Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Festivities

Here's what we came up with for tonight's Trunk or Treat. I was determined to not buy any costumes this year, so we had to make do with the contents of the dress up bin.

Here are the girls, so cute together.

Chloe was a little ballerina. She refused to put on Caleb's old dog costume or Camille's old ladybug costume - I guess she just wanted a costume of her own! - so I remembered I had this tutu that I started making for her last year. I finished it, put it on her and she started twirling around! It was too funny! Needless to say, Camille was quite pleased with her choice. Chloe got really into trick-or-treating tonight. She was a pro at handing her bucket to the candy givers and smiling sweetly. She didn't manage to say "trick or treat" but did a pretty nice "thank you."
(Actually, she just smiles and nods for thank you, but it does the trick!)

Camille went wearing her flower girl dress from Auntie Su's wedding. I was thinking she could be Odile from Swan Lake, but seeing as she didn't want to be the bad girl she decided to be a fairy instead. (Note the wings on her back.) Please be sure to note her fancy "curly" hair. I put it in braids while it was wet from her shower last night and she was ecstatic that it was "curly like Mom's and Chloe's!" Anyway, here she is being silly. I think she's doing some magic or something because she was mimicking the magician on Sesame Street with her own little twist, "A la peanut butter and honey sandwiches!" She thought this was so funny she was practically in hysterics!

And here is my dear little boy. Caleb decided to wear his spider man costume this year, only it was pretty snug. He couldn't wear pants underneath it and the legs were total high waters, but he was okay with it, so I was too. Here he is!

Caleb had fun trick or treating, but especially enjoyed bobbing for apples. (I'd call it "bobbing for germs" only the people running it told me they did put a little bleach in the water to make it less gross and germy!)

Caleb was determined to get an apple. It took many tries and at one point I feared he'd drown before he bit one!

But he got one at last!

Eating his spoils!

Maybe my kids need to practice more at home. This is how I prefer bobbing for apples!

Truly a Mean Mother

I am a mean mother. Truly. Seriously. Without a doubt. Let me tell you why.

The pediatrician was having a flu shot clinic today from 2-4. Caleb gets home at 2:30 and by the time everyone was ready to go we left the house at 3:15. Not a big deal, right? Until you consider half of the kids in town got there before us. We waited outside for almost an hour before we got to the front of the line. I instructed my kids to stand with me in line. They could play (Camille brought her new stuffed monster and Caleb brought his take home reader for school) but I wanted them to stay close. Camille did a great job, but Caleb had some trouble staying close and playing nicely (although he did help me out immensely by taking his sister inside to go potty while we waited).

Anyway, when we finally got our turn the nurse informed me that Caleb and Camille were old enough for the Flu Mist vaccine but Chloe would have to have the traditional shot. Did I want to get that for them?

Well, I am a mean mother. Of course I told the nurse it was shots for everyone. I thought it would be only fair for Chloe that if she was getting a shot everyone else should too. (Although when I think about it, I have to admit that if Caleb had behaved the whole time I probably would have gotten him the other vaccine.)

Camille did great - she cried for about twenty seconds when she got her shot, then was fine (especially when they gave her a Snow White sticker). Chloe did great - she cried for about twenty seconds and then was fine.

Caleb...Well, Caleb threw a giant stink about it, claiming he was scared of needles. He threw a tantrum for a minute and a half (I'm talking about a giant tantrum) before I picked him up and held him so the nurse could give him the shot), probably scaring half the kids in the office and earning me sympathetic looks from other parents in the room. The funny part was that he STOPPED crying WHILE they gave him the shot. And afterward he declared, "That didn't hurt!" Duh! Hopefully the next time will be much easier!

So Sad

The other day Camille decided that she was going to get ready for Halloween by painting her face. She had told me that she wanted to be Spider Girl for trick-or-treating and I told her that I would paint a little spider on her cheek. This was her attempt at a spider web, I guess. As the pictures indicate, she was very upset that I made her wash them off. It was a good thing, though, because she has changed her mind about her costume (again) and her spider webs really wouldn't work with her new costume!

Too Cold to Swim?

This morning I found Camille putting on her swimsuit. Apparently Chloe had pulled hers out of her dresser (she likes to pull everything out of her dresser!) and Camille took that for a sign that Chloe wanted to swim. Camille spent five minutes trying to explain why swimming was a good idea, despite how many times and in how many different ways I told her that it was too cold. I had her stand on the deck for a few minutes in her suit, hoping she'd get cold enough and come in. No luck.

I went to grab Chloe's shoes so we could go outside with Camille and when I looked out a minute later Camille was filling up the little wading pool! Needless to say, I drained the pool and had a very sad little girl on my hands.

She just did not understand that 50 degrees is too cold for swimming. Sorry babe. I think we're done swimming until summer rolls around again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Convoluted Sense of Time

Our breakfast conversation:

Mom: Guess what guys? Tomorrow is the Trunk or Treat.
Caleb: Oh yeah!
Camille: When is tomorrow?
Mom: Well, after you go to bed tonight and wake up in the morning, that will be tomorrow.
Camille: Hey, my dad will be home tomorrow.
Mom: No, your dad is home today.
Camille: It's tomorrow already!
Mom: What?
Camille: You told me yesterday that Daddy would be home tomorrow, so now it's tomorrow!

I guess so. Sort of.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Worker Bee

This past Saturday Rob took the big kids on an outing and discovered (while taking them out of the car afterward) that someone had taken scissors and cut about one third of the way through both Caleb and Camille's seat belts. Apparently the car first aid kit had a pair of scissors in them (I say had because we cannot find said scissors. I have practically torn the car apart in my guess is that the perpetrator got rid of the evidence!) and that was a little too tempting for a six year old sitting by himself in the back of the van. The good news is that our car fits seven people so with a little shuffling everyone has a working seat belt to use until we get those two replaced.

The bad news is that replacement parts (just the parts, mind you) are more than $250.

So we have decided that Caleb needs to work off part of the cost of the new seat belts. I have made a list of jobs that he is capable of doing and assigned a monetary value to each job. He is earning money in nickel increments, with extra bonus quarters for being particularly nice to his sister, behaving at school and other jobs well done. So far he has earned $1.20. (We are only having him earn $20 this way.)

It's worked out great so far, once I ignore the grumbling and remind the kid it's either this or replace the seat belts using the money we'd normally spend on his Christmas presents. I figure by the time he's done he'll get so good at loading the dishwasher and vacuuming the floor, I may never have to do those jobs again! Maybe I should teach him to clean the bathroom too...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Idle Threats

Camille had to leave her chips on the counter to go do something.

C: Mom, don't eat my chips.
M: I won't. I promise.
C: If I come back and see you have been eating my chips, I am going to be sarcastic.
M: Sarcastic?
C: Sarcastic means mad.

Maybe I should get her a dictionary for Christmas!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


This morning Rob and the kids carved their pumpkins.

Camille scooping out the seeds.

Caleb scooping the seeds from his pumpkin.

Even Chloe helped.

When it became clear scooping wasn't her thing, she did this for a while.

This was Caleb's favorite part. I love this one because of his expression!

The happy pumpkin carver

Camille loves her daddy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chloe's Surgery

Chloe had her surgery this morning. We went in at 5:15 and she went into the OR around 7:15. Everything went well and she was back out in less than an hour.

For those who don't know, Chloe has urinary reflux and they did a procedure to help fix that. (Google Deflux if you're really interested.)

She was pretty groggy waking up from anesthesia, but was pretty okay within an hour or so. She was really mad that she had an IV in her arm and she actually tried to rip it out in PACU, right after she woke up.

Chloe kept busy in the recovery room running the water in the sink and pushing the button on the television remote. I kept busy making sure the water stayed in the sink and she didn't push the nurse call button.

She was able to eat and drink pretty well after surgery - drinking almost 8 ounces of apple juice and a couple packages of crackers - so they took the IV out and sent us home around 11:00.

She is fine now, though a little tired and out of sorts. She ate her lunch well (including part of Rob's bowl of lentil soup which none of the kids would touch last night for dinner) and is going down for a nap right now. We do not anticipate having any problems. Hopefully this will fix the issue for good!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So tonight as Camille was finishing her dinner, she says (with a mouth full of crackers), "I need some tunes."


"I need some tunes. Do you know what tunes are? Tunes are music. I need some tunes."

Not sure where she learned that one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Super Smarties

Warning: This post is full of shameless bragging about my super smart children! If you are not a grandparent, aunt or uncle, you have our permission to skip this post if the nature of such contents makes you ill.

Caleb, our first grader, is doing so well academically. He is reading at a mid-second grade reading level - not bad for the youngest kid in the class! He is bringing home chapter books to read every night. He also takes every possible opportunity to write - usually stories about and letters for his dad. The other day he wrote a book called "Me and My Dad" and even dedicated it to him on the inside cover. The storyline went something like this: I love my dad. We are best friends. We like to go bike riding together. We have a lot of fun when we play... (Now contrast that to the last time he wrote about me: My mom is so mean. She makes me work all the time!) Caleb is also a super math whiz, doing addition and subtraction in his head at the dinner table for me! He really likes to do math - likely because his teacher makes it really fun for him with lots of manipulatives.

Camille will be four right before Christmas. I wanted to put her in preschool this year, but since we've been trying to move we held off and the spots in the school we liked filled up. I went to check out the other preschool in town and was very unimpressed. We'd have to put her in the three year old class, which is fine except their goal is to get the kids to start writing their names by the end of the year. She's been doing that for months now. There were some other things that unsettled me about the school so we've opted to keep her home for now. Fortunately she is happy with it and told me that she never wants to leave me. Anyway, I figure since she's home with me all day and interested then I should maybe teach her how to read. She already knows her letters and the sounds that most of them make. We've had a couple of reading lessons so far and she is amazing. She can look at a word, and read it by saying the sounds all of the letters make until she blends them together to actually make the word. We have this fun puzzle where you have to match the picture with the word and she did about half of it today with very little help from me. If I give her a letter, she can rattle off a list of words that start with that sound, have that sound in it and words that rhyme with those words. She loves to rhyme.

Chloe, at 17 months, is finally talking! She has been communicating very well with body language for months but now is taking the leap into oral communication. The following is the short list of words she has started to say in the last week: bye-bye, hi, yes, no, mama, dada, Caleb, please, thank you, more, noodle, cracker, apple, milk, juice, book, ball, baby, I love you, cup, Nana, Papa, cheese, all done, up, down, bath, banana, cook, color, paper, bubble, water, car... I had forgotten how quickly babies learn. They're pretty amazing people!

Monday, October 20, 2008

So Funny

This morning Rob and Caleb had both left for school and work so it was just the girls at home with me. I walked past Chloe and suspected she had a dirty diaper. So I asked her, "I smell something stinky. Who is poopy?"

Chloe smiled and said, "Dada!"

Nice. I have a vision of many years in the future of her blaming other people for her gas. And to think I thought she might be the sweet one!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Winter Hats

So I finished these matching hats for the girls for this winter. You can tell who the most willing model is, can't you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bathing Beauties

My girls love bath time. When she's lucky, I let Chloe get in the tub while I'm running the water so she can play with it as it comes out the faucet.

Look at this happy face.

Even in the bathtub, Camille models for the camera!

When Life Gives You Apples...

So today I turned a bushel of these...

Into a dozen of these.

Who'd have believed I could be this domestic? Thanks to my friend Laureen for all of her help (and for letting me dirty her kitchen)!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Funny Faces

Here are some quick snaps from this afternoon...

Chloe and Caleb chose Popsicles as their afternoon snack. You can't really see them in this picture, but I had to take pictures of them as the "Popsicle Team." They came out pretty crazy!

I wish that the sun hadn't have been right behind her on this one. I love her smile!

Here Chloe is laughing. I am making this hat for Camille, who didn't want to try it on for me. Chloe came along, snatched it out of my hand and shoved it on her head, laughing the whole time. Now if I can just get her to wear the hat I made her this winter as eagerly I'll be set!

Don't Let This Sweet Face Fool You...

Don't let this sweet (and sticky with marshmallow fluff) face fool you...

She really is trouble!

These days she is the front runner for the trouble causing contest. Every time I turn around she's climbing something, getting into something or generally causing a ruckus. Who'd have thought my sweet little baby would turn into a sweet little crazy?

I Have a Dream

I have a dream. I have a dream that one day I will be able to sleep until 6:00 without being interrupted. I have a dream that one day all of my children will be able to go to the bathroom by themselves and wipe their own bottoms. I have a dream that one day they will willingly wash their hands at appropriate moments during the day.

I have a dream that one day all of my children will get dressed without having to be begged, bribed, nagged or threatened.

I have a dream that one day I will be able to make breakfast (or lunch or dinner) without anyone complaining about what I'm making. I have a dream that one day I will be able to make pancakes without being distracted by fighting children and remember to put in 3 teaspoons of baking powder instead of 3 Tablespoons of baking powder, forcing me to dramatically increase the amount of pancakes I planned to make (and the amount of time I have to spend over the hot stove cooking them).

I have a dream that one day my neighbors will drop by unexpectedly when my kitchen is actually clean and the laundry is not sitting in baskets in the kitchen waiting to be folded.

I have a dream that one day I will be able to make a phone call, check my e-mail, use the bathroom, or think a private thought without being interrupted.

I have a dream that one day I will actually have time for hobbies.

I have a dream that one day my children will play together nicely and that my son will not play favorites with his sisters. I have a dream that the words "His piece is bigger than mine" and "She has a bigger piece than I do," will stop being daily utterances in our home.

I have a dream that one day children will stop sneaking food out of the kitchen, spilling it all over the floor and then lying about who made the mess.

I have a dream today!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Funny Girls

Here are some fun times with the girls. Please note all of these pictures contain actual smiles, not dopey grimaces for the camera.

Playing outside on the play gym.

Camille laughing

Chloe laughing

Chloe having fun on the gym once she finally figured out how to climb it.

Since these pictures were taken, she has learned how to slide. I'll have to post them later.

The girls

Aren't we so pretty?

The baby dancer

Chloe gets in on the dance action too. Only here she is, totally distracted by the camera.

Taking a break.

I caught her mid-dance move, and mid-blink. Here she looks like a sleeping zombie.