Saturday, October 31, 2009

The End




Good night,
Em

2 Kids Ago

2 kids ago:

I would have made sure my kids had gone to every fall festival,
pumpkin patch, hayride and/or otherwise Halloween related activity by
today.

I was room mom.

There was no TV in anyone's bedroom.

I worried about the chicken nugget diet.

A 4 year old wasn't allowed to watch Star Wars.

I used a baby wipe warmer.

The baby called it a "cell phone".

I didn't have a cocktail EVERY day.

Another day, another story,
Em

Friday, October 30, 2009

Art Exhibit

The prolific abstract works of Number 4.

Medium: crayon on wall, window and tile floor.

Reviews are mixed. "Breathtaking use of color." "Not his best work."

Another day, another story,
Em

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just Another Wednesday

In a split second, a simple (who am I kidding nothing is actually
simple if you choose to leave the house with a 2 and 4 year old?)
weekday trip to the grocery store can turn into a slow-motion-holy-
crap-the-baby-is-going-to-fall-off-the-end-of-the-grocery cart-ER-CT
scan-flashing before your eyes moment.

I was right there. Already taking the 3 steps to the end of the cart
to prevent the face plant from happening. He turned. And fell face
first on that cold, hard grocery floor. A THUD so loud, the meat
counter lady came running.

I'm not prone to panic, but my heart was racing. My stomach churning.
His tears subsided pretty quickly while his cheek turned purple. As we
checked out, I tried to hold frozen corn to his face and keep Number 3
from shoplifting candy. On the way home, he could hardly keep his
eyes open. Was he just sleepy or was it a concussion?!?! I called the
doctor's office (they know us quite well). Watch for confusion. OK.
Watch for vomiting. OK.

Mom's peace of mind test - the scooter. By the looks of him cruising
up and down the sidewalk, I think he is just fine. Except for the
shiner.

Another day, another story,
Em

Monday, October 26, 2009

Number 2's Life Plan

"When I grow up and get married. I'm not going to get a job. I'm going
to keep an eye on the kids if we get some kids."

I ask like any good mother would, "Who is going to work? Pay the
bills? Pay for food?"

Without an ounce of hesitation or doubt, he says, "She can can work.
I think she'll be a dentist."

Another day, another story,
Em

Holding on and letting go


I'm pretty sure you all know I'm from a huge family - oldest of seven. My Mother is the strongest 60-something year-old you'll ever meet. She can use a pick-axe as if she learned the skill on chain gang, cook for 60 people and still be smiling when she eats, teach grandchildren to read and still throw a party because it's Tuesday. I think she's the most naturally happy person on the planet.

Did I mention that in addition to being our own small community, we've all chosen to remain close to our familial roots for one reason or another...all except my youngest brother Z. He packed on Saturday and left this morning for the great state of Washington. While I'm excited for him it caught me off guard and really surprised me to hear my sweet, strong Mamma sobbing into her 22-year old son's shoulder. Anybody in the room could tell her heart was breaking just thinking about how far away he's going to be.

As exhilarating as I think this adventure is for my brother, an enormous chunk of my heart - the mom part - identified with her. As I stood there snapping pictures, I wondered what it would be like when one of my little bains left home. Will I be strong enough to just be sad? Will I allow myself to cry in public? Will I try to gloss over my pain in shadow of their anticipation? While I don't have to formulate my plan today, I do have to put it on my radar screen.

That train is headed my way, whether I like it or not.

Lib

How'd that happen?!

To say we live off the beaten track is a hilarious understatement.


 It's the cliched turn off the paved road scenario.  You can understand my bewilderment on Saturday night coming home to this:



I thought it was funny, considering somebody had to go to quite a bit of trouble to come all the way out and roll our yard.


Butterbain said he thought the ghosts had done it...guess we'll never know.


Lib



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How did THAT happen?!


To say we live off the beaten track is a hilarious understatement.

It the cliched turn off the paved road scenario (ask Em!). You can understand my bewilderment upon returning from a day trip to the picture above.

I thought it was funny, considering somebody had to go to quite a bit of trouble to roll our little crepe myrtles.

Butterbain thought the ghosts probably did it...guess we'll never know.

Lib

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize for Moms

The criteria for finalists is very simple: Getting through the bedtime ritual without raising your voice.

Sadly, I'm not a contender.

Lib

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reprieve

Just when I thought I might have to take drastic measures, i.e.
boarding preschool, tantrum rehab, pre-K military academies for Number
3, he gets out of the shower (with 2 toy frogs) and insists on kissing
each of my eyes, my nose and the top of my head before we put on his
PJ's.

Another day, another story,
Em

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Everybody is Somebody's baby

St Joel likes to say that life is a series of hills and valleys. I must be living in the Alps. It's been pretty steep around here lately.

Valley # 1: My sweet and only niece C had her third open heart surgery last Tuesday. Born with congenital defects, it's been a roller coaster watching her endure and improve. Miracles surrounding her treatment and prognosis have continued to amaze me. While she'll never be able to run a marathon (which doesn't exactly put her in the minority) she's expected to live a full and healthy life. Watching my parents and in laws make sure C's parents were well taken care of through the whole ordeal just reinforced that you're never too old to need a little baby-ing.

Valley # 2: Our sweet tutor's husband S was just diagnosed yesterday with cancer. Doesn't matter what kind. I'm pretty sure that's it's the really scary-I-have-to-re-evaluate-what's-important-in-my-life-kind. It's the how-in-the-world-is-regular-life possible-anymore kind. He's not my daddy, but my boys see him everyday while being tutored. He's the grandfather of a few nephews and all I can think of is "Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." Because even though his parents are gone I know S is still Somebody's baby.

Hill #1: I found a friend. Not the run-of-the-mill kind, either. She's somebody I went on a mission trip with 17 years ago and we lost touch in college. The trip was first time either of us had been away from home that long without our parents (not for fun) and we had lots of stuff to figure out. Getting back in touch with her is like getting to be my 17-year-old baby self again - a little bit. Incredibly enough, she's as excited about our finding each other as I am. Oh, Joy!

Hill #2: A little blue box. A total surprise, it arrived yesterday as a belated gift from my sweet cousin over at nugget cantina. What a treat! Having only received a blue box a few times, made this time that much sweeter.

Hill #3: The End is in sight. Soccer is almost over and we can soon be a normal family again, hanging out, playing games, going for bike rides in the afternoon. Not scuttling around at break-neck speeds searching for shoes, cleats, shin guards and water bottles.


I know more Valleys are inevitable. I struggle being present today, instead of bracing myself for however low the next valley might take me or someone I love.


I also know more hills are coming, too. I have exciting, fun things to anticipate - and tons to be grateful for everyday.


Whatever is next, whether it's a hill or a valley I hope I can remember what Spurgeon said, "If there were any place better for you other than the one in which you find yourself right now, Divine Love would have placed you there."

Lib





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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sleeping like a baby

Like an upside down baby, but sleeping.

At least someone is!

Another day, another story,
Em

Introducing...


CASH,
The Dog in Black!

She's fitting in real well: living on the front porch, getting along with the cats, going on walks down the driveway.(good part)

Occasionally getting stepped on and eating my freshly purchased fall decorations, then yakking it all back up on said front porch. (not so good part)

She really is cute and sweet and I love the way her ears flop when she comes running up for some loving.

Thanks to St. Joel who suggested the name - it's perfect!

Lib

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Number 1's Book Bag

"The best book ever!"

I really liked this book, Science Fair by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It is absolutely fabulous. I recommend it for many kids. It is a combination of mystery, awesomeness, action and Star Wars that's very funny. See you next time.

Peace out,
Number 1

Description from Barnes and Nobles website:

Grdankl the Strong, president of Kprshtskan, is plotting to take over the American government. His plan is to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School, located in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington. The rich kids at Hubble cheat by buying their projects every year, and Grdankl's cronies should have no problem selling them his government-corrupting software. But this year, Toby Harbinger, a regular kid with Discount Warehouse shoes, is determined to win the $5,000 prize-even if he has to go up against terrorists to do it. With the help of his best friends, Tamara and Micah, Toby takes on Assistant Principal Paul Parmit, aka "The Armpit", a laser-eyed stuffed owl, and two eBay buyers named Darth and the Wookiee who seem to think that the Harrison-Ford-signed BlasTech DL-44 blaster Toby sold them is a counterfeit. What transpires is a hilarious adventure filled with mystery, suspense, and levitating frogs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Report From Front Line

Number 4, "Waaaaaaahhhh!!!!!"

"What happened?" I ask calmly to no one in particular.

Number 2 reports, "He kicked him in the face."

Number 3, "Well...he shouldn't be in front of my foot."

Another day, another story,
Em

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, biggest!



Stringbain will always be my first, my favorite (they all are), my measuring stick for the other boys and other people's kids.

At 12 he's becoming a young man who'd make any mama proud. When the timer beeps, he stops watching a movie to check the oven contents and turns it off. When his younger brothers are hurt, he often comforts them before I can get there. He's developing a sense of style that's authentic, if nothing else. He's well mannered and well spoken. He can clean a kitchen and start a load of laundry - although he rarely chooses to do these things without being asked.

To top it all off he's cute!
Of course I would say that, he looks like me....

Lib

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Magic Outfit

Rehearsal dinner, not bad.

Wedding day, perfect.

You'd think Mexicanjumpingbain wouldn't be a great choice as a ring bearer. He's loud and bossy and likes to wear things with holes. But, apparently he really enjoys getting dressed up. And he can smile and walk slowly and deliberately with the best of them. He asked if we could buy the shoes that went with the tuxedo; promising to wear them until they wore out! He looked cute in the wedding he did last year, but his handsomeness stunned me in The Magic Outfit.

I'm thinking about hiring him out...

Lib






Monday, October 12, 2009

Whatever it takes

It's simply impossible to be in a bad mood during a family air guitar
jam to the School of Rock sountrack blaring full blast.

Another day, another story,
Em

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Break 2009

How we spent our Fall vacation.

GO APPS ! ! !

Another day, another story,

Em

Advanced vernacular

All packed up on our way to a family wedding, and mainbain asked butterbain (3) to behave. His answer?

"Okay....but I'm not promising ANYTHING!"

Most likely a wild weekend ahead!

Lib
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

House Beautiful

Beetiful

7:17am. Up. Froot Loops. Eggos. Juice. Sippy. Coffee. Call Dr. for
appt. Write note @ checking out Number 2 for Dr. appt. Shoes.
Medicine. Lunches. Backbacks. Bus. Babies' clothes. My clothes.

8:50am. "Mommy beetiful," Number 4 reminds me just in time.

Another day, another story,
Em

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Fun: Fair style!

Just a few snaps from our trip last Friday afternoon. It's a sweet, small-town deal, on grass with all the necessary rides, but not all spread out so you have to walk for miles just to get to the next one. All the kiddie rides are arranged in one section and the big kid rides in the other. Don't worry there was lots of fair food in between.

Butterbain LOVED the motorcyles!


Mexicanjumpingbain was so excited that he could go on some big kid rides!

Sweet cousin A sharing while mjb waited on his funnel cake.

After all the riding lima was parched and desperate for sustenance, fair style!


Stringbain had to ride the mechanical bull. He stayed on for about a minute. Totally worth watching, even if he wasn't yours!

It was fun, and without the Fairy Godmother I couldn't have pulled it off, sans mainbain. I consider myself an athlete, but after 6 hours of standing up, I was done. In an effort to sit, we mosey-d on over the the arena to watch the tractor pull. Highly recommend if you have boys. Loud and smoky with tractors that pop wheelies. Boy-heaven. Every day can't be boy heaven - they have to learn to read, after all - but every once in a while life hands you a fair.

Sore legs and all - I'd do it again.....in another 360 days.

Lib


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Perspective

Today was hard. 50% of the boys are sick and the other 50% can't be
bothered with such details.

People still needed to be fed and cleaned and separated for violent
acts involving light sabers. Laundry still needed doing. Beds made.
Messy toy clutter controlled. A little Tylenol. Quick trip to minor
med clinic. Blah. Blah. Blah.

But, today I don't have cancer while pregnant. No one I love had a
stroke today. None of the boys are in the hospital for RSV or seizures.

We all just need a little perspective now and then.

Another day, another story,
Em

People Are Counting On You: A Reading by Kelly Corrigan

Powerful video from Kelly Corrigan, the author of one of my favorite
books, The Middle Place.

Please watch and share with your friends.

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaYUdYErfB4&feature=youtube_gdata

Another day, another story,
Em

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More product research...

What I do for you people!!!

Muddy's Bake Shop in East Memphis.

Can't wait to try the chocolate Prozac.

A dog with no name

This is a first.
I brought him home 2 nights ago from Memphis, and he's a keeper because he travels well. And he's cute, soft and sweet.
One teeny-tiny problem, though. We can't come up with a name. A few off of our ever-growing-possible-name list:
Gryphon, Titan, Horace, Morty, Carl (?), Otis, Shadow, Mudball and my favorite...Bishop.
What's your vote?
Lib

UPDATE 10/5:
Stringbain came and announced that "he"...is a GIRL!!!
It was a simple mixup when I loaded him up the other night. I can assure you that I KNOW the difference and how to check it out. I was outnumbered, okay? 3 puppies, one Lib. Not a huge surprise, but I still REALLY wanted the boy...much lower vet bills, short term anyway.
we had *almost* decided on a name...Cash, the dog in black. Compliments of St. Joel. I think the name works for a girl, too - right?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Official Product Testing

I read about this wine packaged in a mini-barrel in a magazine and
thought it sounded right up my alley: 20 five ounce glasses of Red
Truck red wine that stays fresh for 40 days for less than $30. Since
I'm the only person who drinks wine around here, it's a perfect
combination.

I happened upon it today in the liquor store next to Costco where I
was going with Numbers 3 and 4 to buy diapers (and $100 worth of
snacks we really didn't need). Which explains why I need a barrel of
red wine in the first place.

Someone had to do it, so I am selflessly conducting official product
testing. It tastes good. In my expert-mother-of four-boys-non-wine-
snob opinion, really good. As good as any other economical priced wine
I've had. I think it would be great for a party, girls' get together
like Bunco or even as a gift.

The real test will be if I can make it last for 40 days.

Another day, another story,
Em

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