Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I have a confession to make

Hi, my name is Alli and I'm addicted to the TV show TMZ.

It's sad really.

I watch it every night. Even when I'm really tired and want to sleep, I make myself stay up so I can watch it. I don't even know who half the people they talk about are because I'm so out of touch, but it's really funny. And what I love is that the show doesn't glorify the behavior of the rich and useless (beyond having an entire show about it) but instead pokes fun at them.

I've been using a significant amount of willpower to not get on the website. I'm afraid of what the addiction will turn into if I have TMZ at my fingertips any time of night or day. But I had to go grab the link for this post. I told myself I would not look at the site, but just get the link to make sure it was right. I still had to look. And found out that Shia LeBeouf might not have been the one at fault in his wreck last week. And I'd go get the link for you in case you didn't know about that story, but I

I'm so lame. You got any confessions?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fair and balanced

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to try to even things out in regards to my posts about my kids. I have nearly twice as many posts about Stephen than I do about Zachary and Marc-Adam. Obviously, it's not because I love Stephen more or because I find him more interesting. I love all of my kids individually so much that sometimes it hurts. And they're all full of life, funny, smart and sweet. It's just that Stephen gives me more blog fodder that I think would be interesting/funny to you, my reader. The mind of a five year old is an amazing thing, y'all. I don't think I've ever been around a five year old for an extended period of time. So it's truly fascinating. But so are the minds of my three and one year olds.

So. I've decided to do a little "random things" meme about my Zachary. Things that I find cute, interesting or funny about him that I think would give you, my readers, a better idea of his personality. Here we go.

  • His eyes are so very expressive. Sometimes it's humorous how he uses his eyes to get a point across. And if you tell him to look at you while you're talking, he'll do this creepy eye thing that makes you want to tell him to stop looking at you. But you can always tell what's going on with Z by looking in his eyes. They give him away every time.
  • He speaks with a slight lisp. And I didn't realize it until recently. It's even more pronounced when he's very excited. Come to think of it, all of his little speech impediments (that are normal for a 3 year old) are more pronounced when he's excited or mad.
  • He's the most laid-back of all my boys. He loves wrestling with his daddy and brothers, and loves a good game of Guess Who? and loves to race cars around the living room, but after a while, he needs some down time and time to be alone, so he'll snuggle up on the couch (sometimes on me, if I'm there) and just be.
  • He's loud! Oh my word, he's loud. Now I know that he's three and and that children of all ages are loud, but geez! When all three kids are playing and they're yelling and laughing and carrying on, ZACHARY'S is the voice I hear above it all. He has two volumes....loud and asleep.
  • He loathes eggs. Until recently he wouldn't even allow eggs to be on his plate. A few months ago, he decided he would eat a boiled egg. After I picked myself up off the floor, I gave him one. Now he eats them with us, but only the whites.
  • He loves knock-knock jokes. And tells the same one over and over again. About bacon. Going to the bathroom.
  • He's started to sound out 3 letter words (especially "at" and "am" words). Although, I realized yesterday that he has trouble identifying the lowercase letters.
  • He sleeps with several stuffed animals and carries two of them around. He's named all of them, can remember their names and insists that you call them by their names. What's funny is that the names he's given them are fun and funny...I don't know where he came up with them. They are: Sam the fire dog, Sophie a blue dog, Peanut the one-eyed eagle (after Peanut the mouse in the Magic Treehouse Books and Zachary makes me go looking Peanut's eye every time it falls out), Junior the dog he won out of the claw machine, JoJo the white tiger, Bumpy the seal, and Arky the seal ("Cause he goes 'ark ark'"). He carries Junior and JoJo around with him. And then leaves them where he can't remember. And then makes the whole family go on a search and rescue mission.
  • And speaking of carrying things around with him, he still carries a "lovey". He also still sucks on his two middle fingers, but only when he has lovey. He is beginning to leave lovey at home and in bed more often, though.
  • I always thought he looked more like Sweet Hubby, but the older he gets, the more he looks like me, I think.
  • I love loving on and cuddling with all my kids, but he's definitely the cuddliest. And gives the best kisses. Lately, he'll come to me for no reason at all except to say, "Gimme a big kiss!"
  • He's the only one of my three kids to have a nickname (but he only lets me and Sweet Hubby call him those names): Z, ZZ and Z-man. But don't call him Zach! He won't let anyone call him that.
  • He wants to play the accordion and play basketball. Not at the same time of course.
  • He is the member of this family that marches to his own beat. The great thing is, though, that his own little beat compliments perfectly the rhythm of our family.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I can't think of a title

We had a pretty fabulous weekend. Things just kinda fell into place, I guess. I've mentioned before that Sweet Hubby was working a 4 day on/3 day off schedule, but that changed this week and now he's working 4 days on/4 days off. So that means that every few weeks, he'll have weekends off! So this week, he had W/Th/F/Sat off. The kids talked their grandparents into letting them spend the night--one night with each set of grandparents, so Sweet Hubby and I had two whole evenings to ourselves!! It was sooo nice and what I love about us is that whenever we don't have the kids, it's never awkward for us, we just fall right in to being "just us" with plenty to talk about and lots to do.

Yesterday, we threw some of our junk treasures into my cousin's garage sale (thanks bj!) and made fifty bucks out of it. For minimal work. The kids weren't there the night before when we started getting stuff together and tagging it. When Stephen saw a kid walking around with one of our old toys, he said, "Hey look Mom! That's just like the toy we have at home!" On one hand I felt bad for not telling him that it was ours from home, but on the other hand, I had to kind of giggle to myself when I responded, "It sure is!"

I had an interesting conversation with Stephen this morning. You know Stephen lost his first tooth last week. I've never said anything about the Tooth Fairy, but kids just kinda get indoctrinated with that kind of stuff, so he knew about it and was excited about leaving his tooth under his pillow (we ended up leaving on his night stand). If you've been reading my blog for long, you know how I feel about Santa. I feel the same way about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and all that. But in his excitement about his first tooth, I didn't want to ruin it for him. So I neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the Tooth Fairy when he lost his first tooth. When he would say, "The Tooth Fairy's gonna come!" I would say, "Okay!" And I played the part and left him some money. The next morning, the first thing he said was, "SHE IS REAL!!" I just smiled at him. And I never brought it up again.

Then this morning in the car on the way home from church, he sweetly asked, "Mama, did you take my tooth when I left it for the tooth fairy?" I felt a little cornered and stalled by asking him what he meant. And I did want to get to the bottom of his question and give him the information he was asking for. He asked again if I took his tooth and left the money instead of the Tooth Fairy. Then I asked him what he thought happened. He said, "I think you did it." I try to never actually take the fun and the whimsy out of those situations, so I said, "I think it's fun to pretend to be the tooth fairy." He asked if I wore a tu-tu when I did it. Then we giggled about the idea of me sneaking into his room wearing a tu-tu and plastic wings with a magic wand. It was great and I love that he can ask me questions without worry and that he knows he'll always get a straight answer from me.

I KNOW I've been talking a lot about Stephen the last few weeks and not much about the other boys, and I'm going to try to balance it out over the next several posts, but Stephen's just giving me so much to think and blog about. Here's another Stephen-ism:

Lately, any time he asks me a question, before I answer it for real I ask him what he thinks about it. Today, he asked, "Mom, do you have spit?" Yes. "Does Ryan have spit?" Yes. "Why did God give us spit?" What do you think? "What is spit made of?" What do you think? "I think it's made of bubble wrap and water." I laughed and asked why. He spit into his hand, showed me and said, "See? It looks like bubble wrap and water." And you know what, y'all? It does look like bubble wrap and water.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My boys, they like to move

The boys were running around playing this afternoon and ran into the living room where I was. Stephen was chasing Zachary and eventually grabbed him by his shirt and yelled, "Stop, Zacharyyyy!! I want to show you my moves!"

Zachary's response? "But I want to show you MY moves!!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Brotherly Love

As we were starting our day, Zachary asked what was for dinner (no, we hadn't even eaten breakfast yet and yes, they do ask about food 2 0r 3 meals in advance). I told him I didn't know yet, I couldn't remember what was on the menu.

Stephen was quiet for a few seconds and then quietly said, "You."

A few seconds later as he realized what he just stumbled upon, he told Zachary again, a little louder, "Zachary, we're gonna eat you for dinner." Big grin shot my way. I tried to stifle my giggle.

Zachary blew him off at first, but the more Stephen said it, the more serious he sounded and the more worried Zachary looked. I was just going to let it fizzle out on it's own, but it was obvious Stephen was having too much fun to back down, and Zachary was getting a little frantic. At one point, I think I heard Stephen say that when he was a baby, he had another brother and we ate him. I had to end it there.

But it was funny.

And it sounded like something Sweet Hubby or I would say. Only we would know when to stop.

I wonder when Stephen and/or Zachary will tell Marc-Adam that he was adopted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shark tooth

A couple weeks ago, Stephen was eating a rice cake and realized that his tooth was loose. It was the first tooth he ever had. Then about a week later, I noticed that the adult tooth was growing up behind it. I admit, I freaked out a little. I took him to the dentist and all is fine. I called him "Shark Tooth" since he almost had two rows of teeth.

Today, Sweet Hubby had a doctor's appointment and my mom met us at the office to help with the kids. I went back to the exam with Sweet Hubby and when we came out, Stephen came running up "Hi Mom and Dad!" and I immediately noticed that his tooth was gone. I was so sad that we've spent all this time talking about it and wiggling it and it fell out in the 30 minutes I wasn't with him. But he's SO excited.

He's just precious with the tooth gone. The adult tooth will take some time to find it's proper place, so for a while, it will look like there's no tooth there. I just can't help but look at him smile and think that his smile will never be the same. And I remember thinking the exact same thing exactly 5 years ago when that same tooth first popped out. He looks so grown up....and soon more teeth will fall out and adult teeth will come out.

And then he WILL be grown up.

As much as I love the gummy grins of babyhood, I think I'm going to love the gap-toothed grins of childhood.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And it's NOT called an outfit

Earlier this evening, I met Zachary in the hall and realized he had changed into his favorite Buzz Lightyear jammies. I said, "Oh, Zachary! Did you get yourself into your jammies all by yourself?" He said, "No, I'm just playin' dress up."

Not realizing he can hear us, I hear Sweet Hubby say from the other room, "Oh, lord, Zachary, you should have just put your jammies on."

Apparently, Sweet Hubby has a problem with calling that game "dress up".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A peeve and a rant

Can I just tell you one thing that peeves me? And lately, it peeves me more than all the other things put together.

It peeves me when people say they're going to do something, and then they don't do it. OR when they say they're going to do something in a certain timeframe and it happens in a time frame twice or even 3 times as long.

Case in point: I had to have some brake work done on my car yesterday. We took it to the shop where the car-fixer people told us it would be ready by lunch time (this was about 9am). At 4pm, we still had not heard from them. Sweet Hubby was asleep so I had to call them to find out what the deal was because if I didn't have to wake him, I wasn't going to. I finally got a hold of the owner and he said, "Let me find out what's going on and I'll call you right back." He must've said "Right back" three times. 45 minutes later, we still had't heard "right back" and we decide to head up there because they close at 5pm and we'd like to have our car back before they do. Turns out they had just finished (and still hadn't called us). It really shouldn't have surprised me because this is the place that had our car for a full month when I wrecked it a year and a half ago. But you know, I would have been much happier if they had said, "It won't be ready until Friday, we'll call you when it is" and then called us when it was ready earlier. That would've been fine. That would have been great! But it annoys me when someone says they're going to do something and then doesn't. I would be much calmer and happier if people just did what they said they would do. WHATEVER that is.

Another case: The realtor who says he'll be by that afternoon to take pictures of your house and then doesn't show up for 2 days. He then calls and says he'll be there in 45 minutes and doesn't show for 1 hour and 45 minutes. And comes during nap time.

*sigh* There. I feel better. I'm a little cranky.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Boredom Busters

This is a post that's probably best suited for Works for Me Wednesday, but I always remember that it's Wednesday too late. And this is on my mind now....

So it's HOT here. And the goal of everyday for me is to stay inside as much as possible with A/C on. I seriously wilt in the heat....headaches, nausea, weak and shaky feelings. I just can't handle it. So needless to say, we've been in the house a lot the last few weeks and for a while, the kids were getting VERY restless. I realized that once all the games had been played, all the books had been read, all the shows on DVR had been watched and the kids were tired of each other, I needed to come up with something fun, NOW. So here are the a couple of the things we do when nothing else works:

*Sock Wars. This is so fun, y'all. I'm guessing you could just let the kids loose and play by themselves if you have to, but I can't resist a game of Sock Wars with my kids. Gather up as many pairs of balled up socks as you socks work best and I'd say 10 or so pairs per person is the most fun. Get on opposite ends of the room and just throw the socks at each other, all the while trying not to get hit. Silliness is key, too. I love getting my kids really distracted with something silly and then pelting them when they least expect it....they fall over laughing, they think it's so hilarious. And the good thing about the socks is that there's really no way anyone can get hurt by getting hit...unless they get in the eye unexpectedly, which has happened a few times here, but they quickly get over it. Anyway, we wear ourselves out with this game. And my kids can't believe I'd let them throw things at each other OR make a mess like this.

*Window coloring. Did you know that dry erase markers come off windows easily? I learned that by accident one day when Marc-Adam colored every surface in the play room with a marker (however, dry erase marker does not come off walls or rugs so easily). I use this one as a last resort simply because even though the older two kids understand which surfaces we can color on and which we can't, Marc-Adam does not. But if you don't have little ones around, letting the kids color on the windows is great fun.

*Milk blowing. Ok, this was not originally my idea, and personally, I think it's weird and kinda gross, but my kids LOVE this. Get a plate, a small cup and a straw. Fill the cup about halfway with milk and put the cup on the plate. Let the kids use the straws to blow in to the milk and make bubbles. If they overflow the cup, it'll drip on to the plate, so there's little clean up. Seriously, my kids could do this for half an hour. It's so weird. After a while, the milk gets warm and slobbery and then they want to drink it which really grosses me out, so I try to take it away before they get that idea. But if they do drink some, it's no biggie.

So what kind of boredom busters do you use?

Friday, July 11, 2008

That's some mighty efficient churchin'

So the boys have been attending VBS at a local church this week. Stephen's been calling it "Vocation Bible School". Teaching the kids about the love of Jesus and preparing them for life by teaching them a trade. That is a church with a mission.


He also was telling me about some of the snacks they've been enjoying. Here's the conversation we had about a particular treat called "Stick Together Campfire":

Me: You should tell me all the ingredients so that maybe we can make it together.

Stephen: need english muffins, cream cheese, pretzels, candy corn and raisins. Oh, and have to have Oreos.

Me: So how do you make it?

Stephen: You put the cream cheese on the muffin, then you stick the pretzel in the middle and stick the candy corn in the pretzel and you put the raisins around the edge.

Me: So what do you do with the Oreos?

Stephen: Oh. You just eat those.


The kids are supposed to be showing off what they learned at VBS during that church's services on Sunday morning. It's not our denomination of church, but the boys are very excited so we're going to visit this weekend. I talked to a church member and deacon today (so I could kinda get an idea of what to expect since I've never been to this denomination of church) and they said they may or may not have childcare for the kids, but that they were welcome to come to worship with me. I just had to smile sweetly at them and thank them for that offer....they obviously have not met my children. The idea of sitting an entire church service--one that we are visiting and are not familiar with--with all of my kids, by myself, makes me want to hide under the pew...and I'm not even there yet. But I want to support my boys on something they are so excited about. They've been practicing their songs all afternoon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

To my "Baby":

My dear sweet child, you must slow down this growing up thing of yours. Your babyhood is going by entirely too quickly for me. I feel like you've turned into this fiery little toddler before I've even had a chance to blink.

I absolutely love the sweet new little sound you make when you give kisses now, but oh I do miss the open mouth slobbery ones. And when I hold you chest to chest in your rocking chair to relax or spend some quiet time with you, your legs are almost too long to sit like that comfortably for more than a few minutes. Your newfound independence is wonderful and it's amazing to watch you venture out in to your world without me, but I wonder what happened to the timid toddler that would cling to me for a while to check things out before inching away to find things on his own. Your vocabulary is growing by the day, and while we always talk correctly with you, there's a big part of me that doesn't want the day to come that you start saying all your words correctly. I enjoy too much the cute little way you have of saying things.

It's interesting and bittersweet to me how I can be so excited and so happy to watch you grow and flourish and thrive in our family and at the same time be so sad to know that the those sweet cuddly moments of babyhood have slipped through my fingers, like time always does. So slow down, Sweet One, so I can take in this moment in your life, right now. Things often get rushed in this crazy life of ours, but I never want to rush you....I never want to wish away this time. Take your time. I'm here and watching and enjoying every minute of you.

Your mama

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Let's play "Who's Going Down First?"

Sibling rivalry.


I don't think that term does the actual relationship justice.

It's like "morning sickness". Uh, yeah. Right. Try using that phrase around a woman who has had her head in a toilet around the clock for 5 months.

Sibling rivalry. Sure.

I think the more appropriate term for what's happening in our house is "Sibling Death Match".

Rivalry. Pfffft.

Friday, July 04, 2008

What the heck was that?

Stephen and I are getting ready to take a day trip out of town this afternoon. I'm milling around and getting things packed and he sees the shirt that I'm wearing tomorrow hanging up on a door knob. He tells me, "MAMA!! I love this little dress you have!"

"It's a shirt, honey."

"Oh. Well, isn't it a little small for you?"

"No, it fits. I'll wear those pant with it."

"Hm. Lemme see."

He then proceeds to bring the shirt over and put it up to me, and then looks me up and down.

"It's a pretty shirt."

And then he walks out of the room.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Potty mouth, Part II

Sorry I haven't been around much. We had to move all the furniture out including the computer table (which lives in our room) to paint and for the new carpet. The furniture hasn't been put back yet. I'm at my folks' but here's a little something I had in my drafts from last week.

Sweet Hubby was moving the furniture out of the boys' rooms so that the new carpet could be put in. He was taking the mattresses off the bunk beds when Stephen walked in.

Stephen: Dad, how do you get that damn thing out of there?

SH: What?

Stephen: Nothin'.

SH: What'd you say?

Stephen: I didn't say "damn".