Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Need vs. Want

asdfasdf
Right now I really, really want to be doing this...


(i.e. sleeping, though I don't look even have as cute when I sleep)



But I really, really need to be doing something involving this...





And this...



Hmmm, we'll see which one wins out.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bureaucracy Stinks!

asdfasdf
Dear Readers,

We're students. Did I tell you that? I'm sure you already knew. So obviously we don't make a whole heck of a lot of dough. So, like most students, we're on food stamps. For those of your who are looking down you nose at us, don't worry, as soon as we get a job we'll be paying back in taxes whatever the government's giving us now ten times over. Anyway...every six months we have a review to see if we're still eligible for help, and every six months it seems, even when there aren't any changes, there are more hoops to jump through. Well this time around, there was a small change (a whoppin' $35 dollars more a month), and now we are almost literally drowning in red tape and paperwork. Apparently there was a mistake made way back in August of 2010 with Tyson and his grant, which came to light when the change was being input. Well it's way to complicated to even try to explain, especially because I don't really understand it myself, but the upshot of everything is that in order to keep our benefits I have to print out a year and a half worth of bank statements and then go through each one and mark whether it was Tyson or I who made each transaction. Oh and I have to take my name off any account that is associated with any of the grant money.

Yup, you read that right. For the first time since Tyson and I were engaged we will not have a joint account. But that's not even the worst part. I not only can not have my name on any account with Tyson, but I also can not have any of the grant money transferred into any account with my name on it. Which means for the first time since my parents took me to open my first bank account when I was, I don't know... 13 maybe, I don't have a bank account. Which means, besides my credit card, which is for emergencies only, I have no access to any money, at all. Did you follow all that?

Now the really strange part about all this is how it's effected me emotionally. Yeah, I'm frustrated but that comes with the territory, when do you tangle with bureaucracy without getting frustrated? But this time around the process has left me feeling different. Now Tyson is about the farthest you can get from chauvinistic, but knowing that now I can't even purchase a roll of toilet paper without Tyson's "permission" somehow makes me feel smaller, downgraded, almost second class. I don't really know why. I can't really explain it. Even going back and re-reading these words they don't really communicate the strange mix of emotions that I have about this ridiculous loss of a bank account. It's just a bank account, right? What we buy isn't going to change, right? Just now Tyson has to do the buying, right? Nothing is really different, right? And yet somehow everything is different.

Well thanks for listening. I needed to vent. Wish me luck with the bank statements, I'm sure they'll take awhile. Love you all.

A slightly smaller, slightly emotionally confused,

-ME

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nastalgia

asdasdasd
I've been wanting to do this for a couple years now, but I never seem to remember when the needed conditions are around. Well we got a couple inches of snow last night, so I finally did it!

What am I talking about?

MAPLE SNOWBALL SMILES!

Yup you read that right. Maple snowball smiles. I remember my mom making these for my sister and I when we lived in Boston.

Want the recipe?

Here it is....


Step #1: Gather ingredients
(yes it really must be Pure Canadian Maple Syrup, unless you're a heathen, then you have my permission to use that Eggo syrup junk)




Step #2: Find some snow
(good, clean, fresh snow is definitely preferable)





Step #3: Make a snowball
(Be careful not to over snowball, yes there really is such a thing, but make sure you pack it nice because it does actually make a difference)
Add Video



Step #4: Go back inside
(sorry no picture for this one)



Step #5: Heat up the syrup
(I know, I know, seems like you shouldn't, but really you should)





Step #6: Poor it over the snowball
(yup, it'll melt a but, and look kinda funny, but looks aren't everything)




Step #7: Place on table
(preferably where your 5 year old can see it, why?, they'll get curious)





Step #8: Watch them take that very first bite
(trust me it's worth it)





Step #9: Wait for that "oh my what is this fabulous stuff" face
(trust me, it'll come)





Step #10: The smile
(which is usually followed by a "you're the greatest mom in the world" hug)



There you have it. Maple snowball smiles! Wonderful, wonderful stuff, worth the slightly frost bitten hands don't ya think?



Oh, FYI, it doesn't work as well with fruity syrups, don't really know why...

..and it DEFINITELY doesn't work with molasses.

Ya know, in case you thought that might be a good idea.

Not like I did or anything...cough, cough....


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ben says...



So this past week Ben has had a tricky time keeping his bed dry at night. Which translates into lots and lots and lots of laundry for me.

Sigh.

Anyway...

On Friday I was once again gathering up sodden bedding and PJ's when Ben said, in regards to his pajamas...


"Mom, why are you washing those? They're dry!"


hmm...it makes me wonder what other things in his closet are "dry".


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Out of the house


Whooo hooo we did something fun today!

At least Ben thought it was fun....

video




Emma...well Emma wasn't so sure about the fun part...

video

It's a good thing you can't hear her screams of protest. I'm pretty sure they'd damage your hearing.


Andrew slept through it all, and Tyson inched along behind Ben all night, so maybe just Ben and I thought it was fun.

Oh well.

It was Emma's first time out on the ice after all. Maybe someday her screams won't be so loud.

Or maybe we'll all just lose our hearing.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Bumbo

I love our Bumbo...



...apparently so does Drew.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

How does this happen...

jhgjhg
So Drew has gown so quickly that it's already time to pull out the 3-6 month and 6 month sized clothes. Well apparently after sitting in storage and/or being lent out for 5 years organization disappears. So I got it in my crazy little head to pull out all of Ben's out grown clothes and do a major organize and sort session.

Seven bins later this is what our living room looked like...


I swear there's a floor under there somewhere.




PS. If you know someone who needs some boy clothes I have a few to spare. Just a few.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winds-day

asdfasdf
Hum, dum, dum, dee, dee, dum

Hum, dum, dum
Oh the wind is lashing lusterly
And the trees are thrashing thrusterly
And the leaves are rustling gusterly
So it's rather safe to say
That it seems that it may turn out to be
It feels that it will undoubteadly
Looks like a rather blustery day today
It seems that it may turn out to be
Feels that it will undoubteadly
Looks like a rather blustery day today


You wanna know how windy it was today?

It blew our front door open.

Several times.

Crazy!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Poor little Emma

asdfasdf
So Ben's back at school, which means that Emma, Drew, and I get to pick him up from the bus every afternoon. Well today, while we were waiting Emma decided to do a little dance, which for her means standing on her tip toes and doing knee bends, very cute. However apparently when you try and do that on a slight decline, and you're almost two, you lose you balance and forehead plant on the cement. Then because you're almost two you recover quickly and decide to do it again. Ending in the same result.


Poor baby girl.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Home Invasion

lkjhlkjhlkjhlkjhkljh
Our house is swarming with germs at the moment. It's like a petri dish in here. I've had to cancel two play dates, reschedule another, and it looks like I'll have to reschedule that one again. I guess it's Murphy Law, since I had just finally gotten my act together enough to start doing play dates again, since Andrew came along.
The germs started their invasion with Ben, last week, with croup. Did you know that 5 year olds could get croup? I didn't. I thought it was an infant sickness. But apparently you can actually get croup till you're about 15! Granted it is most common between 6 months and 3 years. Well Ben got it and now the other two have it. It's kinda funny that of our three kids, only one is actually in that "most common" age range, and she's had the easiest time of it. Ben's still struggling with a cough, though it's not very croupy sounding any more, and poor little Andrew sounds horrible, poor guy, and just wants to be held. I think our kids may be broken or something, because unless they have a fever of 104 the only way they act any different when they're sick is they are super duper, over the top, cranky. I spent the first few hours of my days with two screaming children and the other winning because he couldn't hear his movie. I'm pretty sure our neighbors hate us. Then to add insult to injury I'm sporting a glorious cold sore on my lip. Sigh. Basically the only person who isn't crawling with germs at the moment is Tyson, who spends all day working with germs. Ironic. Hopefully soon all these friendly germs will find somewhere else to go and we'll be able to reenter society.
kjhgkjhgkjhgjkhgkjhg

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ben Says.....


The other day we were driving past a couple of these...


when Ben asked...

“Mom what are those big poles doing in the middle of that garden?”


Yup, we're big football fans. Can you tell?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Miracles Happen


Miracles do happen you know.

Ya know how I know?

This is why...



Yup. ALL THREE OF THEM! AT THE SAME TIME! See...



That sure made our day trip up to Spokane a smidge easier.





Okay, that just made our day trip a smidge funnier.

How can you sleep like that?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love


Last week I fell in love. Head over heels, loose my head, in love.


With this....



Ain't it bee-u-tiful!!

You know what I love about it...

besides everything...

it's a camera bag!

Can you tell?

No?

Ain't it great.
It even fits other stuff, like keys, a wallet, maybe even an extra diaper or two. I've been wanting a camera bag like this for awhile now. Sure I have a couple other camera bags, one is a holster bag, which is great when I'm just going to take pictures and nothing else, but all it fits is my camera, it doesn't even fit my keys. The other is a backpack type bag that can hold extra lenses and stuff, but once again has no place for everyday stuff, like keys. I've been looking for a bag that is built to protect a camera, but is meant for everyday use so it has room for every day stuff too. You know, a toss the camera in and go type thing. This is it.

Camera protection...check.

Multiple pockets...check.

Cell phone pocket...check.

Key pocket...check.

Outstandingly gorgeous...check.

Super expensive...check, check.

Drat.

Sigh, goodbye my love. I guess it was never meant to be...


Unless I become rich and famous...


...or win the lottery.




Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chunky Monkey Cutie Pie!


Oh my, our boy is HUGE!


Today was Drew-ber's 2 month doctor's visit. He weighed in at a whopping 14.7 lbs and 24.5 inches, which puts him in the 95% and 91% respectively. Considering we took him home from the hospital at 6.9 lbs and 19.1 inches this boy has exploded! Neither of the other two kids approached this level of massiveness till at least 4 months, if not later. I think the doctor felt like he had to reassure me or something because he said that his weight to length ratio is "only" 63%. Which means that 37% of babies are fatter than Andrew. That made me chuckle. We think his fattiness is adorable and wouldn't have him any other way.


We love our little Heffalump, every last roll.





Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Success!



We got it! One of Andrew's speeches is now saved for posterity.


video


Rather eloquent don't ya think?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY


from...




PS. He'll be available for dates December 2027



Monday, February 13, 2012

Hate


Hate is a really strong word, which describes a very strong emotion. I don't use that word very often. I usually say something along these lines "dislike" "not a fan" "prefer something else" etc. etc. Mostly because there really are few things that my feelings of dislike are strong enough to warrant the word "hate". That being said, I hate baseboard heaters. I know, I know, kind of a weird thing to feel so strongly about, but I do. I hate baseboard heaters. Our current apartment has them. I hate that they render a whole wall of space almost useless because you can put anything close to them. But I really, really, really, hate what they do to my kids...


Yup, that's Emma's knee. Yup, that's a burn. Yup, it was bad enough to turn red, blister, scab, the whole scha-bang. Yup, the heat was only on high enough to prevent her from freezing in her bed. Yup, she touched it for less than 15 seconds. Yup, we had stuff in front of it as close as possible without being a fire hazard. Nope, I have no idea how to make them safer.


Did I tell you that I hate Baseboard heaters?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Andrew finds the camera



Andrew's had a lot to say recently, which is adorable; of course there's little that he does that isn't, but we're his parents so we're supposed to think that. Anyway we attempted to catch one of his speeches on camera. It didn't really work, but what we got was fun anyway.


video






Saturday, February 11, 2012

100th Post


So 100 posts is supposed to be a big deal or something. Ignore the fact that it took me 3 years to get there. Which is not even 3 posts a month, in case you were wondering.

Yes I did the math.

Anyway, I knew this was coming and thought I'd do something different. My thought was that I could go out and get 100 pictures of people smiling and make a totally awesome video montage. Something fun, something different.

Why not?

Well I got to number 31 before I was yelled at by a Walmart manager for taking pictures.

What?

I thought it was a good idea. It's the most populated place in town that wouldn't require me to push a stroller and wear a parka.

Anyway, after the chastisement I got a little bitter and thought "who wants to see a video of a bunch of people they don't know anyway!" I went home and sulked.


Then in those almost falling asleep moments of brilliance, I got a brain wave.



Here it is...



...I bet you'll know a person or two in this version...



...and I bet you'll be smiling before it's done.


video

And yes there are 100 pictures.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Wedding Ninjas


Some of you may recall that Tyson, Ben and Emma took off to become wedding ninjas at the end of December. Well they brought back a wedding ninja outfit for little Andrew too, which of course resulted in an attack of wedding ninja-ness last Sunday.


At first Ben thought he was just way too spiffy of a ninja to deign to have his photo taken...




...he finally decided that he looked way too spiffy to NOT have his picture taken.




Emma, well Emma was annoyed about just about everything at the moment.




Ben was very pleased to show Andrew the ropes...




...while Andrew was just please to be involved.




Ten minutes later the boys continued to show off their ninja-ness, while Emma was anxious to move on to the next event of the day, lunch...




...eventually Andrew started wondering how he ending up in the middle of all this.


I told him I didn't really know. It just happened.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Choices


Sometimes I hate choices...

...No I take that back...

...I almost always hate choices...

...No I take that back too...

...I hate MAKING choices, having choices is great, making them is hard. Particularly when the choice is whether to shower or take a nap with the 30 minutes that naps and quiet time all line up. What's with that? Why do I have to choose between two such good things? I really like showers. But I really like naps too. Sadly, for my husbands over sensitive nose, naps usually win out; until about day three or four. That's about when I start scaring people away, or my husband will very tactfully ask "did you want to shower today?", which is code for "hit the showers sticky pot!" Then the shower will prevail. Of course if my shower looked something like this...


...it probably would be less of a contest.

Of course if my shower looked like that then my bed would look something like this...


...and we'd be back to square one.


Which would you choose. Shower? Nap?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Allan Quatermain



Have any of you ever seen the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? You haven't? Go see it, it's fun. Anyway...the main characters are all famous literary characters. Namely: Allan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, Rodney Skinner (The Invisible Man), Dorian Gray, Tom Sawyer, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and M (Moriarty). When I first saw it I was pretty proud of myself that I'd at least heard of and/or read most of the characters...except for Allan Quatermain. Never heard of him. Well the movie came out 9 years ago and I just finally got around to reading Allan Quatermain. I finished last night.

I was disappointed, mostly because Quatermain is a pretty boring character. There's a much more interesting Zulu warrior which I think would be more fitting the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. Besides Quatermain (SPOILER ALERT) dies at the end! What's with that. He goes along telling his tale of adventures, which I did actually enjoy, Allan just wasn't that impressive during, and then he dies. Of course when I told Tyson all this he simply said something like this "of course he dies it's the last book". WHAT? It is? Huh? No one told me that. Why in the world would you name the very last book in the series after the title character. Isn't it more expected that the first book would be call that? Maybe it's just me. So I looked it up. Sure enough there are 15 Allan Quatermain stories! That doesn't include all the spin off books and comic books. Did everyone know this but me? And do you know what the first book, chronologically, is called? Marie. Yeah, I'll be reading that one next. Maybe it's in all the other books that Quatermain gets his "cool literary character" reputation. We'll see. Anyway, even though Quatermain wasn't that impressive action/adventure wise, I did enjoy the book. Ironically enough, though I enjoyed the adventure parts, my favorite part is actually a quote. Before Quatermain leaves to travel into the unknown parts of Africa he gives this advice to a young girl:

"Always try to be good, my dear, and to do what is right, rather than what happens to be pleasant, for in the end, whatever sneering people may say, what is good and what is happy are the same."


Good advice don't you think?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pancake art-ish


So I've been rather under used in my calling at church lately, which is actually probably a good thing considering how easily overwhelmed with life I seem to get recently. Anyway, my sole job thus far is to make...no...cook pancakes this coming Wednesday. Well I got it in my head that if the only thing I was good for was cooking pancakes then I was going to cook the coolest darn pancakes ever, not just boring round ones. So....pancake art. Last night I decided to practice, good thing too.

I started out with a flower for Emma.

It's a bit thick and I forgot to take a picture of the "outline" phase, but so far so good...



hmmm...that could have gone a bit better....




Yeah...flower...



So, no worries, I moved on to Ben's car...


riiiiiight...so it's kind of a Richard Scary type car...





Still looking car-ish, so that's good...




Oh drat...goodbye car...





I told Ben it was a puzzle pancake car and he could try to put it together. He was kind enough to correctly identify the wheels.


Still you can't get me down! One more shot...


A couple mountains with a river. I don't really know why, it just happened...




Looking slightly less mountain-y and a little more blob-y...




But look! Still in one piece!


Yeah...so I guess I'll be making the coolest darn boring round pancakes ever on Wednesday!


Monday, February 6, 2012

December...again...


Do you remember that month called December? Yeah? Oh right we've already been over this. Well I thought I share a bit about the rest of December, not just the Andrew parts, oh and there's a few pictures from January too, as a bonus.

Of course there was Christmas...

That was a little crazy hectic, but enjoyable. Emma's favorite part was her very own box of fruit snacks. I think she ate six or seven packs in an hour and a half. She then decided that she needed to go out and stand in the middle of the sidewalk in her pajamas in 30 degree weather. I guess all that sugar went to her head. Ben's favorite part was unwrapping stuff. It didn't even matter who it was for or what was in it. Having to take a break for nap time just about killed him. Andrew's favorite part I'm pretty sure was nap time, which I think was also dad's favorite. Mine was being able to "talk" to my brother on his mission on skype. His microphone wasn't working so we got to see him and just chatted amongst ourselves while he send us written messages. It would have been actually hear his voice but hey I'll take what I can get.

After Christmas Tyson and the older kids took off on an adventure that included a plane ride and a wedding...


It was the first time Tyson had traveled by himself with the kids. He did great! The kids did good too. I missed them. Which surprised me. This was the first time I was the parent being left behind. Usually it's me and the kids taking off. I have to admit I shed a few tears as they were walking into the airport. It didn't help much that Emma kept turning around going "mommy? mommy?" as she walked away. Heartbreaking. I did get plenty of sleep while they where gone though, which was the first time since Ben was born and I'm sure the last time for awhile. Tyson said that the wedding went well. The kids looked adorable, as usual. But apparently Ben would only get in his wedding outfit after Tyson told him it would make him a "wedding ninja"(see picture of leaping wedding ninja above, second down all the way on the left). Now he won't wear anything else to church except his "wedding ninja" clothes.

Now that's basically it for now, but here's some more pictures of Ben and Emma from the past month or so just because I love you. Oh and check our the picture of Ben waving from the Bus. It was his first day riding the bus to school and he was SOOOO excited!








Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blessings and Endings


Last Sunday was Andrew's blessing day. Ben and Emma were both blessed at home and Andrew was no exception. We had a sort of quiet, or at least as quiet as it can get with 6 little kids in such a small space, event attended by my parents, little sister and our adoptive family here in town. Andrew wore the cutest hand knit romper that my mom found for him, topped with a very special blue sweater that my grandmother had knitted for me when I was little. I must say that Drew made a devastatingly cute specimen in his finery.




Tyson performed the blessing and he did a great job. Andrew must of thought so too because he just cooed and giggled at his daddy the whole time. The rest of the kids were even quiet and calm for those two minutes, which is a miracle. Of course a bribe of fruit snacks probably helped a bit.


It was wonderful to be surrounded by people who love us and love Andrew, but at the same time, at least for me, there was lots of feelings of melancholy too. We knew when I was pregnant with Andrew, especially after the second trip to the hospital, that he had to be the last baby for us. At the time that knowledge was a relief knowing that my body wouldn't have to struggle through another pregnancy and surgery. But I didn't know then, or even suspect how hard it would be emotionally afterwards. Granted a chunk of this could very easily be due to leftover pregnancy and nursing hormones, but still. It's hard snuggling this bundle of yummy-ness knowing that these moments are so fleeting and are the last ones, least until grand kids, but frankly that's way to far in the future to be at all reassuring. Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed with sadness it makes it hard to actually enjoy the moment, it's just too sad. That sorta happened with Andrew's blessing. It was indeed wonderful, but I was very aware that this also was one of the many endings ahead of us. The ending of newborns, of babies in blessing suits, of baby giggles, eventually of diapers (though this one probably won't be so missed), too many endings to list. Endings are HARD. Fortunetly, however I completely held it together during the blessing and while people were still here. It wasn't till my parents had been on the road for 20 minutes that I decided to lose it. You want to know what pushed me over the edge this time? It's kinda silly. It was pictures. I realized that in all the hubbub I failed to get a photo of the blessing boy with the men who stood in the blessing circle. But that wasn't what did it. It was the fact that not only did I fail to get a picture of all the men folk, I didn't even get one with my dad and Drew, period. That started the water works and then they just got even worse when I realized that it wasn't just blessing pictures that I've missed. I do not have ANY pictures with Andrew and my dad. None, nada, zero! Of course now the melancholy overflowed all over the floor, and I think it even scared Tyson a bit. Not only was this my last baby, but I had somehow managed to forget to capture even one moment between him and my dad. I know that that might seem like a very minor thing to some, or all, of you, but too me, a woman who battles tears every time she hugs her infant and wants to capture and save every single second, it was devastating. Drew and dad won't be in the same place again till he's at least four months old, that's a lifetime (literally) for Andrew. Tyson offered to call my parents and ask them to come back, but I really couldn't ask them to drive an extra 40 minutes for a picture. Maybe I should have. I'm getting a little teary even now.


Well all that being said I've learned and relearned a few things these past few weeks. I've remembered that my husband never looks handsomer (is that a word) or more manly then when he's holding his babies. I've learned that if I had the choice of whether or not to find out when I'd die I'd choose not to know. Endings come regardless of whether you know it or not and knowing just makes enjoying what's left way too hard. But what I have really and truly figured out, finally, is that this little poem, you'll recognize it...

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

...is reality. So if you come to my house anytime in the near future and notice that I've left the dishes to pile up, haven't swept, moped, or vacuumed, and that the bathroom is verging on scary, you'll know why. I'll be driving around cars, dressing dolls, and rocking my babies every second that I can.