Wednesday, January 19, 2011


We all know that I have not been the most diligent blogger. And I'm horrible about keeping a journal (although I just did a church Activity Days lesson with 10 - 12 year girls about the importance of journaling... ooh, the hypocrisy!) But there is one thing I have done with regularity: I write down all the silly/funny/cute things my kids say. And I have a hefty backlog now, so I'll share a few:

Today Bailey held out a DVD for me to turn on when Riley shrieked, "Noooo! Bailey, you can't hold my Sleeping Beauty DVD like that! You have to hold it by it's belly button so it'll be safe!" Huh? She demonstrated, sticking her finger through the hole in the middle. "See? Use it's belly button so it won't get scratched."

Sydney is the only triplet able to ride a bike without training wheels. Much to the vexation of her sisters, she picked it up in no time. But, sweetheart that she is, there is no gloating. In fact, she tries like crazy to teach them how to ride their new bikes. Today she was holding Bailey on the bike in the road and called out, "Look, Mom! I am demonstreeting to Bailey how to ride a bike! They call it demonstreeting cuz you teach somebody how to do it in the street. Cool."

Riley to Bailey: "Hey, no tattling. Just remind your own business!"

Last week I was reading to the kids using my (very good) French accent.
Tanner: "Can you stop talking like that?"
Me: "What? You don't like my French accent?"
Tanner (perplexed): "Who's Jackson?"
Me (perplexed): "Uh, I don't know. Jackson who?"
Tanner: "Your friend Jackson."
Me (still perplexed): "Uh, I don't have a friend named Jackson, I don't think."
Tanner: "But you just said... your friend Jackson. You were reading like your friend, Jackson."
Me: "Ohhhhh... my French accent!"
Tanner: "Could you stop talking like him, please?"

Bailey, last month when Sydney had a cold: "Oh my gosh, I could not sleep at all cuz Sydney was totally snorkeling all the night long."

Me, calling down the stairs: "Hey, are you guys being good?" Silence.
Tanner: "Well, that depends... My good might be different than your good."

One night I made an adventurous curry dinner that only half of the children liked. Bailey was teasing Riley for liking the "dasgusting" food so much when Riley replied: "Don't be rude, Bailey! Remember- we all have different taste bugs on our tongues that tell us what to like. Jeez!"

Sydney: "You guys are constracting me & I'm trying to do my homework!"

Tanner played flag football during September & October. At the first game, I was talking to him at the sidelines.
Me: "So... the whole point of this is that you try to grab the other team's flag?"
Long silence followed by a shrug.
Tanner: "No one really knows."

Tanner, singing at Christmas time: "Release Navi Dog... Release Navi Dog!"
Me (chuckling): "That's a great Christmas song, Tanner."
Tanner: "Yeah, I really like it. But I have no idea what a Navi Dog is. Maybe it's like a chihuaua. But then I wouldn't release it. I'd keep that Navi Dog!"

Tanner, talking to my parents when they came to visit in November: "You know, I have like seventeen bucks!"
Grandma: "Wow, that's a lot of money! How'd you get so rich?"
Tanner: "Well... I lost a lot of teeth."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Morning- A Personality Inventory

I'm a total sucker for personality inventories: The Color Code (Red-Blue!), Love Languages (Acts of Service- if you love me, you'll do the dishes), RIASEC Inventory (Social all the way)... My best friend and I can have entire conversations based upon the "Color Codes"of others. (eg- "So my new neighbor is a total Red. But she's married to a Yellow- you can imagine how that plays out.")

I've spent vast amounts of time analyzing my own children and trying to figure out which categories they fall into with the different inventories. But on Christmas morning this year, I discovered a personality inventory that puts all others to shame for, in opening their Christmas presents, the true personality of each of my kiddos manifested themselves plainer than the nose on Rudolph's face. Accordingly, I've developed "The Christmas Morning Personality Inventory" with the following categories:

"The Grateful Receiver"- Carter
Carter's Christmas wish list this year consisted entirely of books. I'm not kidding. Like 20 books, many of them hard-t0-find and spendy. But when a child asks for books, well, you give him books. From "How to Get a Five on the AP US History Exam," "Preparing For the AP Physics Exam," and "Tonal Music"" to all things Tolstoy... Carter received each of his gifts with sweet gratitude and excitement. He immediately cracked open each book upon receipt and proceeded to ignore the rest of us until it was time for him to open another present- er- book. Of course we threw in a few surprises not on the bibliophile's list (Chia SpongeBob, Peanuts Christmas CD, etc.) and he was equally gracious about receiving these. But then it was back to the books. Just like in his every day life.

"The Gusher"- Taylor
Tay is certainly the most fun to shop for because I know she will be THRILLED with each and every present she receives. Never fail, she will jump out of her seat and gush about whatever it is she has opened- "Wow... an electric blanket! How awesome! This is great! I didn't even know I wanted one of these!" or "No way! Brainetics! This was at the top of my list! I totally wanted this so bad! But I didn't think you'd be able to get it! This is the best Christmas ever!" Each of these gift-opening events is followed by big hugs and kisses to the giver. You can see why it is so gratifying to give to this child. She's a gusher- as is her way with life, she opens it all with gusto and expresses her joy and gratitude to the fullest. Every family needs a gusher.

"The Introspective Receiver"- Tanner
Tanner is the exact opposite of The Gusher. No matter what gift he receives (from the remote control helicopter he'd been dying for to a brand new bike he begged Santa for), the giver must not ever hope for a demonstrative display. That is simply not Tanner's style. He receives everything with a quiet intensity and a softly whispered acknowledgement: "A remote control helicopter." As if to say, "Oh, of course, a remote control helicopter. Exactly what I'd been wanting. Of course." He then proceeds to open the packaging and read all instructions and become completely absorbed in that task. It can be underwhelming to behold. But underneath all that introspection lies Tanner's easy-going security. He seems to lead a charmed life, and is secure in his confidence that the universe will give him exactly what he wants. Or, if not the universe, perhaps he just knows that he has both parents wrapped around his charmed little finger.

"The Joyful Giver"- Sydney
When it was time to open family presents, Sydney was beside herself with excitement. Not for unwrapping all the gifts with her name on them, mind you, but because she could not wait to give out the gifts she'd gotten for everybody else. "Can we open mine first?" she begged. "Well, we need to take turns so each person opens a present," I replied. "No, I mean can we have everybody open my presents to them first? Pleeeeease?!?" Uh... okay. And, despite the fact that we had the kids draw names for their siblings, Syd had a gift for EVERYONE. For weeks, she would come home from school and ask for wrapping paper so she could giftwrap a present for somebody. I figured she must be drawing pictures or making things at school for her siblings. Au contraire... as we opened Syd's presents, we discovered the true source of her gift-giving: The Lost and Found. Yes, we each received something that Sydney found on the bus, left behind by some poor child who is probably still looking for his mittens! But if anybody in this family is getting to heaven based on good intentions, it will be Sydney. She loves nothing more than helping and caring about everybody else. She is so sweet, so sincere, and so earnest in all that she does.

"The Suspiciously Brave-Faced Observer"- Bailey
It is not in Bailey's nature to be thrilled for others when they are opening a gift that she herself would like to possess. It was torture for her to watch others opening their presents on Christmas morning, but -shockingly- she put on the bravest of faces. Through gritted teeth and a painfully tight smile she would say, "Oh Sydney, you got a Liv doll! That is so great for you!" or ""Wow, Riley, you got a LiteBrite! That is very happy." Time and time again. It was almost hard to watch. I kept waiting for the cheerful facade to crack, but she held to it and was eventually rewarded with a Liv doll and LiteBrite of her own. But that's Bailey for you- she's a scrappy little fighter, suspiciously watching to make sure things will go her way and perfectly willing to duke it out if they don't. Yet she has days where she tries oh-so-very-hard to "be nice for Santa and Jesus." And, trust me, it is NOT an easy task for her. She is lots of spice with a dash of sugar, and she definitely gets an "A" for the effort!

"The OCD Opener"- Riley
For Riley, the joy of Christmas morning was less about opening presents and more about promptly disposing of the wrapping paper. She took great delight in throwing away all gift wrap and was completely determined to do so before she would allow herself to even really look at her gift. I have more video footage of Riley cleaning up after her Christmas presents than I do of her opening or playing with these presents. She even picked up after her siblings! To each her own. She's a funny little thing. This is my child who lines up all her crayons in a certain order before she colors. When she does her homework, she not only circles the right answer, but insists on crossing out all the wrong answers as well. She likes things to be "just so", and once she has an idea of how things should be in her head, she stubbornly sticks to it. With the chaos of six kids in the house, a little OCD is a breath of fresh air!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year 2011 to everyone! I know resolutions tend to be very personal, but I decided to share mine this year:

2. shock my wonderful family & friends by writing on my BLOG
(I'm talking to you, Kelly Bishop!)
3. catch up on about a year and a half's worth of events... on my BLOG
4. update the music playlist on my BLOG
5. redesign (get rid of this tired floral pattern) my BLOG
6. reconnect with friends on my BLOG
7. share funny stories and kid quotes... on my BLOG
8. follow the example of my awesome blogger bffs
(my sisters, Joonie, Sarah, Holly, Kelly, etc...) and BLOG

Wow, I'm catching a pattern here. Feel free to hold me to these New Year's resolutions, friends! While certainly not life shattering for anyone, I WOULD like my children to have some kind of record of these crazy days we enjoy. Happy New Year's, friends and family. We love & miss you all!