Sweet Mornings…and Cockroaches

Mornings are hectic around here. They usually start at 4 am. I pad into the kitchen, blindly groping for a bottle and formula. I take it out of the microwave, then try to shake my head of the sleepies…and then take the bottle out of the fridge. What in the world…wake up! *Yawn.*

I feed one baby, burp, and get a new diaper. Then to the next baby. Back up the stairs and back down. Bottle, formula…burp, diaper. *Ya-awn.*

When we are finished I lay them on the couch, lined up like little pieces of bacon, sizzling and squirming. They look up at me like little rays of sunshine and sprinkle rainbow babble at me . “You’re cute, but it’s too early,” I tell them. “Let’s go back to bed.”

And I just keep my toes crossed, bury my head under the covers, and hope they get bored of their mobile and fall back asleep. But it’s never that easy. I’m usually up a couple more times, tucking back in or popping a pacifier in a mouth. 

I do manage to get an hour and a half to two hours of sleep before I hear Bradley and Collin up and restless, banging on the baby gate. Collin will keep pushing until he finds a weak spot and squeeze through, which forces me out of bed.  Bradley will usually just scale it, but that sets Collin off…”Arhhhhh!!!” like he escaped and I didn’t.  And of course, the dog is jumping and running up and down the stairs, just as restless as the kids.

“I’m up.”

Cheerios. Corn Chex. Cinnamon Raisin Toast. Bananas. Eggs. Oatmeal. What do you want for breakfast?

Collin, Elsie, and Bradley (Mallie slept in that day, lucky girl.)

Today I let the boys eat on their little tables they got the other day. And since we were comfy on the floor, we read some books. Bradley picked out his cockroach book he checked out at school. He insisted on telling me, in between bites of cereal, that “they eat old food and dead people, Mom. They came to my school and showed ’em to us.” I’m sure they were probably Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, which by the way are pretty fascinating.

We also learned they have wings and cerci, which senses danger. Then

Bradley decided to stand up before moving away from his little table…so Murphy got some breakfast too.

Murphy helps clean up. What a good dog!

What a morning. Corn chex and cockroaches.

But it was a fun morning. I love reading to the kids.

And by the time we are finished, the babies are ready to eat again. Cycles and routines. We are getting them down.

All of this by 8:30 am.

Have a great day!

xxx

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Worms Need Love, too…and Good Literature

Bradley ready to dig up the worms in the farm.

What a busy day. I think my favorite part about having our worm farm, besides there is little to no care for them, is listening to Bradley and all the things he says and thinks about worms. Worms smile, sing, play, and worms need love too, right mom? Of course. 🙂 He even made a worm dance. The worm dance consists of “Stretch and wiggle…stretch and wiggle…” across my kitchen floor.

We did have a little worm accident this morning when we were excavating them. They kind of went for a little ride, darn dog. Who knew worms could fly? Check it out in the video below.

OOOPS! We did manage to find all of them but one. I guess he has returned to his natural habitat.

Our next try at a video went better.

Some things we learned about worms from our observations and books:

1. They like to be read to.

2. They are nocturnal, or come out at night.  a.k.a. night crawlers. 

3. When the soil is hard, a worm will take a few bites of it so it can dig and tunnel its way down into the dirt. Dirt, yum! It’s a balanced meal for a worm.

4. Worms do have a head and tail. The tail end is flatter and more blunted, and the front is pointy. Never knew that!

5. The smooth ring that circles the worm’s body is called a saddle, and only grown up worms have them. But you can’t ride them. hee hee

Source:  “Natures Children: Worms”  by Jen Green

*note* I love seeing Bradley soak up all this information and new vocabulary…then try to use it. So cute!

This is also one of my favorite activities because we put the worms on a little lid and Bradley and the worms entertain each other for an hour or two!

Hope you had a great day on our worm farm, we did. See ya next time!

xxx

Below are extra videos. Thanks for reading and watching 🙂  And feel free to leave comments. They make my day.

Lets Move to China and Chicken Nuggets

“Mom, lets move to China so I can learn Kung Fu.” This has been Bradley’s request several times a week since he watched Karate Kid. He is obsessed with it, often times yelling for Mr. Hahn, our little joke.

He practices his moves everyday. He jabs, punches, and kicks invisible opponents across the living room floor. He finishes with a spin kick and a touchdown. It looks like a cross between karate, breakdancing, and football. I tell him he is going to have to go to his room or outside to practice his “karate” moves, there are too many babies in the living room and I am trying to finish folding the laundry. “O.kay, Mom,” he says. “But I want a hooker for the backyard.”

I stop in mid-fold. What did he say? I tried not to look too surprised or shocked…I think the more precise word is baffled. What is he talking about?! “You need a what?” I ask cautiously.

“A HOOKER for the backyard. You know!”

“A hooker,” I say. I want to crack up laughing, but I’m also very curious on what in the world he is meaning. So I stifle my giggles and wipe the amusement off my face. “I don’t understand what you mean. Can you show it to me?”

“MOM. Like on Karate Kid. In Mr. Hahn’s yard. He hangs his coat up and then takes it off. Pick it up. Put it on. Hang it up. You know that part.”

“OOOOhhhhh…” Now I understand. A coat rack.

So of course, I immediately text his dad at work: Guess what your son just asked for. A hooker for the backyard. What the hell have you been teaching him?! 

Now, our other boy…he is using chicken nuggets as phones. I was pacing the floor as I was talking and I look down, Collin is following me with a chicken nugget to his ear and babbling. He pauses, takes a bite from it, and then puts it back to his ear to continue talking.

All in the day of children…you just never know what to expect.

xxx

Check out my little karate monster’s moves in the video below.

Recipes, ‘Spearmints, and Pooping Jellybeans

I hate to do laundry. I hate it so much that some sort of inspiration always hits me, some great project that helps me procrastinate. I excel at procrastination in a very creative way. I call it creative procrastination. 

This is what we did today.

Recipe for a ‘Spearmint (Experiment)

by Bradley Ledbetter

Measuring cups, spoons, whisks, spatulas, and anything else you can find in the kitchen drawers.

Assorted pots and pans of various sizes.

Red, yellow, and green sprinkles. Some chocolate ones, too. And the cinnamon things. All that stuff up there in the cupboard that you can find. Don’t forget the food coloring.

Flour, sugar, salt, rice, spaghetti, and anything else your mom will let you get your hands in.

Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and other various condiments.

Pour, shake, stir. Mix it all together. Add a dash of this and a shake of that. Sprinkle in some more spices, pour in some more flour. Shake it, swirl it, put a spell on it. Do this all on the floor. There, it’s ready to pour.

But don’t let the dog eat it!!!! He will poop jelly beans.

No! Don't feed your sister. Yuck!

I had started my laundry but couldn’t pay enough attention to my little helper, Collin. There is just way to much for him to get into and too great of a possibility of him blowing the house up; furnace, water heater, etc. 

Normally he presses his face against the glass of the washing machine (we have front loaders) and watches the clothes roll around and around in there, making himself dizzy and silly. But lately this hasn’t been enough entertainment.

So I moved to the kitchen. He is also a big helper in there. As I was trying to unload the dishwasher he kept banging the door open and closed. There are times that I say “no” way too many times in a day, I really feel like I am going bonkers. I felt like putting my head in the dishwasher or banging it against the oven. Instead, I gave Collin a pot with a little bit of water at the bottom and some sprinkles for cookie decorating. Kept him busy while I was able to get a few things done in the kitchen, and still play with him. I only had to say “no” two times, when he was trying to feed Mallie his concoction, then Murphy, as you seen from pics above.

We even ate our lunch on the floor – pizza, not the ‘spearmints. It only lasted until Collin started putting blue sprinkles on everybody’s pizza.

I may not have got much laundry done, but the kitchen got cleaned, swept, and even mopped!

Oh, and Elsie slept through it all.

xxx

Look, Mom! No Training Wheels.

Bradley learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels over the weekend. He still needs a little help. He can’t really get started, or steer, for that matter, but he is getting the hang of it. I’m not. It’s hard to see my baby turn into a little boy. First Kindergarten pre-registration, now no training wheels! Next I will have to hand over my car keys. NO!!!! Time is going by way too fast! It makes my chest tighten and I get all panicky inside, it feels like a million butterflies flapping their powdery wings against a glass jar in the scorching summer sun.

Maybe there should be training wheels for parenting. But then there is that motto –  No matter if you’re ready or not, the training wheels have to come off sometime. *sigh* I’m the resistant child…strangling a leg outside the Kindergarten classroom, “Don’t go! Please! Not yet. Don’t leave me!!!!!”

It is an exciting time though, being five and finally starting to figure out life and how stuff works, a little. Being five means getting to stay up until 9pm and being able to hold up all your fingers on one hand to show how old you are, big deal. And of course, learning to ride a bike…and fall and get up again. And fall some more.

Do you remember your first bike? Do you remember learning to ride a bike?

I don’t really remember my first bike, but I remember my favorite bike. A pink Huffy, dirt bike style. It wasn’t a baby pink, or a fuchsia pink, it was more of a darkened Pepto-Bismol pink. Not to girly or frilly, but just pink enough. I remember the dirt between the rubber grips on the handle and how I liked to strum the hard plastic with my thumb, like a guitar. I remember the cushioned seat that I tried to stand on while riding, pretending I was a circus performer. That never worked very well.

 I was relieved that my bike didn’t have streamers or a basket, even though I wished it had a license plate with my name on it. I wish we had a picture of it. The only picture is the fuzzy one in my head. But sometimes those are the best memories, I guess, because you can fill in the missing spots with whatever you want.

Oh, the places that bike took me…oh, the memories.

 I remember riding that bike up and down the street, all the way to the Nazarene Church with the big  rusty bell that was at the end of our street, which really wasn’t that far, but as far as I was allowed to go and equalled my freedom.

 I remember the neighbor boy taught me how to do burn outs. Pedal, pedal, pedal super fast and then slam your feet backwards for the break, standing up with one foot down so you could swing the bike in a circle around you, spraying gravel like water from a hose. After each time I would get off my bike and inspect the road to see if I left tire marks. It usually only happened when it was hot and the tar was able to smear. 

That was also the summer of the worst bicycle crash of my life. I went to do a burn out; my bike stopped at the end of the hill, but I didn’t. I skidded face first into a pile of gravel. My face turned into a humongous scab and I had to drink oatmeal from a straw for a week. I never was very athletic. I have only come to face this fact in my older age, since recovery takes quite a while longer.

I wonder what Bradley will remember about his first bike. Will he remember his dad holding the back of the seat, steadying and pushing him, “Pedal, pedal, pedal.” Will he remember the church parking lot where he learned? Will he remember running into the dumpster?

I wish I knew what I was like when I was five. We have photos, but no detailed memorabilia. That is why I scrapbook and blog, to help my kids remember all these fun and crazy times. And there can be blurry spots, because I want them to have room to fill in with their imaginations.

And as I’m typing this something just smacked up against the house. Bradley and Collin are playing outside. I assume Bradley and a wiffle ball are the culprits. Will he remember me storming out the screen door and hollering, “What in the world was that?” The funniest part was that he was trying to run to the farthest part of the backyard, like it couldn’t be him. He turned around, “I don’t know, Mom,” so innocently.

Scraped shins, bruised knees, and scabby elbows are just part of childhood, like bikes scattered on the front lawn and mosquito bitten kids chasing lightning bugs, or a homemade game of baseball on the lawn. Childhood.

What do you remember?

xxx

p.s. Check out Bradley’s video below.

Can You Hear My Heart?

“Mommy, where is your heart?”

“Right here,” I put the toy stethoscope to my chest. “Do you hear it?”

“No, I can’t hear nothing,” he pouts.

“Listen VERY very carefully,” I whisper. “Do you hear my heart talking?”

His eyes sparkle just a little bit more as they twinkle back and forth, intent on listening.

“It is saying how much I love you,” I tell him.

“MOM!” he complains.

I guess it was supposed to tell him some exciting story about super heroes and villains.

“Alright, alright,” I laugh. “Let me hear yours. What is your heart saying?”

I put the toy stethoscope to his chest and look up into the air, like I’m listening really hard. “Mmm Hmmmm…” I continue to make listening noises. He is just staring at me with a Cheshire grin and a look of anticipation, like I actually know what his heart is saying.

“It is beating hard,” I say. “Oh my! Your heart is really loud. It is saying,” and I pause extra long for a dramatic effect, “that you have the coolest Mommy in the whole wide world! And it is also saying how much you love your Mommy and you are gonna give her a great big hug and kiss!”

“MOM!”

“Alright. Alright,” I say, but I scoop him up in a great big bear hug anyway and give him a big smooch.

xxx