Friday, February 29, 2008

Future Paleontologists

The scientists are eager to begin...hoping to make the next great discovery
My team hard at work uncovering what they believe to be a full T-Rex skeleton
The senior paleontologist assisting and advising his younger colleague
A good paleontologist always puts safety first!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Top of the Morning to you!

Breakfast time is my time. I love to sit at the kitchen table with my cereal or oatmeal and juice and read through my catalogs and magazines. It is one of the few times of the day devoted entirely to me. I actually get up super early so I can have this time to myself. No kids allowed. This morning as I sat chomping on my bran mix with strawberries and perusing a scrapbooking catalog I heard the unmistakable sound of little feet upstairs...damn!! Down the stairs came a very touslehaired Sam. I was all set to be annoyed at the interruption of my "me time" when Sam noticed me sitting at the table. He brightened right up, flashed a big beautiful smile and said "Hi Mum! It's me...Sam!" and rather than getting annoyed, I burst out laughing. Laughing is such a great way to start the day.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

their legacy of love

I have had the privilege and chore of scanning in hundreds and hundreds of pictures documenting my parents lives for the last 50 years. While it is quite tedious to sit in front of the scanner and scan in each photo one at a time it makes me stop and really look at each photograph as I wait. I love the picture from my parent's wedding above. They're not posing for the camera or in the middle of the party. They are off to the side all wrapped up in each other. They are happy, content to just be with each other. As I scanned picture after picture I noticed how often my parents were found off to the side, hands touching and smiling so contentedly. And laughing, in so many they are caught being silly and laughing hysterically over it all. They have been through more than their share of life's joys and sorrows in their 50 years together. They've celebrated the birth of 12 children, mourned the loss of one sweet baby, traveled the world over, endured sickness and accidents, celebrated countless birthdays, graduations, marriages and the births of 20 grandchildren and counting. They never got bogged down in the "bad stuff." They don't dwell on their tragedies...they just accept them and move on. Both my Mom and my Dad are able to find the joy in the smallest of things; the sunset, a smooth rock, a baby's soft touch, the moon and the stars on a clear night, a loyal pet and a satisfying meal. I certainly know they aren't perfect. They yelled, spanked, threw dishes (well my mom did) and made mistakes. But they get through it all being certain of each other and being content in themselves and the love they share. Love, laughter, sincerity, honesty, faith-these are the conerstones of our family and they are made strong through the commitment my parents made to each other on their wedding day and have been renewed day in and day out for the past 50 years. Thanks Mum and Dad, not just for all you gave us, but for all you gave, and continue to give, to each other.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth...Pathetic!

My sister came and borrowed the kids for the day and overnight even. I should be doing all the wonderful things one did when one didn't have kids but I can't remember what they were. I'm just aimlessly wandering the house, picking up things and putting them down again in random places. Not knowing when to eat since they aren't here to tell me over and over and over, "I'M HUNGRY!!" Sitting down and being at a loss because I never get to sit without several small fry crowding in and fighting for lap space. I feel like I'm in someone else's house because mine is never this quiet. I'm ashamed to admit it but, shhhhhh! don't tell anyone, I miss them. Just look at those faces...honestly, how could I not miss them?

Monday, February 18, 2008

I hold these truths to be self evident

This weekend was a long weekend, one very very long weekend. Each of the three kids have had a stomach bug and it fell upon me to nurse them back to health. Some truths which emerged over 3 days of catching vomit in a basin and wiping it from faces and washing it off clothing and bedding.
1. If they say they are done...don't believe them and don't move the basin.
2. Morning breath may be bad but morning breath and stale vomit is absolutely putrid.
3. After 72 hours straight of waiting to catch the vomit one develops a sixth sense about when it will happen.
4. It is only when you attempt to disinfect the toys that you realize your children really do have ALOT of stuff.
5. Purell and dry cracked chapped hands could qualify as a form of torture.
6. You don't just feel the love when all is sunshine and roses, in the midst of all the slime and tears you really do realize how very much you love them.
7. There is nothing like taking a stinking mushy mess of a kid and plunking them into the tub to watch him transform into a sparkling clean refreshed and revitalized version of himself.
8. Pink fingernail polish and a little attention can make any little girl feel better.
9. No matter how entertaining the movie may be, after the 6,578th showing of it you will hate it with a passion.
10. Air freshners and candles are no match for the smell of a house under quarentine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

what's the word, hummingbird?

Teresa likes to make up words or replace words with sound alikes. She has done this since she was a tiny little monkey. Let me give you some examples. One of the first and one which she still uses often is "pink-il-ly" And it's not complete without wiggling your fingers as you say it. It means beyond pretty and very girly. A "complimation" is another of her words. She uses it to mean organized according to a pattern. One of her words evolved after Katie was born. Teresa began carting a baby of her own around and she loved dressing it in a little "rompus" which is actually a onesie to you and me. She comes up with some interesting variations on kitchen tools too. When helping out in the kitchen or playing in her kitchen, her favorite kitchen tool is the "tarantula". I prefer to use my spatula. Sit ups are a part of my daily battle against the bulge. Teresa likes to lay down next to me to do "hips ups " of her own. She has always called earlobes.."earrubs". And in our house we don't eat drumsticks they're called "handle chicken" Just today she was going through the house with a magnet testing it on various appliances and pieces of furniture and when it stuck to something she said it had "animation." Oh, and the other day the seeds we planted were "experiment" seeds, even though the package was clearly marked spearmint. She likes to sound grown up and thinks using big words will do the trick. She may not sound especially adult like but it always gives me the giggles to hear her. You know what else, even though her words may not be the correct ones, or even a word at all, she says everything with such confidence and verve she'll have you believing it is.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I love you too

Katie is a talkitive little girl and always has been. She started talking in sentences quite early. Of course one of my favorites to hear had been "I lah you Mumma." (translation...I love you Mumma) As she grew, the translation became unneccessary because her articulation improved. And now it's changed once again, lately she has been saying "I love you too!" She's not responding to anything we've said, that's just how she says it now. She whispers it to her baby dolls and in my ear at nap. She hollers it at her brother and sister when they leave on the bus and at Daddy when he comes in the door after work. Many times she just wanders up and says it for no reason at all. I think it's rather cute myself.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A visit to an indoor playspace; otherwise known as, my trip to HELL!

This afternoon I had the pleasure of taking my kids to a birthday party at one of those indoor playspaces complete with huge inflatable slide, arcade games and MEGA climbing mazes. This one also had the added attraction of air powered cannons. I brought my son over to the party room and paid for my daughters admission and YAHOO! let the good times roll!! These indoor playspaces are such a supreme idea in theory. Let me theory. Oh. My. Freaking. God. After two minutes I was ready to jab sharp objects into my eardrums so I no longer had to listen to the shrieking, crying and electronic beepings not to mention the constant announcements "Smith Party please return to the blue room for cake and ice cream" " Jones Party can pick up your goodie bags at the front desk" and so on ad nauseum. And then the sheer madness of thinking I could keep track of the two girls and still keep tabs on my son. My foolish attempts at trying to know where each child was at any given moment was rivaled only by the efforts of the poor staff member who manned the ball pit, whose duties included desperately chasing the balls that poured forth from the ball pit and toss them back in one at a time. First stop for my girls was the MEGA climber. Because Katie is only two I had to stand inside the entrance to keep tabs on her. So there I stood and watched her creep up a variety of tubes, bridges and ramps to get to the twirly slide that I think swallowed her whole. Seriously...I stood there waiting for her to come out the other end for like 20 minutes...okay it was more like 5 but I finally kicked off my sneakers and climbed into the MEGA maze myself to find out what the heck happened to her. No one over 4 feet high, no matter how coordinated or athletic they may be, looks graceful clambering through one of those. By the time I got up there she, yeah I'm sure you can guess, had decided finally to slide down and was on the ground level. I had to slide down by myself and come out the other end all like "oh I'm just going after my daughter. yeah... don't worry I'm not some freak." So I'm standing there, now that Kate has the hang of it and am watching them play when I get hit off the head with a freaking foam ball. What the heck!!!!???? and that's when I saw the cannon. An air cannon put into the hands of children that shoots actual ammunition (granted the ammo is foam balls but still) this was a brillant idea. I think they singled me out for target practice. I cannot even tell you how many times I got beaned with those effing foam balls. In order to get away from the cannon I suggested to the girls that we go to the ball pit. Sounds fun! Dive into a pool of plastic balls just crawling with god knows what. Teresa loved it. She dove and rolled around in the pit like a little otter. I had to restrain myself from bathing her from head to foot in hand sanitizer. Katie, however, had a little trouble. I plopped her in and she just kind of sat there. Then she started to sink. So I'm hollering "stand up, honey! stand up! oh my god! stand up!" and she just kept sinking. She disappeared under the balls and other kids climbed in right over where she was and I'm yelling "get off! get off! you're standing on her!" as I jumped in to find her. I finally hauled her out and brought them to the cafe for ice cream because I needed a break from all this fun. After ice cream they headed back into the mega maze for more mind blowing excitement. By now however, I knew where to stand so I was out of range of the cannon, so much less traumatic for me this time around. I endured two and a half hours of this. I left the place a shell of my former fun loving self. As we walked to the van both Sam and Teresa had the same good idea...that's where we can go for our next family fun day!!!!! I just cannot wait.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Game on

I love games. Any kind of games, board games, outside games, games you can buy in a store and games you make up as you go along. I do have to admit though I am a bit of a game snob. I don't particularlly like games that are made up around popular characters or bad variations of classics. My kids have inherited this game love of mine. Which just warms the cockles of my heart. As a family we spend oodles of our time together playing games of one kind or another. One of our current favorites is "Hyperdash." We recieved the game "Hyperdash" for Christmas...Santa brought it...God bless him. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this game. It is a simple concept. There is a hand held tagger and five targets, each a different color (the targets are also numbered 1-5). The tagger allows you to choose a game, a level and how many players. It also keeps score. It tells the children when to begin and when it's the next person's turn. Each player takes a turn using the tagger to tag the targets as the tagger calls them out. After all have had a turn it tells you eveyone's time and who won. And then you do it all over again...and again...and again. You can play inside, like we've done since Christmas or take it outside. You may have to tag by color or by number. There are special commands like reverse (go back and tag the last color called) and double reverse (last two colors called) or compute, where you have to add two numbers. It can be played as a team or you can line the targets up on a table and play mircodash. I love that the kids are exercising their bodies and their brains. There are no little pieces and it's easy to set up and clean up. It's small enough that is can easily be packed in a bag or suitcase to take on vacation. I know it will be coming on vacation with us for the inevitable rainy day. We played hyperdash for about 40 minutes this morning. I only won stinks when your kids start beating you all the time. I'll still let them play though...I'm nice like that.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Age is only a number

A conversation about age with Kate

me: How old are you Katie?
Katie: two!

me: How old is Teresa?
Katie: four!

me: How old is Sam?
Katie: six!

me: How old is Daddy?
Katie: four!

me: How old is Mumma?
Katie: two!

me: How old is Cosmo?
Katie: Mumma...he not people!

Even though she doesn't get their actual ages correct, she knows Teresa is older than she is and Sam is older than them both. Not sure why Joe and I are the ages she gives us. I guess to Katie 6 is just about as old as you can get. And it totally cracks me up that she thinks only people can have an age. How cool that it's possible to get an insight into the way her mind works and see that she is making differentiations and applying logic to what she thinks about from such a simple conversation.

Friday, February 1, 2008

big doings going on here!

Teresa lost her first little baby tooth! So exciting! It's been wiggley for a week or so and I knew it wouldn't be long. I had been bringing up the possibility of my pulling it out but she did not want any part of that. Today after checking that her teeth were brushed I wiggled it with my finger and finally got the go ahead from her that I could pull it. Her teeth are so small I couldn't get my big ole fingers a good grip so I tried a piece of floss. The tooth actually spun around backwards and then I just pushed it out onto my hand. I love catching a glimpse of that little hole in her mouth when she's talking. She is beside herself with delight and excitement over the coming of the tooth fairy. However, she is not too happy the tooth fairy gets to KEEP her tooth. I think she plans on negotiating this one. She called her tooth a wiggley tooth not a loose tooth and she would actually correct you if you called it a loose tooth so today after it fell out she starts calling it a loose tooth! When I tried correcting her saying "no, it's not loose, it's lost. You lost your tooth." she patiently told me, "no Mumma, it's not lost. It's in my tooth fairy box." I get as excited as they do about these little milestones. I love watching them grow but it is bittersweet. She is such an interesting and funny person but I miss the snuggly little baby she once was. I'm lucky though...she still loves to snuggle up with her Mumma most nights and even though she's grown some these last five years I can still wrap her up in my arms.

We have other big news in our home...Katie is wearing undies! I finally decided I had to face the music and put her in undies. I believe she is ready and she sure as heck is excited about it. Lets hope that excitemnt translates into dry undies.