Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Sunshine!!!

My baby girl turned 1! Ok, so it was awhile ago but as she is the sixth child I figure I have a little room for not posting right away. At least that's my story! I have fallen by the wayside on my blog updates, we'll see how long I keep at it this time!

Rosemerry Sunshine is every bit as sunny and bright as her name suggests. She is sweet and loving and has added so much culture to our family. She has captivated us and has neatly wrapped each of us around her little fingers! In the middle of the night it is only my higher reasoning skills (added to the desire for a little quiet alone time) that keep me from waking her up to play. She has taught us so much as parents, we've really learned to trust a baby's instincts- a strange idea I know. I could never list all the ways she has enhanced our lives. She has truly permeated our souls and brought us closer to the Lord who gave her to us.

Pink spends her days trying to get outside. If we're not careful, she will pry the front door open so she can eat the unmelted snow in the middle of the street. Thankfully we live on a very safe street and we all have the "Where's the baby?" antennae. She loves spending time in the dirt pile the boys have claimed as their monster truck pit. If we have the audacity to try and bring her inside she will first try to become one with the ground, scrunching down as close to the ground as possible, hoping that on the off chance her camoflauge tecnique fails that we will at least be unable to get our hands under her to pick her up! If she sees that isn't going to work she will begin to snake herself backwards flat against the ground in a desperate attempt to slither out of reach. When she sees she has failed at that, her last ditch effort is the flush motion as she's being hoisted away from her beloved ground. She squirms and wiggles and plots against the person who had the misfortune of carrying out orders! She has turned into quite the teradactyl as a result. So far we haven't dropped her, but she sure takes for granted that we won't!

We taught Pink some sign language in order to help her communicate and hopefully keep her inner banshee at bay. She has been signing since around 6 months and has picked up some fun signs along the way. Our favorite (and hers too) is the sign for chocolate! Sometimes out of the blue she will come running out of the kitchen and throw us the chocolate sign to see what she gets. 9 times out of 10 she gets it too- she's so hard to resist when she is begging for chocolate! She loves it when we understand what she wants and is very patient to keep trying when we don't. We have all been learning ASL and it is so fun to watch her. She knows something is up and tries her hardest to manipulate her hands like everyone else does! She's been blowing kisses and doing 'Pat-a-Cake' and 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' for quite awhile now and her little racoon hands are quite adept! Pink says a few words too- though not the ones the rest of the kids said first. Her first baby words include: gentle (though it sounds like unta), ouch, hot, Ma, Lena (meaning any taller female child), no, tickle tickle and poop.

She is the typical youngest child. Everything she does is adorable and she knows it. Life is a game of "How cute am I now?" and we all love to play! She is quite engaging with her many facial expressions and little giggles and sounds. She goes around smiling at everyone to see who she can distract from their school work. She does a little school work herself now and then too, much to the chagrin of the person who left their books unattended as her favorite writing implement is a marker and she can usually find one! She also loves pencils- but not to write with. Pencils are only valued for their erasers. She has systematically chewed every eraser in the house and is always on the lookout for more!

When she plays by herself she is usually kissing her baby or reading her books. She recently discovered a lamb in the animal pile and has become it's devoted mother. That poor lamb gets schlepped everywhere and now has an uncleanable face for all of the kisses and feedings she's given it! She has a special affinity for anything she can choke on- Lego heads and helmuts are her particular favorites. She instinctively knows when we are going to take something out of her mouth (sometimes before we even know it!). When she thinks we are looking at her mouth she will suddenly clamp shut and take off running. Dead give away! Then the chase is on and we have just increased her chances of choking!

We especially love her sweet demeanor. As long as she has company she is happy to go along with most anything. She just wants to be loved and kissed and likes to snuggle with anyone who will comply. She is sad when someone else is sad and laughs when we all laugh. She learned how to hum and dance and is often in the mood for it! Such a gentle soul has a soothing effect on us all. She often selects someone for kisses and to their delight plants several wet kisses complete with kissing motions and sound effects! We do have to be on our guard with kisses as sometimes she changes her mind mid motion and decides to stick her tongue out- or bite! Her little chompers are quite sharp! Poor Hudson has the most experience with this. She only bites out of self defense as a last resort and he gives her plenty of cause!

Our little baby is growing up so fast! In the past few months she grew out of her 12 mo jammies and is now snuggling in 18 mo size. I knew the time would fly but I really thought it might go just a little slower! This picture is from her first birthday. Try as we may we could not get her to wake up. I put her on the table thinking that maybe she would wake up due to the hard surface but she just snuggled in and kept right on sleeping! She slept there for 10 minutes before we decided to give up and hold her. Sometimes a baby just needs a nap!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grog, Grogus, Grogetter

Grogus has gotten honorable mention but not quite his own blog entry. He is certain to be my undoing. From the very beginning I knew he would be trouble. He started talking full sentences at a very early age (right before age 2) and has yet to come into his "I shouldn't say this" skills (I think he gets that from his dad). He more thinks of things in terms of "How much trouble will this cause me, because I'm about to do/say/experiment anyway?" He generally already knows the question to any answer he has (yep, I said that right)- as he's not one to stand on ceremony and actually wait for an answer to what he is wanting to know, he just already knows it all! Many Q&A sessions about permissions or other red tape issues often end with me telling him to cover his mouth and then say "Ok, mom" after I'm done. He never changes his mind, our conversations just have to move on and let be. Last year-he was 3- we were running errands in the car and he decided he was hungry and wanted me to stop at whatever drive thru came up first. I pulled into a parking lot to turn around (I often go the wrong direction when driving) and he thought I was going to get him some food. When I turned back out of the parking lot he bemoaned the fact that I was going the wrong way and demanded that I turn back. I simply told him that we weren't going there for food and he'd have to wait. After about 5 minutes of explaining where we were going and how he'd have to be patient and wait and that he would like what our plans were better than eating there he was still arguing so I had to tell him not to say another word because he was being unreasonable and was about to get into trouble. A few minutes of silence followed and I breathed a sigh of relief that it had passed fairly painlessly when from the back seat I heard him mutter "wong way mom" to anyone who would have mercy and turn the car back to the parking lot! With that the conversation ended, but I still never know if I won or not. I realize parenting takes a lot of knowing which battles to fight and which hills to die on but sometimes I get the feeling that he is the victor- even when I think I am! He has these ultra long eyelashes paired with baby blue eyes that are to die for- which much to my chagrin, have talked him out of lots of trouble and just as thankfully have contributed much to the patience fund. Unlike his one brother whose mind I read in his face (Buster) or the other brother who asks permission and generally is satisfied with the status quo life he leads (Bubbadootz), this kid gives me no warning or chance to 86 the plans he seems to concoct while distracting me with his knock-knock joke of the day. I am never sure quite what is going to come out of his mouth and I'm always afraid when I realize he's learned new vocabulary. On occasion he will decide he doesn't like someone and will draw up a plan to let them know. It has often been the unsuspecting sweet old ladies at Target who have the misfortune of admiring his "bright, innocent eyes" and asking him if he's "being a nice boy today" who catch the brunt of his inner imp. After one such unsuspecting lady stopped to admire him and coo over how sweet he was she smiled her nicest old lady smile and turned away, only in time for him to let out "Buh Bye gwinch!" Who let him watch the Grinch anyway? He was only 3! I still wonder if she heard him. He has been playing practical jokes on us before he could talk and loves a good laugh. Just after he turned one 2 he pulled one over on me- I reallly knew I was in trouble then. He hadn't quite mastered talking then and I was stooped over trying to tie his shoes. I would reach for his shoe and he would take a step backward. So I would step forward in my stoop and try again, and he would accomodate me by taking another step backward. Tying kid shoes is one of my most trying tasks and I tried to remain patient while I moved forward to have another go at the laces, all the while vowing to wring the neck of whomever thought toddlers needed laces on their shoes. After a few steps of the shoe lace dance I happened to glance up to his face to see him smiling at me (laughing on the inside really). My affectionate term for him is "little brat" (totally suits him), so I said, "You little brat!" and backed him up into a corner where he couldn't step backward. At his first attempt at stepping back he realized he'd been had and laughed and laughed at having the joke called on him! He couldn't even talk yet! For all of his mischief he can be very sweet. He loves to give me "tiny, tinys" which are soft, rapid-fire kisses on my cheek. He always needs a hug and an explaination before he'll let me go run an errand without him and is quick to apologize for his exploits- usually before I require him to make amends. He is sad when I am sad and feels sorry for me when I "have a headache in mine head", as he says it (as opposed to the headache that can be in the stomach or the mouth, for instance). He adores his baby sister and watches her like a hawk, frequently coming to her aid or rescue and often swiping stuff out of her mouth for fear she might choke. She often decides he's the person for the day, even when she has already chosen someone else. When Pink was newborn he was obsessed with making sure that she got to taste the good stuff too. I put my foot down about him putting things in her mouth so instead he would follow me and insist that I eat this thing or that thing. He insisted I eat "pantakes" one day and pestered me so much about it until I got down and asked him why he wanted me to eat them (my kids all know that I hate being sticky so much now after so many kids that it takes a lot for me to dive into pancakes!). He solemnly explained that he wanted Pink to get to try them too. Of course I ate them. The next morning as she was nursing he asked her if she liked them! He gives us a run for our money- and is certain to be the one that drags us in and out of ERs. He learned to ride his bike (this photo is from that day) on a Monday and by Wednesday he was pulling the "Watch this mom" routine which included him standing up on the cross bar while in motion! Yikes! He can't stand being "little" and must do everything that Hayden is doing- except things he's supposed to be doing. I have to get around the "you're too little" remark which makes him shut down completely and instead I tell him he's too short- apparently it's ok since he knows he can grow. He has a favorite pair of blue jeans and heaven forbid that those jeans be in the wash when he gets up to dress. He had some cowboy boots which went everywhere (boots go particularly well with a swim suit) but sadly he outgrew those- he was ok with that though since he knew it meant he was getting bigger! Grogus goes 100 miles an hour but then when he's done he just stops. In the nursery they would often apologize to me for finding him on the floor with a blanket over him- they didn't want to disturb his nap (in the middle of 10 toddlers, 3 or so of them crying and the rest crawling on him). We do the same thing at home too. I just wait til his battery runs out and then I just cover him up. Generally he gets a good nap where ever he falls asleep, having inherited and honed his dad's talent for sleeping anywhere in any position under any circumstances! He's all boy and out to prove it to the world- watch out! Oh, and keep your hearts safely locked away, he's a charmer!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It has been awhile but I'm breathing again so I thought I'd post. This is my sweet Banena, with her arms full of babies- true to her nature. She has a knack for sweetening up any 'ol baby who just needs a soft touch to pull out of a funk! It was no surprise to us when Pink's first word (besides "hi") was "Naynaynay". There are quite a few days when she is the 'chosen one'- Pink often elects a favored person for the day and Banena is usually it. She also has a knack with animals as she really tries to see things from their viewpoint- a skill which gives her unending understanding and loads of patience. We were leaving one day to find our neighbor's rather strong-willed dog wandering in our yard. After each of us alternately pushing, begging, scolding, ignoring and trying to authoritate that dog home all to no avail, we were giving it up as lost. Banena simply looked at the dog and said "Now Negge- it is time for you to go home." Negge simply looked at her and at all of us and trotted back to her house! That dog was known for it's stubborn nature but Banena never had any trouble! She has always been a softie- we can count on her to take pity on anyone or anything. However she's not all pushover! She doesn't mind standing her ground against any girl who thinks they will just run past her with a soccer ball. When she first started playing (age 5) she really didn't like taking the ball away from the opposing team- preferring instead to share with her opponent. These days she is quite a different girl! It's fun to watch the players wonder what happened when they end up on the ground without the ball! She has taken on her sister's habit of losing herself in books- only to emerge later wondering where the daylight went. She prefers books about animals, kids taking care of things, bad guys getting their just desserts, wilderness survival and anything involving the daring rescue of orphans. With her eye for detail Banena makes the perfect "Momma's helper"- a job she loves being farmed out for. During her 12 years as oldest (even for twins this is quite the hill to die on!) she has amassed quite the multitude of skills that make her invaluable to a smooth operation. From detailed tub scrubbing to delicious baked goods to croup, she is quite capable. With all of her home talents however she does try to avoid washing her clothes- preferring instead the sneak attack of putting an article or two in with the rest of the family's clothes so she doesn't have to do it herself! There is a method to her madness! We're not always sure how she has organized things but she certainly has things put in a place; though sometimes I dread investigating to find out her sorting rule. When she was little she would store a group of things in a sock and loved different containers for organizing things- not much different from now! In the future she sees herself working with animals and she longs for a horse. We hope one day to have some land where she (and the rest of the kids too) can get all the open air she loves, with plenty of critters to dote on. She would love to take a hatchet, survival guide, compass and pocket knife and try to make her way in the woods, maybe some open space would give her a feel for the land before she tries it! Good thing she is a crack shot with her sling shot! Her favorite days are those where she rises early and makes everyone breakfast then gets her school work done- all before 8am. She doesn't mind school, loves math and writes a very good essay though she would really rather be outside in the garden, on her bike or playing basketball or soccer. Time with her has flown by- this is her last year before she turns 13, something I can't believe is so near! What a mile stone! I love watching how my children grow and learn and become who God has made them to be- he sure made a sweet girl this time!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I have not had much time to devote to my blog of late, but I am plugging along. I want to finish giving a description of the rest of my family, they're the most interesting topics in my life, though I'm still happy about my laundry pile being gone now! It will be a challenge to take a photo as awesome as the one of the monkey- it was really fun trying to get StrongMan in the background! Anyway, this is one of my favorite photos of Bubbadootz. He is such a sweet boy, my easiest child yet. When he was little he was just content to do as I asked and it was quite a shock when he finally needed some correction a little before he turned 4. In this photo he is on the sidelines of a soccer game (surprised?) petting someone's dog. The owner took the photo and I fell in love with it and my son all over again. He is my man with a plan. I often think that I'll be in good hands if he takes care of me when I'm too feeble to. When he was 4 he would organize us into who would put which groceries away when we returned from Costco. It was a little confusing to him when I told him he wasn't to boss his older siblings- funny how they listen to him! He didn't see anything wrong with his plans and thought everyone else should naturally see things his way too! We called him Sarge for awhile. One night we were discussing roasting marshmallows in our fire pit and he comes screaming in the house breathless with marshmallow roasting skewers in his hand. We sort of blinked our eyes at each other, not registering why he had them. At the first mention of roasting he had dashed down the street to borrow them from the neighbor and then brought them in to be sure that the marshmallow plan wouldn't fail! That's my boy! This photo is especially dear to me, it is totally his look- truly fashionable though completely a mess! I think really it was my now 9 yr old who is to credit with the current fashion trends in boys' clothing. Bubba has now inherited the look. The sagging pants style comes as a result of skinny hips and the lack of a belt because it broke when he used it to pull the wagon (yep, the nice church one that was reversible). So maybe the pants are a size or so too big but by the time I actually put them in the box for the summer and then get them out for the next winter they'll be too small so he wears them big for awhile. The boxers even stick out normally, though he is mortified to think that his pants sag like a dude. I'm not sure if you can tell but yes, he is sporting the ragged hems and to see the knees makes one wonder what he was doing all day and is he really an orphan? Doesn't his mother notice the shreds? To put it this way, I tossed out all of the pants that were ripped or stained from last winter (instead of recycling them for the next kid with holes in them) and there were only 2 pairs between all 3 boys that weren't shredded (I culled something like 25 pairs of pants!). This pair didn't make it! When I see this pic I just want to squeeze him. He takes so much after the oldest of my brothers that I really feel I understand my brother better just by Bubba's personality! Bubba is really into style and he tries hard to look like a "dude", without wanting anyone to know that he's trying (more on dudes later). It was really hard one year to allow him to spend his Christmas gift card money on a shirt! In the end I couldn't really see why not and vowed I would try to make sure that at least it didn't get outgrown in the ironing pile! I love the hat he has on too- between that and the long sleeved shirt under his button up, he looks all set for a cold spring soccer game! He is still my cuddler. I can always count on him for a nice snuggle! He recently told me that he wishes he could be smarter. I assured him I thought he was really smart and asked him what he meant. He said, "I just like to think and I want to figure things out." Totally my easiest child! He has several dreams he'd like to fullfill- he wants to be a soldier and a fireman and he bides his time until he can be a dad. When he's done with those things he really wants to teach people to love God. I have so much to learn from him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


This is the pile that was left after 3 hours of trying to get shorts out for the boys for the summer. I had no intention of spending 3 days doing constant laundry to get their clothes properly switched over but What a Triumph! I'm done!!! I think that if I had all the money in the world the one job I would not do is switch out clothes. I would donate the ENTIRE contents (socks included) of their drawers to charity and go shopping. It would take me an hour max to select all they need for the summer. The older girls got switched out in March but when I attempted to change over Buster's drawers too soon I provoked a blizzard, the first of the entire winter season and it didn't strike until I thought I'd be on the ball and get shorts out in April! I got stuck and my pile of shorts stayed on display in my living room until today! Not so much to blog about today, but I feel quite encouraged to take on another unfinished project.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Dropped My Monkey.

We went to Homeschool Day at Elitches today and had a great time. Last year due to pregnancy I was limited to the Ferris Wheel but this year I tested fate with Shake, Rattle 'n Roll and the Tower of Doom. Next year I'm going with my gut feeling on the ride titles. Shake, Rattle 'n Roll will have to go on without me! I do not enjoy staring at the ground (a split second before flipping feet over head backwards) thinking I sure hope this machine doesn't drop me 60 feet to the awaiting asphalt below! I prefer the Tea Cups. The danger is something I create, along the lines of going in circles as fast as I can. The worse that can happen is that the cup can go spinning off of its pivot (not likely) or I might forget that Bubbadootz cannot handle motion rides (that was the fastest he got off any ride today) but it isn't certain death if I fall off! The Tower of Doom was pretty fun, for a freefall of 3 seconds anyway! I'm a screamer and I think they designed that ride to last only as long as the ride operators can take a certain pitch. StrongMan got to go with us this year and being a full grown kid himself he made it all the more fun! Last year no one dared to brave the Tower of Doom but with StrongMan it was all about bragging rights. I was glad however that this was the last ride before the park closed as he almost got pitched out! He really enjoys the science aspect of the rides and gravitational pull with something in your hand is icing on the cake! For the something-in-his-hand StrongMan chose an unsuspecting plastic monkey who had the misfortune of being forgotten in the bath tub. The kids were really excited to see said inch-tall monkey freefall with us. This small replica of a baby monkey was supposed to fall with us an inch above StrongMan's hand for 2 seconds and then plop into his hand as we came to a stop. The problem was that the monkey floated a little higher than an inch and in trying to retrieve the monkey from thin air it was tipped up and pushed away from his grasp. OOPS! He tried the mad scramble to grab it and when all else failed just ducked and covered his head (as much as possible in the restraining seat) and waited for the solid thump of a flying monkey. Nothing happened, except that the ride operator saw the monkey jump for freedom and fall just outside of where the he could inspect what had fallen. In our angst to not have to confront the powers that be and have to confess, Nena stooped and pocketed said monkey and we all quickly made our escape. The persistent operator (no doubt thinking the ride was falling apart) point blank demanded, "What WAS that?," to which StrongMan nonchalantly responded, "I dropped my monkey". The operator thought he was being played the fool and was not happy about the lack of closure. We just walked faster to get away from certain expulsion from the park. It was a great adrenaline rush to end the day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tea Party

The headlines in the news recently have really caught the kids' attention- they especially wanted to know what all the fuss was over the recent TEA parties. I decided to take advantage of the glories of homeschooling and have a unit study. We got out my favorite nice dishes and the tea pot and set a pretty table. I made some very yummy finger food and we settled in. I thought I would teach them a little history about the original tea parties and then correlate it to current events and explain that many people were feeling that there was too much of their money being spent without having a say in the matter. Well, I saw it going much differently in my mind. I really saw them marveling at the way our government was established and delighting in the freedom we have to peacefully disagree with the powers that be and so on. I think they were more interested in the grub. The girls were saavy enough to feign interest anyway. I was rather disappointed! We cleaned up and put the things away and with a sigh I closed the book and started planning how I might teach them about the freedoms they seemed to take so lightly. As it turned out, I neither had to plan nor teach anything- the opportunity presented itself as the kids were working on their Lego city. When it comes to their Lego city, Dramagirl has all of the makings of a great crooked politician- especially the love of power part. She always somehow manages to put herself in a position where others have to pay her (they have created their own Lego currency even) and for whatever reason they all go along with it. This time however she overstepped her bounds and it was on! She set herself up as the police and then told everyone that she required payment from them all to pay for their protection. She matter-of-factly explained something along the lines that taxes were a necessary evil for living in society. Buster had enough. He got very riled and protested "No way! I'm not paying you any more taxes!! T-E-A! Taxed Enough Already! You can't have any more of my money!" Ok, so maybe they were paying more attention than I thought!