Thursday, October 21, 2010

2nd grade

I spent part of this afternoon sorting through Spring8's papers and such from last school year. It's a lot of work but fun to see how far he's progressed in school. I have to do this when he's out of the house or he insists that we save every scrap of paper. I always end up throwing away a garbage bag full of spelling and math tests. (Unfortunately, recycling isn't an option as it's highly likely I'll get caught disposing of these important papers.) I love to keep the silly doodles, drawings and writing folders. Writing journals are comedy gold and for his 2nd grade teacher a look into our family. (Always be nice to your child's teacher. They know all your secrets.)

Here's an excerpt from one writing journal. The topic being "two things you would never see your mom or dad do."
I would never see my mom clime up the roof because she is scared of hightes. [not scared of "hightes" but nevertheless uninterested in climbing a roof] I would never see my mom go to woeark because she has to wach the babys. [er, well, sort of true, sort of not true] I would never see my dad wawck on a hiwyer because he is scared of hightes. [this is true, for sure] I would never see my dad wash the dishes because he is bad at it. [WHAT?! Not sure what kind of education is going on when I'm not around.]

Oh, and the above picture...he made it for a school art fundraiser. I love it so much I had it put on a mug. When I first saw it, I thought, "It's an elephant pooping from it's nose!" I was wrong because clearly it's a mother elephant teaching her baby elephant to carry and then drop logs with their trunks. When I picked up items we purchased, I mentioned to the mom in charge what I thought. She looked at me seriously for a second (great, did I piss off a PTA mom, but no) and then burst out laughing. She said, "I'm so glad you said that because half of the 2nd grade made the same drawing and they all look like pooping elephants!" Of course, big brother Summer11 had to open his big yap and tell Spring8 what I thought. Spring8 was understandably offended and I think he's still mad at me.

Not too offended because he wrote the following "mother acrostic." [pretty sure we didn't learn words like that in 2nd grade]
My Mom makes me happy.
Openes my haret.
Tuces me in at night.
Hugs me befor I go out to the bus.
Everyday she makes me brefiss.
Reades me a book.

Even with all the times I'm in trouble with Spring8, he'll probably be my last son to move out!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Advice for today

When a curious three year old is finally tall enough to push buttons on the blender, it's unwise to plug in the appliance before putting on the lid.

Bleh, while making a protein shake for Mike, I did just that and Fall3 did just what you'd expect and now I have milk and chocolate protein gunk everywhere. I immediately pushed Fall3 out of the shower of milk and turned off the blender. Fall3 immediately dropped to his knees and pretended to be a dog. It seems to be his go-to solution. How mad could anyone get at a cute puppy?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Only a Small Fire...

It was only a small oven fire but it produced a hell of a lot of smoke. Back up to Sunday morning and homemade caramel rolls which dripped butter and sugar onto a drip pan. A drip pan which should have been removed before it CAUGHT FIRE. I'm not one to have an immaculate oven. There's always some piece of shredded cheese or pizza crust which produces a little smoke or funky smell. The difference between "a little smoke/funky smell" and "billows of smoke/acrid smell" must lie in the height of the flames because on Sunday evening my oven had billows of smoke, acrid smell and HUGE flames originating from that drip full of caramelly goodness.

The four seasons played in the basement as I waited for the flames to extinguish themselves and opened windows and doors. As the smoke smell permeated the house, the boys came upstairs thinking it was time for dinner. That's embarrassing. I don't usually serve charred food yet they smell burning and think it's time to eat.

Upon seeing all the smoke, Spring8, with all his subtlety, shouted, "Smoke! Lots of smoke...we need to crawl!!" Little brothers do as they're told and soon I have three boys crawling through the house...not attempting to leave, just crawling. Fall3 has no idea what's going on so he's crawling behind the other two pretending to be a dog. Next time he sees smoke, he just might start barking.

Summer11 runs though the house dramatically coughing ("because of all the smoke!") while complaining about being cold ("because the windows and doors are open!").

Fortunately, (unfortunately, if you're a potato lover), the worst damage was a ruined cookie sheet and ruined fries. Summer11 insisted that surely the smiley face fries were still fine to eat. I gave him one, he almost gagged, spit it out and went back to his dramatic coughing.

So much for a simple Sunday night dinner.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Mama Yeti

My boys and husband are generally tolerant when I attempt to make our house look like something other than a man cave. I was teased when I bought sticks and rocks as part of a decoration ("those are FREE outside!") but they probably don't even notice much else. I'm in constant battle with shoes in the hallway, socks stuffed under couches, underwear on the floor and snacks everywhere.

I also try to make myself appear less manly than the rest of the house. (I don't own a tiara but haven't ruled out one for daily wear.) Stay at home moms don't usually get to be very fashionable but sometimes something cool catches my eye. Such was the case when Mike and I recently strolled through Macy's. I saw an awesome fake fur vest. I stopped and said just that, "Hey! This is an awesome fake fur vest!" Mike, who usually just agrees with any clothes I like (I think all jeans look like jeans to him and all sweaters look like sweaters) burst out laughing. "Yeah, if you want to look like a Yeti!" Before I could even look at the price and before he could stop laughing, my darling husband was making Wookiee sounds (I didn't know it was spelled like that either!). I then realized that there was no awesome fake fur vest in my future. Sure, I could buy it and wear it but I'd have to listen to Wookiee roars from all five boys in my house. Winter4 would want to wear it for Halloween. Fall3 would pet it and get it all sticky. Spring8 would see it hanging up and think it was a werewolf. Summer11 would tell everyone, "My mom bought a shirt that makes her look like Chewbacca!"

No good could come out of it. Besides, for the price I could probably buy another set of stones and sticks for decorations.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perhaps not his best idea

Mike taught Spring8 one of the truths of life that's passed down from father to son, "With duct tape, all things are possible." It's been well established that Spring8 comes up with some fantastic ideas. Often these ideas aren't able to be executed the way he imagines (even with duct tape!) and he gets very frustrated. Successes include duct taping a flashlight to a remote controlled truck so it can be played with at night. Failures include attempting to create a pulley system so that he and Summer11 could pass things up and down between their bunk beds. After that particular failure, he yelled and stomped out of his room. I found a huge tangle of duct tape, string and a couple of shoe boxes. No wonder he was frustrated. He probably got wrapped up in that mess at some point.

Recently, Spring8 came up with the fantastic idea of making stilts. I know, I know...STILTS? My parents were visiting and I'm fairly certain my father imagined a body cast in the near future. I worry, but not that much, so I imagined only an arm cast. As you can see in the picture, the stilts had a couple of fatal flaws. First, cardboard curtain rod boxes may look like stilts but they aren't all that strong. The bigger problem was the difference in length. After one try, Spring8 decided to add more duct tape because surely that would solve these problems. The stilts worked well enough to get a test run around our family room. He held on to me and we walked (lurchingly) in a circle and laughed. Well, I laughed; he was frustrated because the stilts didn't enable him to walk like someone in the circus.

I couldn't be happier that Spring8 has the imagination and determination to attempt all these crazy ideas. Most new things started out as crazy ideas (perhaps involving less duct tape.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Watch Your Toes!

Apparently, I seem like the kind of mom who will suck you up with a vacuum cleaner, either on purpose (followed by a maniacal laugh) or because I'm just cluelessly going about my day. Winter4 isn't afraid of the vacuum but he is concerned that he might become a victim of it.

I happened to vacuum near his "snuggly blanket" one day and he approached me. I say approached because he didn't come too close. He stood about three feet away and yelled, "WATCH OUT FOR MY SNUGGLY BLANKET!! DON'T SUCK IT UP!" Keep in mind that this is a rather large blanket, far larger than the vacuum bag, and it would kill my vacuum. Also, admittedly I have sucked up some small items and not felt too bad about it, but I would never, ever, ever destroy one of his MVP's (most valuable possessions).

While vacuuming in the family room, Winter4 again approached me. "I'M RIGHT HERE! DON'T VACUUM ME UP!" Obviously, I didn't seem worried enough (clueless) or I look like I have evil intent (maniacal laugh) because he again approached me, carefully, getting a bit closer this time. "DON'T SUCK ME UP! I'M YOUR BOY! IF YOU SUCK ME UP YOU WON'T HAVE A BOY!"

What doesn't occur to him is that if he left me alone or cleaned up his things he wouldn't have to worry. He also doesn't seem to realize that I'll still have three boys which on some days is plenty enough. Maybe he should watch his back!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cactus, Pt. 2

Spring8 is convinced that his cactus, Spikey, is a lost cause. I tend to agree as Spikey is just sort of existing is his pot. Not that I expect "him" to do much... Anyway, Spring8 bought a new plant. I suggested something leafy this time. No, that's not exciting. Guess what I get to mother now...A VENUS FLYTRAP! We'll see how this one goes. He's already informed me that it doesn't hurt when it closes on his finger.

So this morning, I've been reading about how to care for venus flytraps. Just call me a Renaissance woman!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fourth Child Syndrome?

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First of all, I have to say that Fall2 is in no way neglected. If he wants something, he points and yells and one of three brothers gets it for him. His brothers adore him no matter what he does and no matter the kind of trouble he causes, Fall2 is still considered "cute". [When Winter4 causes trouble, big brothers generally consider him something far less than "cute".]

Fall2's big brothers tend to be rather overprotective. Fall2 was a very late walker and when he was finally practicing standing, I caught Spring7 sitting him down. I watched a bit more and every time Fall2 tried to stand, Spring7 rushed over and sat him down and said gently, "No, no Fall2. You don't want to get hurt." I told Spring7that his brother needed to get stronger so he could walk. Spring7 looked at me like I was encouraging his baby brother to crawl on the roof..."But Mommy, he could FALL." [Thank goodness, nature is more persistent than big brothers and Fall2 did learn to walk. I had an image in my head of Spring7 hauling him everywhere in a homemade rickshaw.]

To his credit, Fall2 is a remarkably sweet and cute two year old. He's a pack animal and is happiest when his family is all together. Lately, Fall2 has made it clear that he likes his place in the family. He's also become obviously jealous when I pay a lot of attention to his brothers or Mike.

Over Easter weekend, he stooped to a new low. Winter4 hurt his knee so I got down on the floor with him to inspect the damage and dry his tears. I happened to notice Fall2 observing us. He watched for a minute then he pretended to cry and ran to me holding his head saying "bump! bump". I wonder if he'll ever realize that being the fourth child means that while he gets lots of love it also means that Mom isn't going to fall for drama?!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mom Always Loved Me Best!

I have a habit of telling each of my boys, "You're my favorite [insert age] year old boy!" Summer10 is old enough to have figured out that he's my only 10 year old boy so of course, he's my favorite one. He still likes it anyway.

Last week, while I was getting Winter4 ready for bed, I gave him a big hug and told him that he was my favorite 4 year old boy. [I'll admit that I was thinking, "I still love you after all the trouble you've caused today.] I thought we were alone but I later realized that Spring7 had been lurking. Shortly after Winter4 was in bed, Spring7 came up to me and whispered, "Mommy, you should be careful what you say. We know I'm your favorite boy."

I worry about emotionally providing well enough for each of my boys. If I raise each boy thinking that they're my favorite, I'm probably doing okay!

I just hope I don't have to listen to that argument when I'm on my deathbed. "Mom always loved ME best!" "No! Mom always loved ME best!" Four times over!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Green Food but It's Not St. Patrick's Day

One of the after school rules in our house which should be so simple to follow is "Put your lunchbox on the kitchen counter." I don't care which counter as long as it gets to the kitchen so I can unpack unused napkins which probably should have been used, wash the plastic utensils, clean out any half eaten bits and refreeze the ice pack. Spring7 inevitably forgets. It isn't usually a big might slow down my morning a little but it's not something I get upset about.

Until this morning. My boys have been on spring break since April 2. As usual, Spring7's lunch box wasn't in the kitchen. He retrieved it from his backpack and handed it to me. I found a ziplock with something flat and green under his ice pack. What could possibly be flat and green, you ask? SALAMI! Salami that's been in a lunch box for a week and half. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that it was fuzzy and drippy at the same time. What better to find at 8 in the morning before coffee?! Needless to say, I did not find the humor. Needless to say, my boys did.

Friday, April 2, 2010

To My Neighbors

An open letter to my neighbors.

Dear Neighbors,

If you noticed a NAKED four year old running through your backyard this evening, it was indeed my son. Apparently, my leaving the room to get pajamas provided ample time to for my child to leave the house and go outside and play...NAKED. We realized he was missing when we heard a big brother shout, "Winter4, go inside NOW!" Not only did he run into our backyard but he also ran into several other backyards. I am counting my blessings...he's home safely, child services has not arrived at my house and none of my wonderful neighbors was having a cookout.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Silly Putty...The Devil's Play Dough

I'm known for being exceptionally tolerant of messy things--play dough, paint, glitter, glue, markers, crayons, various goos and gels, Moon Sand (for a while, then even I'd had enough and it disappeared in the dark of night). Everything can get cleaned up and eventually scrubbed off the table. I have one exception...silly putty, a product surely invented by a father, not a mother.

A couple of years ago, I spent part of an afternoon cleaning silly putty out of my carpet and instituted Rule #310 (I don't really have that many rules), Silly Putty Shall Never Enter Our Home Again. Two years pass and Summer10 comes home from school all excited, "Hey, look what I bought from the school store!" Apparently, he'd forgotten all about the carpet incident and Rule #310. Against my better judgement, I told him he could keep it but to remember that it's disaster waiting to happen.

Two days later, at 11:00 on a Friday night, I hear a sheepish knock on my door. Summer10 enters with silly putty completely covering his hands. He'd been playing with it so much that it was no longer sticky so he thought he could wet it down, clean it off and therefore make it more sticky. Water indeed made it more sticky in a liquid sticky sort of way made worse by Summer10 trying to get himself out of the mess. Mike, Summer10 and I laughed until we cried. The Devil's Play Dough had led him into temptation and he paid the price.

Removal was not easy and involved a lot of time, warm water, soap and a very coarse wash cloth (which had to go into the trash).

A new rule has since been instituted. Rule #311 Silly Putty Shall Never Enter Our Home Again, and I Mean It This Time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Master of Avoiding the Question

Winter4 would make an excellent politician or college football coach in a press conference. He is the master of question avoidance.

Winter4 has been all about dressing himself for the past couple of weeks. This occasionally results in him choosing his shirt and Fall2's pants which look like shorts on him. This morning he put on green pants (backwards, you'd think he'd get it right 50% of the time, but no) and a green shirt (two greens together don't necessarily match, by the way).

Right before lunch, Winter4 appeared in the kitchen wearing a red shirt meaning a. he felt like changing or b. he made a huge mess and was trying to cover it up. Here's our conversation...

Mom: "Winter4, why did you change?"

Winter4: "I change into a red shirt. Like The Incredibles. Like Dash. I want to be Dash."

Mom: "What happened to your green shirt?"

Winter4: "I want to be Dash."

Mom: "Yes, but where is your green shirt?"

Winter4: "Green shirt?" [As if such a thing never existed] "I want to eat cereal. I love cereal and milk."

See his tactic? Kinda/sorta answer the question and move on. If changing the subject doesn't work, he runs away which is an equally effective way of avoiding the question.

Turns out he really did just feel like changing. Right now, he's wearing a Wiggles shirt, a fireman costume jacket, a Santa hat and my boots but he's still not sure what happened to his green shirt. And now that I write that, I'm not sure what happened to his red shirt!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stick Found, Mystery Remains

This morning, Fall2 happily presented me with a red popsicle stick. He just appeared in the kitchen, handed it to me while smiling and babbling and toddled off to play. I have no idea where he found it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Words I Don't Want to Hear

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about things I've learned that I wish I didn't know. It made me think about all the things the boys say to me that inspire dread. Tuesday morning gave me the perfect example. I ran upstairs to dry my hair, leaving two little boys happily watching TV. Mere minutes later I ran back downstairs and before my feet hit the bottom step, Winter4 yelled from the kitchen, "Mama, I makin' choc-uh-lit milk for Fall2." Ugh, dread. I rounded the corner into the kitchen to find a mess, though it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Winter4 thinks that if he does something with Fall2 in mind that he won't get in trouble. While he claimed to be making chocolate milk for his little brother, the huge ring of "choc-uh-lit" around his mouth clearly showed that he had sampled the fruits of his labor. Winter4 had found a packet of hot chocolate mix, put it in a cup, added a little milk (didn't spill a drop), ate a bunch of it with a spoon and gave the rest to his brother. Fall2 was sitting nicely at the table covered in hot chocolate powder, eating the powder out of the cup with his hands, happy as could be. The mess was contained to the kitchen table but required a complete wardrobe change for both boys. As I was cleaning up the table and chairs, Winter4 yelled, "Mommy, choc-uh-lit milk is GOOD." Yes it is. And frankly, there are worse things than spending the day with a toddler and preschooler who smell faintly of chocolate.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Pack of Wolves

Both Summer10 and Spring7 are active in Cub Scouts. In fact, Mike is Spring7's den leader so really our family is active in Cub Scouts (or "Scub Scouts" as Winter4 says as only he can).

The boys recently earned Catholic religious awards through scouts and were invited to "Scout Day with the Bishop" being held for both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts at a local church. An awards ceremony was held after a brief prayer service. (During which I answered garden variety questions from Spring7 such as "How long is this thing going to last?" and "Is that guy the bishop?") The speaker stated that the scouts were to proceed to the altar to receive a patch from the bishop when their particular award was announced. Egad! This required a quick rebriefing in "how to shake hands with someone important." In a hushed voice that probably half the church heard, I reminded the boys to shake with their right hand, look him in the eye and say thank you.

The first awards were given to Girl Scouts. All this did was raise the expectations for scout behavior. Let me tell you that there was a noticeable difference between the girls and the boys. The seven and eight year old girls, when called, weren't really sure what they were supposed to do but they cautiously approached the altar and looked around at the adults for cues. They lined up in a fairly orderly way, shyly shook hands, said thank you, smiled and quietly walked back to their seats.

The approach of the Cubs was, um, different. Rather than a cautious approach, they more or less stampeded up the aisle. These seven and eight year old boys are Wolf cubs and walking in a pack is exactly what they did. Not that any of them were trying to push or trip each other but when a large pack of boys attempts to walk together, someone is going to get tripped up. As they approached the altar and formed something sort of like a line, when one Cub took one step forward, the other Cubs took three steps forward and got all bunched up. They were in constant motion...forward, back, to the side like magnets being alternately attracted to and pushed away from each other. Each serious handshake was followed by maybe a "thank you", maybe a grunt. Each boy walked back to his seat as if he was on fire and water was around the corner. Fortunately, the bishop had a sense of humor as he chuckled the entire time!

I always give credit to the Boys Scouts for really understanding little boys and knowing what sorts of things they like to do. Clearly, they classify them well too. Next year, I think Spring7 will be a Bear Cub. Does this mean his wolf pack run will slow to a lumber? I don't see that happening!

Popsicles, part deux

Almost a week later and I still don't know what happened to the popsicle. No stick. No sticky red puddle. My best guess is that he ate part of it and threw the rest away or gave it to his brother. A friend suggested I look in the freezer which I did and found a stick from an ice cream treat he ate a couple of weeks ago. I checked in the fireplace which is the little boys' new place for tossing things. I found a book, a drumstick, a train and Tuck the Wonder Pet. The world may never know what happened to that red popsicle as that knowledge has come and gone from Winter4's brain. I wouldn't be surprised if he tells me all about it in 3 months. As long as it's not stuffed between my sofa cushions...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anybody See My Popsicle?

Winter4 and Fall2 love popsicles. Really, who doesn't? This evening after dinner, Winter4 asked me, "Mommy, pweese can I have a popsicle for Fall2?" (He thinks I'm more likely to give in to him if it's for his brother.) I told him they could each have one. Everyone celebrates! I got the little guys set up at the table with their treats and left the room for 15 seconds. I returned to find Winter4 doing a dance in the family room.

Me: "Winter4, where is your popsicle?"
Winter4: "My popsicle?"
Me: "Yes, the red popsicle you were just eating."
Winter4: "Hmmmmm..."

At this point, Winter4 puts on a very serious face, furrowed brow and all, as if his popsicle vanished into thin air and he can't imagine what could have happened. He pats his head with his finger and says, "I finking...I fink it's behind the TV!" He runs and looks. He finds a Christmas ornament and a toy. Then he looks at me and exclaims, "I don't what happened!"

Winter4 has a reputation for running off with things and throwing them behind furniture. Today I found a friend's baby rattle behind the entertainment center. Earlier, I found FOUR doorknob covers behind a cabinet (you know the kind that are meant to keep kids OUT of rooms?)

Misplacing a treat?! How DOES that happen? I'll let you know if it shows up...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hi-ho, Silver, Away to the Bowl in the Sky

One of our geriatric goldfish, Silver, swam away to the big bowl in the sky this weekend. You may think we're being clever naming a goldfish Silver but really the goldfish was just silver-y colored. We can be very literal people. The other goldfish is named Gold because he/she is, yes, you guess it, very gold colored.

When I say geriatric, I mean that he/she has been around for more than 3 years but I've lost track of the time. Those fish have survived many, many things such as Winter4 bobbing for apples in their tank when he was only Winter2, a trip to the neighbors to be fish-sat and overfeedings by several well intentioned boys.

I noticed that Silver looked pretty bad one evening while I was making dinner (a dinner of fish sticks, by the way). I didn't take it too seriously as Silver had a melodramatic streak and has appeared to be dying several other times in the past. Within a day, I'll find him swimming around like nothing ever happened. Not this time. He kept up the dying act for a couple of days which made me consider just putting him out of his misery. Enter Summer10 who took moral offense to this idea. I tried to tell him that it's not fair to let Silver flounder (get it?) for days. He told me that it's not fair to make Silver die from not being able to breathe or worse yet die in a sewer pipe. Even though I thought, "Hello! This is a geriatric goldfish!" I appreciated the fact that he had weighed these moral issues and had an opinion.

Fortunately, Silver didn't linger much longer. Now, my confession. I, as a woman who has put her hands in toilets, applied ointment to various locales on all sorts of people and animals and caught vomit with her bare hands is skeeved out by dead goldfish. Mike doesn't understand how I can prepare and eat fish for dinner but can't pull a dead one out of a tank. What can I say? It's just gross!

So, in honor of our Silver, I think I'll lay off the fish entrees for this week and perhaps rescue another 19 cent "feeder fish" so that Gold has a friend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Things I've Learned

Things I've learned but really wish I didn't know.

1. How to remove crayon from the inside of a dryer (scouring powder preceded by a glass of wine--in you, not the dryer.)
2. How to remove silly putty from the carpet (Goo Gone)
3. How to remove little boy smells from the carpet (Urine Gone, "For pet or people accidents.")
4. How to cook Spaghetti-O's on a gas grill after a storm knocks out power for a few days (big cast iron pot)
5. How to use an Epi-Pen.
6. The only people who watch Disney Channel in the middle of the night are in the E.R. at a children's hospital.
7. If someone vomits on a pillow, just throw it out.
8. While vacationing, even though the kids don't get in the car after being on the beach you will still return home with alot of sand.
9. How to care for ants in an ant farm (they don't eat much and bury their own dead).
10. How to drop to the ground and crawl stealthily out of the room if a sleeping baby wakes up and starts to look around.
11. Yelling brothers will not wake up a sleeping newborn but Mom walking into the room will.
12. How to remove cold candle wax from the sink and garbage disposal (This is a story that I've tried to forget. Pretty sure it involved a knife or ice pick.)
13. That funky smell in your car is probably an old sippie cup. Just throw it out. DO NOT OPEN THE CUP.
14. Clean a window and 15 seconds later, a toddler will put his face on it or lick the glass.
15. Containers of leftovers that you don't remember eating should not be opened. (See #13)

All these things I know and I'm still learning how to outwit my newly four year old!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Thanksgiving Prayer

I found a Thanksgiving prayer written by Spring7.

"Dear Jesus,
I am thankful for my family and me. I am also thankful for my toys, my Earth and zebras."

I suppose the African savanna would be a dull place without all those stripes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I'm finally taking down our Christmas tree. I've been in the process of taking it down for a few days now and I keep getting interrupted. Imagine that!

Our Christmas tree is one of my favorite things. Almost all of our ornaments have some meaning...places we've been, gifts from friends and family, the special ornaments I get for each boy every year and ornaments the boys have made for us. The tree is a big green collection of memories and happy thoughts.

Some people have beautiful, color coordinated ornaments, lights and ribbons on their trees with the ornaments spaced out perfectly. Our tree is so far from a designer tree, it's almost funny. Keep in mind that the tree is 7 feet tall and I'm only 5'1". I can stretch pretty far but can't reach the top. Also, keep in mind that I have two little people in my house who will remove and then run away with ornaments. Basically, my tree has A LOT of ornaments right in the middle. Every year, Mike returns from work, looks at the tree, giggles, then moves some ornaments to the top for me. I try my best not to move around any ornaments after the boys are finished decorating. Sometimes, it's inevitable if say a special ornament is too low or some creative person has put four ornaments on one branch. The big boys have some sort of photographic memory of ornament placement and will directly ask me why I moved their ornament.

As much as I love having it up, I'm also relieved when it comes down so I'd better get back to work!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Heeerrrree's Johnny!

No, not Johnny Carson...I guess the title really should be "Heerrree's Winter3!" Remember the famous scene from The Shining when Jack maniacally peers though the partially open (well, hacked open) door? Take away the maniacal part and it becomes a scene from my life.

Winter3 is pretty good about going to bed and staying in bed...for a while. The problem is that as you know, he is everywhere and into everything. People say that no one wants a smart cat because of all the trouble they can cause. The same can be said about three year olds. Curiosity really didn't kill the stressed the life out of his mother. We just can't trust that Winter3 will stay in bed all night long. I have visions of him going downstairs in the middle of the night and trying to make soup, or call Ireland or start my car. I'd like to think that my son who is "skeered of funder" would be too fearful to go downstairs alone but I don't care to lay awake in bed debating that thought.

Sooooo...cue parent of the week music...we lock him in his room at night. Naturally, the one door of the house that doesn't close well is his bedroom. Since the knob doesn't close well enough to lock we've tried various doorknob covers which all worked for a while but which he eventually figured out and broke off. We stepped up our game by duct taping the door knob cover on. This too worked for a while and even well enough to lock me in the room (only for a minute, sheesh). He's worked so hard at the door (persistence is good trait, right?) that now it won't latch at all.

Our final move before we give up on this chess game is a chain lock like you might find in a hotel. So far, so good but this brings me back to my "Heeerreee's Johnny!" reference. Rather than an axe wielding murderer, I have a talking three year old. Imagine the little face squished in the door, "MomMomMommyMommmmyyyMama! Let me out!" The power to open his door, even if only that much, was exhilarating. After a few days, he gave up and doesn't play with the door much except at naptime and in the morning.

But he can't get out. And my life is no horror movie so even if I have a crazed three year old on one side of the door, I know that my sanity is safe.