Saturday, May 28, 2011


I know it's hard to believe, but this has been the first time I have been on the computer all day.
We all slept in, and it has been raining. We haven't even been watching TV. Just lazing around with all the kids.
Love days like this!

The only reason I am on now is because Mike made me come downstairs so I could eat the yummy turkey and avocado sandwich he is making for me before he goes out back to work out.
(at least I know I am spoiled)

While waiting for my yummy sandwich,
I voted for myself on Picket Fence Blogs and
OMG I am # 40!!!!

When I signed up, I was in the mid 300's in the Family Life category and with so many people on it I really never thought I'd move up that much.
But now I'm even # 51 in all the blog categories.
Wow. Thank you.
Thank you all for liking my little blog and taking the time to vote for me!

  {just click on the fence}

Friday, May 27, 2011

{live every moment}

photo challenge ~ Vibrant Colors

{this moment}

A Friday Ritual.

a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week

a simple, special, extraordinary moment

a moment I want to pause, savor and remember

I'd love for you to
leave me your link in the comments
 and then join in
where it all started

Soule Mama

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The big kids are always saying things to Mikey to get him to repeat it back to them. He did say all their names first, but wouldn't say Mama for the longest time. His pediatrician said she had a theory about it -- she had seen it before in other babies that hit their milestones early, so she thinks that to them they are aware that Mama IS. Mama is everything, so they don't need a name. Sounded good to me! Once he started saying it, he only said it when he was crying... but he says it all the time now.
He says Paige in a French accent, "PAyJuh-ha" which is pretty cute.
We get to DJ's school and he starts yelling "DJ" at the top of his lungs.

He has said "gaga" for the longest time. The kids will get him going and they are all saying "goo goo gaga" back and forth in a goofy sort of way. I always thought it was pretty funny to have him say it.

Mikey loves Lady Gaga's music. Paige shows him the videos on her iPod all the time. We will put it on in the car for him and soon they are all singing to it.
The other morning I was trying to get ready and I needed to distract him from throwing all the clean clothes out of the basket (not a fan of that trick) so I put a video on the computer.
He points, "Gaga".
We are driving home and he is yelling at Paige, pointing to her iPod, "Gaga!"

Is this what he has meant this whole time and we just misunderstood? Does he think we are just morons?

I don't know, but it is from the baby that calls every ball a football --

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


GeoTagged, [N37.78642, E122.47711]

the potty

Is it too soon to potty train?

The girls were around two years old when they were potty trained. Kelly a little older than Paige I think. Paige was easy. I let her go bare bottom in dresses and gave her an m&m when she went. She was in a night time diaper for a long time though. Mainly because she was scared to get up at night by herself.

I tried with DJ when he was about 2 1/2 and he just didn't get it, so I put him back in diapers and tried again after his 3rd birthday. Big difference! He was going in the potty right away, even at night and it took less than a week!

Mikey will be 20 months old on the 5th of June. He has always had an amazing bladder. I mean, he never has pee leaks. Never. I know diapers are probably more absorbent than they were 10 years ago, but this kid wakes up in the morning with a dry diaper. Always has. It still floors me.
This morning, after taking off his PJ's himself -- yes, he is in the 'let's be naked all the time' phase -- he asked for help taking off his diaper.
After I helped him, he walked off the rug and over to the hardwood floor, sort of squatted down and peed. Not a lot, he never pees a lot. But he has never done anything like this before.
So then I let him run naked for a bit, and after I have judged that it is close to time for him to maybe need to go again (he is the 4th one you know) I call him over and show him a diaper.
He squats down again and pees --

Is this an early sign of being ready, or am I just fooling myself? I don't mind changing diapers, he doesn't even go through that many. I just would hate to miss a window of opportunity.

I know I threw out Kelly's chair even though she never used it much. She liked those seats that go on the toilet. I'd have to get a new one, but do I wait until we are back from our trip to Legoland?
I am not sure yet, but Mike is ALL excited to try. Not that Mike changes diapers or anything (it's fine, we have a deal) but I know he is waiting for me to let him treat Mikey like a Big Boy and not insist that he is still a Baby, and this would be a giant step in that direction.

Someday he may realize that Mikey will always be my Baby ~

Monday, May 23, 2011

stainless steel sucks, part 2

Oh, I am not finished.

Pledge is really weirdly wet, so you can't use very much at a time or you will be wiping the same spot forever. Also keep in mind that you have to wipe out all the smudges around the handles -- and wipe with the grain  up and down or it looks bad (that part might just be me)

My friend Jeni told me about the Pledge multi-purpose, which I think works better, but the cans are TINY

and as you can see, there is a another set of cabinets to clean on the other side.

What you can't see in the pictures, is the line I have created on the upper cabinets that are from being unable to reach all the way to the top even when I use a step stool. (yes, I am that short) I usually don't point that out, but you can't really tell anyway. Okay, yes you can, but I don't know what to do about it.

The main draw back to using the Pledge to clean the cabinets is that it is really, really, REALLY slippery on hardwood floors.

Well that just means you have to lay towels down and hope none of the over spray reached the floor -- because if it did, and your husband happens to slip on it EVERY TIME he might be a little mad. Even if you think it is a little funny.

When all the cabinets are finished, don't forget that the dishwashers are a different sort of stainless steel and that Windex works better on those. But DON"T get Windex on the cabinets because that strips of the shiny coating.
The handles on the fridge need to be cleaned with a sponge and wiped off after. Make sure not to get water on that stainless (ha!) steel either.
(don't get me started on the stove)

Oh, there are more cabinets on this side too...

Like I said before, it is pretty when it's clean.
It just takes a lot to clean it. And to keep it clean. That is why I think it sucks.

I  also might suggest maybe picking something different for your cabinets if you live with two men and four kids.
Hey! But don't you think it looks good with my new rug?

stainless steel sucks

Alright, it is very pretty in a kitchen.
When it's clean.

Let's start with the fact that is is NOT "stainless". Far from it. If something gets on it, even water -- if you don't get it off right away, it may leave a mark you can't get out.
Which also means, you can't just use a wet sponge if, I don't know, food or maybe a beverage, happen to spill from the counter-top onto the cabinet.
In a home with 7 people in it.

We live in the house that my mother-in-law, Robyn grew up in. I can't express how wonderful I think this is. Growing up as an Army Brat and moving around so much, it never felt like I had a real home -- and now I am getting to raise my own kids in a place with so much family history. Kinda awesome.
I mean, this is the house that Robyn's parents brought her home to. Which they bought in 1926.
And we brought Mikey home to this house.

Robyn remodeled the entire house after her father passed away. She changed the layout, moved the fireplace, added doors and a wrap around deck.
The master bath is SO pretty. I'll have to take photos in there sometime and post them.

She also did the kitchen. With stainless steel on all the cabinets.
Yes, ALL the cabinets are stainless (ha!) steel.

This was all done almost 20 years ago. Her kids were all grown up (ha, ha) or at least they were not living here after the remodel. Six years ago, when Mike and I  moved here with the kids, even Robyn said that she would have chosen a more kid friendly environment, had she known sooner that we'd all be, well, taking over --

There would have been no glass tables,
no sisal rug under the kitchen table to ruin,
no stainless (ha!) steel cabinets
or refrigerator!

Did I mention there are seven of us?
That is a lot of finger prints.

(did you notice my new carpet yet?)

There is a spray to use to clean stainless steel. It is the most toxic product I have ever seen in a can -- there are so many warning labels it scares me! Especially since I have either been pregnant, nursing or had an infant the entire time I've lived here.
So I use Pledge.
(which is probably toxic too, but I am pretending it's not)
Well, let me back up -- you need to get the goo/food/dried whatever off first, because the Pledge doesn't clean that stuff, so first I use a clean sponge.
Then because you can't just let water dry on it, I wipe that clean, then use the Pledge.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

{the paper mama}

The Paper Mama

Butterfly Award

Thrilled to be chosen by Aimee at girl talk for the Butterfly Award!

Aimee has a wonderful blog. It's all about well, girl talk AND she post great pictures of her little guy and shoes!

Please stop by her site and let her know I sent you over to visit ~

The rules of this award is that you have to share something about yourself
then pass the award on to other bloggers.

I believe that being kind to the people in your family is important. I just don't understand it when someone is nicer or more polite to the store clerk than their husband or even their children. I also don't think you should be obligated to care about someone just because "they are family". If they are not a nice person, why have a relationship with them?

These are always my favorite blogs:

and now these are too:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

what's so funny?

DJ has always been very literal. I am sure it is difficult for him at times to be surrounded by a family of sarcastic people. We seriously try not to mess with his too much, but there are times that it can't be helped.
As he gets older, it is easier to explain to him why we think things are funny. But even with that, "that's a joke right?" and "you're joking" is still almost a daily dialog. The crazy thing is, he thinks he is funny. And other people have told us how much they think he is funny. I mean he IS funny, in the funny way he reacts to things and the way he looks at things -- and then when tries to explain it to you... LOL
But since people have started telling him he is funny, he tries to tell jokes. Not just common kid jokes and knock, knocks (which he does too) but jokes that he makes up. And then he has to explain them to you.
A joke isn't funny if you have to explain it.

As I was writing about Liberty Hognhog I realized that DJ had never had an imaginary friend. At least, one that I never met! But he used to CRACK us UP with the imaginative things he did ~

He was about three, when he was outside on the little park bench in the back yard that we overheard the conversation he was having with his ice cream cone. "Hello Mr. Ice Cream Cone. I am going to eat you up now."
This still sends all of us into hysterics!

But the best one, that he used to say ALL THE TIME (and not being able to pronounce his H's) was,

"Mama, pretend I'm a human baby."

Oh, the fun we've had with that!

DJ has always made me laugh.


So, I am looking through my pictures that I have on Picasa trying to find a good photo that represents BLUE. I'm doing this for a photo challenge coming up. I plan on taking some shots this week, but I had an idea that I should show Mikey's eyes -- because people always comment on how blue they are.

I took a great photo of a close up of DJ's eye (and enlarged it, and framed it) when he was younger, that I thought about using, but my camera is SO much better now, that I feel that I want to choose a different one.

Now that I started to look through them, I can't decide which one I want to use... Ahhh!
So I am posting a few of my favorites. Let me know what you think. The challenge is on the 21st and maybe I will be able to come up with something by then --

Monday, May 16, 2011

{the paper mama}

The Super Duo

This is one of my favorite photos of all time! It's of DJ and his good friend Rose and it was taken about 5 years ago. DJ and Rose are still great friends even though we live many miles apart now. I enlarged this when I first took it and have it framed. It makes me laugh every time I see it.

I am entering it in The Paper Mama Photo Challenge since it was the first photo I thought of when I saw this weeks challenge was Friends!

The Paper Mama

Liberty Hognhog

Liberty Hognhog first came to visit us about a year ago. This is the first photo taken of her --

She is an astronaut who studies volcanoes. She has no siblings, is an orphan and comes from the planet Hognhog. She likes to make cake. You can call her Liberty for short, but don't say the "for short" part.

Kelly's older brother is completely freaked out by Liberty Hognhog, even to the point of tears if she 'visits' for too long a time. And while we all find that hilarious, Liberty doesn't visit unless he is at school or else she tries to keep her visit short.

Liberty came to visit on Kelly's last birthday --

and now wants to move here, to our planet, to study it's volcanoes. She want her own apartment, but wants Kelly to come over for play dates and sleepovers. Kelly's Dad also needs to come over and make them cheesy roll ups.

Paige had an imaginary friend when she was really little. Paige was only about 2 1/2 years old at the time. Her friend's name was Honey and I always had to pick Honey up and put her in the car next to Paige and strap her in. Honey and Paige would pick flowers in the back yard and 'make' things out of sticks and rocks.

I don't know, I just played along.

Paige also liked to be a cat all the time -- wouldn't talk, just purred.
So I pet her, and played along.

I honestly have no idea where Liberty came from either (other than the planet Hognhog)  Her last visit was on Mother's Day (when DJ was upstairs) and she even made me a card!

and obviously, did her own hair....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

mama is a nut-case, day 1

So, yeah. Paige is on her trip.
Her school takes this trip every year. There are two other trips the kids can go on, one to Yosemite and one to Washington DC. I think the one for DC is only for 8th graders -- and the one to Yosemite has a ton of kids that go.
She went with about 30 kids up to Olympic National Park in Washington. They are staying in cabins, but will be hiking out to stay for two nights in tents.

We had to bring her to the airport super early, so Mike just didn't go to sleep Friday night and woke us up at 3:30. I had slept maybe 2 hours. We left DJ and Kelly asleep -- they had a 'sleepover' in Kelly's room and we brought Mikey with us. (Grandpa was home)

We got her to the airport Saturday morning. She needed to be there at 5 am, so of course WE were there at 4:30. That was even after stopping to get me coffee --

They were allowed to bring one bag, a sleeping bag and a backpack. Paige and I had her bag completely packed the Sunday before. (you know I don't like to do anything last minute) She had one extra of everything they said to bring -- shirt, socks, etc. She packed it all into a pretty big duffel bag that she borrowed from Grandpa and I had her do it all herself, so she'd be able to repack it on the return trip home.
We are at the airport and I am looking around, I am amazed at how HUGE these other bags are! I can't believe these kids are bringing them. I wish I had a picture of some of them. They are easily 3 times as big as Paige's bag. What the heck are they even bringing? I can't even imagine. Don't they realize they are camping!?

Paige is excited, but nervous. I want to wait with her, but I need to get back home too. So I left her. At the airport.

I held it together. I didn't even cry.

She sent me a text before we even made it to the freeway.

I thought texting was stupid when it was first out. I mean, who would write something out on your phone when you could just talk? Duh.
Paige and I text each other ALL THE TIME. It's crazy. It is so convenient. It allows her not to have her mom calling her constantly, but it allows me to know what is going on.

They ended up waiting there for another hour before getting on the plane. After the flight they had a three hour bus ride to the camp. It was such a long trip that all the kids were tired and she was bored from texting me, that she even did some homework.
(can you believe they got homework!)

I, have not slept this entire time, mainly because Mikey is awake, but also, Mike is asleep and Paige keeps texting me...

She called me right before they had to turn in their phones.
Yes, they have to turn in their phones and get them back for about 15 minutes at night.
When she got her phone back she called and got to talk to everyone. She called on the house phone, because sometimes my cell doesn't work in the house. We have  'dead zones'. I can have my phone right next to me and it won't ring -- but it will beep to check voice mail. So weird.
She sounds tired, but it seems like she is having a really good time so far. They have changed the plans a little and will be staying in tents two nights instead of one.
It's cold there. And raining.

I'll admit it, as I hung up the phone, I did tear up a little. But I am sure she couldn't tell.

I mean come on. I had never even left her (or any of them) with a babysitter --

After she called, we were downstairs for a bit. My cell phone was upstairs charging, but when we went to bed, I saw that she had sent me a text.

"Don't cry. I'll call tomorrow night. Love you guys"

I sure miss that girl.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

mommy time out

I am very thrilled to be awarded The Versatile Blogger award from Mommy Time Out  It was so nice of her to think of me ~
Please go check out her site and all the other blogs she picked for the award!

Since I recently received the Versatile Blogger award and being that it was super hard for me to come up with things to share about myself, I am not going to participate fully this time.
You can check out what I said the first time around here if you'd like.

Thanks again to Mommy Time Out !

Friday, May 13, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday Ritual.

a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week

a simple, special, extraordinary moment

a moment I want to pause, savor and remember

leave me your link in the comments
 and then join in at
Soule Mama 

(yes, I know it's not a single photo -- and these are words -- but I did take them at the same time)

my grad

Kelly went to school for the preschool graduation today. It was so nice of them to invite her back for it!

Last Monday we went back for pictures and rehearsal -- and when she walked in the room, all the kids started shouting her name. She just lit up! It was a very special moment for her, one that I hope she always remembers.
Today, all the children were up on stage and sang songs and danced a little. It was very cute! Miss Kell even had a solo at the end -- she almost froze up, but she got through it.
They gave her a diploma (hehe) and a binder full of her art work and pictures from the last year.

There was a party after and the kids got to play together for a while. Even Mikey had a blast ~

* later tonight I'll post the pictures I took to the May 2011 album on Picasa, but first I need to help Paige finish packing for her TRIP.

My big girl had a hard time saying good-bye. In fact, she couldn't do it and was crying because she "didn't want to leave". She never does this. I guess it was just overwhelming. I just let her know that it was okay to feel sad and we just left. She gave no farewell hugs to her friends or her teachers -- poor thing.
She really is a sweet girl.

{sigh} I can't believe I have another one ready for Kindergarten....
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