Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday



Summer is almost here! Here are my boys enjoying some time in the sun!

Bikers are Dangerous

We were up in Vancouver visiting family for part of the Memorial Day Weekend. On our way home we stopped at a rest area. It was very crowded, and there was a large group of motorcyclists there. D took two of the boys to the bathroom and I asked #1 if he needed to go. He thought I was crazy for asking him and said: I am not going to go someplace where a motorcycle gang is parked!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Summertime Tip

We live at the coast. Incidentally, we occasionally go to the beach, and usually end up tracking a lot of sand back to the car. It got to the point that I didn't look forward to going to the beach anymore because our van was getting so much sand inside, and our attempts to keep the sand out just weren't that effective.
Then I got an idea. I really should credit my Dad for the idea, since he inspired it in the first place.
My solution to the sand problem, is a garden sprayer. We went out and bought a one gallon yard and garden sprayer for less than $10.00. Its the kind that has a handle to pump it up with air, and then it has a hose and a nozzle, and you usually use them to spray chemicals on your plants. They have a nice adjustable spray so you can have a lighter mist, or a heavier stream. Now we just fill it up before we go to the beach, and when we are done we can spray the sand off of our hands, feet, and shoes. Since we bought our sprayer new, we don't have to worry about chemicals and what-not. It has only ever held water. Now we keep it in the van all the time. In addition to beach duty, you can use it for emergency hand washing, showers and/or washing and rinsing dishes when camping, an impromptu cool down on a hot day, a good way to wash mud and dirt off of your shoes after a hike, or just an advantage in a water fight. There are many ways to use them. I recommend carrying an extra gallon of water in your vehicle if you have a large family like we do. That way you can refill the sprayer if you run out of water, or you can always splurge and get a larger sized sprayer. When I was in my late teens we used a three gallon one in place of a shower for a while. (Thus the credit to my Dad). It wasn't convenient, but it got the job done. For me, I am looking forward to less sand in the van this summer, and more fun as a family!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shopping Lists

It is Pinewood Derby Season here. This year is #2's first year doing the Pinewood Derby and he is very excited about it. He is a hands on kind of kid that really wants to do the car himself with minimal help (which is as it should be.) In perusing our tools we realized that we needed a couple of things for him to complete his car, so he made me the above shopping list. In case his writing is hard to read it says:
Moms Shoping List
1. coping Saw
2. Sand paper
3. graphite graphite cadbury
4. candy (m8ms, or cadberrey cream eggs, skittles, starburst,
and any wonka candy
I am not sure what the 4th item/items on the list have to do with Pinewood Derby racing. I think he was just hoping I would get whatever he put on the list. Sneaky kid.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is #4

#4 loves to pretend. On any given day he may be a Cowboy, a Jedi or a Knight. He loves to be a hero. He is the one that asked me why I don't dress up as a Princess.
Some of #4's contributions to this blog include Mashed Potato Shame, Weird Al's The Saga Begins, Telling Time, Star Wars is So Cool, Marriage Decisions, and What Happens When the Moon Gets Full. I think he is probably more involved in blog posts on this blog than the other four boys, partly because he is not in school yet, so he is home with me all day, and partly because he just has one of those personalities.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Children...so good for your self esteem

Today #4 brought came over with our wedding photo album in his hand and said:

"Mom looks more pretty in this book."

Its true. I was "more pretty" back then. That was 11 years and more than many pounds ago. (Not to mention I was wearing my wedding dress and a little make-up). I am going to choose to look at it optimistically. Pretty is pretty...I will take what I can get, so I will take it as a compliment. If he had just said that I was pretty back then it could be taken to mean that I am no longer pretty, and since he clearly said MORE pretty...that means he was definitely saying that I am pretty now...just not as pretty as I was all those inches and that wedding dress ago. Thank you son for the unintended compliment!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Its like RADAR...

There are two things for sure that my kids seem to have a preternatural ability for detecting. One of them is me being on the phone. I can see it in my mind...all of them playing outside when suddenly they all stop at once and look towards the house. Inside...I have picked up the phone.
They might leave me to myself all day and treat each other wonderfully, but the moment I am on the phone they are hungry, or fighting, or trying to talk to me. It drives me crazy. I have been known to take the cell phone out to the van and sit in the driveway to talk just to get some peace and quiet while I am on the phone (as well as better phone reception.)
The other thing they always seem to know about is when I head to the bathroom. It never fails. The moment I am in there, almost as soon as I sit down, someone is at the door. Either they have to go...BAD...and can't possibly wait two minutes, or they are there to tattle on one of their brothers, to ask for a snack, or just to ask me what I am doing (like it isn't obvious). Today was no different. Nature called, so I answered. As usual, there was a knock at the door. I acknowledged my presence thinking that someone needed to use the bathroom (pity me because we only have one bathroom). Instead, it was one of the boys making sure it was ME in there.
Boy #2: I have a school paper for you.
Me: Why don't you wait a minute?
Boy #2: I can just slip it under the door. (At this point I see the corner of a hot pink piece of paper start to come under the door.)
Me: Just wait until I am DONE!
Boy #2: Okay.
Of course I am just wondering why when he had been home from school for a couple of hours he chose the moment I was...otherwise occupied...to try to talk to me. I think it must have something to do with knowing he had a captive audience.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Obsessive?

Our boys love the computer. They love the computer so much that they will turn away from a new DVD they have not seen yet to watch someone play a computer game they have seen played a hundred times. (I am not exaggerating on the 100 times either).
Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars II are our current games of choice. It is going on four months of playing/watching, and even though both games have been beaten by someone in our house at least once, they are still a source of entertainment for the boys.
Because of their obsessive tendencies over the computer, they each only play one day of the week, and they can earn up to an hour and a half of time over the course of a week. Usually it ends up being about an hour a week per each of them on average.
I also enjoy playing Lego Star Wars I and II on the computer. However, most of the time I would rather be blogging, or reading someone else's blog. The boys frequently ask me to play so that they can watch me. I get stressed out when someone reads over my shoulder, so you can imagine that I get a little flustered when someone is watching me try to get Han Solo to jump over a gap while being shot at by Stormtroopers.
We found a solution to the problem (the problem being five boys crowded around my chair and well into my personal space when I am trying to concentrate on a game). We got a long s-video cord, and a long RCA cord, and strung them between the back of the computer and the TV. Now the boys can watch me play from the comfort of the couch across the room, and I don't have to deal with getting bumped, jostled and breathed on. I know it sounds pathetic, but you can take comfort in knowing that watching computer games was not the main reason we bought the cords and set it up like that. We can also watch online TV episodes from Disney and other sites from the couch instead of all seven of us crowded around a 17" monitor.
Pathetic would be when #2 said that maybe we should record some of my game play on the VCR so they could watch it whenever they want...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

#2 is a poet...

For Mother's Day #2 gave me a book of poems. The first one was a name poem. I am not including all of it but it included words to describe himself such as Hungry, Dangerous and Electrifying. The second one was a poem about video games. Each poem he wrote was assigned to be in a certain style. This one is the two word style.

Video Games

Video Games,
are awesome,
have exploding,
have ratings,
are fun,
are easy,
are cool,
are hard.

See how he captures the dual nature of video games being easy and hard?
Next, a color poem...

Green

Green is a light saber.
Green is the color of my eyes.
Green is the color of Yoda.
Green is my Mom's favorite color.

Then a poem about the sun which was written following the shape of the sun, including words going off into the rays of the sun. Just writing the words would not do it justice. You would have to see it.

Lastly, a diamond poem titled Mom Dad

Mom
Nice, Happy
Cooks, Sleeps, Works, Eats
Tall, Smart
Dad
See why its called a diamond poem?
I also got lovely cards from my other boys, and a fridge magnet made specially for me by #3, who also brought me heart shaped cards and snowflakes he made throughout the day.
D cooked all the meals today, AND did the dishes. All in all, it was a good Mother's Day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Simply Karate...


I am sometimes an impulse buyer. Okay...I am often an impulse buyer. It is one of my weaknesses. I also think that martial arts are very cool, and I have wanted to be a Karate champ ever since my days on the playground playing Wonder Woman. I still love to watch martial arts.

I was at Costco the other day and I was ALONE! Ah, the wonder of being alone at Costco, not having to hear little boys begging for samples, and not having to try to keep them within sight and out of the way of the reckless cart driving customers in the vicinity. I took the time to really look through the book and DVD section.
While there I came across a DVD packaged with 30 double sided flashcards. I couldn't find a picture of the exact set they have at Costco, but the book and DVD pictured is done by the same people. Its just in flash card form rather than book form, and the DVD with the Costco set is longer.
I am overweight. I have been for several years. I often toy with the idea of getting in shape. So here was a DVD with a long Karate class on it that was aimed at fitness as well as teaching basic Karate techniques...And it was less than $10! Did I buy it? What a silly question! Of course I bought it! Will it end up in my video cabinet gathering dust next to the likes of Kathy Smith and Tae Bo? No! What is the difference? Well...for one the workout teaches you basic techniques and has you repeat them numerous times. I did work up a sweat when I tried it out. However, its not really a big cardio style exercise thing. You are doing actual Karate moves, not jumping around a lot. And even if I never use it again, my boys certainly will. You should have seen them all lined up in the living room doing the punches, blocks and kicks. They were so excited! I am sure the neighbors were wondering about all the yells of "Kiai!" from our living room. I couldn't believe how cute they all were trying to do the moves. Its an added bonus that the instructor on the video has a nice Australian or New Zealand accent. I am a sucker for a good accent! After the Karate class the DVD also includes two sections to be done in partnerships. One is a Karate movement section, like a very basic sparring, and the other is a self defense set where he and his training partner take you step by step through three scenarios and tell you how to incapacitate your attacker if someone tries to grab you. I told D that he will have to play the attacker so I can throw him around. I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Good Mail...


I usually reserve this blog for talk about funny things my boys say or do....with occasional guest appearances by other people's kids. I actually have a few people that read this blog, but don't read or know about my other blog. That is okay, since I have been writing in this blog more often than the other one. However, I got some Good Mail today and I wanted to thank Annie for sending it my way. To tie this in with the kid theme of this blog...I will tell you all that kids like Good Mail too! My boys love getting mail, but unfortunately they usually only get it around their birthdays. Here is a challenge for you to get your kids involved in some Good Mail as well!

PDA

No...not Personal Digital Assistant...Public Display of Affection!
One of the funnest things for us to do is to gross out the boys by kissing in front of them. Its not like we make out right there or anything. Even just a very brief kiss on the lips is enough to prompt groans of disgust (and sometimes even screams) from some of our boys. Some of them just look away, and some of them are not bothered by it...yet.

We recently bought a new (but inexpensive) Digital Camera. The boys are hoping that we will like the new one enough to give the old one to them to use. The other day #3 was asking D how the new camera was working and wondering if they could use the old one.
He said he could take a picture of D and me kissing. #4 piped right up and said: Yeah! That's what I would take a picture of too!
#1 came into the conversation at this point and said: I would delete it.
He seems to be the most disturbed that we like to hold hands and sometimes kiss in front of the boys. However, we think that it is a good thing for the boys to know that we love each other. I think if we stopped our occasional PDAs in front of them, they might start to worry. (#1 just told me that us holding hands once a week, and an occasional I love you from one or the other of us would be enough for him to not be worried.)
Do you embarrass anyone with your PDAs?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

School...

#3 commented the other day that he wished that school was only one day a week. He decided that Wednesday would be the best day for this (interestingly enough, Wednesday is the shortest school day of the week here. They get out of school a whole 40 minutes earlier than on the other days.)
For some reason he has just been having a difficult time with school lately. I personally think it is just the rapid approach of summer. Everyone gets a little bit tired of being cooped up inside this time of year.
I had to drop something off at the school the other day and #3's Teacher saw me there and took me aside to talk to me. She was concerned because she said #3 called her evil. I told her I would talk to him about it. Later that day I asked him if he had called his teacher evil. He immediately said no. Then he paused, and said, "I didn't call her evil. I wrote it down." Apparently he wrote it down in reading class (which he has a different teacher for) and another kid told the teacher about it. I feel bad for his teacher. But honestly I think he has just heard me or his brothers say things are evil too many times. You know how sometimes a day just really sucks? I guess I have been known to say that it was an evil day that day, or that the preschoolers I tried to teach were acting evil. I think maybe I will have to be more careful of how I express my frustrations in the future. I hope we can all hold out until summer when he will suddenly have fond memories of school and his Teacher, and we can all relax a little bit.