Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kidversations: Partial Credit

Me: This is a W. It makes the "wuh" sound. Do you know what word starts with W?

Liam: Wuh, wuh, really big fish!

Monday, September 17, 2012


For anyone who has sweetly, but mistakenly, thought I was a "chill parent."

Kidversations: Wait, This Isn't a Restaurant?

Me, after Liam has requested a menu change: Sorry, Liam. This is not a restaurant and I am not a short-order cook. You eat what you're given or not at all.
Liam, confused: But...this IS a restaurant!

Oh, son. You crack me up!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kidversations: The Perils of Five Daughters

Liam, putting on a crown: I am a mommy!
Me: You are? Where are your kids?
Liam: I left them home sleeping.
Me: I hope there's a babysitter and you didn't leave them all alone.
Liam: Yeah.

Me: How many kids do you have?
Liam: Five!
Me: Five?! Wow, you look really young to have five kids! What are their names?
Liam: They're all Angelinas.
Me: How do you tell them apart?
Liam: Well...there's Angelina, and mom, and Candy, and Tasha.
Me: So, all daughters then?
Liam: *nods sadly*

Liam: Can everybody see my kids?
Me: *nodding*
Liam, incredulous: You can? But they're still rocks!
Me: What? Your kids are rocks?
Liam: Yeah and they're on the ceiling. They're still in a balloon and they can't get down! And my camera is broken!

My son's kids are in peril and he is upset that his camera is broken. These are the priorities I have passed on to my children.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mom-ing: An Overabundance of Honesty

Ben and I try to pass on good values to our kids; things like honesty, self-sufficiency, etc. In addition to -- and probably more important than -- self-sufficiency though we try to show the kids how to be loving and helpful to each other. One of the ways this happens is, occasionally, we let one kid go through the motions of putting the other siblings to bed while we supervise.

One night it was Liam's turn to put the girls to bed and he couldn't have been prouder of himself. He remembered all the steps. He told Darcie to go potty and put a pull-up on, he reminded us to brush their teeth and pray, he played with his sisters like his daddy usually does, and then he tucked them in, kissed them, and turned off the light.

Ben and I left the room and stood in the hallway so that he could have the privilege of saying the final goodnights. Liam stood in the doorway with his hand on the knob, blew his two sisters kisses, and said goodnight to them. Then, just as the door was almost closed, he remembered something he (assumably) felt he ought to have said. He pointed to the darkest corner in the room that the nightlights didn't reach and said "oh, and that one is going to get you when you sleep."

And then he shut the door.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kidversations: Different Standards

Ben, looking at me: Woo! Look at that skinny woman!
Liam, looking around wildly: WHERE? WHERE IS SHE? I DON'T SEE HER!
Me: -_-

Five minutes later...
Liam, still looking around: I DON'T SEE HER! WHERE IS SHE, DADDY?!?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Doodle: Sad Hopping

My kids like to ask to do silly things that clearly don't require permission. I'm fairly certain this is just a way to engage my attention so I just play along. Sometimes though, I realize belatedly that they were genuinely asking me permission for something.


Scene 1: Dinnertime. Mom is cooking in kitchen. Kids are playing in living room. A soft plea is heard.

Scene 2: Mom enters living room. Reason for plea becomes clear. Affirmation is given.

Scene 3:  Flying is ecstatically attempted.

Scene 4: Attempt failed.

Scene 5: More determined attempts are made.

Scene 6: A crushing reality sets in.

D'awwww! I had to smother her in kisses after this because it was so pitiful and sweet!

Sorry about that, Darcie! I appreciate you asking permission before theoretically flying around the house and potentially breaking all the nice things that are out of your reach. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Doodle: Should've Named Him Waldo

There is a very important member of my family that I have yet to introduce to you. He is my fuzzy "first child" and his name is Mousepad.

Aww! Isn't he cute! 

What's that, you say? You can't see him? Here, look a little closer...

You see the problem with Mousepad is that he is the exact same shade of gray as our carpet, which makes him very effective at hiding. Too effective.

"Hey, has anyone seen Mousepad?"

(This is my extremely inept drawing of Mousepad getting smooshed behind a door)

In fact, he is so effective at hiding that he has taken to laying in open and easily viewable areas so that he can stop getting injured.

Sadly this method has not helped him. Sorry, kitty! Thanks for being so patient and snuggly!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Writing: Blogamy

This is what I look like on blogging or novelling days. So...I look like this 90% of the time. In fact, I look exactly like this right now! Because it's a blogging day. But I have a confession...I'm not working on this blog today (no, wait, AM I?). I am a blogamist. I've been putting a lot of my creative energy into a different blog I've been writing with my older brother, Keith. You can go check it out and leave me a comment there, reprimanding me for eating Kit-Kats and Cheetos!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kidversations: Trolls and the Nether

Liam, while we're waiting in the van for Ben to get some groceries: where's dad?
Liam: Oh no! I need him back!
Darcie: I want daddy!
Me: I want him too! We shall have to work hard to earn him back from the Nether!
Me: then you'll have to be VERY GOOD at keeping your shoes on in the car and being happy while we're waiting. It's the only way we'll be able to see him again.
Liam: Oh thank you mommy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Heavy: Grown Up Marshmallow Test

Have you ever heard of the marshmallow test? It was a study done oh way-back-when about self control and deferred gratification. The gist of how it works is you put a kid in a room, alone, with a marshmallow. You tell them they are welcome to eat the marshmallow but that if they wait for you to come back in fifteen minutes then they can have a second marshmallow as well. If they don't want to wait, that's fine, but they just get the one. Then, years later, they followed up with those kids when they were adults. The ones who successfully deferred gratification during the test were found to be more successful in their careers and report a higher quality of life and happiness.

There has been a lot of talk lately about parenting philosophies in the United States and whether or not our more laid-back (or laissez-faire for you fancy pants) attitudes on moral training and child-centric family models are capable of teaching such important skills as self control and deferred gratification. This is a very important issue in our family. In fact, I would say about 80% of my brain power each day goes to disassembling every one of my kids' attitudes, skills, and behaviors and then trying to determine a response or consequence that will teach them patience and high regard for others. (<-- this is also why I laugh when people mistakenly believe being a "SAHM" is not a mentally challenging or rewarding career)

My children are not self-sacrificing prodigies by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, they probably look like outright booger boxes to a good number of people, so this is not me bragging about my parenting skills or goals. I'm just trying to emphasize how important this philosophy is in my day-to-day life. One thing I really struggle with is modeling this behavior for my kids. Because one thing is for certain, explaining in words that sometimes we just have to wait for the things we want gets you absolutely nowhere with a pre-schooler (and even less with an infant, go figure)! For kids to believe something, they have to see it, and they have to see it repeatedly.

God has really been poking me in the eyes about this one. Sure, I can get all frazzled when I tell my kids for the third time "I ALREADY SAID YES YOU CAN HAVE DESSERT PLEASE JUST LET ME GO PEE!" or I can be dismayed when, despite explaining the process of getting a shot in the arm and promising faithfully to get ice-cream if they behave, my kids still choose to be that purple-in-the-face, screaming monster you hear in the pediatricians office -- but how often do I stop to think about how I am the exact same way?

I am the one who when she sees something she wants, buys it immediately, and then grumbles until the next paycheck because she can't go do anything fun. I am the one who knows about an exciting trip coming soon and instead of waiting for the right season to plan for and enjoy the adventure chooses to obsessively check weather conditions, make lists for packing, stress about the price of flight tickets, wonder if it would be better to drive, worry about if the kids are going to be grumpy while we travel, and generally stress about it so much that I give myself an ulcer and become a pain in the assymptote to my family members. I am the one who can't hear the answer "no," from anybody. I am the toddler with only one marshmallow.

For the first time in my entire life I have lost my patience with my lack of patience! (Cue inspirational music) I want to have a higher quality of life and happiness. I want to "count it ALL joy." I want two marshmallows!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kidversations: You Can't Hear Commas

Darcie: please climb mommy!
Me: climb what?
Darcie: please climb mommy!
Me: what do you want to climb?
Darcie: please climb! Mommy!
Me: OH! You want to climb mommy?

I am my kids' second favorite jungle gym. (Ben is their first favorite)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mom-ing: The Language Barrier

There are few people who can understand my kids' speech as well as I can, but even I have moments, or entire days, of staring in bafflement at my children. Today was one of those days.

After dinner the kids were drawing with pens and paper at the table. Ben and I had exhausted smiles plastered on our faces as we let the kids enjoy their last few minutes of freedom before bedtime. It had been a good but long day.

Liam asked Ben to draw him a helicopter so, taking a break from feeding Adelaide baby food, he obliged. Then Darcie wanted a professional drawing as well so to save my husband some trouble I volunteered to do a drawing for her. The following exchange occurred:

Me: What would you like, Darcie?
Darcie: I want ______

...I had NO idea what she wanted but I swear she said "crack." So in a fit of end-of-day insanity I proceeded to draw a bunch of tiny dots in a line. Ben looked alarmed and amused. This encouraged me to then tell Darcie she had to sniff it "like this" (and proceeded to demonstrate), and then, now completely and utterly off my rocker, I laughed my head off until I was on the floor in tears.

Ben, one eyebrow quirked: They're going to hear about this in Sunday school. "What are YOU drawing, kids?" "Oh I'm drawing crack! (Sniiiiiiiiff)"
Me: (Laughing even more)
Liam: I want crack too!

Doodle: Writing Is A Lot Like Crack

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mom-ing: Once In a Morning Opportunity

Well I WAS working on a blog post this morning but then I was invited to snuggle and watch The Last Unicorn with the hubby, Liam, and Darcie.

And really, how could I resist that?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mom-ing: Crappy Day

You ever have one of those days that are going so poorly you have to either laugh or cry about it? Well today is one of those days. It all started when I tried to have a Skype date with one of my friends while the kids were still awake. It's been a long time since I've attempted to pull off this maneuver but it used to be that I could just transport my kids to the magical land of Disney and I would be free to do whatever I needed. Alas, those days are gone. Liam and Darcie were pretty indignant that I was using Skype and that they were not being shown off. And though they kept to their boundary of the living room -- a whole three feet away from where I was sitting -- they laid pitifully at the edge of the living room and reached out to me with imploring hands.

I pressed on. I probably ought to have just thrown in the towel on all my plans for the day once I saw where it was headed but I didn't. So, turning up the volume of my laptop really loudly, I continued chatting with my friend over the sound of their whining.

When my Skype date ended I went to give my two oldest some love and attention and this turned into an unspoken competition for who could claim the most snuggle space with me. Just as we reached a truce it was time to get Adelaide up! This caused another round of whiny indignation.

I feel I ought to mention here that my kids are not generally whiny and they are even more rarely jealous of each other or compete for my attention, so this day was so far out from their normal range of behavior that I was quickly becoming frazzled. It has been one of those stretching days that you secretly hope never comes along.

As Adelaide was nursing, Darcie announced she had to go pee. I told her she had to go by herself this time and she did a good job trying but she had an accident on the bathroom floor. After I got that cleaned up I slapped some pb&j's together for Liam and Darcie, plunked Adelaide into her Bumbo, and then scarfed down some food while spooning babyfood into her mouth. I ate so quickly though that I became nauseous. This was not helped either by the fact that Liam and Adelaide were having a one-ups-manship competition for number of smelly poops. Liam won the number of consecutive smelly movements but Adelaide retaliated nicely with copious amounts of foul beef-babyfood smelling spit-ups. See? I bet even you're nauseous now!

Finally it was nap time. I changed one last round of diapers & pull-ups, took Darcie to the bathroom, sent the oldest two up to their beds, and slung Adelaide up onto my hip. As I was trudging defeatedly up the stairs she decided to give me one last slew of spit-up for good measure. It went all over the stairs and onto my jeans. Just as I was inspecting the damage to my pants and was about to let out an exasperated sigh, I saw it.

There was a turd stuck to my jeans, clinging on for dear life.

And that's when I started laughing hysterically.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doodle: Family As Memes

Now, for your viewing entertainment, my family reinterpreted as internet memes...

(Credit for original meme goes to the incomparable Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Doodle: Parenting Achievements

I will be the first to admit that parents tend to feel way too much competition with each other, often unconsciously so, but does that mean our achievements should go unsung? What if each day we were just trying to beat our own high score? It would certainly be rewarding to have some visual tokens of achievement other than piles of dirty laundry (or, if you're really good then no piles of laundry! I hear that happens sometimes).

How many badges have you been able to earn? I'm pretty terrified of that adolescence one. Do they still have boarding schools? I might have to look into that...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Doodle: Ridiculous Pet Peeves

People are crazy. 
And I am no exception.
I tend to collect weird habits and pet peeves like a hobby. Some stick around, others fade and are replaced with even better (weirder) ones. Today, I couldn't nap because I was too busy thinking of pet peeves. True story. So instead of tossing and turning, I have decided to share some of the most ridiculous things with you. Whether it's me that is ridiculous or the things that bother me, I will leave for you to determine.

Pet peeve numero uno.

The curly or wavy hair debate. 

People get surprisingly passionate about this topic! As someone who has hair that somehow qualifies as straight, wavy, and curly on any given day, I feel I can give an informed opinion on the matter. Let's look at this helpful graph.

This ought to clear things up. If you were to ask any kindergartener to identify those types of lines, that is how they would describe them. Some people have "curl to their hair" and they feel this allows them to claim their hair is curly, but often, it is actually just wavy.

Also, people with really tight curls tend to feel that those with looser ringlets are not qualified to claim the badge of curliness, but that is silly.

Let's get an even closer look.

As you can see, the differentiating factor is whether or not your hair forms a complete ringlet and/or circle. If it does? Curly. If it doesn't? Wavy. Or straight. Whatever.

Let's move on.

Pet peeve numero dos.

When people claim the mental/emotional/psychotic characteristics of a hair color they have dyed their hair.

I'm only going to say this once (probably not true): just stop. It's embarassing.

  1. You didn't have a blonde moment, you had a YOU moment.
  2. The reason Edward hasn't been staring at you while you sleep is because he knows your hair isn't really brunette.
  3. If dying your hair really did cause you to have a dramatic change in temperament you should probably call the FDA, or CIA, or some other entity with initials, because something has gone seriously wrong.
 Pet peeve numero tres.

Floppy socks.

I'm sorry I had to show you that. It was for your own good.

Avoid floppy socks at all costs.

Pet peeve numero quatro.

When people unnecessarily* use texting shorthand/ALL CAPS/poor grammar, etc.
*Note: This is unnecessary 99.8% of the time

I just. I don't even.

...moving on.

Last but not least:
Pet peeve numero cinco. 

When people complain about other people being on cell phones.

  So there.

...just kidding.