Saturday, July 30, 2011

Good Meet You

Connor is really good at make believe, which amazes me since he's barely three years old.  I overheard this conversation this morning (and I'm writing it verbatim):

Connor: What your name?
Kelsey: My name is Kelsey.  What's your name?
Connor: I Boy.  Nice meet you.

Then he'd shake her hand and ask her all over again.  I love my kiddos.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Look, Mom!

Copy Cat

Kelsey and Connor are playing with their Zhu Zhu pets at the dining room table. 

Kelsey says, "Hi, my name is Star, what's your name?"  Then she whispers to Connor, "Say 'Taylor'."

Connor whispers, "Taylor."

Then Kelsey says, "No, say 'Taylor' really loud."

Connor yells, "TAYLOR REALLY LOUD!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm Not Tired!

On the way home from the camp out, she said she wasn't tired.  A few minutes later, we found her like this.

I don't know... what do you think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Us Going to Die!

This little boy is so cute.  And he has so much to say...

He was freaking out over bugs on the front porch, so I grabbed the camera.  The first video tells you what he's worried about and is just cute.  At the end of the second video you find out what it is he REALLY saw...
(And don't forget to scroll down and pause the music so you can hear the conversation!)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Do you know what THIS is??

 It's a tragedy, that's what it is.

Who would have though that out of 1000 pieces, a single one would make such a difference?

Can you tell which one it is?  

I'll give you a hint.  It's the one we found in Maddox's mouth when we are almost done with the puzzle.

After doing the repairs I could with some markers, we're going to frame it and hang it anyway.

Can you see it now??

I can.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Food and Fun

Since I just bragged a bit on Connor, I should probably give my other baby some attention on here.

He's growing up so fast, and I can't decide if I'm glad to be graduating from "baby mode" or sad that this is probably my last baby to go through.  Though I must confess that I'm usually I'm in "glad" mode.  It's hard to believe he'll be 9 months on Sunday.

Maddox has a grip like iron.  When we're feeding him with a spoon, his favorite thing to do is grab said spoon, and not let go.  Picture it.  Baby has the spoon in a very, very tight grip.  Spoon still has a bit of pureed whatever on it that we were feeding him.  Mommy (or Daddy) is struggling trying to pull the spoon away from baby.  All of a sudden the spoon pops free!  And the food?  Goes flying all over me.  Needless to say, eating time is very messy.  This is exactly why I like my kids to be feeding themselves at this age.  Which he often does, followed by a quick rinse off in the tub because it's easier than trying to clean him off with washcloths or wipes.  However, we're still dealing with a lot of food sensitivities for this guy.  He breaks out in eczema all over his neck and chest if I give him anything with wheat in it.  Or apples.  Or several other foods.  I didn't have to think this hard to feed all of my other kids put together!  However, he does get plenty to eat and enjoys a variety of fruits and veggies.

This is what it looks like when you give a baby cherries.

And his motor development?  Well, this is currently his favorite toy:

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain clothes all over the floor.  The girls were supposed to be doing their laundry.

Though he hasn't quite gotten the knack of speed control or turning it when he runs into something.  He does, however, have us all trained well to assist him when he lets out his mad cry.

We're such pushovers.

My Little Big Man

I don't know if all mothers feel this way (though I suspect they do), but I have absolutely the most adorable little three-year old boy on the entire stinkin' planet!  His personality is just exploding, and I can't contain myself.  I have to share some of it with you.

See this face?  We were driving in the van the other day, and Connor got very concerned about a big truck that was near us on the road.  (In case you're wondering... No, I wasn't taking pictures and driving at the same time.)

So he started yelling, "Watch out for that truck, Mommy! We hit it!"  (And by the way, I swear I was no where near the thing.)

 He followed it up with an "We almost die!"  He wasn't so upset he couldn't give the camera a good cheesy grin, though.  Come on, really?? Backseat driving at THREE?

And then there was the night we got him the tool set with some of his birthday money. 
Ben and I couldn't stop laughing when we realized he was using his pajama pants as a tool belt. Not sure it was the right reaction to the whole thing, though.  Now he keeps sticking tools down his pants and coming to me and saying, "Look, Mommy!"  What have we started??

 Earlier this week I was teaching a CPR class at my house to some friends of ours.  Connor decided at one point that he just couldn't be parted from me (Yes, he's a momma's boy - sue me!) and came in to watch the class.  When the girls started performing the CPR skill on the adult manikins, Connor grabbed one of the babies and did it to.
Maybe this skill will come in handy some day.  I'm just hoping he doesn't decide to practice on Maddox.  

Speaking of his baby brother, he absolutely loves to play with Maddox.  Unfortunately, this "play" often involves wrestling and trying to hit him with his tools.  Needless to say, Connor keeps me on my toes.  He's so independent that he won't even hold my hand willingly when we're walking anywhere, not even in the parking lot.  Yet he's also a little jealous of Maddox.  He has recently been asking to sleep in the pack-n-play (crib) which we put up in our room while his cousins stayed with us.  Then one night last week he was sitting on my lap watching a movie, and he handed me the spatula (scraper) we keep the toy box and said, "Feed me, Mommy."  So I pretended the spatula was a spoon and "fed" him just like a baby for a couple minutes.  What a nut.

And, finally, I'll share one last story with you.  Connor has been resisting a haircut for quite some time because he's afraid the clippers will hurt.  So yesterday I pulled them out, stuck on a guard, and showed him on our hands, arms, and even Maddox that they don't hurt at all.  After psyching him up as much as we could yesterday and today, I prepared to give him a haircut this evening.  It took a whole episode of Diego, but I was able to give him an acceptable hair cut with only a tiny melt-down near the end.  Afterwards, I wanted to take his picture, but he had decided he didn't want a picture.  He wouldn't be still, no matter how hard I tried!  So after getting about 10 pictures like this...

...Daddy pinned him down for me so I could get this:
He's a stinker, but a cute one.  And I love him to bits!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Amazing, But True

This morning at breakfast Kelsey looked and me and said, "I've been trying new things lately, haven't I?"

"Yes, I noticed," I said.  (This is a big deal because she's my uber-picky eater who won't try anything.)

"I even ate broccoli the other day," she continued, "and I liked it!  Except for the trees.  They tickle my throat.  I think I need a bigger throat!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Life, As Usual

Well, life has slowly returned to normal over the past few days.  Ben is back at work, the girls are getting on each other's nerves, the house needs to be vacuumed.  I think we have finally caught up on the laundry.  Mostly.

One thing, however, has changed.  I think we are finally back in our blogging groove.  We had so much fun taking pictures of our days and activities while the Crews' were here.  The kids keep bringing me things and asking for pictures and videos to be taken.  The funny thing is, we seem to taken more enjoyment in the every day things if we know we get to share them with someone else later, even if it is just this blog.  So here's a little catch-up on what has been going on.

Sunday night I challenged Ben to a game of Connect 4.  Since he couldn't beat me, Olivia wanted to take a shot.  She got me one out of three games.  Then, of course, Kelsey needed to try.  Again, one out of three games.  I'm still the champion, but it's not over yet.  Kelsey keeps asking to try again...

Kelsey also wanted me to take a picture of her crazy teeth.  She's as snaggle-toothed as they come these days!

And isn't this boy just too cute for words?

He helped with the tournament, too.  He put my pieces in for me.

One of the toys that has caused the most ruckus over the past few weeks had been this little number:

Kelsey & Connor were pretending to be dogs and pull it around the room with their teeth.

And when it finally got the best of them, Maddox went in for the kill.

This "dog" thing is really starting to get out of control.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Stalker

In silent anticipation she crouches slightly, quivering with suppressed energy.

The movement catches my eye, and I quietly open the sliding glass door.  She slips through and pauses a moment to survey the terrain.  Spotting her quarry, she takes slow, graceful steps across the lawn towards the object of her desire.

Pause.  Her target seems to sense the danger and takes a quick glace around the area.  She freezes mid-stride.  Five seconds.  Ten seconds.  Thirty seconds.  There is no danger here.

The prey has relaxed.  It was a false alarm.

Once again confident in her anonymity, she begins the deliberate, stealthy movement which takes her ever closer to her goal.  Within seconds, the critical moment has arrived.


In a heartbeat, it is over.  Her prize has escaped, and mocks her from a distance, chittering in scorn.  The operation may have ended in defeat, but she will never succumb in her heart.  She is a hunter, and she will get her prey.

She is patient.  She will wait.  Her day will come.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mrs. Who??

I apparently have an aspiring artist for a child.

Who, might you ask?

I'll give you a hint.  She wrote and performed these songs all by herself.
(Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page and mute the music!)

Verse 1:

 Verse 2:

(In case you can't tell, we've been reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle, featuring the memorable characters of Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which.)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's Official

Maddox has gotten his first tooth.  I felt it in his mouth this morning.

Yay for him!  He's only 8 1/2 months old...

Operation CrazyWoman: The Final Chapter

The last 40 hours of my life are a blur.  And probably not for the reasons that you would expect.  But rather than get ahead of myself, let me pick up where I left off...

Since Thursday was going to be the Crews kids' last full day here, we decided to beat the heat and start it off with some outdoor fun.  I got up early and baked some muffins, then got the kids up at 7am.  They got dressed and ready to go and by 7:30 we were loaded into the van with muffins, leftover watermelon, cheese cubes and water bottles.  Sounds like a good breakfast to me!  We got to the "rocket park" and I told them they had to eat before they could play.  They all seemed to enjoy the breakfast despite the crazy face Connor was giving the camera.

And just in case you couldn't make it out... here it is in close up.  What a weirdo, but I love him!

Everyone seemed to have a really good time.  

Even though Maddox had to stay in the stroller.

What is it with my boys and weird faces??

The zip line was a really big hit.

Simon was very interested in Maddox for a while.

I finally figured out why.  He wanted to push the stroller.

So I lowered the handle and let him have a go.  He actually did really well until the moment when I got distracted and stopped watching for just a minute.  The next thing I knew he had toppled off the sidewalk into the play area.  I'd have taken a picture of it, but I was too busy trying to rescue Maddox.

After that, I held Maddox and let Simon push an empty stroller.  He was fine with that.

The girls spent a lot of time huddled in different places doing who knows what.

Wesley couldn't get enough of that zip line.  He couldn't actually get all the way across on his own steam, so I'd give him a big push.  He thought it was awesome.

And Connor even gave one of the climbing walls a go.

Near the end, the girls decided to do their traditional walk along the wall.

Unfortunately, all of the other kids followed like ducks in a row.

I'm so glad we took advantage of the cool morning.  And yes, "cool" is a relative term.  Let's just say that when we left to go home before 9am, the display at the bank said it was a balmy 88 degrees already.

The rest of the day was spent in the usual way.  Swimming, playing, watching Pink Panther, etc.  We had leftovers for lunch, and around 3:45 or so I started  feeling really, really tired and cranky.  So the older kids agreed to watch the younger kids while I took a short power nap.  When I woke up 30 minutes later I was feverish and had a splitting head ache and that's where the "blur" begins.

I thought I had developed a fever like the younger boys did from the HFMD, and I figured it would pass.  I was incoherent most of the evening, but I did manage to be up a little bit so Ben could take the older kids to the library and out for ice cream.  However, my dream of sending the kids home with neatly packed bags and freshly laundered clothes was fast becoming an impossibility.  I had the kids start collecting their own items and start packing their own bags as much as possible, but there was no way I could contribute Thursday night.  Once the kids went down it was back to bed for me.  I was up and down all night with my fever and a headache.  When fever reached over 103, so Ben sent me to take a shower and cool off.  Eventually, my fever broke and I thought I was on the mend.

That lasted until about 7am Friday morning.  I had gotten up with the idea that I could still drive the kids to Dallas to meet their parents.  That didn't last very long.  My fever was quickly coming back, and it took all of my energy just to get the kids out of the door with most of their belongings.  Ben took the Crews kids and Olivia, which left me home with our younger three.  Within an hour of his leaving, I was in really bad shape.  I slept away most of the morning on the couch while Kelsey "babysat" the younger boys.  Fortunately, Maddox was really, really easy.  Around lunch time it became apparent to me that I needed help.  I couldn't get of the couch, my fever was close to 103 again, and I didn't even have the energy to change Connor's stinky diaper, much less fix lunch for anyone.  So I called the one person who I could think of whose number I had memorized: Amy M.

She got to my house soon after that and saved us all.  Happy Meals for the kiddos, a fruit smoothie for me, and willing hands to take care of my kids.  She even stayed with us all afternoon until Ben got home, which was more than I had expected.  And she got in touch with someone else from church who brought us dinner.(Thanks so much, Lynn!)

Around bedtime my fever was creeping up again so I went to take another shower.  And that's when I realized something very important: I wasn't feverish and sick from HFMD at all.  I have mastitis, which is an infection in my breast tissue.  This is what the PubMed website has to say about it:

Breast infections are usually caused by a common bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) found on normal skin.  The bacteria enter through a break or crack in the skin, usually on the nipple.  The infection takes place in the fatty tissue of the breast and causes swelling. This swelling pushes on the milk ducts. The result is pain and lumps in the infected breast. Breast infections usually occur in women who are breastfeeding. 

It was probably brought on by a combination things this past week.  I decided to wean Maddox because he had given me a blister on one side (either from improper nursing or teething?) and it hurt to nurse.  The resulting engorgement likely exacerbated the problem and probably led to the mastitis.  Fortunately, I was able to start an antibiotic last night and although I still have a fever today, I am feeling somewhat better.  Hopefully with a lot of rest and fluids I'll be feeling back to my normal self in no time.

So what about Operation CrazyWoman?

Am I glad I did it?  YES.  I have come to love those kids like I never have before.  They are so sweet and talented, and it was a choice experience for me and my family, despite the extra stresses.

Did I learn something?  YES.  The honeymoon is over after a week, so think very hard about agreeing to take someone else's kids for more than that length of time - especially if they are under 5 years old.

And although we are glad to have our little family back to being... well... little, I think the conversation I had with Connor this morning sums up how we all kind of feel about it:

Connor: Where's Nan?
Me: Nan?
Connor: And Wesley?
Me: Nan and Wesley went back to their mommy and daddy in Louisiana.
Connor: Oh, man...