to say!"  :-D

Now his plate says "Sposd2B," or something along those lines.  Much easier to decipher!

20 January 2010

What I am praying tonight

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah...O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows." Psalm 61

19 January 2010

Another day in the life of me

The Monkeys are all downstairs watching Bob the Builder build an Eco-home.  And speaking of that, I have found a new dream house.  How beautiful is that?  I love it!  (Yes, I'm serious.  I absolutely would love to live in a house like this.  The Mad Scientist says that maybe we could build an outbuilding, a sort of small barn, for the children, and keep the house for ourselves.)

Today, Lora Lynn made me laugh at the idea of Abraham pulling up his Big Boy Underoos.  A timely reminder to let go, and let God.

I needed that, because I spent a lot of time today, flipping through stories like this with the children, crying for the people of Haiti.  We have a sponsored child in Haiti (I use the term "child" loosely; he's 18) named Jackson.  Monkey2 has decided we need to buy a really long rope, to stretch to Haiti and bring him here to live.  Last night she acquired an invisible friend named Jackson.  She's taking very good care of him.

Tonight I am grateful for my warm home, my beautiful children, my wonderful husband, and our country, which while not perfect, still affords us peace and security in a measure about which many others can only dream. 

14 January 2010


What a week.

On Sunday, two weeks late, I started spotting.  I hadn't taken a pregnancy test, because I was afraid...well.  I was afraid that exactly what happened, would happen.  I didn't want to get my hopes up, only to have them dashed again.  So before I even knew it had arrived, this baby was gone.

I missed it.  Missed the opportunity to rejoice over a new life.  Missed the chance to rub my tummy, whispering words of love to the child growing inside me.  Missed all the joy.  All that's left is the sadness.

Resolved for the future:  Love Fearlessly.

08 January 2010

Just your typical day...

Nothing much going on here.  This morning I told Monkey3 he had to quit nursing around 6 (I have no idea what time he climbed into our bed), prompting a fit, so we all got up about 6:30 (resolution to get up earlier - check)  Breakfast with the Mad Scientist was a nice out-of-the-ordinary feature of the morning.  I checked my e-mail, and was stunned to see that the rather irate e-mail I fired off to a legislator had actually generated a (rather irate) personal response.  (Get more involved with politics - check.  Do it politely - needs work). 

7:00 - The Mad Scientist shoveled the walk while I tried to determine what Monkey1 would eat, so he would stop being crabby.  Monkey3 wanted to go out and play in the snow, so I had to pause breakfast preparations to get him suited up and outside.  I began formulating my reply to the legislator, reiterating my opinion in greater detail, but more politely.  Monkey2 woke up, also crabby and hungry.  At ten to eight, the optometrist's office called to schedule my eye appointment.  What doctor's office calls at ten to eight!?

8:00 - I sat down to type out my reply.  Monkey3 wanted to come in.  Monkey2 lay on the floor, whining that she didn't like any breakfast options, but still insisting I feed her.  I ignored her and continued my political activism.

8:30 - Phone rang, and it was a friend telling me that the legislator's bill, to which I had objected, has not been voted on yet, so there is a point to continuing to type up a reply.  I have one week to make some kind of impression.  It's worth a try.  Monkey2 finally decided what she wanted to eat.  Monkey1 needed help getting his snowclothes on.

9:00 - Breakfast preparations interrupted yet again to help Monkey1 get up without ruining his snow angel.  Monkey3 decides to go back out.  Monkey2 wants to join them, but is told she cannot go out with nothing on but a snowsuit.  I sit down to research and type a bit more, while she processes this information.

9:30 - Monkey2 has used the potty (resolution: save my sanity - check), but still objects to clothing under the snow suit.  I stand firm.  Monkey3 is cold and needs to come in, so I unsuit him yet again.  He decides to get out the playdough.

10:00 - Playdough is not sufficiently engaging this morning.  Monkey1 comes back in and asks for legos, but doesn't want to share them.  Monkey2 finally gets all her clothes on, so I help her suit up and go outside.  Playdough put away, legos come out.  Then I have to run out to the car to bring in the Christmas legos.  I suit myself up (less thouroughly than the children.  I'm not crazy enough to stay out in the snow longer than I have to)

10:30 - Everyone back inside and fed, they all settle down with the legos.  I type, revise, and revise again, determined to make my point politely, but thoroughly.  I include links to research.  I quote her response.

One hour later, I realize that a career as a political activist may be too much at this stage in my life, as I finally send off my (much revised) reply.  No wonder I never get any "real" writing done.  Letters to legislators take a lot of time! 

05 January 2010

Be it here resolved that...

Five days into the new year, and I'm a bit behind.  Can I get a shout out from other stay-at-home moms?

I'm still thinking about changes I'd like to see this year. To start with, two days ago I sat down and made out a menu for the entire month.  Then I bought almost all the ingredients at Aldi's.  (Better eating and keeping the budget, check.)  Don't you love New Year's Resolutions?  {insert sound of chirping crickets}

Yeah, me too.  And to be honest, I've never made any before this year.  But we have reached a cross-roads in our lives, and are fortunate that it is one we can recognize before getting to the other side.  It seemed like a good time to stop, evaluate, and think through any changes we would like to make.  But I'm new to the whole "resolution" scene, so tell me, what is the best way to make changes?  Do you like to jump in with both feet, and will a drastic overhaul be maintainable long-term?  Or do you prefer to start slow (and how do you keep from puttering to a stand-still)?  What is your best advice for making permanent change in one's life?

(The standard caveats when requesting advice can be seen at the end of this post)  :-)

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday's Reverse Edition, at We Are THAT Family.