Sunday, August 31, 2008

200th post contest

Yeah! I made it to my 200th post! I am so excited, so in honor of this momentous occasion, I am hosting a contest. More specifically a parody contest.

See, I have always loved parodies. They make me laugh and they make me want to be able to write songs and create. But I can't sing, so if I wrote songs or parodies of songs I wouldn't be able to sing them anyway. And it doesn't really work to hand someone a piece of paper from a notebook and say, "hey, check out my new parody. It rocks. I won't sing it for you, but trust me it works." Then it is awkward because the person doesn't know the song, or they simply don't care or share your sense of humor. After I discovered blogging I thought, "perfect. At last I have found the venue for me." I was able to write a parody and not feel bad about imposing it on others because, well, I don't force anyone to read my blog.

So, here is the contest: Write a parody of a song and email it to me at (if you want to send a video, that would be ok too :)

1. Your parody must relate loosely to your life (be about your dog, your kids, your spouse, your neighbors etc)
2. Keep it clean, people (I want to be able to post these you know, and my grandma does read this!)
3. All entries must be received by Friday, September 5th at 5pm CST.
4. Obviously, it is best if it is a full song, but if you just can't, partials will be accepted.
5. Make sure you tell me what song you are parodying

My colleagues and I will vote for the best and the winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to! Yes, I will also publish all the parodies (as long as they are appropriate) on my blog (that means good publicity for your blog!)

I am so excited to read these! (by the way, I don't have a lot of commenters, although I do have a fair number of lurkers. There may not be a lot of entries, unless the lurkers come out- which I hope they do. All that to say that your odds are better here.)

Have fun!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Some tatoo considerations for the masses

I was walking behind this guy on the track at the Y. Note: my ego insists that I tell you I was only walking behind him because I had just finished a grueling run and was on my cool down. Ego, ego...why must I share that?

Anyway, this gentleman in front of me had some tattoos. The tats were somewhat different sizes and shapes but he had one on each of his upper arms. The problem was that they weren't even, nor were they in definitely different places - they were, well, they made me feel like he was walking with one shoulder hitched up.

lesson learned: think about placement when adding a second tattoo

I see a lot of tattoos at work. It is mostly older men that have pictures of naked women on their arms. The problem with this is, although the women, in all their green glory, were probably just stinkin' cool back in the day - they are now close to beyond recognition. This can lead to some awkward moments. "what is this on your arm? Oh it is a tattoo! What is it supposed to be?! Ohhhhh...I see"

lesson learned: think about all stages of your life before getting a tattoo

Another interesting situation is an old man that has a woman's name (clearly a "close companion") tattooed on their bodies. Generally speaking it is not the name of the woman that is at their bedside holding their hand and wiping their forehead.

lesson learned: if you are going to get a name on you, it may be better to choose a pet's name or a child's name or even your own name... at least you know that you will always be with you...or something like that...

The most interesting situation is young men that have a woman's name boldly tattooed on them but then we find out that that particular woman is the cause of their admittence to the ICU. This is another case of the need to make sure the relationship is a good, solid, steady, reliable one before you stick it under your skin with ink.

lesson learned: see above. If you must have a name, pick a girlfriend who's name is one with a double entendre so that you can quick switch to the alternate meaning if things go sour with the girlfriend. (for example: Barbie (claim you have close ties with mattel), Babe (say it is a reference to the pig), Carolina (from the state) etc.)

And no, in case you were wondering, I don't have a tattoo. My husband doesn't like them, and since I have been kind of with him since 7th grade, I haven't had any great opprotunities to get one. But they do fascinate me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Balancing Act

Here is what the boys found to do after watching olympic rowing. Good thing we left part of the deck and old fence posts lying around.
It has been a frusterating day. I am having a tough time balancing the kids unique personalities and needs. I know I have blogged about this in the past but it seems to have hit an all time high of difficulty.

As soon as we get up Deacon wants to know where we are going. He is up for anything and everything. He misses his friends if he doesn't see them and he embraces playgroup, the park, the YMCA and all things social. He bums big time if we just stay home.

Then there is Roman. Roman doesn't want to go anywhere. He wants to stay home. He doesn't get along as well with others and if he isn't happy, well, very few people around him are either. He is perfectly content to be home playing with his toys and his brothers. He bums big time if we go anywhere.

Lincoln is happy as long as he gets his naps on schedule and frequent cups of milk.

So WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!? I try to tell Deacon that we sometimes need downtime and time just with our family and I try to remind Roman that he does always have fun when we go somewhere (he actually does seem to enjoy our activities eventually, it is just the initial going that he seems to resent). We tend to go somewhere in the morning and then spend the afternoons at home. That seems somewhat fair.

I think part of the problem is that Roman is getting a severe case of middle child syndrome. We really try to spend one-on-one time with him, but it is hard to do with 3 small demanding children. The other day Deacon was gone and Roman hit him when he got home and said he wanted Deacon to leave again. And he claims he doesn't want Deacon to go to sleep at the same time as him. But then tonight when Deacon and I were gone and got home they seemed really happy to see each other and were hugging and wrestling playfully. And Roman hadn't gone to sleep yet, almost like he was waiting for Deacon.

Sometimes I wonder if we really have cheated our kids by having them so close together. It seems like Deacon doesn't get to do as many things because we are working around nap schedules and younger brother behavior situations. And on the flip side it seems like Lincoln misses out on baby stuff- age appropriate interactions and books because everything is geared more up to the other ones.

I guess there are pros and cons to however a family is set up. I guess I will just continue to really work at having intentional one-on-0ne time with each of them and encouraging Noah and other family members to do the same. (Roman has been over to my parents for some special "alone" time in the past few weeks and he really loves it. He seems so proud and happy to be alone.)

Experimenting with HTML skills (by N)

Cool blog post about grills


Malcolm X prefered an M1 carbine
M1 for self defence

Unfortunately, he's violating Cardinal Safety Rule #3 (bonus points to the person who can identify the violation - but only a couple bonus poins, it's not a tough one).


This was the post started it all!


A tomato-basil-fresh mozzarella salad, inspired by my relatives (who were inspired, apparently, by Italians)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Master Decorators

I was on the phone yesterday and even though I was vaguely aware of a flurry of activity upstairs, I wasn't overly concerned. I figured they were just rearranging their room or playing with their bath toys in a pool of water on the bathroom floor. I knew I would have some clean up, but I figured it would be worth it for the 15 minutes of quiet it allowed me.

Finally, Deacon came downstairs with a look of profound excitement on his face. He grabbed my hand and said, "come upstairs, we have a surprise for you!"

As we walked into my room, he said, "We decorated your room for you! We worked so hard to make it beautiful so that you would love it!" He continued to jump up and down with enthusiasm as he gave me the grand tour:

"Look at the beautiful shark towel we put on the little table!"

"The fish towel is so cute and we put Daddy's clock right on top of it!"

"We put these towels on the chair and cabinet to make them more beautiful."

"See mom, every surface we could find we covered with all the towels we could find in the linen closet. Then we added a sign!" (the sign was a coat hanger hung on the doorknob)

Look at that look of pride on his face. The towels are all still in place. I couldn't bear to move them yet because I know he will be disappointed.

Noah was gone last night and about 2200 I heard the front doorknob rattling like someone was trying to get in. I was a little nervous, because I knew it was too early for Noah to be home. I waited 30 seconds and everything was quiet so I walked over to the front window and peeked out. I didn't see anything. I went back to scooping up ice cream. I heard the noise again. I quickly reviewed my options: I wanted to go up to my room and lock the door, but I don't have a phone up there currently and of course I had no clue where my cell was. I thought about unplugging the phone downstairs and taking it with me. I considered calling the police but it seemed a little premature for that. I considered calling my neighbor Brian, but I didn't want him getting shot at or something.

As I was thinking about all of this, I started walking across the dining room and very nearly tripped over my rolling pin. Don't ask me why it was there. If you really want to know, wait until Lincoln can talk and then I will let you ask him. I picked it up, feeling kind of silly and made my way in the direction of the front door. I heard it again. But this time I was close enough to realize that it wasn't coming from the front door. It was coming from the bedroom door! Remember the hanger the boys placed on my door knob as a sign? Well, the wind from the window was trying to close the door but the hanger was in the way and it was giving off all kinds of weird noises. I sheepishly put the rolling pin away and ate another bowl of ice cream.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

4 very different items

1. I have been meaning to post this picture of Roman. I love how he is studying Lightning McQueen so intently.

2. I worked until 3:30am this morning, so I only got a couple hours of sleep. When I sleep that little it is imperative that the boys and I have a plan for the day, otherwise I lay around and they do headstands on the couches. (I do have a picture, but I don't have it loaded up. How lame is that.) Anyway, today was our first day Park Hopping! It was so fun! We met up with our friends Becki and Bethany and went to 2 great new parks and had a picnic lunch too. We were intending to go to 3 or 4 parks, but we had such a good time at the ones we were at- great atmosphere, fun people, nice scenery. ( is a pity that my humor is lost on my children. That is why I blog).

3. I love working night shifts, I really do, but you do miss out on sleep. I have discovered some things about myself that Noah discovered in college. A. If I am up for 24 hours, and only can lay down for a 2 hour nap, it is not even worth it. I feel so nauseated and horrible when I wake up that I would rather just eat more starbursts. B. 3 hours works for me. Obviously it is not optimal, but if I get up after 3 I only feel miserable for a little bit. C. I can feel great and fully functional on 4, but not for days on end. Noah is kind of on the same page hours wise as me. What about you all? What is the magic functioning number for you?

4. Lastly, be watching. My 200th post is coming up and I am going to host a really fun contest. Start getting some creative juices flowing!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why I have been neglecting my blog

Top 10 reasons for my silence:

1. I have been planning an elaborate fall meal plan, complete with recipes, shopping lists and have already started preparing the meat for quick meals.

2. I have been pre planning my fall Sunday School lessons so I won't be caught scrambling Saturday night - or Heaven forbid, Sunday morning.

3. I have been diligently studying for my CCRN exam so that I can dazzle my detoxing patients with an amazing grasp of their declining liver function.

4. I have been watering my lawn and harvesting my garden

5. I have been doing tons of fun, educational end of summer activities with my children

6. I have been preparing Deacon's preschool lessons and lining up field trips

7. I have been running diligently- 7 minute miles, here I come!

8. I have been hosting end of summer gatherings full of friends, laughter and good food that I prepared myself.

9. I have been completely decluttering my house and deep cleaning.

10. I have been making a deck and remodel plan for our house. know what? I can't lie to you. This is bloggyland, after all- the world of truth and confessions. Let me start over.

Top 10 real reasons for my silence:

1. I have been too busy ordering pizza and watching the olympics.

2. I have been trying to find the kid's nightly bible story book

3. I have been working a lot - and not a lot of teaching going on

4. I have been trying to find my cucumbers under the weeds. And the grass... maybe next year?

5. I have been listening to a lot of screaming.

6. I bought the boys markers and new scissors and notebooks for preschool (and cleaning marker off the carpet)

7. I have been walking and running... a little...

8. I hosted one end of summer gathering. I was busy supporting Noah as he made the food.

9. I have been washing the watermelon off the floor. I have been washing the orange juice off the floor. I have been wondering why my floor is always sticky.

10. I have been dreaming about a fancy school room.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Operation Domino

Our vacation cabin had a light and airy screened in porch. While child proofing the premises we immediately noticed its' one pitfall: small openings between the diagonally placed floor planks. Now, this was in northwest Wisconsin, so of course there was a screen underneath the floor so mosquitoes couldn't get in - but as we all know, a screen on the bottom doesn't stop small children from shoving things down the slats from the top.

Roman found the dominoes that belonged to the cabin's owners. Noah told Deacon and Roman not to play dominoes on the porch because of the chance the dominoes could accidentally fall through the cracks. Later, Roman saw the slats in the cabin floor. And Roman started inserting dominoes as if it was his very own piggy bank and the dominoes were his wealth. I guess none of them went down accidentally.

Of course Noah and I, being the conscientious renters that we are (I spent so much time cleaning our first apartment when we left, I am sure I removed 20 years worth of grime...), decided that we needed to mount a massive domino rescue mission. We decided to involve Deacon because we made it a game and thought it would be an incredible problem solving learning opportunity and well; we needed his small hands and little arms.

We sat there on the porch with the AWOL dominoes 6 inches under our feet and thought about our options. We asked Deacon how we could get them out. He shared with us an elaborate scheme that was all about a massive machine with hands that could fit through the slats and pull the dominoes out. We applauded the fact that he realized that pulling them out the way they went in was something to be considered. He then suggested a machine that would lift the planks away from the floor so we could reach in. We did not have any small but long and incredibly coordinated and strong tweezers, nor did we have the tools to remove a plank. We told Deacon we needed to think things through from a different angle.

Deacon, Roman and I went outside and got on our bellies to review the situation from underneath. The porch, and entire cabin, was elevated about a foot off the ground. The dead animal smell that had plagued us intermittently was definitely coming from under there. We could clearly see the screen about 10 inches up and the screen was coming away from the wall along one of the sides. Bingo. We just needed to figure out a way to get the dominoes to move along the screen, half way across the room, to the hole. Then Deacon should be able to reach in and get them. The main problem with this plan was the fact that around the whole house ran a wooden fence of sorts, to keep small animals from dying under the house. There were a few areas that I thought Deacon may be able to get through, but even if we got him in it was unclear to me if he would be able to successfully move the dominoes.

Enter broom and wire clothes hanger. Noah stayed inside guiding the dominoes with the wire clothes hanger through the slats and I was able to get a broom handle through one of the holes in the fence to move things along from underneath. Working together, and with some of Noah's physics sense, we were able to get the dominoes to fall through the hole to the ground and Deacon was very proud to complete the mission by carefully collecting each one. We returned the dominoes to a high shelf and never did count to be sure we had them all. Some information is best unknown.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Taking care of kids actually isn't that hard. But it can make everything else in life nearly impossible."

"In my experience, caring for my kids has turned out to be something I can do with plenty of time left to goof around in a low-grade way- in other words, it's a slacker's paradise. As Dave Barry once quipped, taking care of children is laughably easy, provided you don't try to do anything else. (that is why I give kudos to moms who work at home or outside of it.)

-Fernanda Moore, Parenting September 2008

(it feels so freeing to document the quote however I want and to not be bound by research paper rules...)

Monday, August 18, 2008


My little angels were slightly under the weather today, so we didn't go anywhere or have anyone over. Deacon and I were going stir crazy. Then the lawn people came for some extra weed control and so we couldn't even play in the yard.

It was a long day. Noah had a meeting right after work so I gave them all 3 of their meals, dressed and undressed everyone by myself... I am so appreciative that he doesn't do much traveling and that he is usually home for supper and bedtime! Today I have much more appreciation for all of you whose husbands are frequently gone for days on end (for business or pleasure :)

This is making me dread Noah's work related trip coming up...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Assets and Liabilities

On day 3 of vacation we spent the morning "hiking" on a trail in Bayfield. It was a challenging hike for Deacon (aka Diego, who doesn't need help) and Baby Jaguar (who will except help from mommy jaguar). We went with Chris and Debbie and had a good time. It was short enough that we never heard "are we done yet?" and they led the pack.

At the end of the trail we looked into a stone building with heavy metal grids for doors and windows. Upon peeking in, we discovered that it was an old jail! It was pretty cool and the boys were super impressed when we said it was probably a "pirate jail" since it was right by the water.

After lunch we headed over to Madeline Island on Peter's dad's boat. We meaning Noah, Deacon, Roman, Lincoln, Peter, Elise, Genna, Joe, Peter's dad, me and 4 bikes, 1 ride behind and a burley trailer. We arrived on the Island after a 1/2 hour boat ride with 1 kid screaming 82% of the time, 2 kids screaming 64% of the time and 3 kids screaming for 27% of the time. Thank you to Peter's dad for not throwing anyone overboard.

We rode, in the rain, about 6 miles to a beach. The kids hopped right in and had a great time goofing around in the water. When everyone was sufficiently chilled and hungry (it was still sprinkling) we carefully assessed the situation:

ASSESTS: 2 partially dry kid sweatshirts, 1 baby shoe, 2 crocs, 2 sandals, 1 moderately clean and dry t shirt, 1 slightly peed upon t shirt, 1 clean diaper, and 2 pairs of semi clean/dry shorts and 1 promise of lollipops for the ferry ride back. (when you have 3 boys 4 and under, clothing size doesn't really matter).

LIABILITIES: 1 15 month old with only a saturated diaper on, 1 soaking wet underwear clad 2 year old , 1 underwear wearing (finally!) 4 year old, rain, and a 6 mile ride back to the ferry.

After clothing everyone as appropriately as we could, we biked as fast as conditions would allow back to the ferry dock. I ran to the yacht club store and purchased 15 tootsie pops. The lady kindly offered me a plastic bag with moist paper towels in it as well. I hoped 15 tootsies would get us across on the Ferry with minimal screaming. It did. Roman only tried to jump off once.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dear Diary: Vacation Day #2

*We are going through serious, serious post vacation syndrome. The kids have been beyond whiny, cranky and naughty. Lincoln came down with a cold and everyone is sleep deprived. The house is a disaster. Noah and I almost had to call in some reinforcements this morning- but instead we took the kids (under protest) to Kid's Stuff at the YMCA. Thank goodness they were handing out ice cream right when we got there. This afternoon Noah and I decided the best thing to do would be to divide them up to cut down on the fights. Noah took Deacon swimming, Lincoln is napping and Roman is watching "super babies". I know they need sleep, but the problem is they have been taking naps, which they don't normally do, and they are not falling asleep until late. Then they need naps the next day and it all spirals downward. So today, NO DAYTIME SLEEPING! Just an early bedtime... (yes, I also know I should be cleaning, not blogging- but when you blog something, it stays blogged. When you clean something, it just gets messy again. In about 2 seconds. But now, back to vacation...*

Dear Diary,

Well, the kids didn't get to sleep until late last night. I guess they were too excited and that accompanied by some car napping led to a late night. At least they were up in the loft in their bed giggling and letting us have some downtime. This morning Noah made us blueberry pancakes. Gotta love a man who cooks. We wandered down to the Marina after breakfast.

The plan was just to look at the water, but that lasted for about 3 seconds. Then it only took about 3 minutes of wading before someone fell in and it was all over. Laundry hating mom that I am, I refused to change their clothes and told them they would eventually dry or get wet again. They did.
Lincoln was determined to throw his brother's croc into the Lake and to swim after it. I spent a lot of time like this throughout the trip. I don't mind necessarily if he gets wet, but it was 9 in the morning and I only had so many diapers.
Next, we headed for Bayfield and the playground by the Marina. Noah took a lot of really cute photos of the boys playing. They thought it was a great park, and it was.
For all of us.

Aunt Elise hung out with us at the playground. Roman really clung to her because her name sounds like Alicia, who is, of course, Diego's sister. Roman always pretends to be Baby Jaguer, so it just makes since that Elise AKA Alicia, would be the one pushing his stroller and helping him with his 2 year old agenda.

After the playground we spoke with some of the relatives that had been browsing the cute little shops. We don't go to those places. It would be like having 3 bulls in the china shop. The public bathrooms were amusing because the hand dryer air came out VERY forcefully and the boys were incredibly amazed by it. After eating lunch we headed back to the cabin.

Lincoln laid down for a nap, and I got the pleasure of remaining in the cabin with him. Noah took the boys down to the Marina again for some swimming. They had a great time jumping off the rocks and swimming underwater. Later, Noah stayed with Lincoln and Chris, Debbie, Genna, Aunt Julie Aunt Trish, Deacon, Roman and I went down to the Marina and the boys swam some more. Hopefully they will go to bed ok tonight. Noah and I have a hankering for a Settler's game.

Until later,


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dear Diary: Vacation Day 1

I thought that I would blog about my vacation by sharing my diary entries from the 4 days in the wilderness. Enjoy!

Dear Diary,

It has been a long day. Noah was wondering how after such a great Turtleman day yesterday, and then after a promising start to the morning today, how things ended up ending so badly. We planned to leave early this morning and stop in Duluth for the afternoon before meeting the relatives in Bayfield. We packed the coolers, the suitcases, the bikes, the helmets, the food and the kids. We were all ready to go, and then Noah turned the key. Click. Nice. We decided it must be the battery. In order to jump it, though, we were going to have to get it out of it's tight position in the garage.

The plan was to put it in neutral, and Noah was going to push it, and I was in charge of the brake. I was so nervous because our driveway is a pretty steep decline and I was worried about the van flying out into the road or hitting his car. But Noah assured me that I could always push the brake. We had a little miscommunciation. I thought we would be going a little at a time, so I hadn't yet shut the drivers door. Well, we started going and Noah yelled "shut your door!!!!!" I tried but it was too late. I tried to hit the brakes but the van didn't stop. Well it did stop. After it had run into and gotten wrenched in the side of the garage. I of course was crying and we had to push it forward to extract the door and me. Noah was so sweet. He didn't yell, just reassured me that it was an accident etc. We finished backing the van out (Noah in the driver's seat) so we could assess damages. It was about this time that Deacon said, "things aren't going very good" in a sing song voice. Noah did say that you have to press the brake much harder when the engine is not actually running. I guess I just didn't press it hard enough.

So we examined the damages. The track for the garage door was mangled, and the sheet metal on the door was pulled back. The van door would close, although somewhat roughly and the window ALMOST went all the way up. Using a crow bar we were able to realign the garage door track so the door would go up and down. What we had left was a van that wasn't running and a screwed up van door.

Our friend Brian was able to come down and help get the van jumped and then he and Noah went to get a new battery. We decided just to go on vacation with the van door the way it is and address it when we get back. The door open and shuts and all the electrical is intact so I guess we will see what happens.

We finally got on the road and had a conversation about whether or not God actually wants us to ever go on vacation. Everytime we try to go on vacation we have a problem, and it is usually related to our cars. Unlss we are going on vacation we never have trouble with our cars. We didn't really resolve anything in this conversation.

We love Duluth and were able to have a picnic and spend some time there in the afternoon. After listening to Dora and Diego and The Backyardigans CD's for 4 hours, we finally arrived at the cabins near Bayfield.

As soon as we got there the kids got busy inspecting every fascinating object in sight.

I spent the time childproofing the cabin and unpacking. Please note that the coffee table no longer has a glass top. We removed that promptly and put it up for safekeeping. Once the cabin was childproofed I felt better about letting the kids let off a little steam. They loved the cabin and the "secret" rooms. We set up Lincoln's Pack and Play in the bathroom and FINALLY got everyone fed and to bed.

Lincoln was especially pleased that the cupboards here do not have safety latches on them.

Until tomorrow,

yeah right, as if I have a diary.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm Back!

Lincoln + Lake Superior = mental/emotional stress for mother
Deacon + rocks + water = mental/emotional stress for mother
Roman + anything = mental/emotional stress for mother
We actually had a great trip. The kids had fun and we had no ED visits (although I did check into the emergency plan in Bayfield, since there is no 911 and I did make a mental note of where the hospital in Duluth is - just to be prepared).
More to come, but right now I need some rest!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mission Complete!

Neither of us panicked during the swim...
Neither of us got a flat tire or fell off our bikes...
Neither of us passed out during the run...
We actually both did better then we expected, and I loved it! I will definitely do more tri's. After Noah had been done for awhile he said that he would too :)
Thanks to Mom, Dad, Erica, Chris, Debbie, Genna, Deacon, Roman, Lincoln and Jeff S. who came out to cheer us on!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Packing Dilemma

I have been contemplating how I am going to pack for our mini vacation. I use the word vacation lightly because I think that all of the images that "vacation" conjures up in my mind will be lacking in this trip. Words like "restful", "stress free", "good food", "conversation" etc. can never be used in a description of a vacation with 3 pre 5 year olds, and I don't even see on the horizon the oh-so-wonderful concepts of "sleeping in", "hanging out" and "refreshing our souls".

But it will be a new experience for us. Here is what I am anticipating:
"sight seeing" - mostly every playground in the area and hopefully not too many naked little bodies.
"new experiences"- pulling our children off of new statues and out of new bodies of water.
"exploring"- looking for places to take people to the bathroom and change diapers
"cliff jumping"- What Noah may try if he has to listen to too much "Dora the Explorer" music in the van.
"sleeping in"- our children sleeping in our bed, that is.
"reconnecting"- hopefully connecting with each other and our kids in a different environment and making some fun family memories.

But onto the packing dilemma. Tell me please, what is the best way to pack for a trip with a lot of children? Do you give everyone their own bag so you have a lot of bags to juggle, but everything is separate? Or do you put everything in as few large bags/suitcases as you can so you have less to carry but everything is sort of mixed up? Or do you do a combination? Do you mix clothes with toys, books and cds, or do you separate those out?!

I dread the thought of having clothes and diapers and stuff strewn everywhere and me not being able to remember which bag X is in. But there is no bag in the world that can hold everything we need to bring. I am seriously contemplating making my kids wear the same clothes the whole time. And I would too, if it wasn't for the relatives that will be around.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


The big race is Saturday and I am so nervous! I like to be prepared, I like to know what is going to happen and I don't. So I am nervous. Remember back in college when you had a big test coming up? Well, I would study and study right up to the test, although I always made sure that I had studied enough the night before so that if bad things happened in the morning, I would still be ready. I like to be prepared, remember?

Then I would take the test, and after it was over I would have 1 of 4 thoughts:

1. That test was so easy! Why did I spend all of that time studying for it?!
2. That test was easy, but I know it would have been hard if I hadn't studied as much as I did.
3. That test was so hard! I am glad I studied, maybe I passed.
4. That test was impossible! Why did I even study? No matter how much I studied for that it never would have made a difference. It was instudiable. (is that a word? If it is that is probably not how you spell it.)

So that is how I feel right now. I am waiting and wondering which of those 4 thoughts I will have on Saturday afternoon...

At least my tri shorts are cute.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Walgreens (confession on hold)

My scanner is still not working, so I am going to see if Noah can get it going before I write about myself in grade school.

Deacon and I went to Walgreens last night. We drive past it almost daily, but I never go there. Lately, however, I have been motivated to look into their coupon deals and so last night was my first trip into the world of couponing and register rewards. I am not sure it is my thing.

I don't particularily like messing around with coupons. I sometimes feel like I could take the time I would take cutting coupons and searching for the right products in the store and just work a couple more hours a week and I would end up quite a bit ahead. Anyway, I did get some good deals and so I feel slightly more interested in the whole thing. I am always up for a challenge.

Deacon had been so excited about going to Walgreens with me. He kept telling everyone he was going to Walllgreens and he practically pulled me out the door. He got really quiet when we pulled into a parking spot, however. Finally he spoke. "Mom. This store doesn't have green walls. I thought it would have green walls. Why would they call a store Walgreens if it doesn't even have green walls??!!" I laughed and laughed and told him that would be a good idea, but that it was probably named after someone or something and had nothing to do with the color of the walls. Anyway, he perked up when we got inside and talked incessently the rest of the time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Confession: My boy doesn't wear underwear

I am in a "confessing" mood this week. Maybe it is the triathlon coming up and I am just feel reflective and anxious about that, or maybe it is a couple conversations I have had recently that have reminded me of a couple of unfortunate situations in my life. Whatever the case, though, I have some things to share! And why not share them with all you people out in bloggyland- who I am sure will not judge me as an incompetent mother or a goofy former 5th grader.

Deacon doesn't wear underwear. Oh, he started out wearing it. We got him potty trained and he was so excited about his Bob the Builder underwear etc that he would wear it. Backward. So he could see the pictures. (I know I blogged this part before.) But somewhere along the line he picked up some information. I don't know where, but he became convinced that you only have to wear underwear if you are wearing pants with zippers. I honestly don't know where that came from. Probably a conversation with his dad about the merits of underwear, one of which of course is so things don't get caught in zippers. He must just have disregarded the other reasons while contemplating the horrer of being trapped in a zipper.

So he started out just periodically not wearing it. I tried reminding him and helping him dress in the morning. If he started out with it on it would remain on until the first time he used the bathroom. Then he would remove it. I bought him spiderman boxer briefs. He likes the boxer briefs but he considers them enough clothing so when he has those on he won't wear anything over them.

So I gave up. I have enough to do without policing underwear usage. He doesn't wear underwear. Oh well. Maybe someday he will. Maybe he won't. I have gone to a "don't ask, don't tell" mentality. If I am in the room when he undresses or uses the bathroom and it is clear that I have seen he has no underwear, I say, "Dekes. Looks like you forgot your underwear, man. Try to keep that stuff on!" I feel like it is my responsibility as his mother to say stuff like that. And I always send underwear for him to his grandmas. And if someone mentions to me that he has no underwear on, I act surprised. I feel like it is my responsibility to act surprised and all like, "that little stinker. No underwear! He must have forgotten this morning." But I am not surprised. The only thing that would surprise me now is if he was actually wearing it. And not with his swim trunks.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

When they don't know you're listening

Julie was out riding today, Link was napping, and Deacon wanted to wash a car in the worst way. He has mentioned this relatively frequently, off and on, but we never do, because I don't wash my car. Life is too short and my car is too old.

But today, I told him we could.

All that to say, we were outside, washing cars. We were done with mine on the driveway, and Deacon had moved on to the minivan in the garage. Roman was in the front seat "driving."

As an aside, I'm going to mention that, no suprise to those who know him, Deacon can get a bit precocious from time to time. I do try to remember that he is a kid, and I try to usually give him age appropriate answers to questions. But Deke isn't always satisfied with that, and he'll keep pestering me until I break it down for him like a college in all the technically detailed glory I know. To which he usually says, "Why xxxxx," and I just have to say, "Deacon, that's as far as I know to break it down. After that, it's just the way it is."

And occassionally, I'll hear myself talking, but it's not me talking.

I didn't hear the beginning or the middle of this conversation, but I heard the ending. Roman remember is in the driver's seat of the van "driving," and Deke is walking around it "washing" it with a soapy rag. Deacon rounds the back of the van and calls to Roman through the open van door,

"Well Roman, first of all, because I'm washing the van right now. Second of all, I'm too short, and I don't think I could control the vehicle."

I kid you not. At least he's got a little sense. But I'd better hide the car keys from Roman.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

More Pool Pictures

Deacon loves the water.

A little pre-run strategy session

And they are off!

Notice Roman's tongue

Big jump!

Friday, August 1, 2008

What is wrong with me?!? (and my cute kids)

First, what is wrong with me?
I very seldom cry. I just don't get that emotional about things. Ok, that is not entirely true. I do get emotional, but is is usual not the emotion of sadness. Anyway, today I actually had tears in my eyes as one of our local DJ's said his last farewell on air. I listen to country music (which is why I am compelled to write parodies for songs like "Country Man"). Now, when the kids are in the van we listen to GT and the Sparks Handbook and Veggie Tales; but when I am alone it is all Rascall Flatts and Brooks and Dunn.
I don't even necessarily like this DJ that much, although I must say he has dramatically improved over his time at the station. He has even won awards for radio personalities. But what made me teary is that he has been at the station for 12 1/2 years- he started right before I started listening to country at age 16. (Why did I listen to country at age 16? Oh yeah, it was because Noah did). Anyway, he has been one of those voices that has been a radio constant for me. I remember talking with Noah as teenagers about something he said or did. So it made me a little sad. But I feel silly that it made me sad. Let's move on to my cute kids.

They start at different parts of the yard...

Then run toward the pool...

Roman starts to fall back...

Then Deacon jumps in and Roman stops outside the pool. Before Roman will get in either Deacon or I has to say, "c'mon Roman. Jump in" (he tells us when we need to say it) Then he carefully climbs in.

I guess we all have our things.