Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potato Fetch

What were you doing at 8am this morning? We were preparing our corned beef and cabbage…and playing Potato Fetch.

This is how it all started (picture below)…need I say more?

Collin picking out potatoes. It's really funny when he takes a bite out of one and says, "Uck!" Not quite what he was thinking.

This one, Mom!

I stepped around the corner into the living room to check on one of the babies. I was only gone a second and what do I hear in the kitchen… “Arfff!” the poor dogs little yelp…AND a potato hitting the floor and rolling.

Really? Can’t I just get a break for a minute? Silly mommy…of course not! Not with three little ones under the age of 2. At least not for another ten years, if I’m lucky.

I hear another potato go rolling across the floor and Murphy’s nails go scrambling across the linoleum. When I get to the kitchen Murphy is carrying the potato in his mouth and is using his cat-like skills dodging the other flying potatoes from the “Big Baby,” aka Collin.

Murphy and the flying potato.

Who needs squeaky toys when you have vegetables!

And this is how Potato Fetch came about. And as I’m sitting on the floor rolling a potato across the kitchen I think to myself with a chuckle, no wonder I don’t get anything done. Oh well…we’re making memories. I rather my kids remember Potato Fetch than me yelling to get out of the kitchen and getting all stressed out. Just not worth it. Well…ok…I did raise my voice a little to stop the WHOLE bag of potatoes from being thrown around the kitchen.

***Note***Murphy’s potato did not go into dinner!!!  lol

Check out our short video below of Potato Fetch. (I’ll try to get better at the videos…a little bit longer…a little bit steadier. I’ll practice.)

Eventually supper was started. Aren’t vegetables just pretty?

Tomorrow I’m going to make green eggs. Who knows what will happen, but definitely not fetch with eggs!

Thanks for reading and watching 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  and watch out for those pesky little leprechauns.

xxx

p.s. I may not have mad cooking skills like Martha Stewart, but she doesn’t have helpers like these! Take that, Martha! HaHaHa!!!

Videos

This is from Easter in February, which you can read here.

Finally found a video of Collin playing Peek-a-Boo, sort of. Check it out down below. He looks a little scary in the stand still…crazy blue eye baby. You can see his other short video here.

When the girls start feeling better I will get a video of them.

More to come soon. Thanks for watching 🙂

Down on the Worm Farm with Minibeasts

It is a good thing that a worm farm does not take that much care, otherwise our poor little worms would be suffering. There is little you have to do to worms living in dirt, so I think it is just our speed. It has been a very busy weekend. I have had three sick babies and have gotten very little done except taking care of them. We were in the ER all morning with the three youngest. They have RSV. I am keeping a close eye on them.

Bradley is feeling better now and it was a nice day. He was out in the garden digging for more worms. He didn’t find any, but he did get a few leaves and tear them up and put them on the top of the dirt because he saw this in one of his books. He is such a smark kid, very observant.

Keeping Minibeasts: Earthworms, by Chris Henwood

We recently went to the library and checked out several books on worms, along with an Iron Man book. Bradley is flipping through one of the worm books, “Keeping Minibeasts: Earthworms,” (love the title) and sees a picture of a worm stretched out on a wet sidewalk. He is so excited and says, “See, Mom! I TOLD you they like water.”

 And the only thing I can picture is a poor bloated worm tangled and tied onto the end of a sharp fishing hook. I did not tell him this, but we did continue reading and found out that they like water, but they can drown. I don’t think Bradley has made the connection of fishing and worms. Gardening and worms, yes. Fishing and worms, no. And I just see Papa Bear eyeing our worms for fishing. I told him they were going back in my garden. Poor worms. They are “minibeasts” and very useful, ya know!

More on worms later. Bradley is loving the project. He is just soaking up so much information.

Poor coughing babies, wheezing babies, and feverish babies. Back to cuddling.

xxx

Sunday Smokeout

I crunched through the outer skirts of the cornfield, trying to avoid the dried up corn cobs that were a sprained ankle waiting to happen, and came to the clearing where I always met my friend. She pulled out a pack of Doral Full Flavor 100’s, “I stole these from my brother. Let’s try them, you go first,” she said, flicking a lighter and failing to arouse a flame. I remember I really didn’t want to smoke, it didn’t go with my outfit. I had on my new peach and navy v-neck cardigan, which was very in for the early 90’s, might I add. “C’mon. Let’s just do it. I really want to,” she said, “but I don’t want to go first.”

Peer pressure. I remember not even knowing what to do with the cigarette and not even the slightest idea on how to light it. But I did it to get her to shut up and leave me alone. “You have to suck in,” she said, holding the lighter at the end of the cigarette. I hacked and coughed. I felt dizzy and wanted to puke. I didn’t think I would do it again. But I did.

That one decision affected me for the next fifteen years (I must have been 13 or 14, maybe 15, when I started smoking). I have tried to quit smoking so many times. I think the problem was that I never really wanted to quit. I enjoyed smoking. It was relaxing and I liked the taste of it. But I knew I needed to quit.

My last cigarette was on September 13, 2010. That was the day I flew to Peoria. I would like to say it was my only helicopter ride, but it was not my last. It was a rough pregnancy. I was on strict bedrest in Peoria for six weeks and I was so drugged up I didn’t even miss a cigarette. That is how I quit smoking. I would probably still be smoking if not for these events.

Today is my six month anniversary for not smoking. I would like to say I did something elaborate to celebrate this accomplishment, but I didn’t. I did do something special though, my mom duties. I have been cuddling three sick babies, wiping runny noses, and listening to them hack and cough. This alone makes me very thankful that I am still not smoking…and it has been very difficult at times. But I look at all of these adorable children and I know that I want to be around as long as possible for them.

Below are reasons #1, 2, 3, and 4 to quit smoking.

Collin, Bradley, Elsie, and Mallie

Sleepy Head Bradley

Collin

Elsie

Mallie

Pretty darn good reasons to quit smoking, if you ask me. I am a very thankful and lucky momma. 🙂

xxx

Just Write

I like to do a writing exercise that I call “Listening and Watching.” I usually do this type of writing when I am tired and really don’t feel like doing anything. This gets my creative muscles working and warmed up. It is very different from my other posts, but it something that I enjoy doing for myself. It is a little break. I just sit and write…and write. I don’t worry as much about the content as to just write. Sometimes it paints a picture of my surroundings at a certain moment in time. Other times I just ramble on and on and on and on…

It may be very mundane and boring. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And I will never know if you read it anyway, so go ahead and skip to the next post, I will never know. Sometimes I just need to write…with nothing in particular in mind. Helps keep me limber for the other days.

I decided to move to a different cushion of the couch. I have been sitting in the same spot on the couch almost everyday since the babies have been born that I think it is getting my butt indentation permanently cemented into it, seriously. I see where it is sunken in and the suede material is loose around that spot. I don’t think I have ever broken in a couch. Normally I am up and about and rarely sit still, but I do have two babies to feed. It is like I have set up camp. I put my little computer/notebook on the arm of the couch, my glass of hot tea on the window ledge behind it, and the play pen where the girls sleep is in arms reach. Everything I need is a fingertip away…or I just call Collin. He loves to pick things up.

But right now I moved over to a different cushion. It is a much firmer cushion and I am now resolved to switch my seats around, at least for the couch’s sake. It also gives me a different view of the house. Right now my back is resting against a big pillow and I am staring down at my purple toenails. I love purple toenails…and blue. Brad is sitting on the large footrest. He has a big number two on the back of his t-shirt. He is leaning forward and into his video game, elbows resting on his knees. If he leaned in any further he might just fall into the game, I’m sure he would love that.

The babies are starting to get colds, their first ones. I have been up with them all night. All day I have been walking around like a lost mummy wrapped loosely in toilet paper for Halloween. At least tissue is handy to wipe all the snotty noses around here.

Last night the wind smacked the windows all night and the cold air seeped in, whispering and murmuring, keeping me up all night. My mind swept the items in the backyard; soccer net, heavy plastic slide, wagon, maybe a few plastic bats were also left out, but nothing major that would blow away.

The wind is rattling the panes again tonight. I’m putting the afghan that my granny made me on my bed and will burrow into a crocheted cocoon, at least for a couple of hours until one of the babies cries.

Good night.

xxx

Friday Favorites: SOON

It’s Friday! already?! These kids keep me so busy I don’t know where the time goes. So, just to recap, Friday is the day I post one of my favorite pictures…this one is from Christmas 2010.

The Boys

 I’ve been missing those cute Tennessee boys, Brad’s 2 oldest boys, Taigyn and Cedrik. Can’t wait for summer and the house will be REALLY full again! LOVE it!!

And I’m sure they have each grown a foot!

Bradley has been missing his big brothers, too. He always says, “I want to grow my hair like Taigyn’s,” or “When am I going to be big like Cedrik?” and of course, “When are they coming?”

“SOON!”

xxx

Worm Farm

What a great digger!

It all started with Sesame Street. The letter of the day was “D” and dirt starts with “D” and worms live in dirt…and on and on… which got Bradley’s brain a turnin’ and he had a million questions about worms and he really wanted a pet worm.

So we decided to start a worm farm.

We got shovels and a container to put them in and we headed out to the garden.

Ane we got lucky! As soon as we broke ground we found a worm!

I think it was love at first sight for Bradley.

Oh, all the things he wants to know!

And I want him to learn by exploring and with lots of hands on activities. That is just the teacher in me. I will be digging out my Science binder from my methods class. I’m pretty sure the awesome professor I had, Dr. Serianz, gave us all types of activities and information on worms. I will probably add some of these to the agenda.

Check out Bradley in this cute video. My camera battery died and cut it off.

We also made a “Worm Journal” and we started a KWLC Chart (what we know, what we want to learn, what we learned, and what views changed). Below are pics of our journal. I also let him put a worm on a plastic lid so he could look at it closer. We saw it crawl through a big dirt clod and stretch out in the water in the crack of the plastic lid.

(SHHHH!!! Don’t tell Papa Bear we had worms at the table. hee hee. If he only knew the crazy things we do all day!)

Bradley studying his worm (on plastic lid) and drawing the cover for his journal.

Some of the things we have listed for our KWLC chart for what we know (or what we think we know, sometimes things change as we explore and learn more, that is the reason for the C in the chart/what ideas we changed):

1. They live in dirt.

2. They like water and they like to swim.  (haha…fish like to eat them under water, but I didn’t tell him this. And he thought that because the worm he was watching went to the water, so good conclusion for a five-year old).

3. Ducks eat special worms and that’s their supper.

4. Worms like to burin the dirt deep.

5. They like to play sometimes. Sometimes they play with their daddy.

6. You can pet them.

7. They have no legs.

8.  They are slow like snails.

Some of the things Bradley wants to learn:

1. What do worms eat?

2. Do they eat dirt? Or do they eat what I eat?

3. Do they sleep?

4. Do they like to be pets?

5. Do they have bones?

6. How do they breath?

7. And I want to know how they are classified.

And after you have been outside in the cold digging, you need a cup of hot chocolate to warm you up. And it always tastes better in the special mug Bradley and I made together.

Bradley’s side of the mug doesn’t show as well because he didn’t color very dark. But it is super cute.

Stay tuned for the rest of our experiments and see what is happening down on the worm farm.

xxx

p.s. Collin was learning about Newton’s Laws of Motion. With all that room to run in the backyard he was off…until he fell…again and again. His body just can’t keep up with his feet.

STOP…while I kiss these kids.

 The walls in this house are making the rooms much smaller and the kids are getting to be excellent climbers. We really need to get out a little more.

 It used to be so easy to throw a couple kids into the car and go. Now, with four children-and three of these under two- it is a major production to get out of the house (even though I wouldn’t change it for anything). And we especially haven’t gone anywhere this winter with super tiny preemies unless we had to.

But…The weather is getting nicer, the girls are getting bigger, and we are getting spring fever. And sometimes…a girl just needs to get out and have a little fun, even if she does have four kids in tow, and even if it is just to the library (which is pretty exciting to me).

So the other day as I’m guzzling the last of my hot tea, the best part with all the sugar at the bottom, I tell Bradley we are going to have to get a move on so we can go to the store. I’ve been dying to buy a new camera, need one badly, and have been saving my pennies, LOTS of them. I figure, might as well go to Best Buy and get one. Getting this gang ready and out the door is a lot of work, but I’m up for the challenge.

But of course, as soon as I decide this all hell breaks loose…or just lil’ Elsie’s lungs screaming at full blast, and she has a scream like a siren. So I take care of my poor colicky baby and try to get the rest of them ready, and it’s amazing what you can do with baby in arm. By the time I run around and go back and forth, all the kids are clean, hair and teeth brushed, they are all looking cute…and I am a sweaty mess and not even close to being ready. Thank goodness for ponytails and messy buns, otherwise we would never make it out the door.

Two trips to the car…yep, you heard it right, it only takes me two trips and I’m quite proud of this. I carry Collin first, then a car seat on each arm for my last load. It’s getting harder because they are getting bigger, but my arms rock! 

Look out store, here we come!

 But wait and STOP…this is where I kiss my kids… and brag about how well behaved they are at the store.

Bradley holds one of Collin’s hands and I hold the other…and my other arm is carrying two car seats, one resting on my arm and the other in my hand. We are quite a sight as we walk through the parking lot. And really, this is where it could get a little hairy…Collin could take off,  Bradley could refuse to help…but no, they are both angels. In the store, around all these expensive electronics, Bradley leads Collin by the hand and lil’ Collin just trails behind. They are so cute and I manage to make it through the store without the babies waking up and I didn’t loose any kids. Wow.

I am just so proud of my boys. And for that performance I let Bradley pick where we went for lunch, McDonald’s of course.

Our little outing was perfect, except the camera wasn’t in. Now I’m just waiting for it in the mail. I spent the extra six bucks to have it shipped, who knows when we will get out of the house next, so it was worth it.

xxx

p.s. I have a double stroller but it doesn’t fit in my SUV. So we wing it. And you should see me load all the kids in the tiny vehicle, it’s comical. That could be a post all of its own.

Meet Collin: My Super Cute Baby Boy

I picked Collin up out of his highchair and Kix cereal pelted the floor like hail. Obviously he had more in his lap than his tray. And as soon as his feet touched the floor him and Murphy raced to see who could eat the most cereal off the floor. I might as well be talking to the wall when I say, “Collin, don’t eat off the floor!” Normally he is playing in the river of milk on his tray. He is such a joy to clean up. Right now we just finished breakfast and I am watching him run around with a leftover something stuck above his ear. Must have missed that one.

Collin

Mommy & Collin

Collin is the “middle” child (sort of…I should say he is one of the middle children and the youngest boy), with Bradley on one side and the twins on the other, and two older brothers, the oldest 16! But he is my “go with the flow” kid. He toddles along behind one of us. He is also the one who is a big helper and is ALWAYS into something. I can’t turn my back for a second or he might blow up the house, seriously. We were down in the basement and I turned to put the laundry soap in the washer…and that MUST HAVE been when he decided to play with the dials on the water heater. Took me forever to figure out why there was no hot water. Needless to say, I don’t take him down there with me anymore.

He is a pretty easy going toddler. He loves to follow his brother around and play with Murphy, our dog. Collin is 19 months old now and he doesn’t say much, although he has a wide range of yells and grunts. Why would he have to say anything when he has his brother to do it. Bradley will say, “Collin wants a snack,” or “Collin wants to watch cartoons.” So having a little brother has its advantages for Bradley too.

Mommy's helper.

 Likes: Doing dishes, dancing, pushing buttons, pointing and grunting, eating from the garbage (which we put a lock on that door!), playing ball, climbing the stairs and anything that stands somewhat still, pulling off his diaper, he is obsessed with brushing his teeth, crackers (he can be bribed to do anything with a cracker), playing peek-a-boo, rubbing mashed potatoes in his hair, and eating Legos, just to name a few. Oh, and he loves kissing feet, especially the babies. And trying to give the babies their pacifiers. He likes to help with EVERYTHING.  

Lego boy

 Dislikes: Long naps, wearing socks and shoes (can’t keep these on him for nothing!), tape on his fingers, and sharing.

He is quite a character. I can just sit and watch him run and it makes me crack up laughing. He is such a goofball. I can’t wait until he starts talking…I wonder what he will say.
Check out Collin’s short video. I was trying to get him to play peek-a-boo but he just wouldn’t. Still a cute video, I’m kinda partial though to my children. 🙂
Thanks for reading and watching! Feel free to leave a comment. They make my day!
xxx
p.s. And he loves eating his toes. I will have to definitely get a picture, it’s hilarious.

Meet the Twins: My November Babies

The girls are 4 months old now. Wow, I just can’t believe it. They have grown so much already. I look back at the pictures of when they were first born and can’t believe how tiny they were. Of course, I couldn’t believe it then either.

Elsie weighed 3 lbs 14oz and Mallie weighed 4 lbs 1 oz. Then, like most preemies, they lost weight and slowly started gaining it back. 

Here are a few pics from the hospital.

Mallie

 

Elsie

When they were first born they had to have special breathing treatments. Their heads were under these plastic domes that looked like a cake cover, kinda like you would see at an old fashioned diner. They had all kinds of tubes, wires, wrappings, and machines that monitored everything and were always beeping about something.Little tiny tubes pumped milk into their little tummies. They weren’t even eating an ounce yet.

All of these machines almost made me scared to touch them. And it was forever (about a week) before I got to hold them and even longer before they were able to be put together in an isolette, which I wanted very badly. It was a rough start but they are little fighters and were doing really good considering they were born at 35 weeks (5 weeks early).

Elsie

Elsie (pink hat) & Mallie (yellow hat)

Mallie

I plan on writing their birth story and all that we went through in getting these babies here as safely as possible, but I’m not quite ready yet. It is a long story as well as very emotional for me; long hospital stay, 911 calls, helicopter rides. One day real soon I will put it all down. But for now I will just focus on bits and pieces here and there.

It was the day before Thanksgiving that I got to bring them home. I had to set my alarm and wake them up every two hours to eat.

Elsie & Mallie

And somehow we managed. I’m not sure how I did it at the beginning with little to no sleep every night and taking care of two other children. I wished Brad was able to stay home but he had to work. My mom had to work also, but would come over on her lunch breaks. We have grown together andhave gotten into a pretty good routine. It is so much easier now that they are older…and I don’t have to wake them up every couple hours to eat.

There were times when I would be so stressed, waking up at 6 am, having only 4 hours of sleep, and trying to feed two crying babies who always seemed to wake up at the same time, along with Collin who still needed his diaper changed. Bradley, my 5-year-old, would try to be extra helpful and would climb on the counters to get the cereal down and try to make breakfast, which ended in more of a mess. Especially when he poured the orange juice. But at least he was trying, what a sweetie.

The boys love their baby sisters. Bradley is super helpful and Collin is always trying to kiss them.

What a good big brother. Mallie (left) & Elsie (right) and their first dolls from Grandma Lorraine

Bradley kissing Mallie

 

Collin & Elsie

Mallie (front) & Elsie (back)

 
Now Elsie weighs 10 lbs 2 oz and Mallie 11 lbs 8 oz.
 
They have changed and grown so much in only four short months, but some things stay the same.
 
Elsie still likes to sleep with one eye open to see what is going on everywhere.
 
Mallie is laid back and just smiles and coos all the time.
 
They still love to snuggle together. At night I put them at opposite sides of the crib and when I wake up they are next to each other. They must have scooted and squirmed to get close. They always say how twins have a special bond, it will be interesting to watch and see how their relationship develops.
 
xxx
 
p.s. They are fraternal twins. I am also so amazed at how they look nothing alike. Elsie is petite and blonde. Mallie is chubby and round with dark hair. Sometimes people say that one looks like me and the other Brad.