Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well, I had such a good evening tonight that I just had to come here and write it all down so that I will remember it. I started working on dinner shortly after JJ's mom picked him up. We had Romaine salad with a shredded four cheese blend and some "Fake-o's" (instead of Bacos) sprinkled on top. I baked some little bagel pizza bites, and spent time chopping fresh pineapple and strawberries into chunks. It was a yummy dinner! We had some whipped cream -- the kind in the whipping can -- with our fruit, and I only squirted it all over myself once during dinner.

Then I took a movie back to RedBox (we have one outside our Hy-Vee store, I love it! and drove over to Lowe's, where Mike had taken the boys. I wanted to surprise them, and it was so fun! I snuck up behind them and growled, and they got all excited and started yelling to Mike "Mommy's here!! MOMMY's here!!!" like I was the coolest person ever.  I find it hard to believe that I got that reaction from them after spending all day with them at home. I definitely don't get the "Mommy's here!!!" reaction when I walk into the toy room to check on them when they have been playing with GeoTrax for an hour and the quiet makes me wonder what they are up to.

Anyway, while we were walking through Lowe's, Bonnie called and asked me to meet her at Starbucks, which I was glad to do after having a child's-activity-filled day. It was nice to

okay, I can't figure out why the heck the font just changed to italic. It's not the italic button at the top of the screen... so the rest of my post will be in italic. So that must mean that it is REALLY REALLY important. Yeah.


Okay, it changed back. Weird. I'll have to ask Mike about that later.

Um. What was I saying?

Oh yeah. It was nice to spend some time talking about someone else's life and adventures for a while and get some perspective on my own life. Sometimes you just want people to know where you are coming from so that you know you are not completely crazy for thinking and acting the way you do. You know? I know, that made SO much more sense in my head. See? I had to go and write it down for everyone to see, and now I really DO look crazy. SHEESH.

I came home from spending some lovely time with my dear friend (we got to go to Hy-Vee after coffee, and then she had to run because it was almost time for Diamond to be needing her Mommy!), and Mike was working away on my laundry room shelves!! Hip-hip HOORAY!!!!! And after much struggling, some (don't read the next word, Mom and Mama G.) swearing, and much heavy lifting, muscle straining, wet-sock-removing (yeah, the washer hose had come off), broom-diggin-behind-the-dryer FUN, we finally... Well, okay. MIKE finally got the shelves up and secured to the wall. Those shelves aren't going ANYwhere! We even put some stuff on them. It's too late for me to do anything but sit here and type right now, but tomorrow I will have fun de-cluttering some other areas of my house and, well, cluttering up the shelves.

Okay, so without further ado, here are some pictures. The first one is the man I love more than life itself. He is my husband, the father of our two gorgeous children, and he is willing to do anything to take care of his family. And check out those eyelashes! Okay, they are hard to see in this picture, but trust me, they are long! Sammy definitely got those from Daddy. He really didn't want me to take this picture, but his hard work shows, and he needs some praise for how hard he works for this family!

The next picture is the pile of clothes that came out from behind and beside our dryer. When you pull the clothes out of the laundry chute, they tend to fall... well... behind or beside the dryer.

The next picture is my new laundry room. Someday I'll paint it, but really functionality is so important to me that paint can wait. Plus, it will require unhooking and rehooking the washer/dryer... and who wants to do THAT?
Isn't it beautimus? And tomorrow, Mike will be getting another piece of white board from Lowe's to put under the door to the laundry chute so that we won't lose any more clothes in the Black Hole.
I did other fun stuff today, like we went over to my sister's house and cooked lunch (Orange Chicken, brownies, pierogies (little pastries with potatoes and cheese inside) and glass bottles of root beer. Yeah, so it wasn't the healthiest of meals, but we had fun watching the boys play. Sammy and Miguel are going to be such good friends as they grow up! It is fun watching their personalities develop.
Okay, I'm tired, and it's almost

darn, it's PAST midnight.
Going to bed now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Schedule

So here it is! My latest excuse for not blogging as much as I could and recording all of the crazy, zany, hilarious things that happen during the day around here. I have been making... brace yourselves... A SCHEDULE. I know, right? You never thought it would happen to me! But it has, people, and let me tell you what, we are totally hooked. I know that the schedule looks a little strange to you, so let me share a closer picture. This is what part of our morning looks like. I am pink (being the only girl around here), Griffin is orange, Sammy is lime green and JJ, the 4-year-old I take care of several days a week, is blue. The time slots are in half hour or one hour segments, and the boys are very willing to drop everything and move on to the next activity when it is time! I am amazed at how smoothly our days are running... but it IS only Tuesday, and we just started using it yesterday. :) We have not been following it to the letter, but when the kids start arguing or need a diversion, we go look at the schedule and see what it tells us to do next, and that diffuses the situation. Oh yeah. I promised you more pictures.

Isn't it pretty? It took me about a week to read through the book Managers Of Their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell (, and then several more days to get the schedule worksheets done. I then stayed up late on Sunday night writing all of our daily activities into little colored squares and cutting out the squares and using the provided Sticky Tac to stick the squares to the schedule. It was so much fun, and it felt a lot like putting a puzzle together. The feeling of accomplishment when I had completed it was amazing! And even if we don't follow it to a "T", we will see many benefits from using it, I'm sure!
There is even a forum where you can go and ask questions and talk to other people who are doing the MOTH system to find out what works for other people so that you don't feel completely alone in doing the whole "schedule" thing. It is a foreign concept to me, let me tell you! Even though we were on somewhat of a schedule in school, and I was definitely on one in college, I had never thought of running my household on schedule. I mean, we haven't even started homechooling yet!
We now have made time in our day to get all of the daily chores done, play outside TWICE a day (this makes the boys SO HAPPY!!), brush the dog every day, have one-on-one Mommy time, and I even have two full hours in the evening to spend watching a movie, doing my nails, making cards, surfing the web, whatever! I'm sure there will be less of that type of stuff going on after we start school, so I'm going to soak it up while I can. :)
I'll keep updating my blog and writing about how well it's working and how this schedule impacts our family.
Oh yeah. One other thing. I have gone over the day's schedule with Griffin both mornings, and he has been very good about reminding me that we need to check the schedule to see if we are doing "the right thing at the right time" and are not falling behind. As Caleb said "typical first born!" But hey, he's keeping this "middle child" on track, so his reminders work out great for both of us! Tomorrow we have JJ from 8:45am-4pm, and I think the schedule will be awesome for a full day with three active little boys.

Take The Tongue Out Of Your Mouth And THEN Talk To Me!

Yeah. This goes right up there with "Things I never thought I would ever say in my lifetime." But apparently the impossible can and does happen (rather consistently, like on a DAILY basis) when you are dealing with children (as any parent, babysitter, nanny, teacher or child care worker can tell you). It just so happens that Griffin and Sammy get great pleasure out of sticking the Mr. Potato Head tongue into their mouths and acting like it is their tongue... they can then stick their tongue out at people and not get chastised for doing it!... it just doesn't work so well when you are attempting to carry on a conversation with them. I said it before it hit my brain what I was actually saying... and then had a good chuckle over it with Mike, Bonnie and Caleb, who were visiting for dinner. Well, Bonnie and Caleb were visiting. Mike has to eat here anyway. :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Potty Humor

Sooooo... what do you do when you have a toilet seat sitting in your kitchen sink? What? You've never had a toilet seat sitting in your sink, you say? How gross, you say? WELL, I have a toilet seat sitting in my kitchen sink right now, and let me tell you what we do. We laugh about it. And make jokes about it. And it will keep being funny until... well, until the toilet seat isn't in the sink anymore.

So let me tell you a story. We'll call it

I'm Getting New Shelves In My Laundry Room

Mike and I have come to an agreement about laundry and dishes. He doesn't like to put the clean stuff away, and I don't like to wash the dirty stuff. So he has been doing all of the washing/drying and I have been doing all of the putting away (and I recently decided to add to my list the handwashing of the dishes that can't go in the dishwasher).

Anyway, things have been running along smoothly for several weeks, with both of us doing our jobs and even helping each other out once in a while. Basically, "helping each other out" means that Mike helped me empty the dishwasher once and I threw in a load of laundry for him once. But like I said, things have been going smoothly, so we usually don't enter into each other's territory.

Well, Mike got tired of having stuff sitting on the dryer, because when you pull the clothes out of the laundry chute they land on the top of the dryer and whatever happens to be on top of the dryer comes tumbling off and lands on your feet, or just gets mixed up in the jumble of clothes. It is very annoying, and it finally made him mad. And that is the story of how the toilet seat got broken. Oh yeah, and the story of why I am getting new shelves in my laundry room!

Huh, you say?

Well, I really have no idea how it happened, and I wasn't going to ask, but the next thing I knew, the toilet seat was in the sink. I know that strange things happen when I get angry sometimes, and Mike is very understanding and doesn't ask questions, so I figured I'd give him this one.

Anyway, that evening, just about an hour later, I was frying shells for tacos and Bonnie somehow sensed that from 15 miles away and called. Just kidding, Bonnie. It IS the second time that has happened, though. It was pretty funny. So they got a dinner invitation. And while we all sat here eating tacos and baby-watching -- Diamond was making faces in her sleep -- we kept making cracks (no pun intended) about the toilet seat sitting in our kitchen sink.

And that's pretty much the whole story. Mike has gone to Lowe's and brought back two toilet seats so far (one of the trips was when we learned that Bonnie and Caleb were coming over, and we knew that we would need a toilet seat ON the toilet in the guest bathroom if we were going to be proper hosts. Neither of the ones we have tried were the right shape, so right now the bottom half of the broken seat rests gingerly on the toilet until we can get a new one.

Apparently we have the only SQUARE toilet around here. Maybe that's something they only do in California and New York. And I'm sure that Caleb would tell us that we don't want to replace the toilet (after a long, arduous toilet-replacing episode he went through several weeks ago) unless it REALLY needs to be replaced, so we'll special order the toilet seat from CA or NY if we have to.

All right, it's almost time for me to go. I promised the boys that we could play with Play-Doh and go outside to play, not necessarily in that order, after I got done on the computer (and I said I would be done soon), and we don't break our Play-Doh promises around here.

One other thing, though. I am going to be implementing a schedule soon, and that could mean one of two things. Either it will work so well that I will have time scheduled to blog regularly (hallelujah!) or it will work so well that I will realize all of the responsibilities (there are FOUR i's in that word!?) that I have been shirking and will be so busy getting everything done that blogging will become a thing of the past, or a once-monthly venture, or some such thing. I'm hoping for the former scenario as I really enjoy blogging, but I felt I needed to give my readers fair warning.

Maybe I'll blog about the schedule! That should be interesting. And scary. I've never been good at keeping a schedule, as Mike can tell you. My "schedules" are more like "goals". If I happen to get something done that was on the schedule, I cross it off. And if I do something that wasn't on the schedule, I write it down, then cross it off. Come on, people, I know I'm not the only one who does that.

Okay, off to play outside with two little boys who are hopping around right now, trying to put their crocs on.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Library Times

Christy just came over for lunch with Brianna and Miguel. That's always fun! I made stroganoff, which was really yummy (although I think the adults liked it a lot more then the kids did).

Miguel's personality is developing so much, and he is able to keep up with the boys (well, almost!), and they all have fun running and playing together! He is also learning how to defend himself when he feels threatened by something his cousins (that would be my children) are doing, and Christy is trying to teach him not to hit.

She took Brianna to school and came back to our house, and then we all made a trek to the big central library. They have a huge selection of kids' books and movies, and I can almost always find what I am looking for there. We got 6 movies and 6 books.

Mental note: Never take children to the library when it is their nap time. It's not pretty.

Mike is working from home today, and he is taking a short break, so he is on his way to the gas station right now to get himself a Coke and me some chocolate cupcakes. I know, I know. Not the right way to handle stress. But maybe I'll eat one now and wait until later to eat the other one. NOT

Okay, I have stopped writing this about 5 times to go and put Sammy back into his bed. And now he is out again. ACK!!!! I am so frustrated with him! Time to go put him back again.

Did SuperNanny ever write a book?

OH, there he is again! Mommy is coming back upstairs, honey, and it's not going to be fun to see me.

Is it because I messed with the routine? Hmmmm....


I'm so glad it's Friday!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I have been so busy with so many different things! I wanted to take time to blog today, though. It won't be a long one because the boys just woke up from their naps. :)

I have been working on my card business, Carody's Cards, and it is so much fun! I just love coming up with new card designs and then packaging the newly made cards into their little bags. I have had several orders already, and am having a fun time with this new venture. Now I just need to get crackin' on more birthday, Mother's Day, and eventually Christmas cards -- I'll need to start those soon, because I'll have to make SO many of them.

I'm working on birth announcements for Bonnie also. Diamond is so precious... here is another picture of her, just for grins.

Bonnie is such an amazing friend! She just had a baby, and yet she has brought me coffee twice since she got home from the hospital... actually once ON HER WAY HOME from the hospital. Wow. Just wow. Of course we had a fun photo shoot while she was at the house. I definitely don't have the skills of a professional when it comes to photography, but this little Diamond baby is so photogenic that it makes my pictures look GOOD.

I had a MOPS meeting last night, and it was a fun time of relaxation and chatting with other moms. We had pizza and root beer floats, and then all just sat around in a room filled with comfy couches and chatted it up for an hour. So relaxing and rejuvenating, especially when I realize that there are other people who are a lot more stressed out than I am, and have lots more to deal with in their lives. I go home after MOPS and Mike is putting the boys to bed, so I get to just chill out and read the evening away until bedtime.

Well, I need to figure out what to make these hungry men for dinner!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Diamond is Here!!

After a long labor (almost two days!!) Bonnie produced a beautiful baby girl. Her name is Diamond Giselle, and she is absolutely gorgeous!! She weighed 7 lbs., 1/2 oz. at birth, and was 20 inches long. She has a head full of dark hair, and she looks a LOT like her daddy. Bonnie and Caleb are tired, and are headed home today from the hospital, and they are so excited to be parents! It is fun to watch them be protective of Diamond and ask all sorts of questions.

I remember what it was like being a parent for the first time, and it is such a learning process! Every baby is so different that it seems there is no one "right" way to do things. And just when you think you have a baby figured out, they change things up and you have to change your routines and patterns. It definitely keeps us parents on our toes!

I have been to the hospital several times in the past couple of days, taking pictures and visiting with Bonnie and Caleb and having a "pie potluck" yesterday evening. When I left and went out to the truck, I found that the battery was completely dead. At least I think that's what is wrong. Mike came in the van (he was about to put the boys to bed, so he brought two very sleepy, very CRANKY boys with him) and hooked up the jumper cables, but we still couldn't get the truck to start.

Then Caleb came out of the hospital, and recognized our vehicles, and came over to help out. They hooked up a different set of jumper cables, but it still didn't work, so we went home in the van and left the truck at the hospital. Mike had to work today; he had some meetings to attend and he also had some extra work given to him ("dumped on him"). He took his lunch hour and came home to pick up tools, then headed back to the hospital to see what could be done. Maybe in the light of day it will be easier to figure out.

I hope it is just the battery! At least we can purchase a new one and be done with it. Thank goodness for savings. We've been (okay, okay, MIKE has been) putting aside money so that we have extra in case of things like this. If saving money were left up to me, we'd be up a creek without a paddle right now. I'm so glad I married a man who is good with money. He really makes our lives a lot less stressful. I think I'm making our lives less stressful by eating out instead of cooking at home sometimes, but I'm really just making more of a burden by not using the food that we have, and then spending extra money on food when we have food at home.

It's nice to take a break once in a while, though, I must admit. Cooking 21 meals a week will make anyone feel like a full-time chef. It seems that just as you finish doing the dishes from one meal, it is time to start thinking about the next meal. But that's part of being a mom, I suppose! I love to cook, which is good, because if I didn't we'd be eating out a lot more than we do already.

KU plays in the NCAA championship tonight against Memphis. Mike is expecting Memphis to win, but we're still cheering for KU! Well, he will be cheering. I'll be at a Stampin' Up! meeting. I just love girl time. It doesn't come too often in a house full of boys, so I really appreciate it!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Lovely Day

We just spent a lovely afternoon outside. The boys dug in the yard and rearranged the rocks while I swept the porch and cleaned off the chairs.

We had stopped at a garage sale this morning, and the boys each found two balls and a truck toy. Griffin's truck is a "Transformer"-type thing, and it turns from a robot into a cute yellow dump truck. They don't quite have the hang of "transforming" it, yet, so they bring it to me when they want it to be changed. I'm quite good at it!

Sammy walked up to a table at the garage sale and immediately picked out the one Bob the Builder toy there. I think his name is Scoop. He is a red bulldozer, and he even talks! He says, "I looove getting dirty!"... it's no wonder Sammy likes him. He can relate so well.

Oh, I forgot. Mike gave me a "job" to do. He is going to be vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpets when he gets home (yay! what a man!) and he wanted me to have the boys pick up their toys so that he could get started on it right away.

Maybe I'll order pizza tonight. Hmmm. There is a really good pizza place close to here, and I can order online. How technologically advanced is that? Actually, Christy has had issues with their online ordering the only two times she's ordered from there, so maybe I'll call. But we love their breadsticks. Sooooo yummy. They spread cheese on a thin crust, then fold it in half and put more cheeses on top, and the spices are amazing!

The boys are scurrying around, with gentle reminders from me to "keep picking up and don't stop to play!" They want to make their daddy happy.

Oh, did I mention that Griffin had a big splinter in his hand, which is why we were only able to stay outside for an hour? (Might seem like a long time to some people, but an hour in little-boy-outside-playing-time is like two minutes.) We came inside and after much convincing he allowed me to dig it out with a needle instead of the tweezers. The "stick," as he called it, that was stuck in his hand (It's not a splinter, Mom, it's a STICK.) was down too deep for tweezers. Sorry if that makes any of you cringe and squirm in your seat. Griffin was amazingly (after a few minutes of crying and twitching when I brought out the needle) calm about the whole procedure. Of course, he DID have a popsicle. Because sugar has such a calming effect on kids, don'tcha know?

I think I'll go order the pizza now. The boys are almost done cleaning up toys, and I think they need some more "gentle prodding" to help them with their motivation. tee hee

It has been a good day!

Oh yeah, and I feel much better today. That helps.

I need to sweep and mop the wood floor

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Mike took me to get flowers on Sunday. My birthday was on Monday, and he knows how much I love flowers! :-) I got to pick them out myself. They weren't what I would call beautiful when I first brought them home, but I just knew they had potential. And they are gorgeous now!

I also picked out a card magazine that is just full of new ideas for cards! I'm sure I'll be using some of those ideas soon.

That's all, I just wanted to post a beautiful flower picture.
I am feeling a little better today. Not too much, but a little. I'm tired and achy, but Bonnie is bringing dinner over (yes, the woman who is nine months pregnant and ready to pop any day now is bringing us dinner, what a woman!) and we just ate leftovers for lunch and got McDonald's for breakfast, so I haven't even had to cook.

We had J.J. over today. He is 4, and the boys all had fun playing together. J.J. loves superheroes, and since Griffin and Sammy really don't know anything about ANY superheroes, they listened with awe to J.J.'s tales of Spiderman, Superman, the Incredible Hulk, and Octimus Primus (I have no idea if I'm spelling that right, it's a Transformers thing).

They pulled out the Legos, and J.J. set to work building superhero robots. Griffin was then schooled on how to build a Lego watergun. That quickly turned into throwing the guns across the living room (who knew!?) which resulted in a Lego watergun hitting J.J. on the head. Oh my. It bled for a while (gotta love head wounds), and finally stopped when I put an ice cube directly on it. We then blow-dried his hair, which he loved, and he was as good as new. Griffin's bottom didn't fare so well, since he was the one who threw the "gun", and had apparently done it on purpose.

We broke out the Play-Doh, and watched as J.J. made replicas of superheroes and their cars. He's quite talented! Then we got out the crayons and construction paper, and J.J. colored a Spiderman on Griffin's paper, which Griffin promptly ruined by coloring it in the wrong way. Griffin loved it, though. He thought it was cool having an older boy here.

J.J. will be coming over again next week, and the boys are really looking forward to it. I am too; he's a fun kid! I'll post some pictures once I get his mom's okay.