Sunday, June 28, 2009

Top ten reasons to have a front porch couch

10. It'll annoy at least one of your neighbors enough for them to send you anonymous letters about pride and sugar daddies and laziness.

9. Said letter will then provide hours of entertainment.

8. It's a great place to sit and enjoy the weather on summer mornings. Summer evenings too, for that matter.

7. You can sit and chat with the JDubs in comfort and you don't even have to invite them in.

6. Your kids can eat on it and jump on it and put their shoes on it...and it's okay.

5. It makes you unique.

4. It's a conversation starter.

3. And if it doesn't prompt conversation with you, at least you know you provided fuel for gossip. :)

2. It's more comfortable than the steps. Or most porch furniture for that matter.

1. It completely and effectively removes any misconception that you live your life to "keep up with the Joneses" it makes you giggle every time you see it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Party time!

I chose the activities based on visual appeal. I really wanted fun pictures from Nathan's 8th birthday.

Turns out having thirteen kids ages 1-8 all in one place and only one other adult because she took pity on me doesn't leave much time to be creative with photography.

So, I slapped my 85 lens on and just snapped pictures when I could.

The popcorn relay...

The balloon toss.

The 3 legged race. I used really flimsy ties, apparently. They started out tied together...

They snapped fairly quickly...

And then I had to run away because they were coming for me!

The pinata was blasted from it's hanger with the first hit by Nathan.

So we set it up on the tarp and it only took two more hits til it was destroyed.

The cake was a huge hit. And very easy and fun to make!

They ended with a water balloon fight with the leftover balloons.

Then I bribed them to pick up the water balloon pieces. 4 of them took the bribe. The nice thing about the popcorn was animals came and ate it during the night. Easy clean up for me!

The most nerve wracking thing was the trampoline. I don't like being liable for other people's kids. Luckily only one kid fell off and it was one of mine (Aria). She's fine and I don't have to worry about someone suing me, lol.

Just one more big activity and that's the baptism and BBQ following (which you're all invited to, btw).

Thursday, June 25, 2009


After years of trying to diagnose Gabe's "allergies" the hard way with elimination diets and testing foods out, always only seeing minor improvements to the main problem (his poop) I finally got him tested.

Today I found out he has no allergies and he does not have Celiac Disease which was the one my "mommy sensor" was stuck on.

So...either it's a false negative or we're back to square one in figuring out why he's had diarrhea for his entire life.

It was implied that I was being one of "those moms" that's just trying to get attention by having an "allergic kid" but I'm really not. I've been changing diapers for 8 years now and I know there's something going on inside that kid that isn't normal.

Oh well. Next plan of action. Do nothing. Let him eat whatever he wants and see what happens.

Other good news...he's potty trained! (did I already blog about that? I can't remember).

Monday, June 22, 2009

This morning

I woke up early and cried because my boy is really 8. That's it. He's accountable now...well, in 3 weeks when he gets baptized. It's like my 8 years are up and now he has to learn things the hard way and I'm just along for the ride. It's like I switched from the enforcer to the adviser over night. "Because I said so" probably isn't going to fly for much longer. lol.

Or maybe I'm just a mushy mess because it's a milestone birthday and I was up entirely too early with Clara. (4:30)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

8 years ago right now

I was in the hospital. The dr had put cervidil in me to soften my cervix. They didn't think it would put me into labor. They kept telling me nothing was happening. An hour later they broke my water and 2 hours later I gave birth to my first child. 1:30 AM on June 22nd.

I wrote this a few months ago. A rather different take on a birth story. This is how I remember it though. It was surreal and disjointed. But amazing. I was induced because of mild toxemia (high blood pressure) but was able to still have him drug free.

"I think someone should check me."

This had to be it. The books say it feels like you're going to poop. The nurses aren't listening though. Why won't they listen to me? Just because I'm a first time Mom? Don't they realize I'm the one having this baby? I think I know what's going on! Oh well, maybe they're right. Maybe I should just go to the bathroom again.

Ohhhh, this hurts! What was I thinking wanting to go natural? They keep telling me I'll be here all night. Nothing is supposed to be happening yet. The Cervidil was just supposed to soften my cervix. Labor isn't supposed to start til tomorrow. If this isn't labor, I don't want to know what is. I might as well get back in bed. They don't want me up too much because it makes my blood pressure spike. Whoa...that's a lot of blood. I wonder if that's normal?

"There's a lot of blood in there. And I still feel a lot of pressure, I need you to check me."

I saw that. I saw her roll her eyes. And now she's telling me (again) that I'm a first time Mom and it's too soon. But at least she's listening to me this time and checking me. An eight! Holy cow! No wonder it hurts! I'm in labor! Ohmygosh, I'm about to have a baby! She's running all over and setting things up. She yelled at someone to page the Doctor. I'm glad he stayed past his shift. I like him. He lets me have an opinion.

Oh boy, here we go. I can't believe it's going so fast! Wait. No. I don't like this. Make it stop! OwieOwieOwieOwie. Ohhhh, nonononono.

"I have to push!"
"Don't push yet!"

Don't push? Yeah right. Why is Dave breathing in my face? That's annoying. Great, now my mom's doing it too. They're breathing fast, what's their problem? Do they think I want them blowing on me like that? Oh. I get it. They want me to do it. Right. Breathing. I think I stopped there for a second. In, out, in,, I don't like the fast breathing. Why does everyone want me to breathe like that? It's not helping. Oh well, at least I'm breathing I guess.

"Ok, Misty, push with the next contraction."
"Don't yell! You're wasting your energy. Just push."

Right, just push. I'd like to see him push a baby out. Ugh, here we go again. *gasp*

"Good job! You're doing great!"
"I can see the head"

I can't believe April is still in here. She's being awfully quiet. I'm probably scarring her for life. Oh geez.


Do they think I can't feel this? Natural child birth people. I think I know when I need to push. Oh boy. This hurts. Holy crap. *gasp*

"Good job, Misty! The heads out, one more big push!"

Well, that was weird. Who knew the body coming out was so slimy and slippery? It felt like a fish. Interesting. Where's my baby? Oh, he's over there. What's he doing over there? He's not crying but nobody seems to be too bothered by that. Must be okay.

Still not crying. Wait, apgar...I know that word. Why's it so low? Why isn't he crying???

Oh, there we go. He's crying now. And breathing. They're doing the apgar test again. It's higher now. Normal. I wonder if they'll ever bring him over? Why do I have to push again? Oh, right. The placenta. That sucks. Ok, I'll push. Huh. That was weird, too. Oddly soothing. The Doctor is stitching me up. He seems chatty. I don't know what he's talking about. I'm cold. No, not really cold, but I'm shaking. I don't like this. Someone is saying it's normal. Someone else is bringing a warm blanket. Oh, that's nice. I'm tired.

8lbs 13ozs, huh? That's kinda big. Someone's finally bringing him to me. He's so cute. He's my baby. Holy crap. I'm the Mom. When he cries people are going to give him to me to fix it! Oh boy. He's so cute, though. My Nathan. I can do this.

I came across this while I was looking for pictures. I had forgotten about it. I think he was 4 when he did this.

It's an invisible bunny hug.

Will and Chantal

I finally finished editing the pictures from my cousins wedding. It was a really fun time! Will and Chantal were totally laid back and up for anything. They were also total naturals. They didn't seem to feel awkward in front of the camera at all and I had to do very little directing.

A few favorites...

And the whole gallery.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The dreaded chores..

With summertime comes messes. So many messes. It's amazing what having all the kids home most of the day can do to your house. So there was some brainstorming going on over at the MOFia and one lovely lady shared this list that she has compiled over the years... I thought it was brilliant, so I'm sharing.

I did the post-its one today and it worked wonders. I combined it with having them put a marble in a jar for each post-it that they did. When the jar is full we'll do a fun activity.

The Lucky Jar - The kids just started new charts today. If the kids accomplish all of their jobs for a given day they get to pick something out of the Lucky Jar. But only on Fridays. If they do every job every day they get to pick out of the lucky jar five times. The lucky jar has slips of paper that give them special snacks, special time with mom or dad, stay up late minutes or 'skip a job' passes for the coming week. The kids can hardly wait.

Bomb in the Kitchen – Set the oven timer for x amount of minutes. Work hard to get the kitchen cleaned and out of the room before the bomb goes off... otherwise you need to make a dramatic death scene on the kitchen floor. Make sure to add more time than you think. The best part of this game is standing at the edge of the clean kitchen and thinking of things you need to ‘run in’ and do without dying.

Train Cleaning – I am the engine. The kids line up behind me. I point to something on the floor and the one right behind me gets out of line to put it away and then hops to the back of the line again. I try to go so fast that I don’t have any ‘cars’ behind me. We choo-choo through the house looking for whatever needs to be put away.

Set the timer’ Cleaning – This is when all of us clean together and it usually involves a few rooms... like our family room, entry and kitchen which are all connected. We set the timer for 20 minutes and work until the buzzer goes off. If I see the kids distracted or not working I add a minute. The kids love knowing exactly when they will be done with the job.

Sticky note choices – when the kids come home from school, (or on Saturday mornings) the kitchen island is covered in sticky notes. One job is on each... some easy, some hard. Starting with the youngest they pick their jobs, one at a time. My kids love this one because they are different every day depending on what I need done. I always try to add fun and silly ones, like “tell your mom she’s great” because of course I always need words of affirmation, or “play outside with the baby” which actually is a big help to me but they think they are lucking out.

Countdown Cleaning – “Kids, I need everyone to pick up 10 things in the ____ room.” Once done they come give me a high five. Then I tell them to pick up 9 things. Then 8... then 7... etc. They start giggling when they are down to the end and they have to keep running to give me five between every one.

Movie Pause Cleaning – Put on a movie for the kids... who doesn’t love this already? Explain that whenever you push pause on the movie they have to quickly put 10 things away and then run and jump back on the couch so the movie can start again.

Erase a Job – Have a list of jobs ready for each kid. Tell them that if they clean the first thing good enough that it passes ‘mom inspection’ then they can cross off the last job on the list... and so on.

5 things away before Snack – My daughter is notorious for asking for snacks 10 times a day. Each time she asks I say “Put away five things and then you can have a snack.”

Happy cleaning!

Monday, June 15, 2009

What up.

Hey Readers,
I have blogger block. Some combination of potty training, proofing, baby with a yeast rash, school getting out in 2 days, rude neighbors that send anonymous letters, hiding away with good books, a zero budget ala Dave Ramsey, and I don't even know what else. I'm busy, and tired, and busy. And when I'm not being busy, I'm reading to relax, which usually puts me to sleep. Oh, and facebook. It sucks me away from my blog.

I'll get back to blogging soon. There have been some good stories in the last little while.

Love, Me.

PS...Gotta add this. Clara learned to walk. And it's the sweetest thing.

(by the way, Clara just turned my computer's her new favorite game. I don't enjoy it as much. Luckily blogger does the autosave thing.)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

This weeks family date

We're trying to find fun and free things to do every saturday this summer. This morning I went online to see what I could find and there was a Sidewalk Chalk Walk in a neighborhood about 15 minutes from our house. They provided the sidewalk, the chalk and a t-shirt and we filled out a survey and drew on the sidewalk!

The kids are usually game for almost anything so they loved it. Even Dave and I had a lot of fun. Dave is already making big plans for next year and I love any excuse to take pictures.

I chose our place along the sidewalk. I wanted them under that car sticking out of the building.

Clara was so sad that we wouldn't give her the chalk. She has the best lower lip.

Nathan wrote "Don't War" on his. And "hark" which I loved because after he wrote it he goes "What does 'hark' mean anyway?"

This was before Aria was done. Later she wrote "I *heart* NY" along the bottom. I'm not sure why. Or where she even saw that.

Gabe intently coloring.

All done!

Then we walked around to see what other people were doing. There were some impressive ones and Dave and Nathan were both making plans for ways to make theirs better next year.

So then we just started wandering around the neighborhood. There was a lot of cool old buildings (which I LOVE) and an old railroad caboose turned into a museum (not much of one, but we got to go on and it was free), and lots of cool murals and a ferris wheel skeleton in someone's back yard. That was weird but very cool. So I took pictures of the kids while we walked around. I might have our family pics down there this year.

The paintballs on this were awesome.

My girl is so pretty.

Dave is not a fan of being in pictures. I was glad he humored me for this.