Monday, March 28, 2011

This and that...

When we found out we were (unexpectedly) expecting baby H number four, the prospect of another set of toddler years gave me pause.  I was excited about having another baby, another child, but another toddler - yikes.  Just the thought made me tired.  I forgot, though, how cute this stage is.  Just a few months ago he was crawling and much more calmly submitting to the wills of the rest of his family.  Now he throws his chicken when he sees cake on the table and tries to imitate everything from light saber fights to loading a suitcase.   Here he is helping me pack.
Jacob drew a picture of himself.  Then he added hair to turn it into me.  What is he trying to say here?

We went to the Biltmore House in Asheville today.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Doma venditor* neurosis...

I've been lax about posting this - partly because it's bittersweet and partly because a lot of me doesn't believe it yet.  Sort of like your first pregnancy - most of your brain knows that it ends with a child, but it still seems...not possible.  The household h is moving to Houston.

We sold the house this week.  That process was more character confirming than character revealing.  I rock at getting a house ready to sell.  While it's grueling, it's also clearly defined.  You work like a slave for a few weeks, then you're done.  Having a house on the market turns me into a neurotic fire-breathing mess.  Every day someone might come look at the house.  You have to keep it painfully clean (with four little boys) just in case.  The people who come might be on time and really interested, but they could also be thirty minutes early and not interested, or my personal favorite, two hours late and stay for five minutes.  This process could go on for months, or it could end today.  Ahhhhhh!!!  Just writing it down makes me want to self medicate with pizza and chocolate.

It was a beautiful thing this morning when a realtor called to request a showing.  Rand was napping.  The boys' beds were unmade.  The kitchen table was covered with breakfast dishes and books.  There were military bases set up in the living room and basement...
10:00 phone rings
Realtor:  Hi, this is ______ from _______ Realty.  I'd like to show your house today at 10:30.
Me:  We signed a contract last night, so it's no longer available.
It's telling that when we told the boys we sold the house, the first thing David said was, "Woo hoo.  Now we don't have keep the house so clean."  As he didn't participate much at all in the cleaning process, that let's you know who were the casualties of this house showing insanity.

*In which Summer probably slaughters the Latin language trying to come up with a creative title.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The realist, the contrarian and the sunbeam...

One of the things I love about having four boys is watching the results of their very different personalities.  In my B.L.B. (Before Little Boys) era, I had no idea how different little boys with the same genetic material could be.  It's interesting to see how it all plays out.  I made cheese enchiladas for dinner recently.  They were hugely popular.  Dinner conversation:
Sunbeam:  Mommy, you're the bestest cook I ever had.
Realist:  Well, probably there's a professional cook somewhere that's better than you.
Contrarian:  I think Nana's the bestest cook.
The sunbeam had to go to NICU right after he was born because he didn't cry much and had fluid in his lungs.  The contrarian flipped upside down at the last minute, and I had to have a C-section.  The realist wants to be a boxer when he grows up because that way he can fight (passion of his life) and not get killed...

Still, I want to be careful that I don't cling to my perceptions of them.  The realist spends most of his play time (and almost all of our grocery store time) pretending to fight imaginary bad guys.  The contrarian pats me on the head every day and tells me I'm a good girl.  And the only child in my house who is stubborn enough to spend an hour in time out because his stomach hurts too much to apologize is the sunbeam.

As for the baby, when I'm in a more philosophical mood, even his tantrums are cute.  The outrage here is because I blocked the stairs.  Yes, these are the same stairs I block every day.  Really, the level of rage he can summon over things that happen to him daily - diaper changes, gated stairs, closed doors, clothing changes, naps - is amusing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Drinking the kool aid...

David and Jacob are taking a skateboarding class today.  We got a new skateboard for the first class a few weeks ago.  Checking out at Toys R Us...
Cashier (20ish year old man):  This is a great skateboard, you're going to love it.
David:  Thanks.
Me:  He's taking a skateboarding class this week.
Cashier:  (confused)  A skateboarding class?  I just rode around my neighborhood and messed around with it until I figured it out.
Me:  This is northern Virginia.  You take a class for everything.

Saturday, March 12, 2011



Fun with dry erase markers

Rand is feeling much better as evidenced by this picture in which he is conscious, not in my arms and not crying.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still sick...

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Early signs that the 5 minute nebulizer treatment will not go well...
  • Patient freaks out when the doctor listens to his chest (10 seconds).
  • Patient freaks out when the doctor takes his temperature under his arm (5 seconds).
  • Patient is a toddler.
Post nebulizer recovery. 
I don't know which was sadder, the screaming and struggling or the eventual surrender and despair.  He has RSV :(

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


We were waiting at the passport office with 4 boys, 0 books, 0 toys. (I remembered books and toys the day before when we made a pointless trip to find out you had to have an appointment.) I organized a couple of races - walking backwards, get to the wall in the fewest steps,... I was running out of unwild inside race ideas when...
Chris: The first one to get to the wall loses. You have to be moving forward all the time.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Not seeing...

Bryan's first pair of glasses are no more.  They've had a good run.  They probably belong in some sort of Eye Glasses Hall of Fame for outlasting his toddlerhood.  He got them when he was 16 months old.

Bryan's eyesight is terrible.  I can't function without glasses and his prescription is about three times as strong as mine.  It's had some unexpected repurcussions...
  • When he was a baby, we thought he loved to give kisses.  He would grab our faces and pull us close.  We thought he was trying to kiss us - turns out he just wanted to know what we looked like.
  • A few days ago I found him crying in my bed early in the morning because he couldn't find his glasses.  They were on the table right beside him.
  • He still leans his face close to books and other things he wants to see well.  His face was too close to the advent candles when he blew them out, and he splashed hot wax all over his face.
  • The boys were playing at a neighbor's house and came home after dark.  Bryan was upset when he got home and said he didn't want to stay at somebody else's house at night.  I asked him why and he said he couldn't see when he was walking home.
  • Rand has already learned that to clear Bryan out of my lap, he just has to grab his glasses and throw them down.  Original sin.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Toddlers and tiaras...

I have a voyeuristic streak.  Usually I stick to the classy face of reality TV - Intervention and Hoarders.  Every now and then, I shamelessly indulge in what is really televised child abuse for entertainment.  But, if you want to feel like a real success as a mother, Toddlers and Tiaras is great.  I may have problems yelling at the boys, but I don't spray chemical tans on them while they cry about the stinging or dress them up in Madonna cone boobs (I know, I have boys, so that would take stage mother to new depths).  

Check out this Tom Hanks spoof.  The funniest (and most disturbing part) is that almost every detail in this is taken straight from an episode of T&T.

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