Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 for Tuesday

Some days it's a revolving door of fevers, fits, funny questions and unbelievable quotes.

Top two in the last twenty four hours are:

"Mom, have you ever been shot?" Asked with sincerity by limabain.

And just in from mexicanjumpingbain:

"Melted cheese is like kid tobacco!"

Couldn't make it up!


Monday, August 30, 2010

To whom it may concern,

RE:  Potty Training Requirements

In exactly 10 days, my very last, 3 year old boy child, AKA Number 4, will be starting preschool at your lovely facility.  By the joyous reaction he had at the open house to the tiny kitchen and fake food, as well as the very short tables and chairs, I am certain he will do just fine academically.  Gifted, I'm sure.

There is just one matter that I feel should be addressed.  When you say "must be potty trained," what exactly do you mean?  Does that mean "pees in the potty frequently if accompanied by a sibling or parent, but only sitting down facing the back of the toilet with no pants or underwear on, but sometimes pees on the floor and sometimes in a pull-on training diaper and sometimes in his bed and poops only in a pull-on training diaper or in his underwear?"  

Just checking,

Cookies for breakfast

It's about time!

After all these months of working on quick, easy, delicious and nutrient dense breakfast recipes, I finally found a breakfast cookie made with raw oats worth trying.  Thanks, Fitnessista. She called it it Something worth waking up for and I wholeheartedly agree! You know I made modifications to her recipe, but had to give her credit for the original idea.

::Breakfast cookie you eat with a spoon::

makes enough for 5  filling cookies

1 1/2 c raw oats 
2 T hemp seed protein, or protein powder of your choice (check for GMO's!)
2 T Chia seeds
1/2 c nut butter
1/3 c organic cocoa powder
1/4 c xylitol - or to taste

Mix all that up and add about 1/2 cup of raw milk (you could use almond, coconut or hemp milk). Then add an over ripe mashed banana and some raisins.  Or whatever you want,   that's the beauty of this recipe.  Anything will taste great in the base.  And they are getting plenty of protein; you know that's kind of my breakfast hobby horse...

Scoop about 1/2 cup onto a salad plate cover with plastic wrap and smoosh til it's flat.  Pop it in the fridge and in the morning there's a cookie you can eat with a spoon.

This recipe should be filed near the top of teaching your kids to be self sufficient.   Planning on putting a version of this on the menu every week!

Worth making for the extra sleep alone!
linked to:

Saturday, August 28, 2010


"It is the primary task of parents throughout their lives to convey the young a sense of optimism. Whatever other obligations we have to our children, a conviction that we can achieve happiness amid the losses and uncertainties that life contains is the greatest gift that we can pass from one generation to the next.  Like all the values we wish to teach our children -honesty, commitment, empathy, respect, hard work- the supreme importance of hope is  taught by example.  If we can retain our good humor and interests in others even as the curtain closes, we will have contributed something of inestimable value to those who survive us.  We will  have thereby fulfilled our final obligation to them and expressed our gratitude for the gift of life that we, undeserving, have been given and that we have enjoyed for so long."
     --Dr. Gordon Livingston, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart   

Thank you, Mom.

Another day, another story,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In an hour...

...I can supervise 6th grade homework (with an extra 6th grade neighbor) in my room while getting ready in my bathroom for a swanky business dinner. And clean up Number 3's spilled milk and my spilled water. And check email and Facebook and Twitter. And heat up dinner for the kids. And go over spelling words with Number 2. And hide the paint supplies on the very high medicine shelf. And yell at Number 4 for running in the house after he ran straight into a wall. And console bawling Number 4 while holding him down to put ice on his head after I yelled at him for running in the house straight into a wall. And check backpacks and homework folders and sign 2 school forms. And take a phone call from a friend. And paint my toenails. And print out Number 1's assignment. And kiss Numbers 1-4 goodbye.

Another day, another story,

Our daily slime

I should have cued the Lone Ranger Music when I was hunting around the internet for a non-craft craft I could actually complete with the baintrain.  I am more of a walker, racer, game player, swimmer, tickle-er: not a crafty bone in my body.  So, just a positive craft-making experience; that's a tall order at my house.

I found this over at Amanda's site, but knew we'd have to tweak the recipe a bit to make it work.  However it is slime, which made it a perfect recipe for boys.

::Our Daily Slime:: 

2 c glue
10 drops food coloring
8 t borax

Step 1: Older boys measure out glue - you might want to encourage them to take the top off, instead of squeezing it through that tiny hole!

Step 2:  Younger boys stir in food coloring: we used about 10 drops.
Older boys can take lots of pics of the entire process.

Step 3:  Stir in 2 cups of water to colored glue: you may or may not want to remind your 4 year old at this point that feet on the counter is not your favorite thing.

Steps 4 and 5:  Mix 8 teaspoons of borax into 2 2/3 cups of warm water, stir til dissolved. 
Add borax-water mixture to glue mixture.

In about 2 stirs you've got this!

And some very happy, entertained-for-hours-with-their-daily-slime kids. Even the 12 year old was impressed!
Have fun!
linked to rachel, jen, lisa and kristen

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Social Graces

Number 3 has gained at least one thing his first week of kindergarten. A friend who is not a brother.

Up until this week, he'd rather play with The Brothers over anyone. Over any birthday party. Over pretty much anything.

Lucky for him a neighbor boy is in his kindergarten class. One day this week he went to the boy's house to play. Today the boy came to our house to play. Simple enough. But for Number 3, this is huge. Dare I say Milestone Moment?

And then...

We were walking his new-possible-BFF home, making small talk about playing again soon, maybe outside next time, maybe for a little longer.

"Yes," I said. "That would be so fun."

Number 3 chimes in, "Maybe if your grandma dies and your mama has to go somewhere and needs someone to babysit you, you can stay for a longer time at my house." (He repeated his idea several times for emphasis while I tried unsuccessfully to change the subject.)

New-possible-BFF, "Yeah, and then my brother could come too and play Army with us!"

Another day, another story,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And then there was one

In a proverbial blur, I find myself once again at home with just one child. Eleven years ago, it was just Number 1 and me.  I was working part-time then, but still spent a lot of time just him and me.  Well, until Number 2 came along not quite two years later, of course.  And then somewhere along the way, Number 3.  And then I quit my job. And here we are.

Number 4 and I have a few weeks just us - Numbers 1-3 started school last week and his three day a week preschool starts after Labor Day.  Just me and him.  So far, it isn't at all what I thought it would be. 

I thought he would miss The Brothers terribly.  I thought he would want to do stuff, go places, require a lot of attention.  Honestly, I thought it would be really difficult.

He just plays.  He has full run of the 6,245 toys in the house.  He watches Barney or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse without anyone begging to change the channel.  He has PB&J picnics on his blanket in the middle of the floor.  We go have coffee and gelato at our home away from home.   Meet St. Joel for lunch, take naps...you get the idea.

ALMOST makes me wish we had another one...

Another day, another story,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bribery can be costly

Remember at the beginning of our summer vacation I came up with an intellectual recipe.  To keep stringbain and limabain occupied during the hottest summer days, I bought ten books at goodwill and promised prizes for every book they finished, and larger prizes as they got closer to the finish line.  We revisted the waterfall hike for the completion of book # 8.

The grand prize for reading 10 books in 10 weeks was a trip to a water park in Nashville - they've been to pools with one water slide, but never a big park with lots of slides and the infamous lazy river.  They burned the books up.  If their eyes had been fire it's hard to imagine them reading any faster.  It wasn't just determination to get to the end - I would wake up in the morning and limabain would be sitting on the couch reading.  Totally engrossed.  Anytime we've all headed out, stringbain was sure to have his current book with him.  They kind of raced at first, then settled into a steady reading routine. I've always loved reading and it made me smile everytime I saw them make it their own priority.

I realized last week public school was headed back into session and we were risking the end of the water park season before the 10 weeks were over.  I prodded them to read faster and we compromised that they could finish the 10th book within 2 days of our trip to the water park.  Limabain agreed wholeheartedly, and even slept in the swimming trunks the night before.

As the intellectual adult promising a grand prize you'd  think I would do my homework. I tend to run to the busy side, often out of time altogether, so I'll let you do the math: 10 books = $10,  divided by 2 readings for each book + $25 bucks worth of other prizes - any frustration of having to remind them to read + 6 admissions to water park @ $25. 

Knowing they have the reading bug, I'm satisfied it was money well spent.  Plus that lazy river was ever better than I remembered!

In the words of Mastercard - priceless!

linked to emily

Cool August Monday

http://Even though most schools are already back in session, it's still officially Summertime.  Even with the air conditioning turned low, it's still too hot to make oatmeal.  Since chickens don't lay very many eggs when the temperature tops 100 degrees week after scorching week, I thought this morning's breakfast should be something simple and cool.  

::Simple Morning Smoothie:: 

4 cups kefir
2 cups fresh milk
1 or 2 frozen bananas - depending on how sweet you like it
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 cup hemp seeds & or protein powder

Throw it all in the blender and give it a whirl.   Pour it up and watch them slurp it down...

When I say simple, I mean simple!

linked to rachel, jen, lisa and kristen

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guest Post by Number 1

I Am
I am a brother, a son, a friend.
I wonder if people can live on Mars.
I hear my phone beep and ring.
I see my screens.
I want a dog.
I am a brother, a son, a friend.
I pretend I am a pro athlete.
I feel a pillow after a long day.
I touch a basketball.
I worry about the war in the Middle East.
I cry when I laugh too much.
I am a brother, a son, a friend.
I understand basketball strategy.
I say global warming is a hoax.
I dream about my future.
I try to pursue my interests.
I am a brother, a son, a friend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Because she was...

 Because my grandmother was...

Thrifty, I tend to be careful with money

A reader, I have a voracious love of books

Joyful in all things, I have hope when the light seems dim

Comforting, I can still feel the reassurance of the Presence she trusted

A Prayer,  I learned how to talk to God

a Beleiver, I learned that nothing, not the smallest most seemingly insignificant detail, goes unnoticed by our heavenly Father.  

A Pray-ER, I didn't end up having cancer after all.  Neither did Em(the second time). 

A Pray-ER, my atheist Daddy was converted and is now a minister of her Lord. 

Full of Faith, I know the answer will make itself apparent. No matter the circumstance.

Peaceful, I know there isn't anything that should disturb my serenity

Patient,  I learned to wait with out complaining *too much*

Kind, I learned that treats like marashino cherries and buttered toast should never be in short supply.

Loving, she taught my Mama how to love well, and my soul expanded into one that can trust Him and believe His Grace is sufficient.
To know Grand'mama Honey was not just to love her, it was to BE loved by her.   I am grateful to be an inheritor of her grace,  love and peace. And a million other unmentioned things that were uniquely hers to bestow. 
Angels came unexpectedly and escorted her home to heaven. That was a few weeks ago.

I am stumbling out of the fog now, beginning to recognize road signs to a new normal without her...

linked to ann, emily, kristen and Photobucket

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Facts of Life

Number 3 to Number 4, in the car today, "If you don't buckle your seat you will fly through the window and be killed and then Mom will get pregnant again and we'll have to get a new baby and name him your name."

Another day, another story,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't Talk to Strangers

Kindergarten Tour/ Orientation this morning.

Teacher, "This is the cafeteria, children. Parents, you can send a note with instructions about your kids buying treats like ice cream or fruit roll ups with their lunch. You can specify if they can buy them every day, only on Fridays or not at all."

Me, to a mom I don't know, "Ha, mine will probably eat ONLY treats for lunch. Wouldn't it be sad if your kid could NEVER get treats and everyone else could?"

The mom I don't know, "Well, that's when you have to explain to your child that some kids are healthy and others are not and that they must learn while they are young to always make good choices including healthy food choices."

Me, "Oh, yeah, right. Excuse me I think I see someone I know over there."

Another day, another story,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Recipe from Em

Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Wrap each scallop with a slice of bacon. I use pre-cooked bacon. Slide 3 or 4 scallops on a skewer. Drizzle with bottled teriyaki sauce. Heat in grill pan for 5-6 minutes on each side or until scallops are firm. Or bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Easy, yummy and pretty cheap.

Another day, another story,
linked to kristen, jen and lisa

Friday, August 6, 2010

Something special

Sometimes it rocks to be the baby in the family.  Everyone else got plain colored crocs, but butterbain got something special.

He picked them out and waited for them to arrive, only they weren't in the package when it came.  Weeping, wailing and a bit of teeth gnashing ensued.  Simple fact: four year olds do not understand the concept of patience.  They also do not understand human error or shipping mistakes when it comes to new shoes. (That could be something hereditary...)

The sweet girl who took my crisis call at crocs.com understood  shipping error is not something that can be adequately explained to a child, and assured me they would be here and on his feet in a few days. 

Her promise came true and once again all was right in butterbain's world. He wears them with everything, and I'm fairly certain they'll even look good at church

A few days after running and jumping and even swimming in them, he (with the help of our fairy godmother) wrote this note:

Those crocs turned out to be something special all the way around... 

Linked to Emily

Why Number 1 Starting Middle School Kind of Freaks Me Out

When I was in middle school:

  • I kissed 8th grade boys at the skating rink. 
  • There were no cell phones or text messages.
  • I got dropped off at the movies and the mall with groups of friends.
  • There were no iPods filled with hip hop and rap.
  • I listened to Chicago, Air Supply and Whitney Houston (pre-Bobby Brown). 
  • There were no YouTube videos or Facebook friends.
  • A bitchin' pair of Guess jeans with ankle zippers was $50 tops. (I wore them to the skating rink.)
  • North Face jackets don't cost $50.

Another day, another story,

Recipe from Em

Yes, you read that right. I actually have a recipe. It is not a healthy or nutritious way to start the day. But it is quick and easy and my boys love them.

Sprinkle a few chocolate chips or a spoonful of your favorite jelly (jam, preserves, whatever you like) in a triangle of crescent roll dough. Roll it up. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

We call them Chocoboos or Jellyboos.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's ALL Relative

Mine go to bed most nights without bedtime battles between 8:30 and 9:00 pm, but 2 out of 4 ate a roll with ketchup for dinner last night.  My friend's daughter was thoroughly entrenched in the master bed at 9:00 pm watching a movie with a box of goldfish crackers, but I bet she ate veggies and whole grains for dinner.

Normal. What is normal anyway?

  • Activity every night of the week versus 1 or 2 activities max
  • Dressed to the nines versus Star Wars t-shirts
  • Set bedtimes versus wherever/ whenever they fall
  • Public school versus private versus homeschool
  • Exclusively organic versus Froot Loops

I think it's all relative.  And usually somewhere right in the middle.

Another day, another story,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beer, Bravo, Blogging

With the first day of school thankfully just around the corner, I'm updating my resume in hopes of parleying the extra free time into a little income.

Emily Tickle Thomas
Suburbia, TN


1999-Present    VOLUNTEER
Duties include, but not limited to:
Inventory Control Manager
Seasonal Activities Director
Sr. Manicurist/ Pedicurist
Facebook and Twitter Administrator
Hazardous Materials Coordinator
In-House Mediator
Chief Educational and Medical Liaison

A Lifetime Ago    MARKETING
General miscellaneous responsibilities (which I can't specifically recall) with i
mpressive benefit package: 
Regular Paycheck
10 foot Cubicle with Available Drawers and Cabinets
Maximum 40 hours per week
Private Bathroom Privileges
Lunch Hour
Unrestricted Telephone Use

University of Mississippi 

Bachelor of Arts Degree with
Minor in Social "Studies"


Beer, Bravo TV, Blogging 

Another day, another story,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Notes on a Third Birthday

Two birthday parties, a dozen (give or take) friends, one dozen chocolate cupcakes, one chocolate cake, one dozen balloons, 67 (give or take) new toys...

Number 3 to Number 4, "Don't you know the meaning of the word SHARE!?!"

Me, "If the amount of fighting over the toys is an indicator of toy greatness, this birthday was a grandslam homerun."

"It's hard to be 3."

Another day, another story,

Your family called... it's reunion time!

Growing up, every summer meant trek to Arkansas for a family reunion.  Even though the older generations tried with all their might to get us to tour old home places and churches, every dilapidated building has the same forlorn look in the scorching hot summer sun.  Just about the only thing that can cool the fevered mind of a 10-14 year old is a dip in the hotel pool. Most memories I made were at the pool with the cousins who happened to be staying at the same hotel we were. 

Having been blessed with an enormous family it's not overly shocking there are lots of cousins I've never met and quite a few I don't get to see nearly as often as I like.  This summer provided a means for meeting and playing and reconnecting. As well as the realization that those people whose blood I share are a wealth of talents, knowledge and love best not left untapped any longer. 

::Tips for your family reunion::

Keep in mind everybody's there because 2 people fell in love about a hundred years ago. 

Even if the whole crew hasn't arrived when you get there...I'm positive the creativity of your kids will pop out when presented with their own hotel room.

Do not underestimate the language of music: it's almost as strong as blood...

Simple games hold greater promise with new faces on the other side of the table

Boys will find a way to be boys...no matter what age or branch of the family they hail from.
The surrounding landscape might leave you awestruck.

So might the fact that you're a natural at this. 
And score major cool/alien mom points when you get up on the first try. 

The opportunity to go rock climbing with new cousins will persuade you to go for a long walk through the woods 

to end up on top of a mountain

so you can wear a harness and end up being
bested by your 12 year old.

However, at the end of the weekend you will watch a family movie, made by a talented cousin/Aunt team.  You will have tears running down your cheeks when you realize you are an heir to the kind of love your great grandfather wrote in a letter to his bride:

I believe you are as true to me as an angel is to God.  I know I am to you. 
That kind of love lasts, grows and keeps getting bigger; leaving a solid inheritance for people I don't even know yet...
**linked to Amanda
and all of her top ten tuesday goodness!

My Light and Joy

Three years ago today, Number 4 came into the world ahead of schedule (and in spite of a worthless epidural) to complete our family.  A light in the darkness of illness and uncertainty.  A joy in the midst of sadness.  

Three years later, he is a constant reminder that life does, indeed go on.  And I choose to go with it.

Happy 3rd Birthday, my light and joy.

Another day, another story,
::This post is linked to another Emily::


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