Friday, October 17, 2014

Say it loud, say it clear

Random things the kids say that make me laugh

Caroline really loves unicorns and pegasus, but she pronounces it "pig-a-thif" and she is very particular that she pronounce it incorrectly every time.

Patrick was showing me that in school they learned about the "magic e" which, when places at the end of the word, make the vowel in front of it make a long sound (ex: mat v. mate). They also learned about "Defender D" and I have no idea what they actually learned because he incorrectly told me that a "d" makes an "e" at the end no longer magical. He explained, "I rid my bike." Ummmm.... nope.

Ethan is speaking better each day but sometimes he talks nonstop, especially when he's frustrated, and I assumed he was explaining to me in gibberish why he was so mad, which was kinda cute. With his voice inflection it actually sounds to me like a line from Dances With Wolves where one of the Native Americans is explaining about buffalo and he says (please forgive my phonetic spelling) "Tu mani tu tonk a obwa-chi." so when Ethan gibbers his frustration at me I would respond "tu mani tu tonk a obwa-chi!" Finally I figured out he is repeating "I want it," which is more like "IwanitIwanitIwanit," which is MUCH less cute.

Back on the cute side of Ethan, instead of naming emergency vehicles individually (like fire truck or police car) he calls anything with flashing lights a "wee-o wee-o." He uses this term in sentences, like "I see wee-o wee-o."

This morning after we read scriptures, which were talking about following Jesus and avoiding the influence of Satan, Patrick said, "mom, I know Satan's name. It's Christopher." Bwahahahahaha! You mean Lucifer, my dear.

Can't leave the adults out. I bought 2 10 lb. bags of potatoes, one for me and one for Kari, since they're on sale for 99 cents each. We already have potatoes but thought we should freeze some (we're both stocking up on food storage as Ebola continues to spread. Better safe than sorry), so I was carrying the bags to her house so we could peel, blanche, and freeze them. WELL. Two 10 lb. bags were making my hands cramp, so I hefted them into my arms but then the potatoes were slipping one by one from the top of the bag to the bottom so I had the keep hitching the slippery bags up... it's not a long trip across the street but these were giving me all kinds of trouble! In my frustration I thought, "Man, this is like trying to carry a sack of.... OH MAN.... that's was the saying is for! Like carrying a sack of potatoes!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Backyard photos

Patrick has entire photo albums dedicated to him because we took so many photos, but as we've added kids we've been less apt to pull out the camera and ended up with fewer pictures of our four than I ever had of our one. Not that I can rectify that in a day, but I thought I'd pull out the camera on this beautiful October day and take a few snaps of Caroline and Ethan while the big boys were at school.

 She looooves taking photos

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Googley Eyes

Caroline started doing this thing.... this thing that cracks me up, even when I think nothing can make me crack a smile... She asks me to look at her beautiful eyes, which she opens really wide, then she starts making her wide-open eyes goes crossed but instead of going truly crossed they kind of go cock-eyed and then she slowly lifts her arms into the air on the side, and lifts up one leg so she's balancing on one foot with flying arms and wide-open cock-eyes... I CAN'T STOP MYSELF FROM LAUGHING! So I took a video.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ethan's Birthday (FINALLY!)

Ethan turned 2! ....2 weeks ago. Yep, I'm right on it with blogging these days. The good news is that I am back here in front of the keyboard, so the blog hasn't been entirely forsaken. Here is what Ethan has been up to lately.

When Ethan was nearly 2 (22 months old) he showed readiness to potty train - it happened to be right before our big summer vacation, so that was terrible timing, but we postponed it a few weeks and started right when we got home. We do the naked method, our little tykes running around with no pants for as long as it takes them to get the idea that when they pee it will make a big mess (not go in a diaper) so they need to pee in the potty; once that's solid in their brains we start training them that they will get in trouble when they go anywhere BUT on the potty. Once they're 100% on naked method, we get them dressed again. With Patrick this took about 2 weeks; with Eli it took about 4 days; with Caroline I have no idea, it was a whirlwind of new house and new babies; but with ETHAN.... it was draaaaging. As I reported, he was still doing well with a few accident after 3 weeks, but slowly the accidents were INCREASING. The longer he was "training" the more relaxed I was about setting him down at regular intervals to go, and the frequency of puddles around my house was steadily rising! It got to where he was peeing on the floor more frequently than he was going on the potty. I finally (FINALLY!) figured out that the weak link in his potty training was ME. Once I started setting a 30-minute timer and taking him no matter what (playing, running errands, etc), his success rate went through the roof, so his confidence went through the roof, so his pants went back ON, I could turn the timer OFF, and he finally (FINALLY!) was potty trained. Now he rarely has accidents and he even goes #2 of his own accord. We still keep diapers in his room as he sleeps in them, but it is SO NICE to be out of the diapers phase of life.

He has finally (FINALLY!) adjusted to his toddler bed. For the first few days we would tuck him in so nicely, he'd lay still and say "nigh nigh" but as soon as we closed the door he was out, playing in his room, kicking the door, and we'd have to come in and do it all over again. This would happen 3 or 4 times a nap time/bedtime, always culminating in a spanking, and eventually he got the hint that his bed is where he stays if he wants his bum un-spanked. The nice side-effect of this is that he won't get out of his bed even AFTER his nap/bedtime, so we have to send in a sibling to "release" him. This works out much better for those siblings, who had to work very hard to drag him over the rails of his crib to release him, not so many months ago.

I thought he was doing well verbally, until we were in a waiting room with another toddler, 26 months, who was kingly asking his mom, "Can you read this book to me, please?" Ethan says, "Here go" and throws a book in my lap. Soooo... maybe not advanced, but he's understandable to us. For instance, today he was playing by himself and we distinctly heard him singing "Happy Birthday;" it went a little something like, "Hapi di-daw di meeee... " Obviously something about having a birthday stuck with him... We loved it! What a sweetie.

His birthday was great, we spent it with our family (it fell on a Monday so Joe had the day off thanks to his new schedule), Kari's family, and my mom, who was in town thanks to Kari (she drove her back here to Pueblo after visiting Grand Junction for a wedding). I made a car cake - the same cake pan which was used for Patrick's big brother party when Eli was born, and for Eli's 3rd birthday when he was obsessed with cars like Ethan now is. It's been a great cake!

He loved all his gifts and sibling and cousins alike were delighted that he was so bad at unwrapping - they happily helped out by doing it all themselves. Ahhh, kids :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let the schooling BEGIN!

I didn't post any first day of school pictures, here or on Facebook, simply to be stand-offish. I TOOK pictures, but everyone else was posting them and I don't want to be just like everyone else. So I waited a few weeks, and here they are on the blog! Stand-offish though I may be, it would be silly to post them too much later.
 Patrick started 1st grade and is in Mrs. Byrd's class. He really loves having his own desk, which has a compartment to stow things - he thinks that it SUPER cool. And maybe he's right, I like that same feature in our computer desk! He got a new backpack which is far too big for him, but his backpack from last year, just the next size down, is too small for homework folders. I guess that's just part of growing up, eh, being awkwardly sized.

Eli was excited to see Patrick leave. Patrick started a week earlier than Eli, even though they're at the same school, and Eli was completely nonplussed, perhaps even a little glad, to be missing a brother all day long. 

Here was Eli's first day - he started preschool! He loves his teacher, Mrs. Kim. It seems ridiculous that he is in preschool, he seems so very old to me! Maybe it's because the word "big" is often used to describe both size and level of maturity - both "you're so big, you can reach that tall shelf" and "you're so big, you know how to write you name!" Since Eli is so big physically I think we "big" people tend to get confused about his maturity. I think of him as Patrick's age, as they are the same size and share everything, so this is just one of those helpful reminders to me that I shouldn't actually treat him like Patrick; they are 2 years apart, and 2 years is a lot when you're 4 or 6. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Reads for Kids

A long time ago I posted some of our favorite kids books, and of course I enjoy going back through old posts, so it was so fun to come across those books and remember how awesome they were! Then to go get them from the library again. We just hit the library a few weeks ago and came across a few new favorites that the kids just couldn't - and wouldn't - put down.

Little Quack. A story about courage, with counting and rhyming and ADORABLE pictures. Happily read this 1,000 times. Apparently there is an entire series of Little Quack books - bedtimes and colors and hide-and-seek, so we'll have to see if we can find some of those.

Mighty Dads. By Joan Holub, illustrated by James Dean, the same guy who does the Pete the Cat series. I loved the illustrations - they were simple and bright but had just enough detail to be seriously fun! I loved having Joe read this to the kids.

Bang! Boom! Roar! A Busy Crew of Dinosaurs. FANTASTIC art! Have you ever watched Wonder Pets? It's the same multi-media approach, with tons of fun little touches, like pictures of real granola bars stuck in illustrated tool belts. Plus at the end there is a list of things to find throughout the book, which I (yep, the adult) had a really good time looking for.

Pierre the Penguin - a true story. By Jean Marzolo, author of the I Spy series for kids. Sometimes rhyming books technically rhyme but trip over themselves when it comes to the rhythm, but this books has really cute rhymes, great rhythm, AND a great story (hey, it's true! That always makes it better!) AND really great illustrations. We just loved this book. Another one I read 1,000 times and still loved it.  Added bonus: since it's a true story you can look up Pierre the penguin and his rescuer, aquatic biologist Pam, on google and there's lots of pictures!

Huck Runs Amuck by Sean Taylor. Hilarious! And great rhyming

Sophie's Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli. I cry every time I read this. 

It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle. A laugh-out-loud story, and I loved the art. 

Oh, man, we really love to read around these parts!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Hopefully nobody's anaconda wants some of my house, because we got BUNS! Bunnies!

Meet Cinnabun (above) and Shadow (below)
 Our previous bunny, Easter, died only a few weeks after the blessed holiday of his namesake. We were all saddened by it, but since we purchased Easter at the fair we thought we could just wait a few months and do the same again. When the fair rolled around this August, we did just that. It seemed Easter had died a bit early (he was 6) and we read that bunnies, being very social, often live longer when they have a bunny companion. Not wanting to breed hundreds of bunnies, and also not wanting to pay to get bunnies neutered to avoid hundreds of bunnies, we bought two females. They're both young, less than 6 months old, which is supposed to make it easier for them to bond (I guess because they're not crotchety old women yet!). Bringing them home was sheer delight for our own brood of small humans, who immediately vied for spots.

 Cinnabun, the seemingly more timid of the two, his in the corner with the brooms and tried to look like a dust bunny! Very tricky.

 We put them in separate cages next to one another for a few days - they are supposed to get familiar with one another's scents and habits before being formally introduced. Once we introduced them, though, Cinnabun proved she is NOT the timid one and she fought Shadow, pulling out some of her fur, and then nipped my finger when I tried to pull her away. Whoops! Too soon! We realized if there was to be a much longer introduction period we would need much more permanent housing, so Joe got very busy and completely re-built the bunny hutch to house two bunnies - a common area in the middle, currently with wire mesh down the middle of the middle so they can get used to one another without any fighting or nipping. Then, of course, the kids had to paint it!

 And voila! We now have the most beautiful, colorful rabbit hutch, with two adorable bunnies.