Monday, June 30, 2008

Mommy Training

We are pushing the potty training...doing everything that I hope will work. I am realizing just how much of this is about training me. The boys are not real thrilled about sitting on the potty but we have reward stickers and Nana got little toys they are only allowed to play with when they are actually on the potty and we are running around in either training pants or the cool alert pull-ups. The pediatrician said to work on it this summer (and summer is rapidly passing) and I don't actually remember if there is a policy or anything at the preschool we will be at next year. I just feel like with two of them I am spending all of my in the bathroom. I do have to remind myself however that we really are only on like day 2 of genuine trying.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Attach piece A into slot B...

Yesterday it looked like a siege tower was being constructed in our backyard....
No the children have not locked us out of the house. Nana and Pop got the kids a swing set for their birthday and of all...they have come to help construct the swing set.
It has a platform with a climbing wall going up to it and a slide going down (at least those are how they assume children are going to play with those items...since every single child I know or have ever seen at some point try to go up a slide). There are also two swings and a thing to hang from.
Jim, Nana, and Pop got most of it done yesterday (I had the important job of herding children). I think they just have to attach the swing section, level it, and anchor it and I don't think there is much more than that left to do. Unfortunately today it rained in the afternoon after church so completion was delayed (much to Andy's disappointment). However, tomorrow is a new day.

I am just looking forward to being able to banish the kids to the back yard for awhile and them having something else to do beside digging in the dirt of the foundation of the house. (That and not having to drive some place to a playground considering the price of gas these days). Yippee for the opportunity for exhausting gross body movement play to tire the kids out!

Friday, June 27, 2008

The two sides of Jo....

Poor Jim ...Jo had a cranky morning with four diarrhea diapers.
When I came home she was asleep on our bed in a nest of blankets and pillows with only her diaper and her shoes on (I didn't ask....).
About 30 minutes after I get home I hear a slight cry and then nothing else...only to turn around and find Jo behind me (it is a fair drop from our bed....).
She ravenously eats...and then is perfectly happy, laughing, giggling, playing... with no diarrhea all afternoon. A very different child than whom Jim was dealing with in the morning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Are we there yet?

Tomorrow is the last day of the summer camp...and while it really has gone very quickly I will be very glad to have it over. I think three weeks is about the right length. You can get things done but you are just starting to develop classroom issues with the trouble makers because they are getting comfortable (and even in a half day summer camp for gifted students there are the occasional trouble makers).
Here are the stats:
We had approximately 210 kids.
We had 12 lead teachers and just under 20 preservice teachers.
There were 3 master teachers and 2 supervising teachers
There were 2 professors and 1 materials coordinator (for lack of a better title).

Of all of those people there were 6 with children (or grandchildren) attending the program and three who are pregnant (ranging from 6 weeks along to 30 weeks). There were exactly 2 males involved as teachers (If you want to meet lots of women...become a teacher).
The topics for the courses included the Rain forest, Africa, flight, digital photography, art, the West, circus, drama, puzzles, and physics.
One day we managed to load all of the students in about 13 minutes during the car rider line.
I only had 4 typos in names from the registration, 1 person who I had listed in two different classes depending on which list you looked at, two people I had to move in classes because a parent was upset about the child's placement, and one person whose mom had filled out his preferences and he was unhappy in a class.
Hopefully the parent day will go smoothly tomorrow and then I can actually get on with my life....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chaos Theory...

Well, today was not too bad. The boys did not nap, I really need to finish the paperwork on the teachers I am supervising, and it was the last night of vacation Bible school which always pushes our bedtime back a bit.
Hence...when we are getting ready for bed it was all going well and then chaos broke loose. We give the boys a choice of whether we say or sing our prayer and whether we use one from home (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John bless the bed....) or one from church (the Lord's prayer if we are saying it and the doxology if we are singing it...we figure it helps the kids learn them for the church service). Anyway, Andy is like the "prayer police" in that he gets on Doug about whether Doug is participating in saying the prayer or not. Jo has started participating. She recognizes prayers (and grace before meals) and usually says "memen" about 3 times before the prayer is over. She now reaches out to hold hands for prayers and is pretty insistent about doing it and during prayer before bedtime she will usually rock with the prayer if we are singing it (I think she gets this from Doug because he does the same thing).

So tonight we are going along getting ready for bed and we hit prayer time. Well, first Andy doesn't want to hold Jo's hand for some reason. Doug is happiest laying in my lap but does cooperate. Then Andy gets upset and wants be to make Jo say the whole prayer...I want to say "Dude! She only says like 4 words total!" Then somehow in the midst of Andy digging in his feet about wanting Jo to say the whole prayer...Jo up and bites Doug. Jim scolds Jo which offends her and suddenly I have Andy upset and sitting in my lap trying to convince me to make Jo say the whole prayer, Doug in my lap because he is upset because he was bitten (though not even enough to leave teeth marks), and Jo trying to get in my lap because she is upset about being reprimanded.
Bed time happened pretty swiftly after that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My heart in my throat...

We have four boys (10-13 years old) staying with us tonight. The Land of Lakes Nordic Boys choir (Elk River I believe mom...) from Minnesota gave a concert and we are hosting some of the boys. Every time I mentioned it to Andy he would tilt his head and look at me earnestly and tell me that he was excited about it because we would have friends staying with us and he "just wants lots of friends."
It puts my heart in my throat and brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I think this is partially because my boys are just getting to the age where they really start to actually make friends and our first real opportunity will be next year when we start preschool. It is not that I had trouble making friends... I was one of those kids who was clearly not popular but also clearly not at the bottom of the heap...I had a few close friends and a lot of acquaintances. It is just the first thing we are really encountering where I can encourage it but I can't really do it for him. He is just so earnest, sincere, genuine, and many other similar adjectives about it that my heart aches for him. He does fine when we go out places although he doesn't slip in with a group as easily as Doug does...but part of that is personality. Unless it comes to trains, Doug is perfectly happy slipping in and being a follower (so much so that I don't want him to follow somewhere/something he shouldn't) while Andy is much more independent in his play and clearly is a leader. It is so hard to think that there are times that my sweet Andy may get hurt or struggle and I have to let it happen so that he will learn and grow and know what to do when he encounters other problems.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dear Children...

Dear Children,
I love you dearly and I love watching you grow-up. However, there are a few things we need to address....
Doug- You are a smart and gregarious little boy; however, randomly choosing a "top" out of the first drawer (the PJ drawer) and a "bottom" out of the last drawer (the pants/shorts drawer) so that during the day you are wearing a pajama top and regular pants and at night you then choose a pajama top and regular clothes shorts is sweet now...but at some point you have to actually listen enough to realize that there is a difference between pajamas and "street" clothes.

Andy- You have such a vivid imagination; however, at some point you have to realize that your father lowering the bucket on the boom arm of your fire truck without you in it really just means that it happened in your imagination and all you have to do is hop down off the bed...don't hold a grudge and refuse to hold Daddy's hand during prayer because of something that happened in your imagination.

Jo- You are sweet and as cute as can be; however, some behaviors such as playing in toilet water and eating dry cat food need to stop...mommy is a little worried about how the diapers will be the next few days.

Jim ( the big, big kid)- I love you dearly; however, encouraging your offspring to blow zerberts (raspberries...whatever you want to call them) all over mommy's bare legs does not endear you to mommy however much they tickle and it makes the children may want to think about where you will be choosing to sleep after such an episode.

Your tired Mommy

Movie Answer!

Yes is Curious George.
There are some good lines in it and I actually have enjoyed watching it. I have also enjoyed watching Doug & Andy watch it because it is obvious that what they get out of it has changed as they are getting older. I actually noticed some things I hadn't seen before this last time that I watched it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another Clue...

"You followed me all the way from play peek-a-boo?"

It is an animated film.

Movie Hint...

The movie is not Madagascar...
Here is another quote (from the same human character).
"You have a serious pest problem...I mean don't you spray for jungle animals? I specifically remember such language in my contract."

Help More Work

Andy "helped" me wash dishes last night. He actually isn't too bad at wiping the dishes, but just needs someone to facilitate and guide him through the process. I likened it to bathing because you soap up, rinse off, and then dry. I know that what he really wants to do is play in the water, and more specifically use the sprayer. However, I don't want to discourage his desire to help and I figure I should take advantage of this now because in a few years I will want him to help and he might not want to wash the dishes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Movie Night Quiz

I don't know if I will make this a regular feature or not, but I have to admit that for a movie geared toward young children this movie has an awful lot of good quotes. So here is the deal....I am including 3 of my favorite quotes from the movie and you have to guess what movie it is. I don't have enough money to be sending prizes so all you get is recognition...I'll post the answer on Monday (along with a few other quotes that might give it away). If you haven't hung around small children recently you will be at a decided disadvantage...
Quote 1:
"Oh that, I unroll it ahead of helps when you're in a rush"

Quote 2:
"I'm seeing multiple violations of rules of the road! Multiple violations!"

Quote 3:
"Oh no! I'm too late...or am I? Luckily movies have taught me exactly what to do in this situation. Kids don't try this at we go!
What am I doing? This isn't a's real!"

All of the quotes are actually from the same character....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Potty Training...

Dear Potty Training Muses,
Please come visit my little boys. I would sure like them to become inspired to actually WANT to use the potty. It is not so much that I am tired of changing diapers for three as I am tired of buying diapers and wipes for three and having to deal with diaper rash. While we have had some minor successes, particularly with Andy, they are not enough enticed by stickers or M & Ms for any sustained effort.
I would let them run around naked, since I know they enjoy it because Doug has a song that he sings ("Nakie, Nakie, I like Nakie...") as he runs through the house when he strips off his clothes to go shower. However, it is hot outside and we would need vats of sunscreen to keep my poor pale skinned children from getting sunburned and inside there is just too much wall-to-wall carpet.
So far the only thing that seems to have produced an effect was the "Cool Alert" pull-ups that my mother-in-law bought. I probably should have warned Doug this morning when I put them on him for the first time, however Daddy had to call and tell me that apparently it is not too pleasant to have coldness in that area because Doug was standing there saying "Cold, cold, cold, cold, cold..."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Ben, our baby-sitter, has a theater degree. So what do you do with a theater degree (besides wait tables and baby-sit small children adding greatly to their imaginative play)?
You visit summer enrichment classes as an expert in drama.
There are currently four drama classes taught by two different teachers and I put both teachers in touch with Ben since they are supposed to have an expert come in. In each class he talked about costumes and make-up. He showed the kids how to make someone look old and in one class he made a girl look like a mouse.
He also showed them how to make it look like someone had gotten a huge bruise, and most impressively...that someone had a pencil that got stuck through his hand. One of the teachers was taking the child with a pencil stuck through his hand around and freaking people out. I know that more then a few people got their heart going and a bit of adrenaline after seeing the "wounds" coming out of the drama classes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I have some random questions after today....
-Just how do you manage to have 300+ email in your Inbox? (most are read, and that is actually 200+ in one account and 100+ in the other)
-Is it blasphemous, upon request of a child, to sing the doxology in a growly "dinosaur" voice?
-At what age do children (in particular twins) "get" the idea that when one child has been reprimanded for doing something that it doesn't mean that it is a suggested action to try for the other child?

Monday, June 16, 2008


I had forgotten about it yesterday, but we had left-over Chinese food for dinner tonight and it reminded me. When we got back from Nana and Pop's yesterday it was easiest and quickest to get something out. At the end of the meal we got our fortune cookies and now days the boys are pretty good about remembering to not eat the paper. It is so unusual these days with fortune cookies to actually get one that has a fortune on it rather then just a proverb. I can't decide if I should be alarmed at the fortunes we got or not.
I'll do them in the order they were opened (and I don't remember what Jo's said and some of it may be approximate wording).
Andy: You will come into an inheritance soon.
Doug: Your life will be full of excitement soon.
Me: Treasure and remember events, especially for this coming week.
Jim: Your life will be full of many good things. (At least I think that is what his said...I was just relieved that it was a positive one because inheritance and excitement together don't necessarily sound like a good mix to me.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We all drove back home today. I was in the car with the kids and Jim was driving his car back. Since the boys sit in the "way back" of the car I can't exactly reach them. Hence I am going to be wondering for months later why I keep finding suckers all of the place. I was trying to toss the boys suckers while we drove along and I wasn't always very exact (gotta watch the road some too). I really think I need a conveyor belt that runs the length of the car so I can transfer things to the back and they can send things up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Warm Welcome

I drove down the Nana and Pop's today. We will stay the weekend and then head back home. I know that it wasn't even really a whole week that I was gone from Doug, Andy, and Jo, but it sure feels good to see them again (and hold them and talk to them). Andy was the first out to greet me and right away wanted to be picked up and told me he missed me. Doug was inside playing and was equally happy to see me (apparently he got clingy the last day or so). Jo was in Pop's arms and she hesitated about 5 seconds when I reached out for her, but then was happy to be held and to see me. They all seem like they have grown and changed and sound slightly different (clearer to hear or something) over the few days we were apart. I am glad to have my babies back...oh yeah, and Jim was back from his conference so I got to see him also.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

We make a bazillion decisions every day and I wish they were clear cut. Sometimes it isn't even the big ones that can throw you into a quandary. For instance, do I be good at eat at home tonight? What about the special desert I was considering...I forgot while I was out so I would have to factor gas into the trip to get the desert. How about the I hang it out to dry or will the scattered thundershowers materialize that they are predicting? Hmmmmm......

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wierd weather

Things are pretty quiet with me being husband-less and kid-less this week. I am trying to be good and get my paper done, but it is so hard to motivate myself. I am really hoping that I can knock it out so that I can move on with my life. The big thing is that even if I get it "written" this week (or re-written as the case may be) I wonder about the odds of the professor wanting to rearrange it yet again (which is why I think I am having a hard time motivating myself). I am looking out the window. It is absolutely pouring down rain, there are huge thunder claps (like the kind that they rattle things in the house just a bit), and it is as bright out there as if it were a cloudless day. When it is bright out but raining I used to call those "sunshowers."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm proud

I'm proud of...
1. It only took 15 minutes to load the 200+ kids today (that's half the time!)
2. I actually got the old clothes line down and tied a new one up in our backyard and currently have a load drying out there.
3. I am actually working on my paper (though I keep having to refocus my mind back to it because there are so many other things I would rather be blogging for instance....)

Monday, June 9, 2008


I survived the first day of the summer camp. We only had two students change classes. Kids had all found classes and were in their first session by ten minutes after the "official" start of class, and we got around 200 children in parent's cars in just under 30 minutes (it should be shorter tomorrow...). Now I just have to survive the other 14 days.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Here is a haiku that I composed while I was driving back from my in-laws.

I am left hanging.
Unfinished conversation...
Longing for signal.

(You know who you are...)

Saturday, June 7, 2008


My in-laws have blueberries. Eventually they want to have a "you pick" place for people to come pick blueberries, but for the time being while the plants are growing up they pick the blueberries and take them to a farmers market. One of the things that we did today was pick the bushes. I had Jo in a wagon and my bucket for picking berries. However, I don't know what percentage of berries actually stayed in my bucket because Jo seemed to think that my bucket was her own personal blueberry buffet, because the entire first row that I picked she had her arm stuck down in the bucket and was feeding her face.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Things not to do at your in-laws...

So...when you are giving your children a bath in the big whirl pool may want to check the angle of the jets because those suckers can shoot quite a distance and actually move an impressive volume of water....

Super Hero Desires...

We are at my in-laws this weekend. We had to take separate cars because Jim is headed to a conference next week and I have to head back home (the kids are spending a week with Nana and Pop!).
This means that I drove for roughly five hours, by myself, with the kids in the car. I can't reach Doug & Andy so that makes it interesting. I learned several things on this trip....
1. My speedometer is slow (Jim said there was a 7 or 8 mph discrepancy between what I thought I was going and what he thought I was going).
2. It is innate for children to say "Are we there yet" (Andy started this about an hour after we started our trip...fortunately he alternated this phrase with "We're at Nana and Pop's?" so that I at least got a little variety).
3. Jo may be allergic to fake cheese stuff (like the kind of cheese flavoring they put on chips) because this is the second time that she has thrown up after eating it (either that or she could have motion sickness?)
4. I used to want the super hero power of being able to manipulate time....but now I really think it would be useful to be elasti-girl. I think that would be the most useful super power for a mom (besides the needing extra limbs). I could reach toys, pacifiers, snacks, etc.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I can't remember if I have mentioned it before, but my children are particularly good at teamwork when it comes to moving toys. When the boys were first walking they would occasionally move all of the toys from their room to over some child gate. I don't know how they worked it out because they weren't talking at that point but they were definitely working together. I remember one time in particular when I watched as they moved all of their stuffed animals into the laundry room one or two animals at a time and every time they walked past me they would glance over their shoulder with this look that had that Jedi "you don't see what I am doing" look to it.
I mention this because last night they systematically moved all of their stuffed animals from downstairs to upstairs in their room. Sometimes I wish I could hear their thoughts to know how they decide to do these things (they don't really play with them they just move them).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


When I go somewhere by myself with all three kids, I have decided that it is really important to have a strategy. Strategy is pretty easy in the grocery store when you have a cart (particularly a race car cart) so that all of the kids can be contained and you have the lure of a free cookie from the bakery. We work on trying to stay with mommy, but it sure is nice to have the back-up threat of kids being in the cart (and if there are objections then the threat is to have to be strapped in the cart...with the ultimate threat of leaving the store all together). We went to the library today, and the kids did pretty well at first, but then we were trying to find a construction book for Andy and it took awhile so the kids were sort of losing it (mommy included) by the end. We also had to stop by the campus today and I used the wagon (primarily since the first thing we had to do was return some boxes that were a bit much to carry) and the kids had a great time in the wagon. It is harder if we have to run several errands in a row and there is not time to work off some energy in between. I keep telling myself that as we keep working on it and they get older it will be better and that we are, after all, just barely three.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oh, yeah...

You know those people who were going to be staying with they are not. One of them had a friend in town who apparently was upset that they weren't staying with her and so they decided to stay with the friend. I am going to choose to believe this reason for not staying with us is true since she did unload some of her bags into our guestroom and then had to reload them, she said her friend was crying about not being asked, and I also choose to believe it to protect my slightly fragile ego (which is made more fragile by a slight sleep deprivation) rather then thinking that it was anything about our house or furnishings that turned her off. I did actually meet the friend so I know that there really is a friend and not a hotel.

Thank you for making this

It is soooo very sweet. Andy has started,at almost every meal to say "Thank you for making this."
He is a very insistent little child and will repeat this again and again and again (like everything else he is excited to communicate) until you acknowledge it in a way he finds acceptable.
For instance, tonight I was terribly helpful to Jim (add in a little sarcasm here...I don't really cook at our house, Jim does pretty much all of it) and actually stuck some green beans in a container and put them in the microwave and warmed them up. Jim did everything else (including taking the green beans out, fixing them, and actually getting them to the table). That was the extent of my helping with dinner tonight (I had a few other non-dinner related things going my defense).
Anyway, Andy said "Mommy, thank you for making this," and no matter how much I explained that it really was daddy who made everything, and that I did just a little bit, Andy kept repeating it until I finally said "You are welcome" without any other explanation. Then, finally, he moved on to thank daddy also.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vroom Vroom!

I'm a Nissan 350Z!

You're not the fastest or the most agile, but you have style and power. You believe in looking good and moving quickly -- without breaking the bank.

"Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.


So to tell you how busy of a week it has been around here...I sort of forgot to tell Jim until last night that the people who will be staying with us for the month of June will be arriving today.
However, after today there shouldn't be much for me to do on one of the projects I have been working on. Today there will be two ceremonies for the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) and then I should stop getting calls about something that I really don't know anything about except for the location. Then later this week the summer program I have been doing registration for should start and there will be no more people trying to register. Hallelujah!