Friday, July 31, 2009


Divine Wisdom

Thank you, God
for making him
look like
when he is sleeping.

Because I didn't
exactly feel all
warm and fuzzy a few
hours ago.....

Another day, another story,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

With All Due Respect


Just like 99% of all mothers, I love all my children. But I am, without shame, counting the days until school starts (11 for Numbers 1-2 and 26 for Numbers 3-4).

It's not that they are bad. Loud, constantly hungry, increasingly active and bickery - YES!  I am over it and I'm pretty sure they are too. There is only so much I can enthusiastically come up with to occupy this 2, 4, 8 and 10 year old set of boys for 12+ hours a day.

They will go back to school soon. Back to friends, schedules and routines. And I will go back to my sanity, a little free time and non-banshee scream afternoons. A win-win for everyone I think.    

Another day, another story,

Antidote to the daily grind

I'm sure it was no accident I read the following this morning after several days of same-old, same-old blah!

"Let us not be so busy hurrying into the future and worrying about the past that we lose today -- the only one we have. "

I so want to editorialize, but think I would be either hurrying or worrying while I wrote.
Just going to enjoy today.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A difference

We go to a tiny church that's still classified by our diocese as a 'mission.'. Mexicanjumpingbain and limabain's soccer coach is a minister at a bigger church in town and invited us to come to Wednesday night church.

Have I mentioned how much the baintrain eats? On a regular basis I cook a dozen eggs for breakfast, or 2 hamburgers per boy. As I've mentioned, we have a garden and friends with gardens so in the summer I don't have to grocery shop as frequently. Ten days is pushing it, though.

So, tonight I added 2 and 2 and they equalled a grocery trip while the boys were at church.

Yes, I did feel a bit guilty as I sped away to do the shopping.

It's one of the differences between having 1 or 2 children and 4...if you have reason to believe they will be well taken care of by another caring get to grocery shop ALONE!


Monday, July 27, 2009


That Fairy Godmothers exist!

I came home from work today and this bouquet to "the best mom ever" was sitting on the counter. It was signed by all 4 bains, but in HER handwriting!!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

You may be the mother of a tween if...

Your 11 year old calmly says:

"You need to dye your hair again, I can see the grey."

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Boys' House

Special to the Collierville Herald
July 15, 2009

A Boys’ House
By Emily Thomas

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Over 10 years ago, my husband (I call him St. Joel) and I were expecting our first child. We couldn’t decide whether to find out what we were having during the routine ultrasound or wait until the big day to be surprised. I would have never admitted it to anyone back then, but all I could think was, “What on earth would I do with a BOY!!!” I honestly thought I might give the baby “bad vibes” if we found out it was a boy. I don’t like sports or video games or even outside all that much.

God got the last laugh. We now have 4 very masculine, testosterone-filled boys, ages 10, 8, almost 4 and almost 2. At the subsequent 3 ultrasounds, I was the one who had to reassure the technician that I was completely fine with what was abundantly clear on the screen.

I cannot imagine what a house full of girls would be like, but I know without a doubt, in A Boys’ House:

If something is lost, I will be the only person in the house who can find it.

Anything can and will be used as a weapon. Toothbrush, fork, paper towel roll, food.

No one really cares if their birthday party plates match their birthday party napkins.

There is no shortage of bodily noises. If those run short, they can use almost anything to simulate them.

If you turn on a TV, chances are you’re going to get ESPN or Star Wars.

Bumps, bruises and blood are routine.

There are no hair styling issues aside other than how short the summer buzz cut should be.

No one is ever full. Or quiet. Or tired.

There is a distinct, parallel language culled from video games, action figures and basic warfare.

Wardrobes consist of t-shirts, a couple of polos, shorts and khaki pants.

They are always entertained, even if it is just from fighting with each other. Or throwing something.

There is an endless supply of bathroom jokes and potty words.

Technical support for any electronic device is always available.

Life is always interesting, unpredictable and usually entertaining.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Indian update

Last week it was mohawks, this week - sleeping outside and having a bonfire. Please notice the way they constructed the 2 room tent out of 2 tents. Their idea and so, so clever - they even dug through the attic to find that tunnel that's been stored away for who knows how long.

Since they've attempted the front yard camp out before, but always ended up inside around midnight, I think this is a sure sign of mid-childhood maturity. Stringbain said sincerely the morning after, "That's the best night of sleep I've ever gotten in a tent." Missing the irony, of course, that it's the ONLY full night of sleep he's ever had in a tent.

(Which is sad, I mean he is 11. If I were a better parent, wouldn't I have taken or at the very least arranged for him to go camping? overnight? in a state park? with other guys? I think that's what boy scouts do...It's just not something I ever think of. I so want to want to be a camper. It's just that living on a farm in the middle of nowhere with 4 boys is Except I have a washing machine, inside plumbing and a bed. That's the crucial part. The Bed. Because things can go from 0 to cranky in about 60 seconds if I don't get enough, quality sleep.)

Anywho, back to the indians...if they try to skin one of our cows and attempt real-deal-tee-pee construction - I'll have draw the line. Because while I want them to be self-sufficient, I don't want to worry about getting scalped!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Anything is possible

In the last two weeks, Number 1 had strep throat, then Number 2 broke his arm and then Number 3 had an abscessed tooth. Wonder what's going to happen to Number 4?

Another day, another story (and another waiting room),

Emily T. Thomas

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Think of Elvis

"Mom, my arm itches!" (inside his cast)

"Think of something smooth. Think about velvet," I attempt.

"What?!? I don't even like Elvis!"

Another day, another story,

Friday, July 10, 2009

Just a thought

If various parts of the male anatomy were reduced or expanded in size due to the production of a person, aforementioned situation would promptly be surgically corrected with a minimum 5 day 100% insurance covered hospital stay. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stroke of genius

I'm an over-achiever, but no super-mom. There's no way with 4 boys you can be super anything. Not having a pity party, but it is true, by the end of the hour/day/week/month what's left is exhaustion. It's another thing left out of the fine print of the non-existent-real-deal-child-raising-manual.

So back to the over-achieving thing. I recently started working out - with a trainer - because even though I've had 4 kids, I still want to look decent in a swim suit. I realized last year that time is not on my side and I need to make hay in the swim suit department while the sun shines. Basically, I'm not getting any younger. So the training thing happens early in the morning because that's the only time I can muster the energy to I always feel more energetic and happy and grateful and a whole list of good things which spilled over to an awesome idea this morning.

Sometimes alien mom strikes and everything just falls into place.

Driving by the doughnut shop.

Thought about having the day off to play with the boys.

Put 2 and 2 together, and had a light bulb moment.

Doughnut picnic and swimming...for breakfast.

I'm crossing the mid-thirty threshold this year, but the kid that still lives way down there in my soul screamed such an emphatic "YES!!" it could not be ignored.

Nine bucks, some rushing around to find swim trunks and 6 happy boys later (we had 2 nephews with us) we were at the creek soaking up warm morning sun, enjoying our sugar fix. Nothing can compare to hearing their excitement and knowing beyond a doubt that sometimes being an over-achiever pays off.

Doesn't get much better,


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One little, two little, three little indians

They went swimming at the FairyGodmother's house and I got a call.

"Can we please get mohawks, Mom???"

When else am I going to say yes? Today, obviously!

What else is summer for?


PS - That's cousin E as the 3rd indian!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The one where they blow up a snake egg...and I assist!

Y'all may not believe fairy god mothers exist, but I have been blessed with one. She's a neighbor who has become part of our family, and as a result we help each other.

This morning we helped her family pick potatoes and got a huge bucket of fresh produce as a gift. The boys like green beans and potato salad, but I'm positive they enjoyed the snake egg R found more.

It is the Fourth of July after all, what else would their minds naturally go to, except blowing it up. Truth be told, they first asked if we could incubate it and hatch it as a pet....pretty sure you can imagine my vehement "NO!" to that particular request.

So, we brought the little leathery thing home and they were so fired up about exploding it I had to get in on the deal. They wanted to just set it on the ground and light 2 fire crackers underneath it, but I thought we could make a snake egg bomb out of it. So, after scotch taping 7 fire crackers around it we were set.

We lit as many as we could and backed away.

Totally. Disgusting.

I still can't believe this is what being the mom of 4 boys is all about. But it is and there are A LOT of good/questionable memories being made as a result....

As my grandmother would say, "Horrors!"


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Larry the Crab

I absolutely never know what is going to happen next. This morning began like any other. Breakfast, coffee, getting a couple kids dressed, leaving a couple in their jammies.
"Hmmm...I think I'll wash this shell that Number 2 found yesterday on our walk." The one that sat on the kitchen counter in a paper bag all night. A little squirt of soap. A little hot water.
"What a great keepsake from our (very eventful) vacation. Where should we put this when we get home? AGGGHHHHOLY CRAP!!!!WHAT THE!!!+MY FAVORITE BANSHEE SCREAM."
Much to my - and to Larry's I'm sure - surprise, a whole set of crab legs emerged mid-bath.
Another day, another story,

Summer christmas

Going over mexicanjumpingbain's fireworks haul, I realized why the 4th is so much fun: it's a boy's dream come true.... staying up late playing with fire! I've got it multiplied by 5, because the mainbain is just as enthralled as they are!
Enjoy yours!
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Shortcut = swinging bridge and photo op

Trying to take a shortcut in the country can be tricky. Sometimes it's pointless and you just end up going in circles. Other times, like today, you find a swinging bridge over a beautiful creek.

I couldn't resist the photo op of mexicanjumpingbain, stringbain and limabain....I know one of these days they won't be so enthralled with such a simple pleasure.

And, as an added bonus there was an island of watercress in the creek. Mexicanjumpingbain picked a bunch for me, and I am happily munching now!

Cheers for family time!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The lake crew, also known or love your cousin week!

The lake vacation was so much fun I thought I'd prove just how many kids were in the cabin last week. Don't forget every kid has a bag, and swim gear (goggles, towel, floaties, vest) and there were several Mom's aboard as well. I won't even go into the food and beverages - some adult, of course - required for a horde like this.

How come so much time is spent waiting on the fun/vacation? When it finally arrives and flies by, I feel like I'm just getting into the relaxing groove and it's over....



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