So, I laid in bed last night regretting the fact that I used the words "muzzle" and "cage" in my last blog about my children. I have been wanting to put up some pictures and so I thought I would take this opportunity to make it clear that I LOVE my children, that I would NEVER muzzle them, and NEVER put them in a cage. Unless a baby gate counts. :-) Anyway, I always try not to brag about my kids too much here, because that gets old and because I'm biased. I try to relate the stories as I see them. But even in spite of their crazy loudness, I think they're the greatest kids in the world. Just so you know. Here are some pictures from the last few weeks. We have been enjoying Spring here, the perfect weather and the flowers.


Caterpillars, Walmart & Movies

I have a minute to catch up on some things because Libby and Cash are amusing themselves playing with caterpillars which keep falling from the oak trees and into our back yard. They carry them around and put them in the doll house we have..."Look Mom, the caterpillar is taking a bath...the caterpillar is getting dressed..." (as they close it into the drawers). At first I declared caterpillars must stay outside but they are having so much fun and leaving me alone so I figured a little caterpillar slime or poop or both never hurt anyone. In fact, if injested, it's probably the most vitamins they might get in one sitting.

In other health news, yesterday I discovered Penelope with two handfuls and one mouthful of Vicks Baby Vapor Rub. And I thought my grandmother was daring just rubbing it around and slightly inside her nostrils. Although the label said "do not put in mouth" it didn't say to call poison control if it actually did get in someone's mouth so I just tried to wipe her out with a baby wipe and forget it ever happened. But the smell on her reminded me for a while afterward.

Jackson has been amusing himself making movies on our computer and the kids have also discovered that our "Photo Booth" application can record short movies. So they sneak down here all the time and click record and just stare at themselves or say funny things. And then I discover them and say, "Guys, no computer right now...get down..." or the like and so now I have quite a few short clips of my cute children with their mother yelling at them in the background. Exactly what I want saved for posterity. This will be their memory of me. Telling them to stop being cute and creative. I can hear them as teenagers... "What was the big deal, Mom?" The big deal is, I'm afraid I'm going to come down here and discover caterpillar poop on my keyboard, you crazy people!

Two days ago we just said NO to the ghetto and took ourselves to the brand new Walmart Market/Pharmacy right down the street. Finally I won't have to drive three miles just to discover that they are out of the diapers I'm looking for. The new Walmart is miniature, it's so cute I want to pinch it's cheeks. I felt like I should be checked out by oompa-loompas or something, or take some kind of magic pill to shrink me so that I would be the right size to keep the same proportions I'm used to when I go to a Supercenter. Bottom line: if I get to the front and realize I forgot something, I might actually go and get it.

I browsed through all the movies they've made over the last week and while I hesitate to let the world see and hear my children like this, the distorted faces are pretty funny. Anyway, I'm now wondering if my scaled down Walmart has a pet department where I could buy muzzles and cages for them. I could just slip them a few caterpillars every day...


Daylight Savings Strangeness

I really hate the time change. (I'd like to propose we just split the difference and go forward 30 minutes and leave it there.) When you're a scheduled mom like me, it throws you off quite a bit. I decided I'd just go ahead and complain on the blog because all kinds of weird things have happened in the last few days and I've decided to blame it all on the time change. It hit me especially hard this spring since Jimmy had to work and I got everyone ready for church by myself and managed to arrive at church seven minutes early (quite a victory) only to discover I was really 53 minutes LATE. It really threw me off for the entire day.

I really didn't know what time it was for the rest of the day. I'm usually the time change nazi and am the one running around the night before saying "Go to bed, it's really an hour later!" and have gone so far as to move my schedule ahead (or behind) 30 minutes the week before so the adjustment is not as hard.

Weird things have been happening. Sunday was a huge blur and ended with me serving a dinner that will definitely win me Mom of the Year: drumroll please... Hot Dogs and Waffles! Yes, I didn't even attempt anything healthy. Oh, well, I did throw some leftover peas on Penelope's tray. I didn't plan this...I didn't plan anything which is why we ended up eating junk. I think it will be my new time change menu from here on out.

Jimmy had been working all day Sunday, trying to clean a floor of the office building he cleans that was coated multiple times with old floor wax. What was going to be a few hours of work for him ended up in him bending over the floor peeling wax off (kind of like when you start peeling old paint and can't stop because it's addicting and once you start you can't stop) for eight hours.

Then, on Monday, Jimmy was out meeting someone about the floor and I'm trying to fix a real dinner (after the time change meal I had to redeem myself) and eat quick before leaving for worship team rehearsal. I turn on the oven and place the casserole dish inside only to a few minutes later have my house fill with smoke and the smell of wax because someone oh so lovingly placed a crayon in my oven! What is it with my children and the proper usage of writing utensils!? Did I or did I not graduate from art school?

After my worship team rehearsal we called in friends to baby sit and I peeled wax and helped Jimmy clean for over three hours. Talk about deviating from my normal schedule. And on time change week! I must be insane. I WILL relinquish control and "be flexible" and "go with the flow" as I preach to my kids all the time.

Today I walked around with a blob of poop on my shirt for like an hour, wondering why I kept smelling it. Later, at 5:15 I looked at my watch and it said 3:15. I have NO idea how this happened. I had already fixed my watch. It's just trying to mess me up even more! Then, tonight I'm home alone with sleeping children and all is quiet and I hear something on my back deck. I try to ignore it and not get freaked out but I decide to scope it out only to see a big possum messing around with a plastic bucket. STAY AWAY you big rat! Or I'll serve you hot dogs and waffles, fling poop on you, take you to church really late and then force you to inhale burnt crayon smoke! We'll see if you ever come back to my house!


"if You!"

Every morning when the kids wake up they have strict instructions to stay in their bed until 7:00 a.m. I allow them to get up and use the bathroom (don't think I haven't considered placing a chamber pot by their beds) but they must return to their room and stay quiet until the clock reaches that magic time. You would think this would be simple enough for them to understand and even easier for me to enforce. This is not the case. There are all kinds of special cases (for example, I ask Libby to NOT return to her room if she has to use the potty, she must rest on the couch so she will not disturb Penelope) and I am way too sleepy to really discipline anyone fairly--I just turn into grumpy irrational evil bed head mommy all too quickly. So all kinds of addendums (I don't know the word but this is the best I can do---I'm trying to write this before Dragon Tales is over) have been made to this "stay in bed" rule and I can't keep up. Like, if anyone ends up resting on the couch to wait until 7:00, they end up turning on the light because they can't see the clock if they don't. And the lack of darkness leads to you guessed it, foolishness and mayhem, which leads to noise, which leads to me emerging from the bedroom grumpy, irrational, etc. (And don't think I don't realize that if I was super Mom I would just get my rear end out of bed at 7. Or better, get up even earlier and put on make-up, have a super spiritual quiet time, and fix a 3 course breakfast. In my dreams.) I have solved this problem usually by just letting them watch 30 minutes of television in the mornings.

But during the school year, they are not allowed to do this on school days. I just don't want to use up my valuable "screen time" (I mentally allow myself so much before I feel guilty) so I have started giving them work to do in the mornings instead. Often Jackson just reads quietly so that is awesome. Even Libby has begun to be able to do this. But they also want a snack and have been allowed to get dry cereal, but then this has led to chocolate chips and other not so good for a morning snack choices. All of this does have a point.

Last night I left them actual work to do, along with an educational toy for Cash. I wrote Jackson a note and told him to help Libby with her work. I was pretty sure she would need help understanding the directions. It was a worksheet. I also left her a complete the sentence and draw a picture to go with it. Jackson used to do them all the time so I figured he'd tell her what to do.

Lots to keep them busy so I can sleep an extra 15-30 minutes. I even left them healthy rice cakes for a snack. Well, when I awoke at 6:54 to hear fighting and screaming I was not happy. I used all the patience I could muster, did not beat anyone or even yell but I made it clear they were to get on the couch and be quiet.

When I got up and looked at Libby's work, it was a total illustration of why I should just get up and help them (or leave them work that doesn't need explaining!). We are talking about the letter "Y" this week. I left Libby a sentence to complete: "Yellow yaks yell if you..." and she's supposed to finish the sentence and draw a picture. I couldn't believe what she came up with. She just copied my partial sentence and then drew a picture of two yaks yelling, "if you!" at each other. I will try to take a picture of it. I didn't know Yellow Yaks liked to cuss. Maybe they did so because of the crazy morning they were forced to encounter at our house...