Monday, April 28, 2008

Invest in Safety 1st stock right now.

Did you ever wonder why there are so many childproofing things on the market?

Your answer probably depends on what kind of children you have.

When Ellie was a wee newborn, I had Jason install locks on all the lower cabinets. I put plug covers on every single outlet. I replaced the dangerous door stops with child safe ones. In short, I baby proofed our home. Around a year later, I saw a Today show where parents were actually hiring people to come do this for them. Not only did the professional baby proofers do the things I had done, but they also put locks on the refrigerators and the toilets, and did a few other things that I hadn't thought of. By then though, I felt like I had a pretty good handle on what kids did and did not get into, so I felt confidant that I didn't need those additional items. I even wondered why people felt the need to go so far, I mean, they did watch their children, Right?

Fast forward five years later. We've since had two more babies. Annie didn't get into anything. In fact, when we put the addition onto our home, I didn't even put outlet covers on the outlets. In fact during the addition, she and Ellie rarely even noticed the piles of tools and construction paraphernalia that accumulated around our house. Annie learned to crawl amongst the rubble, barely giving a glance to hammers and nails and drywall paste. I watched her of course, and when I realized that she had no desire to explore that stuff, my baby proofing standards pretty much disappeared.

And then came Austin.

A few days ago I was telling my friend Alana some of the antics he's pulled lately. Here's just a few...

He unplugged the baby monitor and had the plug in his mouth.

He somehow managed to reach the fan on/off knob in his room, and remove it. We found it under his bed.

He removes the sheet from his bed. Daily.

He can open some doors.

He will race towards an open door, any open door, as fast as his little legs can go. He is faster than me, my only advantage is that I have longer legs.

He's climbed/fallen out of his highchair, bed, and the Target shopping cart.

These are just a few of the many stunts he has pulled. Which prompted me to say the other day...He is the reason for the baby proofing isle!

I recently invested in something I said I would NEVER buy...

Yes, I put my child on a leash.

Be careful what you say, my friends with none or just one child, be careful! :)

I plan on investing in some of these.

Probably this too.

And this.

Not to mention the many outlet covers I need to install!

Oh, and we need some stronger door locks. These ones that Jason installed when sweet Ellie was a baby, you know, the ones that easily deterred the two girls we have, yeah...they're not quite cutting it anymore. Austin has learned that if you YANK on the door over and over again REALLY hard, it will finally open.

So, if your one of those parents, like I was, that never quite understood why people needed all that stuff...Be careful. Don't judge. God may just give you a little blessing like my sweet Austin!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fish kabobs

Today on the way home from my friend Dixie's house, Ellie said...

Mama, when are we going fishing?

Me: Oh, I don't know, probably this summer. (Can you tell I was avoiding a commitment on this one :)

Ellie: Okay. I like to fish. I like to eat fish too.

Me: Uh huh. ( a bit disinterested, I'm sorry, but she rambles!)

Ellie: I got fish kabobs for my birthday.

Me: Uh huh...What? Fish kabobs?

Ellie: Yeah! Fish kabobs! You know, to help me catch a fish!

Me: To help you catch a fish? OH, YOU MEAN BOBBERS! (I tried so hard not to laugh!)

Ellie: Yeah, bobbers! I got some for my birthday!

Me: Yes you did sweetie, yes you did. (still trying not to laugh.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Our newest addition...

Meet the kitten...

Her name? Well, Ellie thinks it's Rainbow, but I'm still not convinced, so I keep trying to change her mind. We'll see how that goes.

Oh who am I kidding, her name's Rainbow.

I was wrong, by the way, we made it a whole WEEK before we got a kitten. Ellie likes to do that to me, prove me wrong. I think it's her way of keeping me on my toes. Not only did we wait a week, we didn't want the first kitty we saw, nor did we want the littlest kitty we could have.

Seriously, she proved me wrong all week.

I thought she'd want the first one we found. I thought she'd want a little kitten, like 6 or 7 weeks old. We visited some last Saturday that were 6 weeks old, tiny and just too cute. I thought she'd love them.


Actually, they made her nervous. They were SO small and their little claws would catch our clothes, she just didn't know what to do. So we waited another day, and yesterday we visited a shelter about 45 minutes away.

She spotted her kitten within seconds of being in the cat room. There were three of them, two girls and a boy. Siblings that had been born at the shelter about 10 weeks ago, that had lived their lives in a cage. They were bigger, but still little. She picked the one she liked the best, and held it carefully. It was calm and quiet, and just snuggled into her arms. It was her kitten.

So here we are, 24 hours later. So far, so good. She's used her litter box, she's started to eat, and she's still alive.

All good.

Annie and Austin love her too. And of course we've already had arguments over who gets to hold her next. Of course.

So welcome to the family, Rainbow Tulip Sparkles Cupcakes, welcome.

I'm sorry about the name.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sometimes it does turn out the way you want it to.

We went to Target today. Me and my three kids. No, we didn't have daddy, he was working. Just me...and the three kids.

I attempt this feat every month or so. I think it must take about that long for my bad memory to forget what happens when I take all three kids to Target. My memory is usually rudely awakened just past the $1 spot, when someone (usually Ellie) has a melt down over the fact that I won't let her get 10 things from the $1 spot.

Because see then it would be the $10 spot. Well, times 2, since I have to keep things even between the girls. So actually the $20 spot.

I digress...

Okay, so today as we walked into Target and I spotted the $20 spot, my stomach dropped. Why do I do this to myself? I thought. I quickly went into, You can each pick 2 things to get if you're good. Really, really, good while mommy shops. Honestly, I didn't hold out much hope. This technique tends to only work when I have one or two kids with me. For some reason the dynamic of three sends my kids into a tailspin in public places. Anyway, without much fuss, they each picked out two things they wanted, and off we went.

Okayyyy...that was too easy.

We marched down isle after isle, we bought stuff for the new kitten we are planning on getting in the next few days. We made it through the baby isles, where I couldn't help but look at baby stuff for my friends Janelle and Jennifer :) Oh the plans I have for those babies! Don't worry, I'm not joining them, I just needed diapers and wipes. We made it through toys, electronics and food...No melt downs.


We made it to check-out, when Austin had just had enough. As I struggled to balance him, pay, and load the cart, Ellie started helping me. Helping me! She loaded the cart for me, and even managed to keep Annie close by.


We made it to the car, where I praised them for being so good. I was so proud of them! We even had a nice lady make a comment in the store about how good my girls were.


So there's hope after all! Someday hopefully all our trips will be like this. And the nightmare trips will be a distant memory.

Today was a glimpse, and it was really, really nice.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The joys of motherhood.

For the past six+ years I have dealt with my fair share of bodily fluids. I have more stories than I can tell, more than I want to tell! It's something that all mommies deal with. It comes with the territory when you have children.

For my friends and family who read this blog, and don't have children, let me just say this...I didn't go into mommyhood ready to deal with the bodily fluids. Just like I didn't go into mommyhood ready to deal with the lack of sleep. I mean, BK (before kids) the thought of dirty diapers and throw-ups freaked me out. I figured they would happen. I'd heard the stories from my own mother. Still, it's just not something that you really want to dwell on, and so you don't. I've heard friends and family say things like...I just don't think I could handle that...What?! Like I did?!

I mean, that would just be wrong!

So like I said, I have stories, OH do I have stories. One in particular comes to mind, but I think I'll wait to share that one next time. Instead I'll tell you about this morning...

I went in to get Austin out of bed. At that moment everything was normal. His diaper was squishy, but not leaking out, so I thought I'd change him in a few minutes, probably after breakfast.

Remember, he's the third.

So I put him down to play and I went to make a healthy and nutritious breakfast of toaster waffles.

Don't judge, remember, I have three.

As they popped up, I went to find Austin and proceeded to try and buckle him into his booster chair.

That's when I smelled him.


I went to change him. Normal procedure, lay him down, lay him down again, FORCE him to lay down...I finally got him still by singing Itsy Bitsy Spider. So here I am, singing...

The Itsy Bitsy Spider, climbed up the water spout...unzip pj's...Down came the rain and...where's the diaper?...washed the spider out...what's that big lump down by his foot under his pj's?...out came the sun and dried...OH that's the diaper...up all the rain...UH OH...and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

Did you catch that? The diaper was wrapped around his ankle. And the um...stuff I smelled? Yeah, apparently he did that after the diaper had slid down.

What a nice way to start the morning.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Siblings. They are a mystery to me. I am an only child. My sister-in-law Michelle often remarks to me that it's really not fair to me, that I, as an only child, have three children of my own. I have no reference point for this dynamic that my children are. Even my husband has a difficult time with it. Although he has one brother, Chris is almost six years older, so they didn't have the dynamics that our children do. I have two beautiful cousins that I've always considered close to sisters, but we didn't have this sibling dynamic either. I'm learning, OH how I'm learning many things about siblings. Here are some of my observations from today...

They fight for fun, or out of boredom. Constantly. Even Austin, as little as he is, takes unbridled joy in snatching his sisters things and running as fast as his feet will go in the opposite direction.

They are loud. The noise is about to drive me insane. Constant yelling, shouting, screaming, talking, fighting, playing, singing, bossing.

They cannot leave each other alone. We separate them, they are together within moments. We find different activities for each of them, they want to do the same thing. They constantly bicker and pick at each other. I'm beginning to realize that they do this for fun sometimes, but it still drives me crazy!

They are very competitive. They always want our attention, and get furious if we can't give it to them because we're working with their sister/brother.

We've had a lot of "togetherness" today. A lot of time inside the house with not much to do. I have tried to entertain them all day, but I am tired. My patience is fading fast. Only two more hours until bedtime, Hallelujah!

As hard as it is to parent these siblings that are my children, I know it will be worth it someday. Someday they'll have each other as friends and confidants. Someday they'll bond over their mutual frustration about their crazy parents. This is something I don't have. I didn't ever miss it, not until now.

And most of all, someday they'll have children of their own. Children that will fight and scream and cry at their siblings. And I, I will sit back and smile and say Now you know what you put me through all those years!

I cannot wait!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wanted: Kitten.

It is no secret that we are an animal loving family. Jason and I love cats and dogs. We got our first pet together when we were dating, a black lab we named Abbie. Shortly after getting Abbie, we got a kitten and named her Daisy. Back then we had lots of time to play with our animals, give them attention, and train them.

Now, not so much.

In 2000 we added Elvis to the mix. Elvis is a mix of some kind, probably with some lab in him. He's a big black and white dog, and while he's not the smartest dog in the world, he's very gentle.

Abbie passed away a year ago. We were sad, and we worried that Elvis was depressed. In our worry, we decided to get a new dog.


Chester is a full bred Border Collie. He has tons of energy and a very fun personality. Maybe a little too fun. We've learned over the past year that we just don't have the time, or the environment that Chester needs. So today, Chester found a new home. A home with older kids, and wide open spaces. Hopefully his forever home.

This has been hard for me. I've never given an animal away. I feel guilty and sad, even though we found him a new home. I guess I feel like we failed Chester.

In retrospect I realize that we rushed into getting a new dog. We've decided to be a one dog family. Elvis is getting older, and we just feel that he'll be happier by himself. He put up with Chester, but we could tell he wasn't thrilled with him.

Now for the cats.

That would be cats, in the plural form.

Currently we have one cat, Daisy. She's a healthy, pampered 11 year old cat. So why do I say cats?

Here's why...

When Ellie was four, FOUR mind you, she asked if she could have a kitten. At first we just said no, but she was relentless. This girl loves cats. From babyhood she preferred cat stuffed animals. As a toddler she collected stuffed cats by the dozens. As a pre-schooler she started collecting cat figures and decorating her room in all things cat. She loves all animals, and I honestly think she may be a vet someday, but her love for cats is intense. Sometimes I worry that she'll turn into one of those crazy cat ladies! So like I said, she was relentless. Finally, just to get her to be quiet, we told her when she was seven, she could get a kitten.

She never forgot.

She's six now, and constantly reminds us that a kitten is in her near future.

Even nearer than we thought.

When daddy announced that we found a new home for Chester, we had some sad girls on our hands. I knew he felt bad, I did too, but apparently he felt really bad. I about fell over when he looked at Ellie and said...

Maybe we should go ahead and get your kitten now.

WHAT?! Oh no he didn't!

Oh yes he did.

So today, when I told Ellie after school that Chester had gone to his new home, she immediately asked...

Do I have my kitten?!

Poor daddy. He mistakenly thought we'd have a couple of weeks to "research" getting a kitten.

I give it through the weekend.


Wish us luck. We need it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Once upon a time...

Okay, I promised I would tell you this story in my last post, so here I go...

It was mid-December of 2006, and for some reason I was at the mall in the big town north of us. I honestly don't remember why I was there, I must have still been a bit brain dead from the whole non-sleeping newborn thing.

Seriously, I was at the mall with a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 month old baby.

In mid-December.


Anyway, I must have had a smidge of sense, because my mother was with me at least. I remember that we ate at the food court, and then decided to check out what Sears had. I remember fighting with Ellie over who knows what, Annie starting to cry and realizing that we were short on time. So in a rush, I laid Austin down in the back seat of our gigantic double stroller.

And didn't buckle him in.

Remember that.

I mean, he wasn't even quite 3 months yet, he couldn't go anywhere, right?

We started towards sears, Austin was crying, poor baby. He hadn't nursed well with all the commotion of the mall, and I knew he was ready to be fed well, and go to sleep. So I walked quickly to Sears, hoping that maybe the motion of the stroller would put him to sleep. He continued to cry, and I continued to walk, dragging Ellie behind me, and leaving my mom to fend for herself with Annie.

He cried louder.

I walked faster.

I never checked on him, I just assumed that he was mad because he was hungry.

Poor, poor baby.

We finally made it to the toy section of Sears.

Again, I have no idea why we were there.

Why, Why, Why?

Anyway, so we're at the toy section, and I have two girls both grabbing toys off the shelves and begging for various items, and Austin is still screaming. Fending off the girls, I go to pick up Austin, and he's not there.

He's not there?


My heart about jumped out of my chest, WHERE WAS MY BABY???

Then my brain kicked in.

I can HEAR him, but where IS he?

Then I saw him, in the storage basket under the stroller.


He was kinda stuck, and was in an awkward position. I think I yelled for my mom to help me, as I tried to gently extract him from under the stroller. I was MORTIFIED, and completely shook up as we managed to get him out. He calmed down quickly, and after I thoroughly examined him, I realized he was okay.

This is my life people, this is my life.

As I said in my last post, I should have known then that he'd be hard to keep up with. My best guess is that as I walked and as he cried, that he just wiggled enough to slide down into the basket. Needless to say, we're big fans of the whole "strapping the baby in" thing now. Except now he can usually get out anyway.

Oh, and while my mom and I were distracted with rescuing my son, Annie went missing for a few moments. Talk about heart stopping. She had wandered a few isles over, looking at toys. We located her quickly, but it was enough to scare me out of the mall for awhile.

So, lesson learned. Don't go to the mall with a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 year old, and a newborn nursing baby at Christmas time, even if your mother is with you.

Janelle, Jen, are you reading this? Tara?

I hope my mistakes will help others learn what not to do!



Only me.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A relaxing day...

It's 11:32 am, and our playroom, it's destroyed.

We're home today, and I'm thrilled with that, really I am. The past six days have WORN ME OUT. However, HOME with my sweet boy Austin, isn't exactly relaxing. In a feeble attempt at keeping the rest of the house intact, I've been pulling out practically every toy we have, in hopes that Austin might be distracted by something.


Yeah, it hasn't really worked. Instead it's been...


Seriously, this kid is CRAZY! Some of my dear friends witnessed his antics at Panera a few days ago. After keeping him contained in his high chair for as long as I could, I let him down to play with the "big" kids at a long booth in a section we had all to ourselves. He was on top of the table before I could blink, with both hands in poor Loulabelle's soup! When my friends finally stopped laughing and came to my rescue, we cleaned off the tables and off he went! Under the table, onto the booth, on top of the table, back to the booth, BOOM to the floor, back up to the booth...Whew!

As busy as he is, even I was surprised on Easter, when we were met at the nursery door at Church and told...

We can't handle him today. It's going to be busy enough since it's Easter, and we just can't have him in here!

Now, I am the FIRST to admit that YES, he is BUSY! Busy, but not difficult, or mean, or demanding, or fussy. So when we were told that, I was surprised. They ended up moving him to the next class up, with some kids that were a little older that day, and he's been there ever since. I do have to say that it's a good thing we're not easily offended, because a lot parents would have been hurt by what that nursery worker told us. We actually know this couple, who have no children, and realize that they just don't understand. They don't understand that it's okay if he climbs on top of the fisher price picnic table. Even if he did fall off, it's only a foot from the floor! I mean, we're talking about a kid who's fallen from shopping carts, highchairs, tables, strollers and cribs, and has never had more than a few bumps and scrapes! (Please don't judge me, this boy is like Houdini when it comes to navigating his way out of straps and harnesses! And he's FAST!)

I guess I should have known early on...When he was a mere two months old, he managed to fall into the basket part underneath the stroller...have I told you that story? No? Well, we'll save that for next time.

So, like I said, I am glad to be home today. It's cool and rainy outside, and it's just nice to be home. And I'm glad Austin's had some serious play time today, (even if the house is destroyed!) instead of being strapped into something all day while we're on the go. Most of all I'm glad it's almost nap time!