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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakfast Pizzazz

My seven-year-old surprised us all with breakfast yesterday.  My husband and I were still attempting sleep as she burst in and handed each of us a bowl of milk with some soggy Grape-Nut Flakes.

Minutes later, Evie giddily skipped in and showed us the breakfast Dani had made for her.  I snapped a quick photo.

"Maw-um, hand me my breakfast!"

Evie devoured, then licked, the entire plate and declared it... "Good."
Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Helping my sous chef serve fruit for breakfast today.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Revenge of the Net!

Our last trampoline net was abused, then destroyed, at the hands of my seven-year-old daughter.  Apparently, our newest net wasn't going down without a fight.

My captured daughter was half crying and half giggling during the five minute extraction.  I know I am a mean mom, but I am grateful to have this picture, forever!  All parties are now in excellent condition.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Year: I've already broken the goal from my last post, so from now on, I'm just appreciating the free entertainment. 

Comment About Comments:  I've received two numerous emails from people telling me my comment system hasn't been working this week.  Uhg.  Blogger says a fix should come shortly.  We will see. :)
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

SHOTS! And the Misbehaved Mom

 I don't like shots.  I can't even watch while I have blood taken.  My kids have taken after me.

When my 7-year-old Dani was a baby, she would get seriously upset.  I would help pin her to the table (with tears streaming down my eyes) while she looked at me with, not sad, but angry eyes! One nurse commented, "That is the maddest I have ever seen a baby get--ever!"

When that same daughter had to get a flu shot last winter, she still wasn't having it, but was more mobile!  Dani took off down the hall.  I had to capture and drag her back to the office.  As she got the shot her cries morphed into giggles.  It wasn't so bad.

Yesterday, it was Evie's turn.  My future kindergartner has always been such a brave little girl.  I didn't anticipate too much of a problem.  When the nurse came in with the shots, I could see the fear, but I was sure my little trooper was going to tough it out.

I was told I needed to lay her down and hold her legs.  But, as I attempted to lift her onto the table, she suddenly started full-out screaming and flailing and flopping like a caught fish.  She flopped right off the table, still screaming, and ran to the corner or the room.

Dani was with me and couldn't handle it, she burst out laughing.  Then, I lost it--laughing hysterically.  I glanced at the nurse; she was not amused.  Dani finally left the room; she couldn't contain herself.  I am generally not quite so cruel, but my normally socially-timid Evie really shocked me.

After turning my head from Evie and the nurse for one more body shaking chuckle, I finally calmed myself enough to get my screamer back on the table for her shots.   I held it in, mostly.  Evie continued screaming and glaring at me the entire time.  I couldn't blame her.

When it was over, she didn't burst into giggles like her sister had.  The torturous situation had been too much.  She was still shaken.  I had snapped out of crazy-mean-laughing-lady mode and gave her a big hug.  The lollipop and sticker finally cured her trauma.

As we got in the car she asked me, "Mom, do I have to get shots tomorrow?"

"No, not for a long, long time."

She gave me the biggest, sweetest smile of relief.

Years from now, I hope she remembers the hug and lollipop and not her crazy laughing mom.  Wishful thinking, perhaps.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I will, once again, try not to laugh at my children.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marriage Unjustness

Sometimes in a marriage, things just aren't fair.  My husband went to the U2 concert last night.

I went to Evie's preschool graduation.

I definitely had the better end of the deal.  I'll take Evie's singing over Bono any day of the week.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: I'm planning some fun time for the entire family.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Toy Miscalculations

I've bought some successful toys through the years, toys that have been educational and made my life easier. Then, there are the toys I possibly could have done without.  Here are this week's top three:

#1) The Pirate Sword
Last month, I had this marvelous idea for my now 3-year-old's birthday--a pirate theme!  We had pirate balloons, a pirate table cloth, pirate cake, and I found him this cheap, but very cool, plastic pirate sword.

I didn't quite think that through.  My little man immediately grabs the sword and says, "I'm going to kill you."  What?!?  Did I hear that right?  Where did he learn that???  There was that pirate Backyardigans I let him watch.

Everyone in my family has now been injured by the seemingly harmless sword.  This sword needs to go missing soon or I will need to buy five plastic pirate shields.

#2) The H20 Blaster
My kids had so much merriment using our neighbor's blasters one night, so I splurged a little.  I bought four blasters at Dollar Tree.  I gave them as a reward for temporary improved kid behavior.

The blasters are serious fun and can hold a ton of water.  But, they also have not been the the choicest combination with my little pirate.  He squirt our 1-year-old directly in the face last week and was blaster-banned for the day.

The next day Mase had a new plan.  Did you know blasters work well in the house too?  I got soaked.  Mase went to his room, again.  The jury's still out on this one.

And finally, #3) Martian Matter Alien Maker
Martian Matter Alien Maker Playset - Spaceship

This toy was on clearance on Amazon and had great reviews.  I bought it for my kids, when Dax was born.  We haven't used it too much, but it makes these cute little jello-like martians.  I kept it in the highest reaches of the closet, in my children's bedroom. 

Unfortunately, when I sent Mase to his room last week, again, he got bored.  He started climbing.  Martian goo was everywhere!  Somehow it also landed on my 1-year-old's noggin.  Luckily, the baby's fuzzy head was martian matter resistant.  The carpet was not.

After looking over my list, I see a theme emerging.  Maybe it's not the toys, it might be the kid.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Week:  Extra loves and toy supervision for my 3-year-old.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Cleaning Lady Heist

My wonderful husband did something so sweet.  He planned for me to have a cleaning and organizing helper for the day! 

Let me first say, I've never professed to be an exceptional maintainer of cleanliness--I blame my ADD.  And, since child number four came along, our house has taken a complete nosedive.

I'm not content with the condition of our residence, but I've accepted it.  I can close the door on the laundry room mountain.  I can throw any random thing into our overstuffed miscellaneous drawer.  I know things will get better.  Apparently, my husband was more anxious to have the "better" come sooner.

I should have been grateful!  I was not.  I could think of several alternative uses for that money.  Also, if I have someone to assist me with cleaning and the house is still not beauteous, then I am extra responsible...uhg.

So, the hour of the cleaning lady was nearing and I was stressed.  I can't have a messy house when someone is coming to clean!!!  Yet, I just couldn't get it lovely enough in time.  The lady arrived.  I had a sudden moment of panic when she inquired what she could do.  I didn't want her to start with anything too disgusting.   I ended up having her help with some deeper cleaning, then mostly work on the kitchen.

 I also cleaned while she worked and got to know her a bit.  My helper turned out to be quite amiable.  She mentioned that several of her former employers had commented on what a slow worker she was.  "I'm just thorough." she told me.  Now that she brought it up, I noticed, she was slow!

Luckily, my kids were there to help.  My 7-year-old started smearing window cleaner on the windows with her hands.  The baby made numerous attempts to dive into the woman's cleaning bucket.  My 3-year-old sporadically sprayed the walls with water.  All the while, my stranger-wary 5-year-old daughter stared the cleaning lady down.  We needed to get out of the house!

With a couple hours of cleaning assistance to go, I told her I had a few errands to run and asked if she could help with the pantry while I was gone.  "No problem," she cheerily replied.

I had a little trepidation about leaving her alone in my house, but we just don't have any exciting stuff to steal.  I payed her in advance with a generous tip and left. 

Upon my return, the amiable woman and her check were gone, the pantry untouched.  When my expectant husband arrived home the house looked, remarkably, about the same as he had left it.  No miracles today.

Thankfully, I doubt we'll be investing in more outside cleaning help anytime soon.   Though, I think I'll start charging.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Continue teaching my children the joys of cleaning.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Potty Training Deception

I have successfully potty trained two children, both girls.  Then, there's my now 3-year-old, Mase.  He's not that interested.  He tried it.  He got a few treats for his efforts.  Then, back to the diapers.

Consequently, I was thrilled when Mase came to me and declared, "I need to go potty Mommy.  You open bathwoom?"  I was getting Dax dressed so I sent Dani to open the childproof bathroom door and told Mase I would help him in just a minute.

Dani came back only a few seconds later, "Mom, Mase didn't need to go potty.  He just wanted to wash a strawberry he stole from the fridge."  The report was confirmed as he immediately skipped into the room with a big smile and a half eaten strawberry in hand.  

I'm grateful my son is so dedicated in his fruit washing.  Now we just need to work on deception, stealing, and still...potty training.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  I'll be searching for an indestructible fridge lock.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hair-brained Endeavors

I've had a few hair mishaps in my life. 
First, there was the cream cheese brownie incident. 

As a young teenager I volunteered to make brownies for a church potluck.  I started whipping the cream cheese, egg, and sugar with a hand held mixer.  Suddenly, my long hair got tangled in the beaters!  The mixer came all the way to my scalp before I was able to turn it off!

 I didn't have more cream cheese and I just couldn't let those brownies go to waste.  After untangling myself, I picked out every last hair and cooked them up.  I recall getting several comments about my tasty brownies.  Looking back, my judgment may have been a bit lacking.

Then, there was that really windy day in the early 90s.  I hopped into the front seat of my parent's Honda Accord.   As I shut the door, a nice tuft of my wind-blown hair got caught!  The automatic seat belt whipped around so quickly I didn't have time to think.  My sorry uprooted hair was left dangling.  I haven't seen many of those automatic seat belts lately. 

Yesterday marked yet another incident.  I had a ball to attend.  The prince would be choosing his princess and I wanted to look extra fancy.  My 5-year-old stylist went to work.  I knew of her talent so I wasn't paying much attention. 

It was a beautiful creation...until I tried to get it out!  My daughter had put about 8 small hair elastics in my hair.  Five of them were irreversibly stuck!  I asked Evie to help save my head. 

She was successful and showed me her results with a giggle--one elastic, with a good sized tuft of hair!   The giggler was promptly fired.

After much of my own pulling and yanking I am now a little lighter, but thankfully, elastic free.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Week: I will schedule some hair safety training for my giggler before the next princess ball. 

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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Wasp Whisperer

I have a slightly over-active fear of stinging things.  I've tried not to pass this on to my children.  Maybe I've been too successful.

Last year my daughter befriended a bee.  I was shocked to see her loving expression as the bee crawled all over her hand!

Ironically, I was the only person in our family to get stung last year.  I was innocently trimming my rose bush, when a rabid sweat bee started harassing me.  I made a swatting flailing dash to the backyard and that nasty little bee buzzed around my head the entire way, finally landing his stinger just below my neck.

Yesterday, Dani was delighted to show me her latest friend.  A wasp had fallen into the kid's water table.  She saved him from his impending death!  He didn't seem to have a stinger, but still made me nervous.
When Dani said, "Look Mom, I can even pet him." the photo shoot was over.  I headed inside with a warning to, "LET THE HORNET GO."   She told me he quickly flew away and hopes he'll visit again soon.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: I'm spraying our newest swing set hornet's nest.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Productivity of a 3-Year-Old

I've been keeping busy this week, attempting to make my home less cluttered and more lovely.  My progression has been so slow.  Maybe I should take notes from my 3-year-old.  While I've been cleaning, he's been making loads of progress on his weekly goals.

First, he wanted to help take care of his 1-year-old brother.  He decided to give Dax an impromptu shower.  They were only out of sight for a minute, but my littlest dude was soaked from head to toe (in toilet water!) when I discovered their shenanigans.

Later in the week, Mase assisted Dax again, this time bathing him in flour.

When this same incident happened for the second time in the same day, I stared in disbelief, then--I just let them play.  I completely failed to consider the cup of water on the table that, when spilled on the flour explosion, would turn the floor into a gluey mess!  Still, I've never seen two more content flour-covered little guys.

Mase didn't stop his progress there.  He also attempted a furniture remodel.  Armed with only a pair of scissors, his multi-holed work was quickly complete.  I was obliviously folding laundry on the couch as this task went down.

It wasn't all business this week.  Mase took some time off  too.  I was a little concerned when he went missing!  Luckily, he showed up a few minute later,  just chillin' in a corner.

Dax wasn't left out.  He had a tasty snack too.  I saw him eat a large brown crumb from the table bench, then scrunch his face up in disgust.  Upon closer inspection, I discovered my 3-year-old's bug cup was also on the bench.  Where there were five pill bugs were three.    
Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the day:  Loving my mischievous little guys and trying to appreciate the new look of my couch.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Unwanted Wanted Boyfriend

I picked up my daughter from first grade early last week. I could tell from her giddy expression she had some big news to tell me.  "Mom.  You're not going to believe this.  I did a back flip on the cement."

"Oh great!  But you really shouldn't be..."

 "No Mom, that's not the best part.  I did it and a group of fourth graders walked by.  One of the fourth grade boys saw me and kept watching me.  Then he had to go inside, but he was holding onto the doors so he could watch me.  He was yelling, 'No!  You're the best little gymnast.  Don't leave me!'  Someone had to actually drag him inside. "

Finally, she smiles her biggest smile and says in her most insincere tone "Mom, I don't want a boyfriend." 

I casually replied, "Oh good.  Girls usually don't have boyfriends until they're at least in college."

"Oh, I know I'm too young."

"Uh-huh.  Did he say he wanted to be your boyfriend?" 

"No, but I could just tell."

Later in the week, while saying a prayer over our breakfast, Dani still hadn't forgotten about that boyfriend she didn't want. "And please bless that the fourth grader will not want to be my boyfriend because I am too young to have a boyfriend."

I'm not sure insincere prayers are usually answered, but I'm hoping this will be the exception.  

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I will appreciate that my daughter is not old enough to date.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pile of Stuff

We have this pile in our garage.  It's the ("Will you please sort through that pile today?" pleads my husband.) pile.  It's full of...stuff.  Stuff from cleaning out my car, stuff I've bought for future birthday presents, stuff like that new (possibly unnecessary, but definitely needed) clothing purchase I am not ready to tell my budget savvy husband about.  Just stuff.

I lost a bag of groceries about two weeks ago.  It vanished!  Unbeknownst to me, the bag had somehow wiggled its way into the pile of stuff.  The recovery mission was too late.  The applesauce and baby food survived.  The strawberries did not.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Week:  I will sort through the pile of stuff.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Magical Mother's Day Surprise!

My 7-year-old daughter, Dani,  had an hour long Mother's Day program in her school classroom this past Friday.  I was hoping to use a nearby hourly daycare, but it was full! 

I still went, knowing I would, most-likely, end up in the hall for the majority of my daughter's big show.  I dreadingly lugged my three younger children, Evie(5), Mase(3), and Dax(1), into the cramped classroom. 

For the performance, I decided to sit Evie and Mase down, towards the front.  I stayed in the back with Dax so I could simultaneously rock my guy in his stroller, while feeding him a steady stream of snacks.  The performance commenced and the magic happened.  The kids--my kids--ALL of them--were actually--ANGELS.  Whoa!

I kept getting all teary-eyed during my daughter's performance, over Dani's sweet songs and my quiet kids!

Then!  Dani served me a cookie and all of my children--shared!  I was impressed with myself also.  I really didn't want to share that yummy cookie.  

The younger three and I headed to the parking lot afterward.  I began heaping on the praise, "I am soooo proud of you guys.  You are the best behaved kids in the entire universe."  Suddenly, the magic came to an abrupt halt.

Mase thought it would be fun to make me chase him into his car seat.    After capturing my escapee, he still put up a fight.  His freakishly strong arms and legs even attempted to injure me has I calmly, but firmly, pressed him into his seat so I could restrain buckle him.   "Mom hit me!" he yells. 

Back to reality.  Next time I may just bribe him with an M&M.

Grateful Mom Blessing of the Day: I am so grateful for the opportunity of motherhood.  Despite all my complaints and craziness,  I love being a Mom.  It is a most divine and precious gift.  

And, a special Happy Mother's Day to my mom, who still heaps on the praise for her grown-up daughter.

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Friday, May 6, 2011


When I was younger I used to tell my seemingly cruel parents, "I hate you!!! And I always will!"

Now I've been blessed with my own little hater.
I hate Mom
My husband just discovered this message on the back of my 7-year-old's bedroom door.  I am certain this was the result of another dramatic spelling homework battle, from earlier in the week.  Accordingly, I am appreciative she took the time to spell the words instead of say them.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Dani will be scrubbing her message and the rest of the graphittied door until it is glistening white.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Happenin' Haircutting Skills

Recently I discovered a new passion.  I love to cut men's hair!

It's something that always intimidated me. And now, with my very hip color coated clippers in hand, I feel quite powerful. Unfortunately, I don't  have very many willing victims candidates. 

My family lives out of state.   My oldest brother, dad, and even my mom happen to be diehard users of the Flowbee (those clippers you attach to your vacuum).   Seriously.  I'm still pondering this method, but for now I'm sticking with my clippers.

My husband is not very enthusiastic about my new skills.  He's allowed me to attempt a cut only twice.  I did confuse the light purple and dark purple clipper tops the first try, but I still thought he'd never looked better.  You can't be too choosy when your cut is free.

My 3-year-old Mase has my favorite head of hair, but is a difficult client.  Last night he was overdue for a cut.  After bribing him with ice cream, I still had to literally wrestle the cape off of his head.

Through tears and violent head whipping, I did a four-minute speed cut and--he survived!.   It was all worth it to see my handsome guy with a still large, but much sleeker looking noggin.
Dax is too bald for the clippers, but will be my newest candidate soon enough.  I thought I might have to edit this photo so it wouldn't be so embarrassing for my little dude.  But, his manly girth took care of that for me.
Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Appreciating my three crazy amigos.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Am No Sarah Palin

I am sincerely grateful for my abundance of blessings, except one.

About four years ago, my husband came home with a grand announcement.  A friend had given him an entire chest of meat.  "Lots of elk and even some moose!"  he tells me.

"Oh joy." was my possibly sarcastic remark.

I truthfully tried to be the perfect wife.  I  attempted a flavorful moose stew.  My husband thought is was delicious.  I gulped down one bite and was done, never to return.

The elk was even worse.  The smell alone immediately overcame me.   I couldn't swallow.  I've heard the flavor of elk is greatly based on what the elk eats.  Because of my ladyish ways,  I won't tell you what I think ours ate.

We ended up giving away a good portion of the moose.  For some reason, no one would take that smelly elk.  Maybe I wasn't the best sales person.  I'm wondering if our generous donor had the same problem.

And so it remained, overtaking my freezer.  I have wanted to toss it numerous times, but felt guilty.  I know an animal died for that meat.   It has been a good food storage item.  If starving, I think I could choke it down.

Over the years, the elk has made an occasional sneaky dinner appearance, via my husband.   And, on a positive note, my husband did find his elk eating counterpart, my 3-year-old, Mase. I think this helped them bond.

Yesterday, however, there was a momentous development.  My husband cooked up some elk and-- couldn't eat it!  It smelled even stronger than usual.  Four years of freezer time will do that to meat I guess.

So, today, I say a final goodbye to the elk.  I'm sorry you were not appreciated, but you will not be missed.  

Rest in peace.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: We will be celebrating our elk-free lives with a tasty chicken. 

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Frozen Yogurt Extravaganza!

Where I live, these do-it-yourself yogurt shops are popping up--EVERYWHERE!  It's very exciting to me.  You get to fill your own yogurt cup and choose from about a hundred toppings!  The price is then based on the weight of your creation.  A brilliant idea!

I ventured to one of these brilliant ideas this past Saturday with my two girls, Dani (age 7) and Evie (age 5).  The man at the counter was especially helpful.   He explained,  " All of the yogurts are a hundred percent naturally sweetened and have zero additional sugars added, except for the Cake Batter and the Cookies and Creme."

My girls selected the Cake Batter.  I chose the Cookies and Creme.

Prior to embarking on our great topping adventure, I told Dani and Evie they could decide their own toppings, BUT, I strongly urged them to stick with mostly healthy choices, like fruit and nuts.
Dani was quite proud to show off her prime healthy selection---she had finished off her candy-filled yogurt cup with five maraschino cherries.  I suggested she add some strawberries, but she insisted she had enough fruit.

Then--there was Evie.  I should have been monitoring the situation more carefully, but I was too late!  She had already topped her yogurt with loads of candy, one cookie, and at least six gummy worms!

My girls were both basking in a sugar utopia.  Evie was last to finish eating.  Apparently, it takes a long time to chew up all of those worms. 

"OK, I'm done." she finally states, with a smile.
Dani then glanced at her sister's yogurt cup. 

"Hey!  She only left the yogurt!"

Yes.  I had just treated my five-year-old to a yogurt-free candy smorgasbord. 

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Placing my kiddos in candy detox.  
Photo was taken AFTER most toppings were devoured.

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