Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Little Piano Boy (who needs a haircut!)

Because the month of December isn't busy enough, Carter's piano teacher decided to throw in an extra recital. If I sound Grinchy, forgive me, but Carter didn't bother to tell me about the recital until 3 DAYS BEFORE, so I had to wrangle up sitters for the little guys and cancel a few other Saturday plans, and I was a bit put out by the time we arrived to the recital.

All was forgiven when Carter stepped up to the 9-foot grand piano and played his Chopin piece. Okay, I know I'm a little biased, but... I had goosebumps. He works hard at the piano, and it was wonderful to see his hard work paying off. My dad ("Bampa") was visiting at the time, so Quinn, Taylor, my dad and I enjoyed the recital together.

And... sorry to go all "proud mama" on you, but if you're interested enough to see him playing, I posted it on YouTube under "Carter Bastian plays Fantasie Impromptu." hee hee- couldn't help myself!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mistaken Identities: Taylorisms

Taylor, age 10, is a funny girl who seems to live entirely in her own little world. She is one of those "book smart" kids who isn't always aware of the real world going on around her. This lends itself to some interesting conversations:

Taylor: (out of the blue) "Isn't it amazing that Ozzy Osbourne was in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'?!? He did such a great job!"
ME: (chuckling) "Uh, yeah, that would be amazing. But, honey, that wasn't Ozzy Osbourne."
Taylor: (in her 'well-duh' voice) "It was totally Ozzy Osbourne. I looked at the end credits and everything. Hellooooo! He was the star of the show! He was Joseph!"
ME: (laughing) "Ozzy Osbourne was NOT Joseph in that play! You're talking about Donny Osmond..."
Taylor: (cutting me off) "That's what I said! Ozzy Osbourne. Anyways, I had no idea that he was such a fantastic actor. And singer!"
ME: (laughing) "Ozzy's something else, all right. And some people think he's a good singer, but he was definitely NOT in 'Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.'"
Taylor: (sigh) "Go look it up, Mom. He's Joseph! And what's even more amazing is that he can sing and act when you consider that he's blind."
ME: "He's blind?!?"
Taylor: (heavy sigh) "Don't you ever look at magazines, Mom? He's always wearing his blind glasses. In real life, anyways. He is inspirational."
ME: "I don't even know what to tell you right now."
(ironically, Donny Osmond and Ozzy Osbourne were actually on the same television program this week- "Dancing With the Stars". How surreal to have the two of them together! I nearly dragged Taylor out of bed to witness the sources of her confusion, but decided against it. And, truthfully, Ozzy's glasses do make him look visually impaired.)

Taylor: "I am doing my history report on John F. Kennedy. He was such a great president."
ME: "Oh, that would be a neat report to write. I did a lot of research on him when I was in high school. It's so sad about how he died."
Taylor: "Yeah... that darn cancer."
ME: "Ummm, sweetie, JFK was assassinated."
Taylor: "I know. By cancer. Was it lung cancer?"
ME: "Um, no, it wasn't cancer at all. He was killed."
Taylor: "By cancer. I know. I wrote all about it in my report."
ME: "Oh, dear. Really? Did you write that in your report? Have you already turned it in? Cuz he didn't die of cancer, honey. He was shot."
Taylor: (gasping) "No way! That was Lincoln!"
ME: "Yes, Lincoln, too. But John F. Kennedy was also shot and killed."
Taylor: "I think you're wrong."
ME: "No, honey, really. JFK was shot! If you researched him, you must have read that."
Taylor: (pause) "Oh... yeah, now that I think about it, I remember. He WAS shot! But it wasn't that big of a deal. It didn't kill him. He survived it. And THEN he died of cancer."
ME: (completely stumped) "Honey, please don't make me pull up the Zapruder films. Seriously, he was shot. He lost most of the top of his head, and he didn't survive it. Where exactly are you getting your research materials from?"
Taylor: "Well now you're just being sick. I don't want to think about somebody's head being shot."
(heavy pause while both of us are confused beyond belief.)
Taylor: "Well, at least he had a good acting career. Not all presidents can say that."
ME: "Honey, did you maybe do your report on Ronald Reagan?"
Taylor: "Oh, yeah! That's who it was! Ronald Reagan. He was such a great president."
(and Taylor walks away, completely unfazed, while I'm left slightly traumatized by the entire conversation.)

Last spring. Taylor was in her school production of "The Wizard of Oz", proudly playing the great Oz himself. This performance coincided with a Broadway production of "Wicked" here in Jacksonville, and we were lucky enough to get tickets through her school's drama club. Carter, who was already familiar with the play came with Taylor and I. On the drive over, he put the Wicked CD in for us all to hear. About 5 songs into it, Taylor pipes up from the backseat: "Oh my gosh! I can't believe it! This Wicked play is a total rip-off of The Wizard of Oz! Are you kidding me? They like totally copycatted the whole thing. They even use the name Glinda, like in our play. Unbelievable! Talk about a lack of creativity!"

And so you can see why so many times we are left speechless (and utterly baffled) by our Taylor girl! There's never a dull moment with her around!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Overheard: Waiting for the Locusts

Now that Tanner is in kindergarten, he is very etiquette-conscious. A few weeks ago, he burped at the table and said, "Oh, part-of-me! That was very rude." We gave him a curious look, so he elaborated, "Now that I'm a big kid, I don't say 'excuse me' anymore, I say 'part of me.'"

All manners aside, it's been a week of various maladies at our home: Carter had strep throat, Tanner had pneumonia, and Quinn threw his back out while reaching for a file in his office chair. (What is he? 90?!?) Sydney has taken it upon herself to nurse the sick in our home, which sometimes gets interesting. I left her in the room for a moment and returned to find Tanner, burning up with fever, wrapped in a bedsheet, towel, and fluffy boa:

Later that day, Riley was sitting in the hallway, crying because I wouldn't let her watch SpongeBob Squarepants. Ever the maternal one, Sydney was concerned about her poor wailing sister, so she ran off and returned with a bottle of Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo. "Look, Riley, this is the stuff for no more tears... that means no more sadness. Dump it on your head!"

And, after the SpongeBob debacle, I continued my reign of terror by only allowing Bailey to have one packet of Scooby Doo fruit snacks. She begged and pleaded for a second, but I held my ground, so she stomped her little feet and dramatically threw herself onto the couch. Between crying jags, she looked up at me and wailed, "You're ruining my whole darn life!"

Later that night, while tucking her in, she was back to her affectionate self. I couldn't help but ask, "So, am I still ruining your whole darn life?" She got a sheepish grin and said, "Oh... just kiddin' bout that."

Wow, the power I wield to be able to ruin entire darn lives by merely withholding fruit snacks and SpongeBob. To my poor, emotionally-damaged children, I have but one thing to say: part of me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 Little Ballerinas

After 3 long weeks of the girls asking me EVERY day, "Is today our ballet day?", the long-awaited moment arrived. The girls had their first ballet lesson yesterday and it was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen! They loved every minute of it and have been running around on their "tippy tippy toes" and doing "plee-ay-sees" ever since. And they keep asking me to do "ballet hair" for them again.

Wednesdays can't come soon enough for any of us! Special thanks to Shauna, who has the patience of a saint and is doing lessons at the church out of the goodness of her heart!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

HAPPY Meal?!?

Most people don't believe me when I say I can feed my entire family dinner at McDonald's for under $10. For those who doubt, here's the run-down: plain hamburger for me ($.89), fries and a side salad for Quinn ($2), a double and a McChicken for Carter ($2), ditto for Taylor ($2), and 2 double cheeseburgers for the little four ($2. The trick here is pulling the double cheeseburger apart- one burger and one bun on each side- and folding it up like a taco. The cheese helps stick it together, and... voila! Two "taco burgers!") Round this out with 8 small ice waters (free), and you have a van full of happy campers and a McDonald's store that officially hates you.

I used to to feel bad for ripping McDonald's off with my frugal (Okay, cheap) ways, but my McDonald's experience today completely absolved all guilt.

Tanner was at kindergarten (sigh) so I "only" had the triplets while running afternoon errands. It occurred to me that it would be much easier to throw lunch at them in their carseats than it would be to go home, laden with groceries, and put something together. As we pulled into the drive through, I made my first mistake: I actually looked at the Happy Meal menu instead of jumping straight to my more familiar friend, the Value Menu.

Hmm... I thought. I only have three kids with me today. It would be such a treat for them to actually have french fries and (gasp!) a soda.

And then I saw the featured girl toy: a miniature American Girl doll! It was as if I was 4 again myself- I was mesmerized by those perfect little dolls!

So I rationalized: getting an entire meal plus a drink plus an American Girl doll for $2.59 was a bargain! I excitedly ordered 3 little girl Happy Meals and was sure that this purchase would bring us a car ride of happiness.


Until today, my youngest children have been blissfully unaware that Happy Meals even exist. They probably don't even know that McDonald's serves french fries! They were simply thrilled to receive their meager little taco-burgers and ice waters. Boy, did I open Pandora's box!

When I handed the neatly-packaged meals to each girl, their eyes went round and large. They cautiously peered inside and their little mouths dropped. They couldn't pull everything out fast enough! Fries were flying, sodas jostling, and cheeseburgers falling to the floor. Food was entirely forgotten when they saw the toy inside. They were in sheer heaven! For like a minute. Until they opened the wrapping and saw that their "toy" was a book. A very small American Girl book with a teeny little American Girl doll sticker inside.

And then they realized that their books were all different, and that Riley got the American Girl with black hair when she has blond hair and that's not fair, but Sydney's American Girl had red hair so she didn't know who she should trade it with, and Bailey's American Girl was African American. And then they all wanted Addy, the African American girl, because her dress was yellow and she had stickers with quilts on it and she was "prettierest."

So I took their "toys" and told them they could have them after they ate their food. Five minutes of screaming later, they dug into their french fries and noticed that somebody had more fries in her bag than they did, and then there was more crying and counting of fries. So I pulled over and dumped out all the fries and redistributed them. And there was momentary food-induced peace until Bailey tasted her soda and yelled, "It's Sprite! I hate Sprite! I wanted cocoa!" (?) And then everybody wanted cocoa. And they all freaked out that they had "two breads" on their burger, and threw the top bun on the ground with disdain and made a ketchup-mustard-mess of folding their burger into taco formation.

By the time I got home, we were ALL crying and food was everywhere but in my childrens' stomachs.

All this "happiness" for a dollar more than I usually spend to feed our clan of eight! I think we were much happier before we explored this brave new world of fast-food options. Lesson learned: we'll unapologetically stick with our taco-shaped burgers and ice water, thank you very much.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Things I Never Thought I Would Say As a Mom (but, sadly, have):

1. "Sorry guys, but I already told you: You can't have lollipops until you finish your PopTarts."

2. "No! We do not flush somebody else's pee pee! Everybody gets to flush their own pee. It is a family rule."

3. "Carter, you HAVE to stop practicing that piano! You've been on that thing for like 3 hours... go outside and play already!"

4. "Taylor, I love it when you get creative, but for the rest of the day, you may not make anything that involves paper or scissors or glue or yarn or stickers or paint or crayons or markers. They are now off-limits."

5. "Hey, guys! No using the remote control as a weapon! And same goes for the telephone. We do NOT hit each other with technology!"

6. (at the dinner table) "Okay, we've had our fun but it's time to stop talking like pirates, okay? No more 'aaaaarghing' and calling each other 'mateys' and 'wenches', okay? No more pirate talk!"

7. (while playing pretend) "No, it's okay, guys. You can ALL be Quasimoto. Anybody who wants to can pretend they're Quasimoto. Nobody HAS to be Esmerelda."

Okay, so in my defense: A) They were eating whole-grain poptarts for a quick breakfast-on- the-go when the bank lady announced that she was sending through some lollipops for the kids. B) Never thought I'd have a family rule about flushing somebody else's pee, let alone make ridiculous comments to enforce the rule, but I potty-trained all four at the same time and they were very territorial about flushing. C) Carter plays the piano nonstop and, until we moved the piano from the family room to the office, it was very loud. D) I'm not one to stifle creativity, but Taylor's incessant projects can get very messy. You can only pick tiny yarn snips and pieces of tape out of the carpet so many times in one day... E) When the triplets were 2, it was like WWF at our house. Following one split lip too many, we actually had a list of "contraban" items. F) After watching Pirates of the Carribean with the big kids and having a pirate birthday party for Tanner, the pirate talk had been going on for hours and was driving this particular wench crazy. Aaaargh! G) For some reason, my little kids were obsessed with Hunchback of NotreDame, and Riley was in love with Quasimoto. Which meant that they ALL wanted to be him, and they walked around with their backs hunched and their faces squinched up, and tried to make somebody else be Esmerelda. Go figure!

But still...

Monday, July 20, 2009


It looks like Bailey has made it her mission in life to slowly unravel what little is left of my sanity. She is a mischevious little imp, full of sheer will and determination. I am no match for her, really.
We wonder if she has a Napoleon Complex. She has always three or four inches shorter than her triplet sisters. One night she asked me, "When am I going to get biggest, since I'm the big sister?" Ironically, she has convinced everybody that she is indeed the oldest sister, despite her lack of stature. (And despite the fact that she was actually Baby C- the last one out!) What she lacks in height, she makes up for in attitude. Or as one of Quinn's coworkers put it, she has a "high will-to-mass ratio."

She is a force of nature, and I wonder sometimes what makes this little one tick. She is like a cat: independent, affectionate only when she wants to be, and completely unpredictable. We never know what's going to make her pounce!
Bailey refuses to wear anything but dresses. She accessorizes to the hilt with any headband/necklace/hair scrunchie she can find. She drags her mini tea seat with her everywhere she goes, and she is convinced that she is a princess. Her favorite game to play is "pretend" where I am the mean stepmother and she gazes longingly at a photo of Quinn and I (her "real parents who are very dead.") She could play that game for HOURS, and has even worked up a tear or two as she wishes that her "real mom and dad" hadn't been "zapped by Ursula the Sea Witch."

This morning I left my glass of water on the coffee table. As I walked back in the room, I was directly behind Bailey and, not seeing me, I watched her lean over my glass of water and peer inside. I was about to intervene (I hate it when my kids drink out of my glass), but instead watched in amazement as Bailey deliberately spit in my glass. A lot of spit. Then she peered inside, grinning. As she walked away she spotted me and smiled. "Bailey!" I said, incredulously. "Did you just spit in my water?!?" "No," she said, sweet as can be. "But I just saw you do it!" She shrugged. "I didn't SPIT in it," she explained. "I was giving you floaties. I always give you floaties."
To think how many, many times I have left a glass of water within her reach . . .
Lucky for her, she's pretty darn cute. A friend from church insists he could never discipline her because she's so adorable. I told him that it's her primary survival mechanism. She can turn on the charm when she needs. She loves to say in her prayers: "Thank you that Mommy is beautiful" and then she cracks open one eye to peer at me and make sure that this had the desired effect of making me smile. It always does.
She was helping put a bandaid on Riley the other day and I said, "Wow, you're good at this, Bailey. Maybe someday you'll grow up and be a doctor!" "No," she said. "I want to grow up to be a Mommy, just like you." My heart started to melt, then she continued, "Cuz then I can wear your lipstick and you'll have to let me wear all your Mommy clothes and I'll have a real purse and a cella phone."
And to balance out any compliments she doles out in her prayers, she always manages to get in a few digs to my self-esteem. Last week when I came home from jogging, she ran up and gave me a big hug. "I love you, Mommy... even when you're all sweaty and ugly."
Beneath all her bluster and bravado, however, our mini-dictator isn't as tough as she thinks. She still sucks her thumb (though she hides it under her blankie). She is still the only one afraid to swim without floaties (the inflatable arm things, not the spit). She is scared of Sid "the mean kid" from Toy Story and refuses to open her eyes if he's on screen. She's terrified of thunder.
Somewhere beneath the mischief and bossiness lies a tender little heart... if only she'd let us catch a glimpse of it more often!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SuperTanner graduates!

It is, apparently, exhausting to be a Super Hero. All that lizard rescuing, sister tormenting, and incessant question-asking wiped out poor little SuperTanner to the point that he couldn't even climb up the stairs to his bed before falling asleep.

I can relate. The month of May seemed bent on showing me that I am in no way Super Woman. The month of May, in fact, left me Super Exhausted. It seemed that at least once or twice every week there was some big event to attend for Carter and Taylor- concerts, performances, recitals, plays, award ceremonies. We were going nonstop trying to get the big kids everywhere they needed to be and it was a full-on effort to keep the camcorders and cameras charged up to record these occasions! (photos and video to be posted soon.)

The last big event of the month, however, was all about our SuperTanner. His Pre-Kindergarten graduation was a BIG deal, held at the local elementary school auditorium (which was packed with hundreds of camcord-clutching relatives.) Decked out in caps and gowns, (seriously) it was just too stinking cute for words.

Not everyone shared the sentiments of this momentous occasion. At one point, Carter turned to me and said, "Really? REALLY?!? He learned how to write his name and count to a hundred. This is a bit over the top..." (Sour grapes since he never had a preschool graduation ceremony?) Quinn also grumbled a bit, something about yuppy parents with nothing better to do. But that was before he saw Tanner in his graduation gear and came to appreciate the glory of that wonderful photo op.

And, in case we didn't get good shots, there was a professional videographer and photographer on scene. Seriously.

We were all proud of Tanner, who dazzled us with a smile and wave after accepting his diploma. He loved going to Goddard School, and he loved his teachers, Miss Mandy and Miss Shirley. And, I might add, he can pretty much read now. That's worthy of a ceremony in my book!

Congratulations, Tanner! We think you're Super! (now let's all go take a nap.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Christmas in July-revisited

I didn't send out Christmas cards this year. Sigh. The shame still haunts me- six months later!

It wasn't for lack of trying. We had two "photo shoots" in attempt to get a photo of all eight of us worthy of printing on a card. All the photos were TERRIBLE... until we finally found a fantastic photographer who also happens to be a pal of mine. (Why didn't I think of her sooner?!?) But, every time the scheduled day arrived, it either rained or somebody was sick.
We finally had a great shoot- like 5 days before Christmas. Not in time to send out cards, but at least I kept our yearly Christmas photo tradition alive (much to the chagrin of my husband and children.)
Since my mind is oddly turned to Christmas right now, I thought I'd catch up and post some of these Christmas photos.

As for next year, I was already planning on having Erin take our pictures in September or October- just to be safe. Unfortunately... she moved to Wisconsin. Ugh!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Anything for a free meal?!?

As I'm sure you all know, today is Cow Appreciation Day. Shockingly, it is not a federal holiday. However, if you dress up in bovine-apparel, you get a free meal at Chick-fil-A. We love Chick-fil-A, and we love free meals even more (especially if it eliminates the need to cook), so I turned my herd of kids into a herd of cows in order to save a buck.

(Bear in mind that this was done on the spur of the moment with 15 minutes, a box of old Halloween costumes, construction paper and tape. Go easy on the costume critiques!)

Was it worth it? Oh, yeah. Free food, an enclosed play place, and the opportunity for the kids to run off some of their rainy-day-pent-up-energy...

If only every day was Cow Appreciation Day.
As a sidenote: take a moment to notice my children's shoes. I have polled other triplet moms and have come to the conclusion that shoes are the bane of our existence! Inevitably, at least two of the children have on the exact same shoe... on both feet. (as with Bailey- two left feet of the same shoe.) And then of course there are the almost-the-same-shoe-but-not-quite occasions (such as with Riley) where the girls put on the same style of shoe but in two different colors. Unfortunately for Riley, hers are also both left feet. I could fight it, but I've given up... I actually take them out in public like this! Hopefully the cow thing will be a distraction.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Christmas in July

So I'm staring down the barrel of a potentially LONG summer full of bored and whiny children. This always makes me edgy- until I pull out the calendar and make all kinds of pie-in-the-sky plans, half of which we won't get to. But it empowers me nonetheless.

Exhibit A: Christmas in July. We spent a long and fun-filled afternoon dressed up in our Christmas jammies, making a gingerbread house. Eccentric, yes, but it kept them busy. This little project was like a Rorschach for our kids' personalities: Taylor and Sydney doggedly stayed on the task (and got irritated with everyone else who didn't) while Bailey flitted in and out for the fun parts. Tanner started the project with a bang but got bored after about 10 minutes and wandered off to find something he could hit with a hammer. Riley sat on the table, watching the entire thing while sneaking pieces of candy and initiating a never-ending commentary. And Carter took one look and retreated to the office, where he practiced piano for 3 hours.
These are the days of our lives...
For any of you wondering, I didn't get out any Christmas cards this year (oh, the shame!), but you may just find one in your mailbox some time this summer!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Overheard: Gender Inequality

This is the discussion I just overheard while the kids were watching "Elmo's World":

Bailey: "I don't get it... is Elmo a boy or a girl?"

Sydney: "Well his voice is like a girl, I think."

Riley: "Yeah, and he has eyelashes, so I think he IS a girl."

Tanner: "No, guys, everybody has eyelashes. See, I'm a boy and I even have eyelashes."

(they all stand within inches of Tanner's face and examine his eyelashes.)

Bailey: "You're right! You do!"

Tanner: "Yep. It's how I give butterfly kisses."

Sydney: "So Elmo has eyelashes and is a boy!"

Bailey: "I know! I know! Elmo is a boy and Zoe is a girl."

Tanner: "Yes, you are exactly right."

Me: "I think that's true, guys. Elmo is a boy and Zoe is a girl."

Sydney: "But Ernie is a boy. And Bert is a boy."

Riley: "And Cookie Monster is a boy. And Telly is a boy, I think."

Bailey: "And Grover is a boy. Is Big Bird a boy?"

Tanner: "Yes, he is a little boy."

Riley: "Aren't there any girls on Sesame Street?"

Me: "Well, there's Zoey, and, uh.... uh... Rosita!"

Sydney: "We don't like Rosita."

Bailey: "Yeah, we don't like Rosita."

Tanner: "So look at that... everybody great is boys! Boys rock!"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Leader of the Pack

As previously mentioned, we have a new addition to our family: little Ellie Belly who is no bigger than a minute. Getting a pet for the first time was interesting for us... in many ways, it might have been easier to have another newborn since we were already schooled in babies. With puppies, we were clueless!

Coincidentally, I caught an episode of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" last week and they just got 2 puppies. Yes, TWO! (Those Gosselins have to one-up us on everything!) :) The episode was hilarious because Kate expressed sentiments similar to ours- maybe babies are easier than puppies?!?

I have no room to complain. We've had Ellie for over a month and I think we've had 4 "accidents"- all on tile flooring, and all our fault for not taking her out often enough. Lesson learned! She doesn't whimper at night, she doesn't bark, she doesn't scratch at the door or chew things up. She is a piece of cake. (Which means that if we ever get another dog, we are gonna get hammered!)

The hard part, really, was just figuring out what the heck to do with a puppy. Upon the recommendation of a savvy friend, we got Cesar Milan's book, "Member of the Family". Fabulous book. (Thank you, Kelly!) I had trouble tearing it away from Quinn, who loved to pepper me with all kinds of dog trivia while reading it. He got very into it, and determined that we had to work hard to establish good habits with the puppy. He began taking her on regular leashed walks which was hilarious because it looked like he was essentially trying to walk a gerbil.

Quinn also decided that we needed to let the puppy know right from the get-go that we are the "leaders of the pack." As Quinn explained this philosophy to me, we started drawing parallels to parenting and realized that some of the suggestions just might work on our kids! (I mean, the dog was already a gem, but our kids could always use a little work!) As we read on, we realized

that sometimes the kids are totally leading our pack! (when you are this outnumbered, I suppose it's somewhat inevitable.) But now we were equipped to change it!

One day we were getting in the car and Bailey started having a melt down. She refused to get buckled into her carseat. Very calmly, Quinn leaned down, looked her right in the face and said, "Bailey, I am the leader of the pack. You are not the leader of the pack. You will do what I say. Now get in your seat." Shockingly, she immediately calmed down, got in her seat and buckled up. She even smiled.

Weird. We tried it again throughout the week. It always worked. It's gotten to the point that all we have to do is ask, "Who is the leader of the pack?" and the kids automatically respond, "Mommy! Daddy! We are part of the team, but you're the boss!" Brainwashing at it's best, but if it works, I'll take it!

We should have gotten a dog earlier so we could have accessed these amazing parenting secrets! Luckily, it's never too late to teach an old dog (or kid) new tricks.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Note to Self: Lessons I Learned this Week

1. No matter how hard you try to keep a sick kid separate from the healthy ones, they’re all going to get it anyways. Be proactive and get it over with: stick them all in a small room together and load up on the Motrin.
2. The flu shots we all got in October apparently did not apply to the four different strains of flu that we have managed to catch, mutate, and share over the past three weeks.
3. There's nothing that sky-rockets my blood pressure more than taking the temperature of one of my kids and watching it shoot up to over 104 degrees. Except maybe when it happens the next day to a different kid and it hits 105!
4. My pediatrician's office doesn't do any "4-for-the-price-of-1" co-pay discounts.
5. A trip to the zoo doesn’t “count” if you don’t get to see the elephants. You will be reminded every day that you have to go back. Your children will actually feel cheated that they "smelled elephant poop" but didn't get to see the giants themselves.

6. The best way to make telemarketers stop calling is to put Sydney on the line, who will not only talk the poor salesperson to death, but will also start to sing her "gospel" songs that she's made up. (Unbeknownst to me, she answered the phone while I was cleaning up vomit and she had a grand conversation where she learned that "Miss Jennifer has 2 cats named Snickers and Cookie and she's allergic to peanut butter and she doesn't have any kids to play with and no husband or daddy either." We haven't heard from Jennifer again.)
7. It is actually possible (but not recommended) to bathe your new puppy more than you bathe your children.
8. If you leave a marker within arm’s reach while your 3 year-old is holding the puppy, you will soon have a blue puppy. (Despite Bailey's protests that she was just trying to “make a picture of the puppy’s handprints.”)
9. If you get nauseous to the point of nearly throwing up when your 13 year old is sitting on stage for a piano competition, then you probably won’t make a very good “stage mother.” Encourage him to pursue other interests that won’t require you to get a prescription for Xanax.

(In other words: we went to the zoo on Monday, everybody was running fevers or had been diagnosed with strep throat later in the week, and Carter had his big piano competition on Friday. Busy, exhausting week! But congrats to Carter who earned a "Superior" rating in both his solo performance and his concerto. Now, if only he'd quit while he is ahead so I don't have to sit in nervous agony before his performances ever again!)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Puppy Love

So we got a dog. This is a big move for us- we've never even had a pet! We "puppy sat" for some friends over Christmas and fell in love with their dog, and the seed was planted: maybe this was something we could actually do. A week later we found a gorgeous little puppy that was finally ready to come home to us this past week. She was born on Christmas Eve so the kids named her Noel, but we call her Ellie, and this is one loved little puppy! In fact, the hard part so far has been setting the timer every fifteen minutes so that everyone can take turns holding her! I know I'm a sucker, but take a look at her picture... how could I resist?!?

It just so happened that Tanner's "letter of the week" was "P". On Friday he had to bring in a "P" word item for show-and-tell. Well, it took him about half a second to recognize that puppy is a "P" word. And so Ellie had her preschool debut!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Overheard: Santa Stuff

Tanner: "That's it, Sydney! I'm sayin a prayer to Jesus to tell Santa not to bring you any presents!"

Bailey: "Wouldn't it be fun to go visit Santa? I know: we could bring our swimming suits and go swimming with him!!!"
Mom: "Uh... it's freezing cold at the North Pole. I don't think we'd want to swim there."
Bailey: "But yes we would. Santa has a HUGE swimming pool there at the North Pool. Dats why it's called the North Pool. We can totally go swimming there!"
Tanner: "I just love the racecar set Santa broughted to me! But I wish I had another racecar, too... Oh, wait! I need to be thankful, don't I? We need to be thankful for what we get from Santa, and we need to be thankful for what we get from Jesus, and we need to be thankful for what we get from garage sales... and Walmart, too." (???)

Bailey has never been a big fan of Santa. As a toddler, she'd shriek "No Santa! No Santa!" whenever the topic came up. Last year, she would shudder and shake if we approached him at the mall or at a Christmas party, and she spoke of him with fear for months to follow: "No more Santa, right? Santa is all gone, right?" But she steeled herself this year to be brave so that she could at least tell Santa what she wanted. I would overhear her giving herself pep talks. (eg- "Santa isn't scary and I won't cry when I see him cuz I will be very, very brave.") When we saw him at our ward Christmas party, she timidly walked up to him, shaking, and allowed herself to be next to him.... so long as Quinn was holding her. Progress! She told him what she wanted, and then she turned to me and yelled, "Hey! Santa's not so bad after all!!!" (I don't know... she still looks pretty leary to me.)

Carter was happy to hang out with Santa's cute elves...

And Taylor told Santa she wanted a driver's license... (SO SO scary!)