Monthly Archives: January 2013
Mom: “How do you like mom’s cereal?”
(She wanted to try my “Grape-nuts Flakes.)
Callie: “Not good…it kinda tastes like wood!”
So we found out Johnny got the part of Mowgli in the school Jungle Book play! I don’t know why I get to be proud, it’s not like I’ve schooled him in the fine arts of theatre (although I did build a stage for the kids at the cabin), but I’m proud. I’m so happy that he has found something that he really enjoys. He’s always got a big smile (sometimes a mischevious smile) and a bounce in his step so this part is perfect for him. I signed up to be on the costume crew and my mom got volunteered (by me) to help sew the costumes. We are working on the elepahnt costumes which are really cute. My mom is done with her share and I still need to start! Hopefully I’ll find time this afternoon.
So for the next month I get to be a stage mom instead of a soccer mom. Should be fun!
Yesterday the high temperature here was 5 below zero, today we have a warm-up and it is going to get up to negative 1. So what do you do when it is that cold out AND the kids are home from school. You freeze stuff. In the spirit of “Sid the Science Kid” we wrote down our predictions of what we thought would happen when we put certain items outside and then we froze some things and checked to see what happened.
We put out a banana, a tube of toothpaste and we cracked an egg on a plate. What do you think happened?
After 5 minutes there was no real change. After a half-hour the egg started to freeze. Three hours later the egg was frozen, the banana was a solid (like a wooden banana) and the toothpaste was just really cold.
This morning the banana was completely black and all mushy.
Of course the lesson we learned was…well I’m not sure what we learned except it was darn cold out and I’m pretty sure there are places on this earth where you can live where your produce does not die a painful death.
So this is an offical invitation to all my friends and family to move somewhere warmer. Seriously warmer!
Yesterday it sounded like a good idea to take everyone outside to get some fresh air, run off some steam, not have to worry about anything getting broken…In addition to the 3 extra kids I was babysitting, Joey had two of his friends over bringing the grand total to 11 people I was supposed to be keeping alive (although Joey and his friends are pretty self-sufficient, except when they get bored…or hungry…or well, they’re teenagers, you get it.)
It was nice out and the snow was all melty so I told the little ones we would be making dinosaur eggs out of snow and putting them in a big giant nest. The older kids joined-in but they were just making snow balls. Clever idea, however I think it is humanly impossible to make a ball out of snow without eventually throwing one…or two…at your sister (or sisters).
I saw what was brewing and knew an all-out snowball war was about to take place so I hurridly convinced everyone it was time to go in for snack. There were a few snowballs that exchanged hands but I got everyone in before anyone got an iceball to the head (you know that’s how snowball fights always end.)
As of this writing there are 5, yes only 5, children in my immediate care. My babysitting gig is up (the boys got picked up tonight safe and sound) and Joey is at a friends. This is a piece of cake!
I know, more breakthroughs but I swear this has been the schedule for the week:
Clean-up after breakfast
Make lunches for school
Clean-up after making lunches
Make morning snack
Clean-up after snack
Make lunches for kids at home
Clean-up after lunch
Make afternoon snack
Clean-up after snack
Clean-up after dinner
Make bedtime snack
Clean-up after snack
Put kids to bed
Go buy more food
Go to sleep
I need that astronaut food or End-of-the-World Food packets that are easy to make (and clean-up). The good news is with all the food prep I haven’t had time to eat so I’ve lost that 5 pounds I put on after Christmas!
So here’s the deal. This week I am babysitting my friend’s three kids while she, her husband and other kids (she has 7 boys) enjoy some much need vaca time in Florida. Yes, that makes 9 kids under one roof for the week: a 14-year-old, almost 14-year-old, two almost 11-year-olds, a 9-year-old, three 4-year-olds and an active 1 1/2-year-old. I told my husband that TLC would be taping a Reality Show Special while the kids are all here and we would get $30,000 for the first episode (nice thought, totally not true).
My first conclusion is that 9 kids are louder than 6. Somehow they feed off each other. Fun for them…loud for me!
It’s actually going as well as excpected and the boys are settling in fine. Thier older brother has been a big help. Our kids have enjoyed having new kids around so that is great. It’s just very busy around here!
In Minnesota the news (and conversations) revolve around two subjects. From May until October it is all about the road construction that is going on in and around the city. Because of the harsh winters they have to jam a years worth of road repairs into 6 months. From November to April all we talk about is the flu. How to prevent it, who is at risk for it, what to do if you get it, who at work/school has it, did they get the flu shot, are you going to get the flu shot?
At our house we are talking about the flu becasue it has hit us. If it typically lasts for 7-10 days and each one of us gets progressively (because that’s usually how it works) someone will be sick clear until spring! I won’t go on about how miserable it is because if you’re a Minnesotan you know. If you’re a mom that has sick kids and is also sick you also know how challenging it is. That’s the boat I’m in now.
I do remember purposefully thinking this summer how nice it was that no one had been sick for a couple months, of course that was when we were stuck in traffic due to road construction.
To all the other flu sufferers hang in there! I feel your pain. Watch some videos, drink some orange juice from fancy glasses and take a long nap!
What the heck went on this evening at my house? Here was the plan: help kids with homework, make chili, serve dinner, carpool Joey and friends to soccer, go to the community center, drop off girls in child care, work out, go home, have snack, put kids to bed.
Here’s what happened: somehow homework time was a free-for-all bombardment of questions, problems, requests for bus passes, field trip signatures, play practice notes, refusals to do math (“I already know it all”…”Really, at 10 years-old you know all the math there is to know?”), youngin’s writing in pen on our new craft table…and this was all before 5:00. I was making dinner during all of this. Now that would be a cooking show. Come to my kitchen and see how to make chili while giving a spelling test, paying for field trips online, helping a four-year-old finish cutting out her stingray because her hand is sooooo tired…
We had to leave at 5:45 to gather the boys for soccer which would have been fine except for the 7 other people I live with. We left around 5:50, picked up the other boys, drove to soccer dropped off the boys and then headed to the gym. Lexi and the girls were with me. Lexi was chatting, chatting and chatting (“Mom, I really want to get extensions…I want to start gymnastics…I liked playing hockey except for the helmets…Did you know Derek has three cats and a dog…”) While trying to follow her conversation I failed to notice how quiet the girls had become. We rolled into the parking lot of the gym around 6:20 and I turned around to see Cassie and Callie fast asleep!! Oh bother. So we drove home. I put the girls to bed, cleaned up the kitchen from our hasty departure and finished updating my calendar which I missed doing during the homework time fiasco. Then I thought, I should still probably work out. I could go downstairs and do some aerobics OR eat a couple of devil food cake cookies. After the night I had, the cookies won out (they were really good by the way). I have a plan for tomorrow too but who knows what the universe will send forth.
So I took the kids to Toys R Us last week, all of them, (and a neighbor kid), because their Christmas money was burning a hole in their pockets. We walked through the sliding doors and their eyes got the size of saucers, “Choose” I announced and they all began to drool. Of course “choose” had some limitations but for all practical purposes they got to pick out what they really wanted. Joey decided he was going to save his money, Josh and Johnny had blown much of theirs on a shopping spree at Target so it was mostly the girls we were there for. I had a few ideas of what I WANTED the girls to choose but I was going to try to let them take the lead. Dress-up clothes? Nope. Dollhouse furniture? Nope. “My Little Ponies”? Nope. We ended up in the molded animal aisle with big rubber dinosaurs and dragons. They played with those for a while, taking up half the aisle with their three-headed dragons, but then Callie found a huge rubber snake! Really? 42 aisles of fun and she wants a giant rubber snake (did I mention I have a slight aversion to snakes?)?
I know I should have embraced her choice and encouraged her love of nature but truthfully I tried to talk her out of it (I know, minus two parenting points) but she was insistent. She won. What do you suppose her sister wanted? Yep, the giant rubber shark. How do you explain to grandma what her sweet little granddaughters got with her Christmas money? I know, I know, it’s the 21s century and when Callie writes her memoir I certainly don’t want it dedicated to her dad because her mom squelched her love of reptiles. I just think it’s a hoot. Who are these little people I am raising?
Lexi decided to get a huge puffed pink stuffed cat, similar to a pillow pet, but round. Who knows. I let her get it and she was happy.
Anyway, the girls snuggle into bed each night with their giant rubber animals. When they make their bed the snake and shark are right on top. I shouldn’t have been too surprised, a few weeks back we went to the store and I let them pick out a stuffed animal and they chose a green stuffed snake and blue stuffed shark. Now their dinosaurs have someone to fight with.