Monthly Archives: August 2008

Dude Sounds Like an Elmo

Sean is downstairs right now, painting the school room he built for me (yay!). In an attempt to entertain himself as he paints, he has had an Aerosmith cd on. C~ went down to check on Daddy’s progress a little bit ago.

Dude Looks Like a Lady was on.

C~ told Sean that it sounded like the Elmo song.

You decide (I actually kind of get where he is coming from–scary):




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Filed under Just for Fun, Kids

Would You Like to Clarify That?

A couple of months ago, my little brother moved back to our state to take a job after graduating from BYU. He has been needing to change his insurance to something instate, so he discussed it with Sean today. Everything looked good (read: Sean could save him money–they apparently pay that gecko well for his acting prowess), and Drew happened to be hanging out next door, so Sean put together the paperwork for Drew to sign while he was around.

After signing the paperwork, Drew asked to hold E~, whom he had apparently forgotten he had already met–a couple of times (this is the same brother who, when he came home for Christmas, looked at me and said, “You’re pregnant???”–I was seven months along at that point and, yes, I had told him before then). So anyhow, as he was snuggling my wonderful son, he was telling me how he and his wife want to have another child soon.

With a wistful look in his eye, he told me how much he wants a son (they have a daughter). He looked around the room at my four little boys and said, “What do I need to rub to get one of those?”


Shortly after I busted into hysterical laughter, he sheepishly said, “Oh, wait. Just forget that I ever said that.”


After Drew left, Sean and I went on a walk with the kids. At one point, we stopped to talk to a neighbor, and the older two finished going home on their own (we have no traffic on our street). As we finished walking home, I was telling Sean how Drew, to his credit, was commenting to me about how moms don’t get nearly enough credit for all that they do.

“The kids give you your recognition,” Sean told me.

“Uh, the kids rarely tell me how ridiculously grateful they are for all that I do,” I responded.

“No,” he said, “I mean when other people see the kids and how they act, that gives you your recognition.”

“Just so we’re clear, are you talking about the kids who are now riding a piano dolly down the street?” I asked.

“Technically,” he responded, “it is a furniture dolly.”

Uh huh. Either way, I don’t think that that is the type of recognition I’m looking for.

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Announcing Palin: Freakin’ Brilliant

We were finished with school early enough for me to catch the important parts of McCain’s rally in Ohio today. When I turned Fox New on this morning, they were speculating that Sarah Palin would be the VP pick. By the time I started watching after school was done, they were saying that McCain had confirmed that pick from backstage.

Now, here’s the interesting part. They were also reporting that Obama had already come out with harsh criticism for Sarah Palin. And why is that so interesting?

Well, if you watched the Democratic convention last night, you probably saw this ad, congratulating Obama and noting how appropriate it was that his official nomination came on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech:


Obama’s criticism of Palin was being broadcast before she was officially announced as the Vice Presidential running mate. When McCain took the podium and began his introduction, he made a great observation. He noted how appropriate it is that Palin was being announced as the VP pick this week, during the celebration of women’s suffrage (What? You didn’t know that August 26th is Women’s Equality Day? For shame!).

It looks like McCain is a little more aware of anniversaries and important events than Mr. Obama. And, while he took advantage of one event to look classy and praise Obama’s accomplishment, well, Obama walks away from today looking like a real donkey’s rear end.

As McCain pointed out the link between today’s events and this week’s anniversary of the women’s right to vote, I actually started to tear up a bit.

But I’m not going to tell you if it was because I was so moved, or because I was laughing so hard at just how well he played Obama.


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Filed under politics

Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth…And the Kids Had a Rough Day, Too

I spent a large part of last night awake. This was, in large part, due to the fact that I had a constipated baby kicking me in areas that weren’t designed to withstand kicking (how does he consistently manage to whack me in an area that should be roughly even with his face???).

I could probably stop my description of today with the revelation of a constipated child. Because, as we all know from Turk and JD (cue music), everything comes down to poo.


Ahhh…see? It isn’t just mothers who are poop obsessed. But I won’t bore you with the details of how every diaper I changed on the kid today (and I lost track of how many) came down to poo. Anyhoo…

You know how I was saying yesterday that the key to homeschooling, for me, was obviously going to be the organization? How yesterday went so well because I made sure I was organized? Well, I was organized again today. And school time involved yelling. Too much yelling. Mainly at the two middle children who were obviously wanting attention that I couldn’t lavish on them while trying to force their older brother to focus (which he wasn’t in much of a mood to do today). It was, at times, ugly. There were good times, too, but they are hard to remember. Mostly, it was just an extremely frustrating three hours of my morning.

I knew there would be an adjustment period. I expected an adjustment period. I want to be past the adjustment period.

Don’t worry–I don’t expect to be past the adjustment period this fast. Just wishful thinking. After all, there may be a photo finish between which comes first: the end of the adjustment period, or the cessation of my sanity.

While I have still not received any more of the missing supplies, I did get my first call from the teacher we’re working with today. She seems very nice. She had answers for most of my questions (she couldn’t explain why, when we are supposed to be teaching 2 1/2 hours a day, the estimated time to complete all of the lessons for some days is closer to four hours–she had never noticed this before). She was helpful and encouraging. She used the euphemistic, “Wow, you’ve really got your hands full” when she found out that N~ is the oldest of my four boys instead of saying, “And you’re homeschooling? Have you completely lost it?”. See…encouraging.

We may get through this yet.


So, the other day, my sister basically predicted that my children were destined for a career intentionally harming themselves for the enjoyment of the brainless masses, a la Jackass. I’ve seen snippets of interviews with Steve-O (I couldn’t possibly endure entire interviews) and that kid has had a lot of chemical encouragement for his behavior.

That being said…

I looked out my window this evening to see W~ trying to carry a Big Wheels style bike up the ladder of the swing set. I can only assume that he was planning to ride it down the slide.

MTV–call me.


Filed under Daily Life, Homeschooling, I think my head might explode, Kids

Starting School…More or Less

Alternate title: We Aren’t Failing Yet

Monday was the official start to our school year. And the school materials that K12 has been promising us will show up “on or before” the first day of the school year? Not here yet. Well, ok, my history stuff showed up yesterday, but I’m not even supposed to be doing history lessons every day, so I only see it as mildly helpful. Ironically, my sister, who isn’t even planning on starting until after Labor Day, already has her stuff. Grrr

In hopes that my materials might actually show up on Monday, I decided not to do lessons and, instead, did an educational field trip to the local children’s museum.

I couldn’t justify two field trips to myself, so we did our best to start lessons yesterday. Most of my phonics and math lessons can be done from the computer, so we are making due in those subjects. We’re missing out on some of our teaching aides and workbook pages, but at least we’re making some real progress in those subjects (as well as history). Literature, unfortunately, is a different subject (Get it? Subject–ha, ha…oh, never mind). It is a little difficult to teach stories and poems that you can’t read to your kid. Sigh. I hope it shows up soon.

If you had asked me at the end of school time yesterday how things were going, I would have admitted that I was scared. I walked around all afternoon reminding myself that I had chosen a bad day to start (Tuesdays are my weird day–Sean leaves before we are out of bed and it throws everything off for the morning), and that I hadn’t prepared everything beforehand like I should have. It was stressful and disorganized, but we made it through.

Last night, I organized as much as I could (we haven’t finished building our school room, so everything is scattered around my dining room at the moment). I made a daily schedule for myself just as a visual reminder of how I want my day to go. I printed out all of the worksheets that are online. I made sure that I was ready to teach when I woke up this morning.

And you know what? It made a huge difference. We’re still adjusting (N~ complained that it wasn’t fair that his brothers were having fun on the trampoline while he was learning phonics), but it flowed. It is harder when W~ and C~ decide that they want to be involved, too, but I make sure that I have extra copies of everything printed out so they can color and cut, too.

The difference between yesterday and today was drastic. Everything is prepared to go for tomorrow. Well, everything that can be.

Dang backordered supplies.


Filed under Daily Life, Homeschooling, Kids, Patting myself on the back

Turning 200


I started this blog October 7, 2007 as a way to chart my pregnancy with my fourth son. Of course, little actual discussion of the pregnancy ensued. But I have, apparently, been pretty chatty over the past 10 1/2 months. This is my 200th post on this blog. Wow. I have a whole books-worth of my life here.

Who knows–maybe, someday, my kids will actually wade through all of this. Hmmm–I wonder if that is a good thing? Just in case, let’s talk about them.

This morning, W~ decided to go outside to play. After being out for a bit, he came in, gave me a thoughtful look and said, “Mom, I’m thinking I want a gun.”

Oh really?

I asked him why he wanted a gun.

“Oh, just so I can shoot at the trees.”

Sorry, Ralphieyou’ll shoot your eye out. Seriously, W~ is the last person in the world that I would want to arm.

A little later, I looked out and saw N~ and W~ pulling their little red wagon.

“Mom, we’re cleaning up the sticks!” N~ shouted up to me.

Yesterday, we had a lot of rain and wind go through. As frequently happens, a significant limb fell out of one of my parents’ trees. N~ and W~ decided (without any prompting!) to clean it up. It had broken when it hit the ground, so they were loading the pieces into the wagon. It made quite a mound, but C~ joined in and the three of them managed to pull it all to the fire pit, where they worked together to unload it.

What awesome boys! It does my mommy heart good to see them doing something so thoughtful for their grandparents. Sometimes, I think that I may actually be doing something right. 😉

Oh, and speaking of doing things right–C’s potty training is coming along nicely. He’s not running to me to tell me that he needs to go, or anything like that. BUT…he doesn’t object to trying anymore. I worked with him today on taking off his own diaper and pulling his little footstool over so he can get on the potty himself. He was amused by the whole thing. Also, he now gets mad if I try to make him get OFF before he pees. Apparently, he likes Smarties as much as his momma does.

Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. (Garrison Keillor)

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Filed under Daily Life, Kids, Potty Training

Ridin’ the Redneck Rollercoaster

My sister and her family have always lived close to us. This Spring, Elaine went from living less than half an hour away to over two hours away. We don’t do Sunday dinners together anymore. I can’t drop by “just because” if I’m in her neighborhood shopping (she lived close to our favorite mall). My kids miss hanging out with their cousins on a regular basis.

Elaine and her family spent the weekend down here. For 48 hours, all of the kids got to take turns going back and forth between my house, Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and the two yards. Yesterday, Doug and Lolly came and we did the family dinner thing together. It was nice.

Some of my favorite parts:

N~ got stung by a bee yesterday (I know, you’re wondering how this gets to be a “favorite” thing). He came in screaming and freaked out (this from the kid who was so calm when he shot an epi pen through–yes, through–his finger a year ago that the local EMS still talk about how amazing he was). I had him sit down while I went to get tweezers.

As I was pulling the stinger out of the bottom of his foot, he told me, “I killed the bee.” OK, we own Bee Movie. I know that he understands that stinging a person kills the bee. So I say, “Yeah, stinging you killed the bee.”

“No,” N~ tells me, “I took my foot and smashed it after it stung me.”

“Well, you didn’t need to bother doing that,” I reminded him. “It would have died anyhow.”

N~ looked at me with the clarity of a five-year-old and said, “But in Bee Movie, he almost died when he stung the guy. But they saved him.”

That’s right. Even though he was in pain, N~ took the time to smash the bee to be sure that some do-gooder didn’t come along and stick a cocktail sword in its butt, thereby saving it.

When you want revenge, you need to cover all of your bases.


Later that day, N~ came running in the house. “W’s bleeding really bad!” he exclaimed. I was holding the baby, so Sean took off out of the house.

My nephew, Tank Boy, came in as Sean was leaving. “W~ is bleeding a lot,” he reiterated. Not knowing, at this point, if it was a superficial wound or if my three-year-old had finally managed to decapitate himself, I tried to press Tank Boy for more information.

“Where is W~ bleeding?” I asked.

He considered the question for a brief moment, then looked at me.

“Outside,” he responded.

(It ended up being a scratch on W’s leg. He had no clue what he had done, just noticed blood running down his leg.)


During dinner yesterday, Tank Boy asked Sean to take him for a tractor ride. This borders on tradition for family get-togethers. Sean hooks the trailer to the back of our tractor, the kids pile in, and off they go. Of course, given the topography of our yard and my husband’s sense of fun, it turns into a sort of redneck rollercoaster.


I wish I would have gotten the kids as they were pulling away from the hill. They started chanting “Go again, go again!” And they did. Several times.

Sadly, Elaine and her family headed back to the Outskirts of Nowhere this evening. We’re looking forward to visiting them on their turf for Labor Day.


Filed under Daily Life, Just for Fun, Kids