Thursday, November 29, 2007

Real Pain in the...

On Sunday, we did what thousands of other families do the weekend after Thanksgiving. (no, we didn't sleep off our turkey hangovers with our hands in the waistband of our pants while snoring on the couch watching football...) We put up our Christmas decorations. Our little Jelly Bean was quite fascinated with the whole process. She thought the multicolored lights were "really pretty", the glass balls were "really shiny", the snowman that I put around the house were "really sparkly"...I think you get the picture. Any-who, as we were assembling the Christmas tree, which by the was "really scratchy" I tried to get her to work on one of her wooden puzzles that usually keep her occupied for a few minutes at a time, allowing her dad and I to get something quick finished up without her underfoot. She was working on one that had shapes on it. It included a hexagon and an octagon, which when put back into the wooden board in the exact way they were cut out, fit quite nicely, but if you happen to get them turned around a little, you have a tough time wedging the little suckers in. (The puzzle maker didn't make all the sides exact) The conversation we have while I'm putting up the tree goes something like this...

her: "Mommy, this puzzle isn't playing nice"
me: "It isn't? Keep trying, you'll get it figured out"
her: "(some kind of moaning groaning sound and a big sigh)"
me: "Are you getting it?"
her: "This is a pain in the butt, Mommy."
me: (after trying not to laugh out loud) "Who did you hear say that?"
her: "Me. I said it. Silly Mommy..."
me: (directed to the hubby) "We really need to start being careful what we say. That could have very easily been a little worse."
him: "Heh, yeah, but at least she used it in the right context."

Proud papa, all the way. Way to go Jelly Bean!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ew, Ew, Poo-Poo

WARNING - This isn't for the weak stomached individuals. That being said, I HAVE to talk about diaper contents. You would think after having four babies I would have seen it all, but no. I have recently been shocked, once again by diaper contents. After being grossed out I realized, what a great opportunity! I should document them! Not only can I mortify my children when they bring home prom dates, I can also save some new parents a heart attack or two.

I have been freeked out by the best of them:

brand new baby first poo - takes at least ten wipes to clean off that black tar mess
breastfed baby poo - yellow/orange seedy looking gook that, in my opinion, smells like funky buttered popcorn, ew
formula fed poo - not as weird to look at as the breastfed poo, but way stenchier
raisins that end up looking like grapes poo - yeah, that was freaky, and completely disgusting
jello that stays intact poo - don't let your baby get ahold of red jello, but if they do, let dad change it. Ryan flipped out that his baby girl was menstrating. I laughed a very long time about that one (but only after we figured out the culprit)
lime green crayon bits poo - once again daddy changed this one, and even though I figured this one out in seconds, it was still gross all the same.
gritty due to pears poo - I would have swore she ate sand since it took almost as many wipes as a newborn poo!
saved up for seven days poo - ugh, I don't want to ever go through that again. Poor baby
and my favorite bright green due to fruit loops poo - nuff said.

Yes I have seen it all!

Or so i think, anyone else have poo experiences we should share with the new moms? I think I heard Marie mention an asparagus episode on a previous podcast . . . Marie? :)

- Sara

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Don't get your "panties" in a bunch...

Something funny happened in Marie's household over the last couple of evenings. We have been working on potty training with little Jelly Bean for what feels like forever, so there's been a lot of talk about diapers, poop, tinkle, panties, big girl underwear, etc. So Sunday night I was doing some laundry and putting clothes away in our bedroom. Jelly Bean was on the bed watching TV and playing. She and I were just talking about whatever it is that two year old's want to talk about when she reached into my underwear drawer and pulled out a pair of my underwear. She said they were hers, and she was going to put them on. So she gets them on (sideways) and is jumping on the bed saying she's wearing mommy's big girl panties. I thought it was cute so I called the hubby up so he could see what she was doing. He thought she was being pretty silly, and mentioned that having her do that when we had company could be entertaining. That was pretty much the end of that for that night. Then last night I was folding a basket of laundry and pulled out a pair of the hubby's underwear to fold. Jelly Bean saw them and said "Those are daddy's panties!!" I had to explain to her that girls wear panties, and boys wear underwear. So they were daddy's underwear. She acted like that made sense and repeated the word "underwear" to me. About 10 minutes after that, the hubby walked in the door. I figured I'd test her memory to see if she could tell me what they were again, so in front of him I held up another pair and asked her what they were. She said "those are daddy's panties!" again. For some reason, the hubby didn't find it as cute as I did. So next time he's in a mood, I'm going to tell him not to get his "panties" in a bunch....Do you think he’ll shoot me?


Friday, November 16, 2007

Second Honeymoon

Not many get the chance to visit their honeymoon site on their two month anniversary. I was fortunate enough to get the chance. Ryan was sent to a computer geek convention to run a booth for his company, and I decided to join him for the weekend.

It was the first trip we took without any children in three and a half years. It was well worth the wait. I truly thought the weekend would be filled with gambling, drinking and . . . you know, but let me tell you what we did instead.

Rode the New York, New York rollercoaster - Ryan had never ridden it before. It isn't a long ride, but it is longer than you might expect looking at it from the strip. It is simply one of those things you have to be able to say you have done.

Went to the top of the Stratosphere - It is an amazing view. I suggest going right before sunset since the view is stunning in both the daylight and at night.

Played Forty dollars in the crane/claw machines - It sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. My sister and I are suckers for the crane machines. I have turned Ryan into an addict as well. I only wanted a squishy ball, but all we had was a twenty. After winning two squishy balls in three tries, we moved on to the stuffed animals. We were hooked! When our quarters were gone, and we walked away with 13 items, Ryan looked at me and said, "That was more fun than slot machines!" It totally was. I know, we are major geeks. We had so much fun, we blew another twenty the next day. We ended up winning 20 items. After subtracting the money we blew on the giant crane game (yeah, two bucks a shot and it sucked) and the quarters wasted trying to get me a bear with a charm bracelet (it wasn't budging) we figured we won one out of three tries. Not too shabby!

Watched two fountain shows, the pirate ship sink, and the volcano erupt on the strip - My favorite is the fountain.

Walked the entire length of the strip twice - my legs weren't happy with me, but it was fun. Don't look at the people clicking the business cards. They aren't family friendly pictures.

Went to see Ka - AMAZING! Ryan completely surprised me with tickets. I love that man.

Played about a half hour of black jack at Hooters - walked up to the table with a c-note and walked away with a black chip. Even ain't so bad. Our dealer was gorgeous. They had to be fake.

Won a twenty-three dollar jackpot on a nickel slot - Ryan gave me four bucks to blow while he was picking up our show tickets. Three pulls later I hit it. He called me a lucky brat and immediately lost it on a dollar slot machine.

Ate at the Harley Davidson restaurant - yummy.

Played a Star Wars slot machine in the airport - couldn't resist. I told you I was a geek.

Slept in - way in! And no children crawled into it in the middle of the night. It was WONDERFUL!

Found the nightmare hallway that never ends - It is in the MGM's West Wing. Seriously. It is so long you can barely see the end of it, but when you finally reach the end, you find it changes from yellows and golds to blues and greys and it goes on MORE! It was freaky.

Drank my margarita in a blue 18 inch cup - I never got it on the wedding trip. It was heavier than I thought it would be. Strawberrylicious.

I think that covers it. It was the perfect lenghth for my first trip away from my babies. Two and a half days and no tears. It was so weird to be able to walk down a street without strollers to push or babies to sling or little hands to hold. It was so nice to get a table at a restaurant without shifting the condiments out of reach or repositioning everything to make room for high chairs. We were able to walk through stores without having to say - don't touch that - no you can't have that - can you hold it - settle down.

We have vowed to get away at least once a year. As a married mom with four kids, two of which came into the relationship with me, I began to wonder if we would be great together even long after the kids were grown and gone. This trip reminded me how compatible we truly are. I love him. He is a blast.

And finally, I survived the first plane ride since February. I love you Dad.

- Sara

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Father Knows Best?

My oldest figured it out the hard way. Let me start by explaining our neighborhood.

I love my neighborhood. It was built about thirty years ago and the majority of the residents are original owners. However, there are a handful of houses that were sold in the past five years to younger families. With the neighborhood in a transitional state, it makes for a quiet neighborhood with some playmates around. On our street there are four households that ride bikes and play together. The ages are 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 2, and 1. As a number geek, I think it is awesome. As the mother of the bottom four, it causes challenges.

My seven year old daughter plays with the only other girl - the twelve year old. For the most part, she is wonderful. She does a great job of watching out for my daughter and only picks on her on the days she is annoying. Recently, a boy from the next neighborhood over has been joining the two girls to play. He is very sweet and polite. Mostly quiet, I haven't figured out for sure he is dating the 12 year old, but they are having fun hanging out.

I had the opportunity to meet his mother on Halloween. It was the cutest thing ever. My daughter begged to go trick or treating with the neighbors. Since I usually go with my BFF #2 and her three kids, this posed a dilemma. When Halloween arrived, and my youngest two were still fussy from immunizations, I decided to go in our neighborhood (and I was super excited the BFF came over too!). I was surprised to see another mother. She had come because her son had announced he was trick or treating in our neighborhood with "some new friends." She imagined a group of young teenagers out to pick on little kids and cause trouble. She was SHOCKED to arrive and find the "friends" were ages 6-12. That had to have been a shining mommy moment for her.

But ANYWAY, this young man has a trick bicycle. It is the kind with pegs sticking out the middle of each wheel for optimum trick capabilities. Since my neighbor girl rides on these pegs, my daughter thought she was allowed. Ryan nipped that in the bud by explaining bikes are made for one person, not two. For an entire week my child BEGGED to ride on these pegs. We stood our ground, but she was persistent. Then yesterday happened - she came inside bawling with her hand to her mouth.

"Is my nose broke?!?!?!" Ever since she broke her arm two summers ago, the first thing we hear - is it broken?

It wasn't broken, but her upper lip was so fat she looked like Donald Duck! She explained SHE wasn't riding on the pegs. The teens were trying so hard to include her, that they put a set of pegs on HER bike. The extra weight of the neighbor girl was enough to cause an accident. Through my daughters tears I explained why parents make rules. Even though you don't understand why, they are there to keep you safe.

I don't think she will be messing with pegs for a while now! Man, sometimes they just have to learn the hard way.

- Sara

Sandal Days Gone

It was a fun day at the craft store. I had my youngest while BFF #1 had the "triplets" and my niece. I simply had to pull out the camera for this sweet moment. I sometimes forget to capture and treasure life's regular moments!

Of course now, three months later, I am going to miss nice days like those! Soon we will have to navigate through ice covered parking lots and pot holes full of slush. Snowsuits, boots, gloves, hats, socks, and sniffles. I am mentally preparing!


PS Now seriously, that doesn't look like a handful. It is a choo choo train full of fun! Right?

Marie's Martha Moment

Ok. So, I (Marie) got a little creative. It was either that, or Martha Stewart secretly took over my mind and body and made me do this....

Bittersweet Baby Talk

My fourth child finally said mamma. I didn't even get to enjoy it. The little buggar knows it too.

We were on our way home from a weekend trip to Chicago. The drive home was going great with 75% of my children sleeping, but the 14 month old wasn't happy. He was whimpering. I tried giving him a sippy, tried the glow worm toy, even gave him a potato chip. They were all thrown to the ground. He wanted held. I couldn't change his mind. That's when he played his trump card.


I immediately asked Ryan, "did he just say mamma?" Of course he was no help. He was using his male tuning out system. All I got was a, "huh?" But then clear as day, through a few more sobs, I heard it again.


Great. First time he calls for me I can't get him. Dang seatbelt laws! I asked the baby the next day if he remembered saying mamma. Buggar just smiled at me. I think he enjoys pushing my buttons, and why wouldn't he. The other three love it just as much.

Oh well, at least he said mamma. I have to remember it will be no time before I will be wishing he couldn't say it! :)

- Sara

A Gas Station Realization

I did it. I completely altered my son's view of the world.

He went from seeing the world as a place where everything is always okay and everyone can attain what they need, to finding out money is essential in the world. It happened in two minutes flat.

We were on our way to pick up some dinner. You know the type of evening. Karate practice ran late. The sun snuck its way under the horizon before I knew it. The freezer was full of items that would take way too much effort to turn into a scrumptious meal, and the fridge was nearly bare. The older two were STARVING and beginning to make those whiny noises that sound so pathetic you begin to think maybe they are slightly malnourished. When they heard "fast food night" there were cheers and praises. However the primitive whining noises began again, when I reminded them, for the fourth time, we HAD to stop for gas before the car sputtered to a stop. There would be absolutely NO FOOD until we got gas. So when I stopped at the pump but pulled away realizing space cadet mom had struck again and my purse was left in the entry way at home, my oldest son immediately noticed something wasn't right.

"Where are we going?"
"Home. I accidentally left my purse at home."
"I thought we were getting some food."
"We have to get gas first, remember?"
"Why didn't we get gas?"

I should have seen it coming, but I was too annoyed at myself for such a bonehead moment, I was in teacher-autopilot mode - answering questions with short, accurate answers which are the easiest for young ones to digest and learn.

"Because my money is in my purse."
"But mom, you don't need money, just use that pump thing."

That's when the floodgates opened up. We talked about debit cards and credit cards and how they transfer funds. We approached money in its infancy stage as a bartering system. I thought the conversation was over and I enjoyed the few moments of silence that we as mothers rarely receive. It was so quite I could almost hear the words swimming in his brain. He looked longingly out his window and said, almost to himself, "Wow, you need money for almost everything. That is so disappointing."

The gravity of what had happened in his head hit me like a swift punch in the stomach. My heart sank as I realized I had crushed his perception of a perfect world. A place where those who need gas in their cars, drive up to a pump and fill it. A place where hungry people can drive up to a window and order food. A society where you can walk into a dojo and learn karate or find a studio and take up dance. A city where you live in a home and turn on the lights and get air conditioning or heat whenever you need it. I wanted to live in his world. It sounded wonderful. But no, I had taken him by the hand and flung him into my world.

I have always talked to my children as real people. Kids can handle more truth than we think. However in that moment, I wished I had blown off his questions. Why didn't I just use the standard, "just because," or "don't worry about it, we will get gas in a minute after a quick detour."

I wish he could have lived in that world longer.

- Sara

Swoosher Girl All the Way!!!

Have you ever heard the expression, "Remember, he puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else."? It usually comes into conversation to prove everyone is human. But what about us women? Some of us don't even wear pants all the time. What should our saying be? We can't even say, "Well just remember, Britney Spears puts her panties on one leg at a time just like the rest of us." Yes, you know what I mean . . .

What about bras?

My bra saying journey began when my ex-MIL (mother in law) had surgery on her shoulder. She came out fully recovered with one slight drawback. She is no longer able to lift her arm as high as she once could. Her biggest complaint? She could no longer fasten her bra. WHAT!?! How ridiculous! You put your bra on by placing the cups in back, upside down, so you can clasp it in front of you. Then you swoosh it around, pull it up nicely to secure those lovely boulders, and finally take special care to make sure each is positioned for maximum effect. EVERYONE knows that!


As it turns out, NO! I know, pick your jaw up off the keyboard. I was completely shocked as well. My eyes were opened to an entire world of "behind the back"ers. These ladies are quite talented. They throw that puppy right on the front and do a two handed clasping feat behind their own back. Yes, they seriously do! Who ever knew? I was so excited about my new found knowledge, I simply had to share it with anyone who would listen. Turns out, they are more prominent in society than anyone could have ever guessed. Some of these individuals were even MORE shocked to hear there was a less strenuous method. I converted quite a few of those poor souls who had suffered years of sprained wrists and pulled shoulder ligaments.

You might think it stops there, but it gets even BETTER! There is yet another group of chicks who leave the thing clasped and pull it right over their head like a common tank top maneuver. After much research on this particular method, and nearly fatally injuring my precious resources, I have realized this option should be left to the smaller chested, like my #1 BFF :)

Now that I feel like a brassiere connoisseur, I have a question for you. Are you a swoosher, a behind the backer, or an over the topper? Or do you have a method all your own? Let the world know, it makes us special.

Aren't you glad we aren't like those silly men? Only one way to put on a jock strap . . . one leg at a time . . . just like all the rest.

- Sara

Home Life at Sara's House

As the newer Chit Chat Mom, I want to share some of my blogs to help you get to know me. The following is completely factual with no exaggeration needed. Most events happened during a two week business trip my husband went on soon after my father passed away. It began as a venting session during a night full of wallowing and missing the two most important men in my life. It ended with a realization I finally attained what I had always dreamed of having - a house full of kids and never a dull moment. I will admit, my home life doesn't always look this crazy, but it is close!

So, take a quick trip with me into the recent past take a glimpse of my world.

- Sara

Lessons I have learned in the past two weeks. 3-8-2007

Spare diapers that end up in the washing machine are BAD.
After breaking a washing machine with seven spare diapers, your first thought might be, "dang it, that was two dollars worth of diapers!"
The sanitize cycle fixes a washing machine that recently lost a battle with spare diapers.

You can completely shut a van door even if there are five year old fingers in the way.
Five year olds get wagon rides to the x-ray room at the children's hospital ER in Omaha.
Fingers that have been shut all the way in a sliding van door don't necessarily break, but they do turn purple.

It takes almost two full minutes to sweep up an entire box of spilled cheerios on a kitchen floor.
It takes under two full minutes for three 20 month olds to scatter 400 napkins across a living room.
When picking up and sorting 400 napkins, you wonder if it wouldn't be easier to spend few dollars and just replace them.

You can get purple marker off of ceramic tile way faster than you can get it off of skin.
You can't get black sharpie off of wall paper.

Strawberry toothpaste does not make good hair gel.
Strawberry toothpaste does make a good excuse to bath three 20 month olds.
Three 20 month olds fit in my kitchen sink.

Twelve inches of snow is enough to stop two days of school.
Twelve inches of snow is not enough to stop a woman on a mission in a 4x4 jeep.
After two days of being cooped up in a house, seven kids can drive a woman insane.

Five diapered children can go through up to 16 diapers in an average work day.
Diaper genies can only fit about 20 diapers.
It is possible to change five diapers in under 60 seconds.
If you are trying to break a diaper record, it helps to have Cheerios so you don't waste time chasing people.
If you are trying to break a diaper record, and you hit a messy one, concede.

20 month olds don't like to share toys, but they are willing to share granola bars and fruit loops.
6 month olds don't like granola bars, but they sort of enjoy fruit loops.

Hobby Lobby is great therapy.
When at Hobby Lobby with your best friend and eight kids under the age of eight, expect a few strangers to shake their heads at you.
The best response to, "wow, you have your hands full" is "not a hand full, just a heart full," even if you really want to say, "shut the $%^& up."

20 month olds like green olives.
You only have to drop an olive jar once to break it open.

There is a seven hour time difference between Omaha and Germany.
You have to dial 13 numbers to call Germany.
Germans expect you to understand German.
Some Germans understand you when you say, "okay," but they don't comprehend "gotcha."
If your man is in Germany, and you can't sleep, just log on to the computer at 1:00 am.
He will be able to say good morning and I love you.

When getting four sleeping children out of a minivan in below-freezing weather, start by moving the heavy sleepers first.
If you move light sleepers out of a minivan in below-freezing weather first, they will wake up, and by the time you get to the heavy sleepers, they are awake.
Four kids recently woken up by being carried in the cold prefer to sleep in mom and dad's bed.
Five out of six people can sleep comfortably in a king sized bed.
There are men out there that are willing to sleep uncomfortable.

7 year olds are the best help at the grocery store.
5 year olds help remind you what the speed limit is.
20 month old kisses are adorable when they master the smacking noise at the end of them.
6 month olds can hold conversations with the ceiling.

And in conclusion -
My oldest daughter doesn't care that I couldn't pause live TV, didn't have a remote, and had to "hold it" until commercials.
My oldset son's alien mom who is about an inch tall is STILL way nicer than I am.
My youngest daughter can climb onto the diaper changing table and jump onto the couch, but won't walk to the car by herself.
My youngest son can't crawl, but can scooch on his back, head first.
My man doesn't like German food
. . . . . and I love my life.


Testing out the blog page...

Hopefully this will make checking for episodes and checking for blogs a bit easier. Let us know what you think!!

-Marie & Sara