Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Operation CrazyWoman: Day 10

For breakfast today I was trying to use up ingredients that we already had in the house.  I had two cans left of those cheapo Pillsbury biscuits that you use for Pigs-in-a-blanket, so we had "Cinnamon Slugs" for breakfast.  It's something I made up.  I rolled each biscuit into a "slug", dipped it in melted butter, rolled it in cinnamon sugar, and then put it in a muffin paper.

Then I baked them.

And put cinnamon roll frosting on them.

It was pretty good!  And at least it was something different from cereal, right?  If I were going to do it again I would probably bake them on a cookie sheet instead, so if you decide to try it keep that in mind.  Some of the muffin papers stuck to the melted sugar.

Our morning was pretty quiet and spent at home since many of us are contagious.  In addition to the usual round of making friendship bracelets, Olivia made thank you cards for her friends that came to her birthday party.

She did a really good job, and they were very cute - all handmade.  I printed out a pattern off the internet for her to copy to make the envelope/cards, and she took it from there.  And of course, each one included a friendship bracelet she had made.

Simon spent a lot of time climbing up into the high chair to investigate the awesome clutter I have accumulated on the counter in the past 10 days.  I got the camera to snap a picture, and he gave me this face.

So I took another one (see the clutter?).

One of our toys is an old costume pirate hat that Kelsey got at a birthday party a couple of years ago.  Wesley has been having fun with it.  When I took the picture he was giving me a good pirate "Argh!"

In the afternoon, I ran a couple quick errands with the 4 youngest kids while the 4 oldest kids cleaned the living room and dining room, and then watched Megamind.  It's amazing what how the promise of a good movie will turn 4 tired, listless kids into 4 industrious little work machines.  Dangle the right carrot, eh?

Fortunately, most of my errands didn't involve getting everyone out of the car.  The only place I had to do that was at Walgreen.  Maddox was asleep when we got there, so I took in his car seat.  Most of the time Simon sat in the back of the cart, but he eventually got bored with that and wanted to walk with the big kids.  While we were checking out, Mallie thought it would be fun to hang on the side of the cart.  Connor thought it looked pretty cool and joined her, along with Simon.  I had to act fast to grab the cart before it toppled over.  What stinkers.  Needless to say, Maddox woke up.

After our dinner of grilled hot dogs, chips, and watermelon (because let's face it - I'm way beyond having the energy to prepare a healthy dinner at this point), I decided it would be a good idea to clean out the pool.  Although the kids often do it when they get in, there's just something about having a grown-up do a thorough job every so often.  Kind of like their bathroom.  The kids clean it 90% of the time, but sometimes I just need to get in there and give the elbow grease it needs.  So anyway, I hopped into my suit and went out to clean the pool.  After a good 20 minutes I invited the others to join me, and most of them did.

Once I was nice and cooled off, it was time to do something I had been promising Wesley I would do all day: take him for a bike ride.  The kids had tried to go in the morning, but they were all in such cranky moods that it never happened.  People's helmets (which had been left outside) had dirt or spiders on them, and there was just a general feeling of its-too-hot-I-don't-want-to-do-this that I let them take the dog for a walk instead.  But poor Wesley LOVES to ride his bike, so I told him I would take him in the evening when it cooled down.  Yeah.  Cooled down to 97 degrees.  But I had promised, and Nan and Kelsey decided to join us.  Olivia would have come, too, but her bike has a flat so she's been using mine.

It was overall a pretty nice day.  We didn't do anything new or exciting, but we ARE planning a trip to the "rocket park" first thing in the morning with a picnic breakfast.  It's supposed to be 90 degrees by 9am, so we have to make it early if we want to go at all.  Besides, hopefully there won't be other kids there for us to infect.

And in closing, I wanted to share my favorite "Wesleyism" for today:

"Wow, that was weird.  When I sneezed some boogers were starting to come out my mouth."

HFMD Correction

According to the CDC, I was misinformed.  I was told you are only contagious just prior to eruptions forming, but it seems that isn't the case.  Here's how Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is transmitted according to the CDC:  (For the full article, click here)

How Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease Is Spread

  • Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with infectious virus. Infectious virus is found in the nose and throat secretions, saliva, blister fluid, and stool of infected persons. The virus is most often spread by persons with unwashed, virus-contaminated hands and by contact with virus-contaminated surfaces.
  • Infected persons are most contagious during the first week of the illness.
  • The viruses that cause HFMD can remain in the body for weeks after a patient's symptoms have gone away. This means that the infected person can still pass the infection to other people even though he/she appears well. Also, some persons who are infected and excreting the virus, including most adults, may have no symptoms.

So what am I supposed to do?  Quarantine my family for weeks?  Keep them away from other people while they are symptomatic, and then hope for the best?  This is so frustrating.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Operation CrazyWoman: Day 9

    So this is the part where I start looking wild-eyed and hunted.  I thought I was in a for a nice, quiet, relaxing day.  That was before Connor crawled into my bed at 4:15 this morning burning up with a fever.  I assume it's all part of this hand, foot, and mouth disease we all have.  I think Connor and Simon have had it the worst because they are so young.  The rest of us just have these painful little bumps, but no fever.  The words I heard the most today were, "Mom, hold me."  And I really, really wish I could have just sat and held him all day long.  Unfortunately, he had to spend a good bit of time like this instead:

    Looks miserable, doesn't he?  Well, he is.  And he refuses any Tylenol to bring his fever down.  So sick child not withstanding, there were a few other things worth mentioning, though we didn't do anything new or exciting today.  I don't think there's anything LEFT that's new and exciting at this point in our visit!

    However, lest you start thinking that our days are just a miserable drudgery, let me offer some proof to the contrary.  I took this cute little video when I was preparing lunch.  Connor was sitting up on the counter to be closer to me (since I couldn't hold him) and he was making Simon laugh.  It was so cute I had to grab the camera.

    Nan, Olivia, and Kelsey have been working feverishly on friendship bracelets every chance they get since Sunday night.  Last night Wesley asked me if I would teach him, too.  Since it was too late to start teaching him last night, I promised him a lesson this morning.  He reminded me, too!  And he's actually pretty good.  If you look carefully, he's already got two finished bracelets on his right arm and he's working on a third.

    And speaking of Wesley, Ben just told me a funny story.  He took the 4 oldest kids to see Hop at the cheapo dollar theater tonight.  On the way back he had the radio on and was listening to "Sideways" by Dierks Bentley when he glanced in the rear view mirror.  Wesley was just a-sitting back there wiggling his shoulders and car dancing to the music.  Cute, isn't he??  I think out of all of Niel and Julie's kids, Wesley had delighted me the most because he's so unexpected.  He seems like a really quiet, sweet boy.  And he is!  But behind that quiet exterior lies and very funny sense of humor and a slew of random thoughts.  He's often popping out with "what ifs" and other funny statements and often laughs at his own jokes.  I'm not sure if he gets it more from his mother or his father.  Niel is a goofball, but Julie's got her own twisted sense of humor.

    In addition to making friendship bracelets, Olivia and Nan have started drawing a lot again.  Olivia brought me an eraser that she has completely worn through.  She was quite proud of the fact, and insisted that I take a picture.

    And speaking of Olivia, I also let her go swimming again today as long as she wore her ear plugs.  She lasted about 10 minutes before she decided she was done.  I tried to take a picture of her in the ear plugs, but the sun was in her eyes.  At least they match her goggles!

    As I already mentioned, Ben took the 4 oldest kids to the movie tonight, which left me home with the 4 younger ones.  This was supposed to be relaxing for me since most of the kids go down early.  For some reason, this didn't work out as planned.  Maddox woke up 5 minutes after Ben left and was fussy, so I decided to throw him in the bath really quick since he usually loves to splash.  While he was in I decided to bring Connor in and wash him down to help bring down his fever.  Before I had them out, Simon walked in and thought it looked like fun and wanted to get into the tub with the boys.


    I know the pictures are funny-shaped, but Ben insisted I cropped them to make sure all the privates were kept... well, private.

    While I was in the process of getting the boys out, I asked Mallie to go watch Simon for a minute.  She decided the best way to do this was to get in the bath with him, so she got a bath tonight, too.  Afterwards, we braided her hair and got her into bed.


    And finally, there's only one more thing worth mentioning.  Simon has finally figured out that there are things in this house that he can climb.  Like the changing table, for example.  Every time I turned around this evening he was on top of it trying to get into the baby powder.  Another example is the high chair.  After avoiding it like the plague for a week or so and absolutely refusing to sit in it any time we tried (like when he was going to eat yogurt), I noticed him climbing up in it several times today around dinner time.  I think he was trying to see what I was doing to get ready for dinner, and it gave him the best vantage point.  At one point after dinner, he even wanted me to put the tray on and give him raisins and some of Maddox's freeze-dried apple bits.  (In fact, this is where he was when I started bathing the other boys.)  When I went to take his picture, he apparently thought I wanted to see what was in his mouth.

    So.  Nine days down and only two left to go.  Friday morning we're just driving down to Dallas, so I'm not counting that one.  However, I do need to contact Julie's friend and see if she minds us all coming to her house and possibly bringing a contagious virus.  I don't know if we're over it yet - the girls and I are still having new eruptions on our hands and feet.  Guess I'd better give her a call tomorrow...

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Operation CrazyWoman: Day 8

    This morning, in honor of my 35th birthday, the three youngest boys woke up at 6:30.  Since it was so nice outside I went to check on the pool because we had left it uncovered for the weekend.  After cleaning all I could reach from the edge, I succumbed to the deliciousness of the cool water and decided to hop in and clean out the rest.  Simon was playing happily in his diaper, and Connor and Maddox in their jammies.  The boys were all in the backyard and pretty well contained, so I figured it was safe enough.  After a few minutes, Connor asked to get in so I let him strip down naked go skinny dipping.  What they hey, right?  I've already gone redneck this morning by letting a baby play outside in nothing but his diaper and hopping in the pool with my clothes on.

    By 7:30 everyone was up and the fighting began.  The fighting took place mostly between Simon, Mallie, and Connor.  Maddox was assaulted by Simon a few times, and Wesley engaged Mallie a little, but I'm pretty sure she started it.  I think it was the "7-day-itch" for Simon and Mallie.  It's hard not being in their own comfortable spaces.  In Mallie's case, she was also tired because I let her stay up with the big kids last night to finish a movie.  I didn't know she was going to turn into the devil.  It was almost comical.  She'd be playing with Simon or Connor just out of my sight... I'd hear the other person crying and come over and ask, "What happened?"  At this point, Mallie would look at me sweetly and say, "I punched him in the face."  Or something like that.  (At least she's honest, right??)  However, she took a nap today, and that has brought her angelic side back.

    So anyway, to cope with restless natives we decided to make an appearance at "Swim Monday", which is an event hosted by a friend at her house a few Mondays this summer.  Originally I had decided we weren't going because there was no way I could keep an eye on 8 kiddos (5 who weren't swimmers) at a busy pool.  Besides, with Olivia's ears I just didn't think it was a good idea.  It's amazing what screaming kids will make look like a rational option.  By 9am I had decided it was less stressful to get everyone ready to go and out the door than it was to stay in the house with all the infighting.  So that's what we did, and we had a great time, actually.  No injuries, no near drownings, and no drama.  Just what I needed.  And it wasn't hard to keep an eye on the kids, though I did spend most of my time counting heads.  By the time we got home it was time for lunch and naps for the younger kids (including a short one for me) and by the time we all got up we were in much better moods!

    After a couple of hours working on friendship bracelets and watching Tangled, the girls started to tell me about the blisters they were getting on their fingers - just like the ones Nan had.  In fact, I realized that out of the 8 kids in my care, 6 had shown symptoms of blister-like spots on their feet, hands, or in their mouths over the past week. And even I currently had 2 in my mouth and one on my thumb.  They are actually quiet painful.  After consulting with my medical-savvy sister (thanks, Beth!!), I decided I'd better run to the doctor to rule out a staph infection since we had a young baby in the house.

    The verdict?  Happy Birthday to me, I have a disease...

    Hand, foot, and mouth disease in fact.  It's a viral infection that is highly contagious, but relatively harmless.  Just painful.  I can remember having it once before in my life when I was about 8 or 9.  My little brother caught it and gave it to the rest of us kids (thanks a lot, Danny!).  I don't remember much except that we ate nothing but jello and pudding for about 2 weeks.  By the way, Julie, this is what Simon actually had when you got here - that mouth sore on his tongue started out as a cluster of blisters even though you couldn't tell on Saturday.  I know this because Connor has one right now that looks just like it but on the side of his tongue, and I know that one started as a cluster of blisters because I've been watching it for a few days.  From what the PA said, you are contagious just before you have eruptions (i.e.blisters).  As far as I can tell, this is the way it went:
    • Simon got it in Louisiana and passed it to Nan.
    • Nan started getting little blisters on her hands and feet a day or so after she got here, so she probably passed it on the kids at my house.
    • Connor got a cluster of blisters on his tongue on Tuesday or Wednesday.
    From there, I'm not sure who got it next.  The girls were complaining about it yesterday, and I first noticed it in my mouth yesterday, too.  Fun fun.  As long as Maddox, Wesley, and Ben don't show symptoms in the next couple of days we should be in the clear and not pass it on any more.  If you know us and you or your kids come down with the symptoms in the next day or two, I'm really, really sorry. 

    With all the drama today we didn't get much in the way of pictures, but we do have a few worth sharing. 

     After naps I went on a quick "Sonic run" to get some half-price slushies for the kiddos.

    Simon really loved his!

    This afternoon he was having a good time hanging out in the dog crate, so Olivia got a few pictures.  He looks a bit like a jailbird with those stripes and bars!

    Connor wouldn't co-operate so I could get a picture of his tongue, but here's a look at the blisters that are healing on his feet.  There's not very big, and are probably not something I'd have noticed by themselves.  Especially since he didn't complain about them.

    So anyway, that was our day!  I think tomorrow we're going to take it nice and easy and just play around the house.  That's my goal for tomorrow - play games with the kids and love on the little ones especially!  I think we all need it.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Operation CrazyWoman: Day 7

    Sunday, lovely Sunday.

    Sunday mornings we always get up and go to church.  Our main service (AKA "Sacrament Meeting") starts at 9am and lasts a little over an hour.  At our church, we don't have a nursery during this time - all families sit together.  The nursery is reserved for Sunday school class time.  Before we left for church we figured out a strategy on how we were going to sit so the big kids could help take care of the little ones.  But like any good battle plan, it's only good until the first arrow strikes home.  Or rather, until the first song is sung.  Actually, we didn't even last that long.  By the time that church started I had Mallie snuggling on my right side, Simon snuggling on my left, and Connor in my lap.  Fortunately our good friend Amy M. was sitting in from of us and took Maddox for me.  For the whole service.  Oh, happy day!

    At the beginning of the church service, I truly felt smothered with love.  By the time our hour and 10 minutes were up, I just felt smothered.  I felt like we should have hung a sign at the end of our pew saying, "Sit near us at your own risk."  There was a lot of noise, but at least it wasn't as loud as it could have been.  One of my favorite moments was when Mallie picked up our old cell phone (which is now a toy), flipped it open, and preceded to have a pretend conversation with her mother.  Loudly.  The sad part is that I didn't even notice until she was saying, "Okay, bye Mom!  I love you!"  But I'm pretty sure the family across the aisle had noticed and was having a good chuckle about it.  In fact, I'm always impressed with how tolerant the people sitting around us at church are to the noise coming from my little ones - the ones not old enough to know better.  Probably because they've been here before, too!

    After Sacrament Meeting, it was time for the kids to go to their Primary classes and for Connor and Simon to go to the Nursery.  I took Connor and Simon to the nursery, and neither one would stay.  So I took them all with me down to the Primary Room, where I have responsibilities.  I handed off Connor to Olivia and asked her to go find her dad and get him to take Connor to nursery.  Simon stayed on my hip for most of the next hour and a half.  Let me just say I'm grateful that kid isn't too heavy.  However, we finally made it through church today, and back home where my WONDERFUL husband let me have a nap!!

    The kids spent most of the afternoon playing quietly in the den with their stuffed animals, writing letters to Grandma Crews, and otherwise just hanging out.  Maddox had a grand time engaging in his new favorite hobby: Dishwasher Stalking.  As soon as that dishwasher comes open, he's over there before I get one dish in, and then he starts grabbing anything he can reach - especially if it's dirty.

    When we were at the store the other day Wesley asked me to buy him a can of chicken and dumplings because he loves dumplings.  So for dinner tonight, we had soup and sandwiches and I made homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade noodles (or dumplings, depending on which side of the Mason-Dixon line you're from).  All Wesley really wanted were the dumplings, so I drained his broth and put his dumplings and chicken on the plate.  Then he proceeded to ONLY eat the dumplings off his plate.  That funny boy.  After some consideration, he did eat one bite of chicken so he could have some dessert with us.  Fortunately, the extra chicken did not go to waste, and Trixie was very happy tonight.

    Wesley's plate after he ate dinner.

    Trixie's evening snack.

    While we were sitting around enjoying our dessert, the kids started doing imitations from the original Kung Fu Panda movie where Po is getting acupuncture and Mantis accidentally tweaks his facial nerve.  The original looks like this:

    The kids' imitations looked like this:


    Since I don't have a picture of Simon making a crazy nerve-face, I figured I'd stick in a couple of him smiling tonight at dinner with dessert all over his face.

     In this picture you can see the little scratch he got on his forehead.  I saw it last night, but I have absolutely no idea how it came to be there.  All I can say is that it must not have hurt much because he didn't cry when it happened!

    Last night when we had our evening talks, Nan asked if we could make more things.  Since I'm not crazy enough to bring out paint or anything that can stain with lots of little children around, I suggested that we make friendship bracelets.  So tonight after dinner I got out my old container of cross stitch thread and I taught them how it was done.

    They achieved varying levels of success, but they all enjoyed making the bracelets/anklets.

    What surprised me the most was Kelsey's focus and ability.  She really picked it up on how to do it quickly and kept wanting to make more.  I was afraid she'd be a little too young, but I guess that just shows I should always give them the chance to try!

    And the finished products! (Some of them, anyway.)

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Operation CrazyWoman: Day 6

    We are officially over half-way done.  Not that I'm counting.  Much.  Although having 4 extra kiddos in the house does bring it's own bunch of stresses, I really love this opportunity I have to get to know my nieces and nephews.  When you don't live in the same state as your extended family, the time we have to get to know each other is usually limited to short visits here and there, and during those the adults usually talk to the adults and the kids hang out with the kids.  What a blessing it is to have Niel's kids for 11 whole days all to myself!  In a manner of speaking, anyway.

    I've noticed something that is kind of funny and kind of not.  Simon (who is 20 months) is jealous of Maddox (who is 8 months).  I'm not sure if it's because Maddox is the "other" baby, or because he's gotten attached to me because I'm the mom and he's a boy that really loves his mama.  But regardless of why it is, when Simon is really tired or cranky, if he sees Maddox playing with a toy - any toy - he screams, runs over, and grabs the toy away from Maddox.  Like it's HIS special toy and Maddox had the nerve to touch it.  It would be comical if it weren't so hard on Maddox.  Fortunately, Maddox doesn't really know what's going on and it doesn't bother him much.  Also, he's got a pretty good grip and Simon can't usually get the toy away from him.  Though Simon sometimes drags him a foot or two.  Either way, it's keeping me on my toes!

    I was really looking forward to having Ben home today.  I thought for SURE I would get a nap.  However, my nap time got relegated to the back burner when Olivia came in and got me around 5:00 am or so crying with pain from her ears.  The poor thing was diagnosed with a double ear infection and swimmer's ear in on one side about 10 days ago.  It's come back with a vengeance, and worse.  I'm not sure it truly got cleared up the first time.  The doctor said her ears were so red he couldn't tell the edge of the ear drum from the ear canal.  So we're on another round of antibiotics and she is banned from the swimming pool for a few days.  I asked her if I could take her picture when we got in the van to go to the doctor's office.  She was a good sport about it, but she wasn't going to smile for me.  It hurt too much.

    Hopefully she'll be perking up soon.  Nan told me tonight during our talk that she has really missed playing with Olivia.  Speaking of the other kids, I did get a few good pictures today - and Nan took a couple of her own!

    Connor and Mallie had fun playing cars this morning.  When I came in with my camera for a picture, Connor looked up and said, "Cheeeese!

    The kids also went swimming for a while this morning, and they asked me to take a couple more pictures.  (We're all getting used to this "photo-journal" thing!)

    Nan loves giving those bunny ears!

    And a video of them doing one of their favorite things in the pool... making a whirlpool!
    (By the way, if the music on my blog is playing, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and pause it while you're watching the videos!)

    After lunchtime, Ben let Nan, Wesley and Kelsey break out the play dough for a while.  I was at the doctor with Olivia, but they were still working hard when I got home so I got a few pics of their fun.  I just bought a 24-pack of play dough this past week, so all of the colors are soft, new, and unmixed!  They are being very careful with it.

    Doesn't Wesley have the cutest dimples ever??

    And I'm not sure what Kelsey making here, but she is stylin' in that hat!

    Do you remember my post from Day 1 about the beads that Julie had left for the kids to grow in water?  Well, today Nan started the green ones, and she took pictures of them at the beginning and then about 2 hours into it.  Here are Nan's pictures:

    Some of the beads in the bowl before adding water.

    One bead in Nan's palm.

    About 5 minutes after adding the water, you can already see them starting to grow.

    Two hours later - voila!  Another bead in Nan's hand.  It's almost as big as a marble!

    And they aren't done growing yet... We'll have to take some pictures in the morning before church.  If there is time, of course!

    There's one more video I wanted to post from today.  I was busy making dinner and Kelsey asked if she could feed Maddox.  So I got out the baby food for her and she fed him while I cooked.  I glanced over and noticed she was making those exaggerated motions with her mouth that we all do when we're feeding babies - you know, like we're showing them how it's done or something.  When I started recording the video she exaggerated a little more than she had been, but you get the general idea.  I'm not sure if this is a learned behavior or an instinctive one!

    After dinner, we wrapped up our day with another movie night - an early one this time.  We had gotten the kids to take baths throughout the day, so that all we had to do was have them stick on their jammies, set out their clothes for church, and gather for a quiet movie.  That was the idea, anyway.  You see, when the kids are left to their own devices to play, they often come up with some rowdy, noisy things that are not the sort of things you want them doing right before bed.  Like playing "dogs", for example:

    So we thought a nice evening watching Hoodwinked would be just the thing.  The older kids sat quietly, Simon kept stealing Maddox's toys (jealous, remember?) and I fell asleep for about 20 minutes of the movie.  It reminds me of one of my all time favorite quotes that sums up my life:

    When I work, I work hard.  When I play, I play hard.  When I think, I fall asleep.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Operation CrazyWoman: Day 5

    Well, it's official.  Today was a mess.  Not as in what-a-terrible-day kind of mess.  It was literally a mess.

    It all started at lunchtime.  I decided to make some Kool-aid as a treat for the kids.  One of the children here (who shall remain nameless per his/her request) was trying to pour Kool-aid into cups from the pitcher.  This person didn't realize that I had CLOSED the pitcher, so he/she kept tilting it higher and higher trying to get the Kool-aid to pour out.  Eventually, the pressure built up enough on the lid that the whole thing popped off and several cups of Blue Raspberry Lemonade splashed all over the kitchen counters, cabinets, and floor.  If I had thought about it soon enough I would have taken a picture of the actual spillage, but I didn't think about it until I had sopped up most of the mess.  These blue paper towels were the only proof I had when I took the pictures.  Well, that and the annoying stickiness to my kitchen floor that will take a couple of days and several moppings to get rid of.  But how do you stick THAT in a blog?

    The second mess we had was after nap time.  Sadly, this one happens more often than I care to admit.  Connor got up and I didn't change his diaper soon enough... he squished out urine all over the loveseat... etc. etc. etc...

    The third mess was also Connor's doing.  We were eating a snack, and he dropped a full container of yogurt.  It fell standing up onto the carpet, but left a line of yogurt three feet long.  How is that even possible??  Don't believe me?  Here's the proof:

    Somehow he also a big glob of it on the underside of the table, and I have a sneaky suspicion that I ended up with some of it in my hair after I was done cleaning it up.  And yes, I have been out in public since.

    As for the rest of our day, it was pretty good.  However, I must admit that I am exhausted.  As in if-I-sit-down-I'm-going-to-fall-asleep exhausted.  Simon slept through the night last night (yay!) but Maddox and Connor didn't get the memo.  Normally Connor's really stealthy about slipping into our bed in the middle of the night, but I had actually nursed Maddox back to sleep at one point and fallen asleep with him in the bed with us.  That meant when Connor snuck into our bed and laid down between me and Ben, he laid down on top of Maddox.  Oops.

    We decided that this morning would be a good time to go visit the Children's Learning Center at the Historical Society here in Edmond.  Normally this is a great place to go, and being indoors and free are added bonuses.  Apparently, there's a lot of other moms that think so, too.  At least during summer vacation anyway.  I called my neighbor and friend, Terri, to see if she and her daughter would like to join us.  They were in, so off we went around 10am.  It was a bit crowded for my taste, but the kids seemed to have a good time, regardless.

    We let the kids play for a few minutes outside at the park before going in since it was not as hot as it would be later.

    Wesley was the first to discover the wooden teepee.  Awesome addition!  The last one was a lot smaller and made of fabric - not nearly as sturdy or roomy.

    They have period costumes available for the kids to dress up in, and after much begging and pleading on my part (well, I did have to say "please") Nan agreed to put on a hat and boots and take a picture.  She's normally way too cool for this sort of thing.

    Most of my time was spend sitting by this little garden area where the kids can plant the veggies.  The little kids LOVE this thing.

     The older kids seem to like it, too.

    Simon had a blast taking out the potatoes and putting them back again.

    Until Maddox tried to steal his basket.  Those two...

    Eventually Maddox just took over the garden spot.

    Do you see this turnip he's holding?

    See what he can do with it??

     Need a closer view?  That boy has a HUGE mouth.  And everything goes in it these days!

     While the babies were fighting over the garden spot, the rest of the kids were making themselves at home in the tee pee.

     When it was time to go, Mallie was very, very sad.  Mostly because she wasn't allowed to ride the horse statue and I wouldn't buy her a gum ball.

    On the way out we passed a checkers game set up that the kiddos really wanted to try.

    Nan really thought hard about her moves.

    After our messy afternoon at home, I needed to make a run to Aldi's before dinner.  I took the older kids and Connor with me while Ben held down the fort at home.

     They wanted to pose in the candy section.  Stinkers.  And no, I didn't buy those M&M's.  Nice try, Kelsey!

     And finally, after a fun-filled day and fabulous spaghetti dinner, we cleanup up the living room, vacuumed, and got comfy for a movie night watching Kung Fu Panda.

    That's 5 days down and 6 more to go.  What am I looking forward to the most about tomorrow?  A nap!