Monday, August 30, 2010

Preschool Orientation and X-rated Fairy Tales

Today was Nate's Preschool Orientation and I was super excited to be playing the role of "mom" and not the role of teacher!  Last year I was pregnant and very uncomfortable and had to miss Nate's Orientation.  This year I wasn't going to skip it just because I knew what was going to happen.  I mean . . . I typed up the newsletter myself!  :)

It was nice to see some of the students I had last year and the year before.  It was nice to see some familiar parents and be able to sit and listen to all of the important information I will need to tell the parents that come to see me tomorrow!  Hearing it once really does kind of calm my fears about forgetting something tomorrow.

I'm also really excited that Nate has a wonderful group of women teaching him this year.  They are kind and understanding and very very patient.  Keeping that in mind . . . I'm sure you are curious about the X-rated Fairy Tale addition to the title of this post.  You I added ANOTHER story to tell my children and their future significant others to embarrass them slightly.  Just a little bit this time...nothing like the last tell the truth it probably isn't embarrassing for him at all - but I'm sure I blushed a little.

Nate's teacher decided that she would share the story of Little Red Riding Hood with them today.  She totally ad libbed it (which I would probably have been too nervous to do in front of adults but may be able to do with 3 year-olds).  She talked to them about how we shouldn't talk to strangers because, even if they look nice, they may not be nice.  She asked the kids a few questions and some children even raised their hand during the story.  When she got to the part about the wolf getting to grandma's house before Little Red Riding Hood, she asked what the students thought that the wolf did with grandma.  She then quickly explained that he put her in the closet because a lot of the children were talking about the wolf eating grandma.  She said that he would maybe eat her later but hid her in the closet for now.  This is when Nate raised his hand . . . I decided to try to get him to just listen but his teacher spotted him and asked him what it was that he wanted to say.  It took him about 20 seconds (which felt like 5 minutes) to say, "First, he has to take all her clothes off."

Yep.  He did.  Luckily, his teacher told him that the wolf would probably just take an extra set of grandma's clothes to wear because naked grandma's are scary...and all the parents laughed...but my initial thought was, "Great.  Now all these parents are going to think I tell X-rated Fairy Tales at home."  Which, of course, none of them did because they are all parents of 4 and 5 year olds and they completely understand how kids don't know things don't always sound the way they mean them to all the time.

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling extra sensitive when it comes to this kind of thing, though.  I worry about how other parents and other kids will view my kids because I LOVE my kids.  I think they are amazing and they are just the neatest, most wonderful and special little people in the whole world. My hope is that everyone will see that - or make an effort to see it - but I know that won't always be the case.  This part of parenting is new to me and I'm sure it will get easier. . . but right now I have an incredible urge to lock them up and keep them safe at home with me who will sometimes be angry with something they did but always love them.

Okay - that's enough of that because I'm NOT going to cry while writing a blog post....that's just insane!

By the way ~ if you want to see something that did make me cry you can check out the pictures that my friend, Shannon, took yesterday.  I'm pretty sure you have to head to her Facebook page because her blog is under construction.  Here's the link  -  and a few of my favorites!  Seriously, though - check out the link because she posted over 90 pics of them yesterday and narrowing it down to just a few to put on here was REALLY tough!  There are so many more great ones on her page!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Currently I'm in denial about a few things -
     1) My twin boys...are getting ready to turn 1 year old!  It doesn't officially happen until September 4th - but we are celebrating with a little family party this weekend.  Tomorrow in fact.  I'm going to try not to cry.

     2) I'm in denial that school is about to start.  School starting means a few things.  It means I head back to work.  It means Nate starts going to school 5 days a week and that Danika starts her first year of preschool.  I am not ready for any of those things. . . but next week is orientation and there will be no denying it after that!

     3) I'm in denial that my laptop is about to bite it.  It's only a year and a half old - but it's already started acting goofy.  Loud noises...randomly shutting off for no reason...getting all moody and deciding to just freeze up on me.  I've got all my pictures backed up and saved on discs and all my important documents on a flash drive.  So I guess I'm prepared but I'm still in denial.

I'd write more ~ but I have a screaming-soon-to-be-1-year-old in the other room who will not let me ignore him any longer...I guess maybe I'm also in denial that I am responsible for 4 children and that they depend on me for more than I realize some days.  Luckily, for me and for them, they are able to remind me and snap me back to reality.  There is no denying that they are mine so I'd might as well take care of them!  hehehe

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Stock Market - and other things I'm clueless about

When I was a senior in High School I was offered a choice between economics and some other course which would count as a senior credit for History.  I took the other course.  Funny, I can't remember what I took but can remember what I didn't take.  :)

In 5th grade, I got a D in math.  Until I started teaching 3rd grade math, I avoided it like the plague.  I HATED math - I think that was the main reason I didn't take economics.  In turn, the absence of economics in my High School curriculum has lead me to a life in which I have very little idea how the stock market works.  I mean, I understand supply and demand and I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with that.  Don't bother explaining it to me, though - my brain has no room for it right now.

Why am I bringing it up then?  Mainly because there is something else I am completely clueless about - How to keep a refrigerator stocked, cook for and feed 4 growing children and NOT break the bank...

See ~ we've graduated to eating microbites of what everyone else is eating!

And as you can tell ~ we are VERY happy and LOVIN' it!

It's lead to lack of leftovers and extra trips to the grocery store...and they are only 11 and 1/2 months old!  Imagine when they are 3 and 4 years old!!

So - even though I know very little about the stock market, I would suggest that you buy stock in Giant Eagle - because that's where we do our grocery shopping and the demand for groceries in our house it on the rise!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have you ever...

seen anything this adorable?  I don't have time for a long post today ~ but I wanted to share some pictures of my little guys with you.  My mom has been saying she wanted to give them side by side baths in her kitchen sink - so last night we did.  I only took around 40 pictures!  :)  (well - not really but I wanted to)  Here are a few of my favorites.

Dean on the left and David on the right ~ Dean LOVED splashing in the water!

You can see Danika's head on the bottom - she ended up needing a change of clothes because Dean was splashing so much!

Still splashing (he did it the whole time!) and David is finally getting a little fed up.

I think this one is the equivalent of David trying to tell Dean to cut it out.

I just couldn't get them both to look at me - I think my mom may have gotten one where they are both looking...

Here they are both looking at Jerry - I think he has this one on his phone.
So there you have it!  We are headed out of the day and then making tacos for dinner followed by continuing to prep our kitchen for painting this weekend!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The last week of summer. . .

Nate and Danika don't start school until the beginning of September but this is technically our last week of summer.  I start working next week at the school to get the rooms decorated and things set up.  That will inevitably lead to me feeling like I have to start planning and getting things together for the up coming school year.  So, that will mean me working a little bit more from home and trying even harder than before to get all the kiddos (and myself) on a sleep/wake-up routine.

I'm ready for fall!  I LOVE fall!  I'm so excited for cool breezes and crisp fallen leaves.  Football games and comfort food!  Sweat shirts and jeans!  I know I'm probably rushing a bit but I swear to you I saw CHRISTMAS decorations at the Dollar Tree yesterday!?!

There are a few things I'm not excited about.  I'm not excited about having to crawl back up into the attic and drag down all of the kids fall/winter clothes and put away summer stuff that may fit next year.  That will take me at least 2 days - 3 if I do my clothes, too!  I'm not excited about getting up early.  I'm not excited about losing my Tuesdays with DH (I work Tuesdays and he is off - Tuesday and we really only get 1 day a week together.  If it wasn't that way, though, I probably wouldn't be able to work because we may have to talk about daycare which would be SO expensive for 4 kids!)  I'm not excited about Christmas shopping - again...I know it's August but I'm telling you the truth!  They had ornaments and garland, stockings and tree skirts!

Okay ~ so this post was a lot more random than I had original planned but I'm feeling scattered today.  My summer "to-do" list was pretty short and I still didn't get 1/2 of it done.  I know that I shouldn't be too hard on myself because all 4 of my children are currently healthy and happy, which is the most important job I had this summer.  Not to mention the little speed bump of me spending a good month sulking and crying before realizing I needed to talk to someone.

However, the #1 thing that I wanted to do this summer was paint my kitchen.  I hate the fact that the paint in my kitchen is chipping and looks drab and dull.  So (after a little discussion with DH) I have decided that I am going to use this week to prep the kitchen for painting and on Saturday we are repainting the kitchen!  I'm feeling slightly motivated today so I'm going to head in and get started...after I make lunch, that is!  *sigh*  Healthy, happy, well-fed kids really are my #1 priority.  :)

Friday, August 13, 2010


At book club in July we read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin...which I still haven't finished.  I'm really close to being done but I started Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay (which is our book club book for August) and I couldn't put it down.  Then Jerry went away and I was too exhausted to read - not too exhausted to sleep, which I will get to in a minute, but too exhausted to read.

So - why am I bringing up The Happiness Project AGAIN?  I already mentioned it in 2 other posts...but I guess it is really a thought provoking book.  That's the only reason I can think of for me to keep going back to it and keep thinking about different parts of the book throughout my daily life.

Two parts of the book that I have been thinking about lately both show up fairly early in Gretchen's year long quest for living a "happier" life.  The first one is her "one-minute" rule.  If something is going to take a minute or less to do...just do it now instead of putting it off.  I've been finding myself thinking about how much sense this makes on occasion - like when I'm done feeding the twins bottles and they are in their cribs screaming for the 2 or 3 minutes they scream before falling asleep.  I walk into the kitchen and chuck the bottles into the sink.  I turn around and start to walk out of the kitchen and think, "It would take less than a minute to wash out those bottles and then they would be clean the next time I need them.  I wouldn't have to wash them right before feeding them their next bottle!"  That usually makes me turn around, take a minute or 2 and wash them instead of following my initial inclination - collapse on the couch until they stop crying and just relax (or try to) for 15 or 20 minutes.

The other part of the book I have been thinking about it her thoughts about sleep and how important it is to get a full night of sleep.  A week ago, I would have given you the excuse that the kids don't fall asleep or stay asleep and that is the reason that I am up until 1 or 2 am and am a zombie until noon the next day.  However, Jerry's trip forced me to get my kids to bed earlier than usual.  I refused to be miserable at 10pm with 4 kids who were still awake.  Surprisingly, it was pretty easy, even with the twins being sick!

I started on Monday.  I told the "big" kids that we were going to start getting them ready for school.  Since Nate will be going to school 5 days a week, he will have to get up early and get moving instead of sitting around until lunch.  I explained to them that they need to go to bed a little bit earlier so that they are well rested for school and get up early enough to have a good breakfast before they go.  Much to my surprise, it worked!  They have been going to bed between 8 and 8:30 every night this week.  They've still been getting up around 7:30 or 8 in the morning.  This morning I made french toast first thing and they both ate it!  It's been working out great!

I was a little bit more worried about the twins but they have been doing great, too!  I hate doing the "cry it out" thing, but it has been working so we are sticking with it.  The first night (Monday) wasn't so great.  They cried for probably 15 minutes before slowing down and crying on and off for then next 10 minutes.  Then they were silent.  They slept until around 3:30 am.  Jerry wanted to go in and get them before they woke anyone else up but I convinced him to give them 5 minutes.  They fell back asleep.  Since then, they haven't cried more than 3 or 4 minutes before falling asleep!  Both for naps AND bedtime!  Keep in mind, my twins are over 11 months old.  They do not need bottles in the middle of the night anymore.  When they were waking up we were just putting them in bed with us and they were falling back asleep.  They truly just didn't know how to put themselves back to they are learning.  :)

So ~ Jerry came home yesterday and I was ready for a good night of sleep.  I don't sleep well when he isn't here.  I don't sleep well when he isn't in bed with me.  Even if he is in the house - on the couch watching TV or doing something on his laptop - I don't feel like I really fall asleep until he crawls into bed beside me.  It doesn't matter if I'm mad at him or if we had a wonderful day.  I just need him in bed to sleep well.  Needless to say, the 2 nights he was in Florida weren't good sleep nights for me.  Like I said, I was too tired to read but not tired enough to just  fall asleep.  Luckily, Jerry had a wild and crazy night on Wednesday with my 21-year-old cousin in Florida...he was up really late and tired from traveling all day on Thursday.  So, it didn't take much convincing to get him to come up to bed with me at 10 pm.  After all, the kids were all sleeping soundly and we had watched Man vs. Food "Kansas City" - I really want to know how much that Ultimate Destroyer Adam, if you are reading, can you let me know?

It didn't take long for us to fall asleep and we slept wonderfully!  I would say we slept soundly until 6:30 am, when David started SCREAMING for some unknown reason and woke everyone in the whole house up.  The funny thing is, I wasn't tired!  I actually got out of bed and made breakfast, had a cup of coffee and started my day.  I'm a little tired right now ~ but not nearly as tired as I usually am after putting the boys down for their morning nap.

It would probably take some convincing to get Jerry to agree to go to bed with me around 10pm every night. I also know that if I get in the habit of falling asleep at 10 then I'll probably be exhausted on those special nights we are out and about until after 10.  However, I'm going to give it a shot.  I'm going to try to get to bed (and drag Jerry to bed) at 10 every night during the week.  Saturday (and maybe Friday) will be the exception.

My friend, Christine, gave this a shot when she realized her DH wasn't getting enough sleep.  He is a lot like I am and doesn't like to sleep without her in bed with him.  She blogs about it here - if you are interested in how it turned out for her.  :)

P.S. ~ Anyone know how to get ball point pen off a "pleather" couch?

P.S.S ~ If you have a FB page, did you vote for my adorable daughter in this photo contest?  I would REALLY appreciate it!  Make sure you become a fan of Sofabean Photography first and then click on the "like" under her picture here - I put it below, too, so you can make sure you have the right one!  Thanks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to reality

Last week was wonderful!  We had so much fun doing things as a family...getting out of the house...relaxing and spending time with loved ones.  We ended up going to the Science Center, Zoo and Kennywood Park!  We spent 2 days just hanging out outside and catching some rays by the little blow up pool in my parents' back yard.  We grilled good food.  We even took my 21-year-old cousin out for drinks and Denny's (one of those 2 am jobs!) one evening.  It was everything I'd hoped it would be!  It was pretty close to being the perfect week - as perfect as you can get with 4 little ones to deal with.

Then . . . on Saturday . . . we got a summer flu!?!?  Maybe it isn't a flu...maybe it's just a cold or whatever...but I had 2, 11-month-old babies full of snot and screaming with low grade fevers who were unable to breath through their noses and had a heck of a time drinking bottles because they refuse to let me use the "boogie sucker" to help clear them out a bit.  I also had a 4-year-old with a sore throat and sniffles who hadn't gotten enough sleep and was being really cranky.  The 3-year-old?  Eh - she is actually ok...(knock on wood)

With all that going on OF COURSE Jerry left this morning for his business trip.  The trip that had been postponed so many times I was pretty sure he just wasn't ever going.  Nope - he's gone.  He's staying 2 nights.  Tonight being the first went a lot smoother than I expected.  Actually, the whole day went pretty smooth...but I'm exhausted.  I mean just completely beat.  I was planning on a longer blog post with great pictures and more details...but I'm getting a sore throat and just don't have the here's my favorite pics of the week.

Speaking of you have a facebook account?  If you do, would you pretty please head over to Sofabean Photography and vote for my daughter in a photo contest?  I would really really appreciate it!  All you have to do is become a fan of Sofabean Photography and then "like" her picture on the site!  Thank you SOOO much!  :)