Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spanish for "Throw up" ?

Feeling optimistic, we took the whole circus to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We got there really early (remember when dinner was at 7pm instead of 5pm?!), brought some distractions, and settled into a very remote table.

Everything was going so smoothly - too smoothly apparently. We ordered, waited without incident, ate our food, talked about the day. It was miraculous actually - apparently too miraculous.

Finishing up, Number 3 says,"Something is in my throat.". "Just drink some of your drink, sweetie."

My words were still hanging in the air when he turned his head toward his Daddy (lucky break for me) opened his mouth and very naturally and precisely proceeded to throw up. Unfazed really, he said, "I'm OK. Let's go now."

After I gulped down a few more necessary sips of my margarita, I quickly shuffled Numbers 1-3 to the car. Daddy cleaned up the mess as best he could, got the check, to go boxes and Baby Thomas, then tried to warn our waiter about the mess. He couldn't recall the Spanish word for "throw up".

Two or three kids ago, this episode would have freaked us out. Or at the very least, surprised us. But we know with complete certainty, you really don't ever know what is going to happen next. Five minutes or five years from now. You just have to deal with things as they come and move on. Brushing up on Spanish doesn't hurt either!

* Thankfully, Number 3 didn't throw up anymore on the way home or since.

Another day, another story,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Boys' House

I am pretty sure this exchange does not occur in houses where little girls live...

8:15 AM - Big Boys go out to the bus stop.

8:18 AM - "DING DONG DING DONG" of the doorbell. I reluctantly open the door.

8:20 - 8:27 AM- "He hit me in the mouth!" "It was an accident!" "He punched me right in the mouth! See ! ! ! ! " "I didn't!" "YES, he did." "Uh Uh." Repeat.

8:29 AM - Bus slows down, sees no Thomas Boys at bus stop, cruises right on by.

8:30 1/2 AM - In my pajamas on the front porch holding Number 4 on my hip, I screech in my best banshee voice (knowing full well they could walk to the other corner and catch the bus.) , "SEE WHAT YOU DID THIS IS YOUR FAULT YOU MISSED THE BUS UGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Repeat.

8:35 AM - They realize, today is not the day for this, and off they go to the other bus stop.

Another day, another story,

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Call me old fashioned. I don't think a child saying "what the heck?!" is appropriate vernacular.

So here's the conversation I had with mexican jumping bain and butter bain last night on the trampoline.

MJB: "what the heck?!"
ME: You can't say "what the heck" it's really not appropriate.
MJB: Can I say "what the..."
ME: can say nothing that starts with "what" unless it's an ACTUAL question
MJB: Can I say golly? (Which, with his lisp is more like goll-weeeee)
ME: Of course, golly is fine.
MJB: What about dagnabit?
ME: yeah, that's okay too.
At this point 2yrold butter bain wants in on the conversation and cuts to the chase with the following:
BB: Can I say damn, mom?
ME: No you cannot say damn.
BB: Why not?
ME: Because it's a bad word for 2 years olds.
BB: Can I say dadgummit?
ME: Of course you can.

So from here on out the only expletives allowed will be the previously established oh my word! In addition we now have, golly, dagnabit and dadgumit.

I have a feeling we may be having further almost-cursing-rule-conversations, but we've got a few to choose from for the time being.

Do I count this as a mom-victory?


Friday, August 15, 2008

Suburban Survivor

If someone is filming my reality show and I am not getting paid...I definitely feel like I am on a suburban version of Survivor. Thankfully,trapped in a climate contolled, fully stocked home vs. Eating bugs in the desert, but still...

Once The Big Boys get on the bus (I thank God every morning for the bus!), my day consists of Feeding Relays and The Nap Quest. If I time breakfast, snack and playtime just right, Number 4 will nap in the morning and wake up in time for lunch with Number 3. Then I go for the Ultimate Challenge -- Tandem Napping. My personal best is 3 full hours. Of course, just to keep things interesting, they have perfected Relay Napping-Number 4 waking up as soon as Number 3 goes to sleep. Or Number 3 waking up as soon as Number 4 goes to sleep. Then the day is done and it is onto the night routine - play, homework, dinner, bath and bed.

Leaving the house in an actual car just doesn't fit into the schedule most of the time. I realized today that I had only left the house twice this week - once to take the Big Boys to school on the first day and to the grocery yesterday. That might just be an all-time record itself.

Wish me luck at "tribal council"...

Another day, another story,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Are we there yet?

Here's the thing. We've grown out of the working vacation. When we only had 1 or 2 bains to tote along, it was a snap - just grab them (and what seemed like a lot of gear) and go. We weren't so significantly outnumbered then.

We went to south Texas for business, and decided to rent a beach house to stay an extra four days. It was great and wonderful and much needed relaxation, BUT 4 kids waiting for Dad to get out of his meetings really cramped our style. Also, since I work part time, I am not used to flying solo with all four bains (Lots of gold stars for you Em!), so that was an adjustment.

I loved our vacation, and learned some invaluable lessons. I will be turning these into fertilizer for our next jaunt.

1) When using mapquest for the journey, input 1 hour stops along the way. This is actually how long it takes to get gas, cruise the gift shop part of the stop and make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom.

2) What ever the estimated time of arrival - add two hours. Or, in our case 5!

3) They are much more self-sufficient than I give them credit for. After 10 hours in the car all you could hear was smack/smack/smack! - some kind of barbaric slapping game they invented and laughed hysterically through.

4) Pack bathing suits near the top of the bag. They will be required about 1.2 seconds after you get there.

5) No matter how tired you are, they are all into this adventure, so ROLL WITH IT.

6) Never forget the soon-to-be-retired diaper we learned at a nice Japanese restaurant when Butterbain spilled water on himself and faster than we could say "no!" stripped down right there, because his clothes were wet. Oh, and bonus!- he had dressed himself and not put on underwear!!
7) Vacation is not about everything going smoothly - it's about enjoying it when it doesn't. Challenging? You bet. But the rewards will be tons of stories enjoyed in the retelling.

8) Make it longer. This may not be true for everyone, but it took me a full 3 days to really unwind and relax and stop caring so much about time. And then, just when I was getting the hang of drinking a beer with lunch, we had to pack it all up and come home.

Next time I won't try to be a cruise director and plan lots of fun stuff...I will remember that fun to them is us just being together and not having a plan.

I'll be there soon...

First Day of School

With all due respect, motherly love and all that stuff...HALLELUJAH ! ! !

Today was the first day of 4th grade (Number 1) and 1st grade (Number 2). Somehow I managed to get these 2 to school this morning on time with minimal fuss, drama or disaster. The double stroller was packed down with Numbers 3 and 4 and overflowing with school supplies and backpacks.
I know there are probably a lot of moms (you know who you are), who are sad to see this day come. I can honestly say I do not fall into that camp. But I have more mixed feelings than I expected. Not sad, but not overjoyed to see them go either. I had just gotten the rhythm of summer and having them all home most of the time. And, it just seems to all be going so fast.
If anything, I feel proud. Proud that they are excited to go to school. Proud that they do well in school. Proud that the principal hasn't called me into the office about either one of them (yet!). And proud that we are halfway there! I know we will blink our eyes and The Babies will be in school too.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What I Know Now


The Last Thomas turned 1 today. As cliche as it sounds, it really is hard to believe that a whole year has passed. Can't imagine our life, our family without him.

After nine years on the job and Four Thomas Boys later, some days I think I might just have the hang of this. Other days, I feel like I have no idea what I am doing.

What I Know Now
Pancakes or PBJ's are perfectly acceptable for dinner.
It won't matter 5 years (or 5 minutes) from now if Number 3 wears the Thomas the Train shirt 4 days in a row.
Perfection is no fun.
Babies will all get out of diapers* eventually. *Or sleep all night, or give up the pacifier, or give up the bottle.
I married the right man.
There's always more poop. More laundry. More grocery shopping.
Who the boys are, how they behave, what they achieve is 95% them, 5% us.
If you are worried about everything, you won't enjoy anything.
The number of activities the boys participate in does not directly correlate to our success as parents.
Spilled juice or milk or syrup is just spilled juice or milk or syrup.
Staying in pj's on purpose all day is sometimes a necessary luxury.
My purpose is to raise four independent, confident and content boys.
Just when you think you have it all under control: 2 words....Stomach Bug.

Another day, another story,


Friday, August 1, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Slow week with Number 1 + Dad out of commission slightly due to varying degrees of sick. One guess who was the better patient?

This morning I happened upon Number 2 (almost 3 years old) "talking" into his "ipod", aka tape measure, to his friend, Harrison, about swimming and Pokemon stopping every few seconds to punch the "buttons".

Much needed hilarious moment in an otherwise cooped-up, quarantined, blazing-hot week in the 'burbs.

Another day, another story,



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