Sunday, August 24, 2014


 The other day I told Drew to put down his book and go do something (can't recall just what), and when he didn't move, I asked, "Are you going to obey me?"  His answer: "Kinda."  he never looked up from his book, just kept looking at it and said, "Kinda."  It was kinda the funniest way to disobey ever.

That's what he does when he doesn't get his way or someone is being mean to him.  Pouter!  He's really got it down though!  It's hard to resist.  Luckily, I have my super powers.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I spy bags: I finally made them!

These have been on my "to sew" list literally since Isaac was a baby.  They weren't that hard to make, but in the end it took some planning and real dedication to complete the project.  First, I had to order the plastic sheets online.  Then I had to cut everything, plan fabrics, and sew the top pieces altogether.  Then you sew on the back, leaving a small hole to pour in the plastic beads (I used plastic clear pony beads.)  I had to find all the little things to search for in the bag and put them in.  Of course, then I realized that I should make the tags before putting them in.  I took them out and made tags using clip art and doing some drawings where I couldn't find clip art.  Next I sewed the plastic over the tags, punched a hole, threaded a ribbon, and put the ribbon in to the hole in the bag to sew it up and be done with that.  I made four at one time because I knew I would have a hard time getting myself to start the process all over again once real school is underway.  

I have the names of the kids they are for on three of them because I ran out of the right letters for the fourth.  I put foam letters in the bags to "spy" as well.  On the fourth one, I just put in the letters, A, B, and C.

The Backs of the Bags

Brian thought the safety pin was a bad move since he thinks a kid could open it and it would poke through.  I kinda didn't think of that at all, so we'll see.  Brian recommended that I leave it out in the future. :)  Maybe I should sew a warning on it or something.  Just think of it as a German toy.  They have all kinds of dangerous toys over there.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Isaac is six!

Isaac's birthday was on the 9th.  (I'm so behind!  Judah turned one yesterday!)  His party is this Saturday though.  We are having a big boy birthday bash with all three brothers since their birthdays are so close together.  Since his birthday party wasn't going to be for a while, we let him pick the restaurant and a few special things to do that day.  He requested to go to Barley and Hops which has free kids meals on Sundays (2 per adult entree, by the way, so all 4 of the bigger kids can have a kid's meal for free...cheapest meal we can have as a family!)  So we went out the to dinner the next day instead of right on his birthday.  We ended up at a friend's house for a barbecue the night of his birthday.  He also asked to go on a hike with his dad.  Brian took him (and the girls) on an afternoon hike while I stayed with the nappers.

His gifts from the family:  I made him a tooth fairy pillow with a pocket for his tooth, his name embroidered, and Wolverine (drawn by me with fabric markers, partially embroidered for texture.)  Hannah made him Wolverine claws out of duct tape.  The wrapped presents included a Wolverine action figure and Hero Factory and Transformer stuff.

Special Surprise Birthday Breakfast:  Daddy's flour-less banana pancakes

Opening his gifts

He had a good day, bu Drew did not.  As you can imagine, he wanted all of Isaac's presents since he is superhero obsessed too, probably more so.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy!  We love you so much!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Face painting

We noticed right after this that she had lost an earring in her bed.  :)  She doesn't typically go around with one earring in, but she's a wild sleeper and they come off in bed sometimes.
 The kids got out their face paints and painted each other's face.  Hannah always gets out of having her's painted though since she just likes to paint other peoples' faces.  Genna painted Isaac's and Hannah painted Genna's.  Genna painted Drew's that day too, but we didn't get a picture since he kept rubbing the paint off onto the wall and the couch.  We had to wash it off pretty soon after it went on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ice Skating Princess

Genevieve,  when given the choice of any sport or summer camp she could dream up, chose ice skating.  I thought it would be too expensive,  but it turned out to be reasonable so we signed her up with a friend that we recruited.   In the end, her friend couldn't go due to an out of town funeral.   She was bummed and begging for me to sign Hannah up, until I reminded her that she would make a friend or five of her very own by the end of the first day.
First Day

 She loved it,  and on the last day, after the performance for the parents, she introduced us all to each of her new friends.   Speaking of the performance,  she got all dolled up for it.  She even borrowed Hannah's snowflake earrings.  She promised me all week I could do her hair in a bun (one of her most hated hairdos because she thinks she looks like she has no hair...ridiculous!) and she let me without a fuss.  She was super cute about the whole thing.  She just has such a loving and cheerful spirit that is so refreshing and fun to watch.  After the show was over, and she had introduced us to her friends, she wanted to show us some more of her moves.  She's got this huge smile and she's skating and tries to lift up one leg or something and falls.  The smile never leaves her face, she just gets right back up and tries some other fancy move.  So cute!

Genna's Final Performance:  She's the crazy one in blue with bare arms.

Drew's watching the performance.

Sisters hugging after it was all over.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hannah's Artistry

Hannah drew this from a how to draw type book on her own.  I love the eyes and the perspective that she used here.  The girls have been doing a Ginger Himes DVD (from Seton) for portrait drawing and I have been doing Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain with them this summer.  Isaac gets frustrated with drawing so I tried a more basic Drawing Textbook with him.  He's still frustrated, but he did really well.  I don't quite know why he gets frustrated since he always does so well.  We're still working on that.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Moving on up to the big boy bed!

The bunk beds have been there waiting for a while, but he just wan't quite ready.  Drew has been potty trained during the day for a long time, since December.  He's nap trained as well, but not night time potty trained.  He's still in pull ups at night.  Anyway, the main reason I waited to move him is his obedience level has not been up to my standards.  He never questioned bedtime or the crib because he's a good sleeper, but other areas of obedience were not going well.  He'd do well for a week and I'd think he was ready only to be surprised again with a week full of time outs and discipline for not obeying us.  We have a trip coming up where he will need to sleep in a big bed so I thought I better take the plunge now.  Plus, he seems to have made a big jump in connecting consequences with his actions.  If I just remind him when he starts to disobey that he will be disobeying if he chooses to do that, many times he'll say, "Oh. nevamind.  I not do dat.  I dange my mind."

He's done great so far in the bed, only having one night where he drank too much before bed and needed to go potty three times after he went to bed.  His rule is that an adult or big sister or brother have to give him permission to get out of bed.  

His bed is right next to the bookshelves and I really expected to find the bookshelf emptied every morning.  I have been surprised that he has just looked at his two books that I give him after his bed time routine to look through and get sleepy.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three Superheroes in One

Drew said, "Look Mommy!  Mine head is Batman, mine tummy is Hawkeye, and mine butt is Superman."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Messy Cooks

The girls are getting pretty good at making zucchini bread, but, oh boy, are they messy!

I can't really say anything though since I'm kinda messy in the kitchen too.

Please, pretend not to notice that my girls are always in pajamas!  They have pretty much been in pjs or bathing suites all summer.  Laundry has bee drastically reduced so I allowed it, but it is going to have to stop.  I can't take it anymore.  I think I'll make them earn pajama days during the school year.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Genevieve, I haven't said much about her lately.

My non-competitive child.  She comes home from bowling for the first time since she was little bitty in Germany.  Hannah relays everyone's scores to me from her group.  When I ask what Genna's score was, Genna replies, "It was a competition?"

Another example is when I picked them up from their first day of golf camp last week.  Hannah again tells me everyone's scores from a course that had been set up for them, including her sister's this time.  I say, "Wow, Genna did better than you, Hannah?"  She shrugs her shoulders and says, "Yeah."  Genna chimes in and says, "Yeah, and I even had eleven strokes on one hole!"  Waaaaiiiiiit a minute.   I ask to see the score cards.  Hannah tells me there were 18 holes and they had to keep score themselves.  Hannah had filled out 17 holes, and Genna had recorded a mere 12.  Ha!  No wonder she had a better score than her sister even with eleven strokes on one hole!

When I was photographing Genevieve being silly, Drew Wolverine photo bombed her.  You can almost hear the sound of his claws coming out.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What is a field trip like with our family?

Well, we start out ultra organized.  I move important stuff from the diaper bag to the backpack.  I pack snacks, and the girls help make PB&J sandwiches to pack.  I make sure I have a set of extra clothes for the two youngest.  I bring a carrier and a small stroller.

Then we are off.  This particular field trip we were headed to a friend's house to caravan together.  Before that I had time to stop by and get myself my favorite drink as a treat for myself since I was giving up my whole day for this seemingly simple trip to the National Gallery of Art in D.C.  Don't get me wrong, that is probably my favorite place in all of D.C.!  I love art and it makes me happy strolling through the rooms full of some of the best art ever.  However, strolling through with five kids in tow is not quite the same and I need an extra push these days to give up nap times and structure and take them on a field trip.  Brian told me I should go when I asked him if it was a good idea since Judah had been sick.  He was feeling better, and Brian said that it will never be a good time and we won't live here forever, and I need to just go.  So I did.

The adventure begins when we pull out of the parking lot after I got my drink.  Drew pukes everywhere.  Car sick, the boy gets car sick every time we get in the car, so I thought nothing of it.  I was irritated that Genna had disobeyed me and not put his bib on him the first time he said his tummy hurt.  However, if you refer back to the first paragraph, you will remember that I packed him an extra set of clothes.  When we get to my friend's house, I clean him up.  I have all the puke cleaning up supplies you could want in the car all the time.  He even has a car seat cover, plastic bibs with pockets, little baggies to put the dirty clothes in, and air freshener.  Done, he was set.  Off we went only 15  minutes late.

The next puke we were ready for.  I had put his bib on him.  Genna caught most of it in one of the many little plastic bedpans we keep in stock in the car.  The bib with the pocket caught the rest.

We arrived, parked, walked to the NGA, and had sandwiches outside before heading in for the kid's program.  Drew barely ate.  I should have known right then that something wasn't right.  He is always starving after getting sick in the car, unless he is really and truly sick.  He seemed fine during the movie and as we were walking around he kept wanting me to carry him.  If you refer back to the first  paragraph again, you will see that I planned for this in bringing a baby carrier AND a stroller.  Judah was happy in the stroller, so I put Drewy in the Ergo carrier on me.  He laid his head down and felt hot.  Oh no!  I moaned internally.  He's really sick!  It finally dawns on me.  Me, the woman who prides herself on seeing the signs of sickness in her kids before they actually get sick.  I, in fact, had just been boasting to Brian that I could tell Judah was getting sick long before the fever started.  Anyway, we were all the way in the city!  We'd paid an absurd amount of money to park!  And Hannah was in heaven in the NGA.  She reminded me of myself, my first trip to the NGA.  Typically, she describes herself as "dark and brooding," and she was leaking happiness from her pores.  How could I take that away from her and head home.  Just a few more rooms.  If I hold him I can keep him from infecting the world, right?

The security guards followed us around (with our 10 kids) complaining every time one of the kids put their foot down too loudly or walked in a circle instead of standing and admiring the artwork.  Okay.  Okay.  Did they not realize how incredibly outnumbered we were?  It's not like they were being loud or spinning or bumping into people.  They just weren't in a perfectly slow moving group commenting on brush strokes in hushed tones.  If only I had that sheepdog I've always said I needed to coral my herd.  The rowdiest one was feverish laying on my chest though, so what were they complaining about?.

Then it happened.  He got that eyes-glazed-over-look that he gets when he is about to be sick in the car.  I asked him if he was going to throw up.  He said yes!  I hurried in my backpack dumped the dried apples in with the dried bananas and put the zip lock bag in front of his face while he is still in the Ergo.  He barfs and fills the bag!

I forgot to mention what I was wearing.  I had chosen my most casual eShakti dress.  It is the most comfortable as well.  It has pink hot air balloons all over it so that from a moderate distance you can't tell what the pastel design is exactly.  It is a button down "I Love Lucy" style dress.  I will try to get a picture of me in it one of these days.  Anyway, one of my all time favorite dresses, you get the point.

Back to the barfing into a zip lock bag held in between myself and him while he is in the Ergo.  Not a drop on my dress, thankyouverymuch!  A success I will remember for all my days.

Field trip over!  After hitting the restrooms, we high tailed it to the parking garage.  Drew threw up one more time on the way home.  He took a long nap at home.  Judah was able to be transferred asleep into his bed from the car seat.  I didn't end up sacrificing my afternoon nap time after all.  It was a welcome reward for a hard days work.  That's how we do it folks!

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Three Sick Musketeers

Just before he got sick on Sunday evening, Judah started saying Isaac, which sounds more like "Isaa" without the "c."  He is also getting better at drinking from a sippy cup, but not perfectly just yet.

He can walk behind the red chair and push it too.

Baby mohawk time!  I am going to cut his hair, but just not quite yet.

After bath snuggles

I took this picture because it was one of those, I just wish I could always remember this simple everyday moment when he is bigger and not as sweet and innocent.  He was eating Cheerios and bananas and smiling at me while I was int he other room.

Now for the sad pictures of the sick musketeers...

 Judah felt pretty miserable for about 2.5- 3 day and just when he started feeling better and I could get a smile out of him now and again, Drew gets a fever.  When Drew gets a fever, he throws up. Every time.  this time he threw up 4 times in one day.  (More on that story on another post if I can get my act together.)  The next morning Isaac wakes up burning up and feeling miserable.  So far the girls are okay.  I'm hoping this hit the boys only since they are the worst about drinking after each other and not washing their hands as well.  They are still sick, sick, sick.  It's been a long week.  And I miss the pool!  Genna starts ice skating camp next week.  This was our camp free week.

"Yes, I can stand, but I am so mad that my mom keeps standing me up and trying to take pictures of me I could scream!"
 Judah is also walking along furniture a lot better and more steadily.  Plus, this standing thing, if I set him down on his feet or he holding onto something and lets go.  No standing up from the middle of the room yet.

Let's end on a good note!