Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cutie face

I am seriously so in love with this stinkin' cute little guy.

We sure had a rough couple weeks with him being sick though (I think it may have actually been RSV). Anyhow, it was really lucky my mom was in town because this kid has been the neediest of all my kids when he's sick.  (At least that being a clone of his father thing is consistent.  :)  I seriously spent the large majority of a week and a half in his room holding him in the rocking chair for hours at a time so he would sleep.  I swear this kid thinks he's an only child or something.

Good thing that's over though because I really love this age! Here are a few pictures over the last few months to catch up.

This little guy is so in love with his brothers and gets so excited to see them or chase them around. Whenever we walk out in the hallway and he sees the boys all start running down the halls he gets so excited and starts flailing his arms and digging his heels into me while he's sitting on my hip like he's telling me to giddy-up.  He's starting to get some crazy wild curly hair.  I've never had to groom a child's hair so much, but this kid has such tight curl on the sides that he starts getting little poof balls that look Princess Leia buns if I don't try to tame it.  He's currently getting his 5th tooth, and he got the first 4 in a matter of about 2 weeks. He has even managed to chip his front tooth before it has even grown in (I have no idea how).  Awesome. He has such bad stranger anxiety I finally quit the gym since I got 3 minutes of working out every time I tried to take him. He just likes what he likes, and currently that is only 5 people in the world.  (And Grammy was at least finally tolerable by the end of 2 and a half weeks.) We affectionately call him the little prince since he is the only person in the family with their very own room, and his wants, needs and preferences pretty much run the household. I was really serious that this kid thinks he's an only child. 

He's so much fun to have around though.  We're already anxious for the next stage. Whenever Ryan sees busy little babies running around getting into everything he just shakes his head and says, "I don't want a one year-old!" (I keep reminding him at least it's not two one year-olds.) So we're enjoying the cuteness...and immobility, for as long as it lasts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Festivities

I am not a Halloweener (he he).  I did not grow up in a Halloweeny home. I can never get my husband to dress up and last year was my first adult year dressing up only because my kids kept asking me what I was going to be for Halloween.

So I am trying to reform.  Trying very hard to be Halloween festive.  Enter the internet.  So many great ideas!  (I know pinterest would be a great resource, I'm only concerned with getting into it for the potential amount of time I could see myself wasting there.)   So we started off with a great idea I saw here - power tool pumpkins.  Genius idea for a house full of boys and no carving involved.

I forgot to take a picture of it lit up. Hers looked better, we should have tried to make the holes bigger since we didn't have a bigger drill bit, but it still looked cool. And was fun.

Then I decided to have some little Halloween parties for my kids.  I did one with the little kids we do preschool with for the twins.  Then the next day I did one with some kids from Cash's class at school.

I chocolate-dipped a bunch of pretzels and tried to make them festive looking.


Then I talked about how it was October and because of Halloween I found the weirdest foods at the grocery store.  Like...

Mummies.  And....



And yes, even...

Since there was such strange stuff at the store I tried to look elsewhere to see what else I could find to eat.  But since it's rained here so much lately, well, guess what I found a lot of....

Yep, worms.  Lots and lots of slimy, wiggly worms.

Then I had to concoct my Witches Brew.  Pour in some bat juice (I debated calling it spider blood or something but wanted to stay on the side of gross rather than gory), add a few spider eggs (raw sugar crystals), and then I asked Cash what his dad did for work.  "He's a doctor."  Right, and what kind of doctor?  "An eye doctor."  Yep, so I had to have dad bring something home from work so I could complete my potion. Eyeballs.

It may not look like much in the picture, but the effect was great.  

It was so fun watching them laugh and squirm and giggle and get so grossed out!  Phoenix covered his mouth and backed away every time I came near him with a worm, and Ashton never even broke down and tried one. They were made of jello that you pour over a bunch of bendy straws with the necks extended that you then squeeze out one at a time.  It was hilarious. Even when I was squeezing them out of the straws some of them I swear would keep moving and give my mom and I the willies!  I found them here, and she referenced this person who had an unbelievable likeness in the ones she made!  I also got the monster pudding cups from this same blog (I've made lots of stuff from her blog and love it), saw the mummy ideas here, and got the ghost poop idea from a very Halloween-savvy friend.  

I made a bean bag toss and gave away prizes when they played.

We also did a couple crafts - some simple spider pops,

(Although they looked better the second time we made them since I cut the pipe cleaner a little shorter, and I would have liked to find all red suckers so they would look like black widows but no luck.)

And then we did these super cute Halloween lanterns I saw on my cousins blog.  She's the one who led me to find them here and all the other great stuff I have since found on that blog.  

It was so fun and turned out so perfect!  The crafts were fun and really cute, not too hard for kids too.  (I'd already pre-cut all the shapes out of construction paper).  

As for that witches brew, I have to say I love these new submersible lights I got - (interjection - they made for great bath fun too with some baby food containers filled with water and food coloring and then closing one of these lights inside them.)


Anyhow, there you have it. I am now officially Halloweeny.  The kids had a blast and it was super fun. 

Who knew the three year-olds would be so much easier to control than the five year-olds?  Man, those kids were wild!  We did invite a set of triplets, however, so maybe we were asking for it.  :)


I'd say I could make it a tradition - but I think I already used up all the good ideas I could muster.  And of course I can only do it if my mom decides to keep up her annual October visits...and she will probably change her mind after this.  :)

May your Halloween season be just as spook-tacular!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Random thoughts

Last night as we walked in from the parking garage to our building, we saw our neighbor at the garbage chute - in high heels, a strapless mini-dress...and an apron.  Ryan and I exchanged amused glances and as soon as the door was shut, the exact same thoughts came out:  "Jealous?" I asked at the same time he said, "How come I get the shaft?" There are multiple thoughts on this - first, who on earth cooks dinner in strappy high heels?? Second, I know this woman is married, so it's not like she putting on a show for some suitor. Third, this woman is definitely in her 40s or maybe 50s, so is it possible she has been doing this every night for 20 years?? Fourth, stop giving my husband crazy notions that this kind of behavior is normal.

Next disconnected thought. The other night as I printed off the 33 pages of homework for the week (yay for going green!!!) I realized I was glad I wasn't the parents of the triplets in Cash's class.  100 pages of Kindergarten homework to print every week?  It's ridiculous enough for one child.  (Mind you, this isn't including the mathbook, the 30 minutes of reading a night, or the educational websites they're supposed to work on every day....)

My mom just came in town. I gave her the true Miami experience today as we went to a dollar store in Hialeah. You know we're on the wrong side of town when at the light before we turned into the parking lot, some guy rolls down his window to ask if we were lost.  That corner alone boasted 2 dollar stores, 2 flea markets and a Salvation Army. Charming little neighborhood.

I think I was discussing my feelings on all the red tape you have to go through to get your kid from school here with Ryan and then realized, "Well, I guess I shouldn't expect any less since even the deodorant in Miami is under lock and key."  I kid you not. I have to hunt down employees at CVS just to buy my husband some dang deodorant around here.

The end.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The good old days

The other day we were at Costco. I had the twins in the cart and the baby in the front pack (not even the whole herd like usual), when a little old lady passed by with a twinkle in her eye and said, "Those were the good old days." It took me a minute to register my emotion, and then I realized - relief!  I understand if you live somewhere else, comments like that may be common.  But here, I usually have to brace myself and fasten on my social graces when I see someone about to open their mouth to me.  There's the ever common "You have your hands full," but here is said without a hint of admiration; rather, it's said with the same reaction my children have to dogs - the person scooting to the other corner of the elevator before one of my children breathes, sneezes, coughs, pees, or gets their grimy fingers on them.  (Of course, you have to remember that Miami is the place for singles who want to hone their bodies to bronze perfection during the day and flaunt them at the clubs at night. Children are a serious threat to their lifestyle.) "You're done, aren't you?" is another frequently used one, often followed by, "You should be."  (My dentist here emphatically used this multiple times...before I had my last child.)  "Are they all yours?" of course, but a version of this I infer from the looks of the Miami crowd when we're anywhere near the ghetto and they see Ryan and I together is, "They all from the same daddy?????"

Anyhow, I reflected on this woman's comment on the way home and wondered if at some future time I would say that to someone else.  When my eyes got teary thinking about it, I decided the answer must be yes.  Even now as I sit here, baby napping, twins happily (and humorously) playing Mr. Potato head, and I sit munching on cookie dough as I steal away for a few minutes on the computer...what could be better?

I love, loved this talk this past weekend in general conference by Elder Andersen.(General conference is a bi-anual event where we listen to the leaders of the church and it's broadcast throughout the world.) He said very simply, "We believe in families. And we believe in children." He talked about how where the standards of the world and the standards of the church used to be compatible, they now are often widely separated. Having kids was one of these since many people now marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. It was just a nice reminder that it takes faith to have kids in the world today, and especially not to be afraid to rank children as more important than all the luxuries, money and perfect body we could have if we focused on those instead. I'll admit, it definitely takes faith to live on one salary in Miami - it's an extremely unpopular and uncommon scenario here. It takes doing without a lot of things that would be nice to have, but I have to remind myself it's a worthy trade for my kids to have each other and for me to be here with them.

The thing I really don't get here is all these rich people have one or maybe two kids who get a mercedes when they turn 16, get their ivy league college degree paid for and a house as a gift when they graduate.  But then it seems that all the underprivileged people here are the only ones I see with big families. Doesn't make sense. Shouldn't all these educated and wealthy people be the ones trying to re-populate the world? Is the world going to get progressively dumber?

Anyhow, there are the few people though that look at us warmly and I get the sense they have their faith in marriage and family restored. The rest of them may look at us with disdain... but their children think we're awesome.


Yes, most of you guessed it: Phoenix, Cash, Diesel, Ashton.