Monday, November 30, 2009

Regurgitation- just had to get that one in...

Meredith thought it was funny that I labeled the last post with "Barf Fest". She naively asked me if I thought there was a likelihood I would be using that label again. Obviously she wasn't reading this blog back when Barf Fest 2008 took place. Or when we discovered that Barf Fest 2008 was a week-long event. Somehow she must have missed LAST Thanksgiving when we made the trip home to NY and the kids decided to have a Holiday Barf Fest.
And as I was searching my blog for barf posts, (it would have been SOOOO much easier if I had started using the Barf Fest label sooner), I discovered that all in one post I used the terms barf, puke, vomit, and throw up. Wow. That's impressive.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Barf Fest 2009 Thanksgiving Edition

If you don't follow my daily, sometimes hourly, updates on Facebook or talk to me frequently on the phone, you may not be aware that we've been fighting the barfs here since two Saturdays ago when Renie threw up after her dance recital. She threw up once, slept for several hours, then was fine. We kept her home from church on Sunday as a precaution, then went back to normal on Monday. On Wednesday, Jesse threw up. On Thursday morning he had horrible diarrhea, but acted fine. Friday he did great most of the day, his usual happy self. Then Friday night he threw up again. Saturday he was fine, except the lingering diarrhea. Sunday we all went to church. Sunday afternoon, Julia threw up. She threw up repeatedly into the evening. At bedtime Devon threw up. They both stayed home on Monday. Devon ate heartily by Monday afternoon. Monday night at bedtime, Kennedy threw up. Sometime in the night, Lincoln started throwing up. Tuesday morning, Devon insisted on going to school for fear of missing too much work ( he's in kindergarten). I sent Renie to school as well. Lincoln, Julia, and Kennedy all stayed home. Convinced that everyone was now done throwing up, except, of course, me (please let it miss me. please), I bleached the entire bathroom. Tuesday afternoon, Renie started throwing up. (*Please refer back to where this started. WHAT? WHY IS SHE PUKING AGAIN!!!???)

*Just in case you forgot, Thanksgiving is in 2 DAYS! Ugh!

*A little humor in the situation. Devon went to the bathroom this afternoon. When he came out I asked him if he had diarrhea. (I'm trying to keep close tabs on what everyone is doing in the bathroom).
Devon: No. Why?
Me: I just thought it sounded like you had diarrhea in there. But you didn't?
Devon, raising his eyebrows and kind of shrugging like, "No crazy, woman, I don't know why you'd ask": Nope. Just water-poop.

*Lincoln told Kennedy she would get a prize if she managed to be the only child to not barf on the floor.

*Kennedy will not be receiving a prize.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dance Recitals

Saturday was the last day of dance in this session for Julia and Irene. They have both very much enjoyed their classes and have done well in them. Julia seems to really have a knack for dance, she is graceful and coordinated. Renie's "recital" was really more of a demonstration of the skills they have learned. She did very well with her leaps and ballet positions.

(Is that a cute little mug, or what?)

Julia's class performed a dance to "Thriller". It was really good and Julia was fantastic. I'm so frustrated that I had no way to videotape it. But here are a million pictures.

(I'm sorry, is it just me, or is my daughter incredibly beautiful?)

Kennedy's Veteran's Day Program

The school district always does a nice Veteran's Day program. I attended the one at Kennedy's school because she was selected, after trying out, to sing the harmony part in the songs they performed. Four kids from each class were chosen. She was very excited to be selected, and I'm proud of her for trying out for it.

This is the entire student body, K-4. 5th graders are half the school and were in another spot.

A local Veteran guest speaker.

Jesse found the speaker a little dull.

I know this is blurry and Kennedy's eyes are closed, but it was pretty crowded in there and this was the best shot I got.

More local veterans, the guests of honor.
My cousin Karen and her family moved to the area back in August. Thrilled to live near each other for the first time in our adult lives, we have tried to get together a couple Sundays a month after church, in addition to any other time we can hang out. Generally, we swap whose house we go to, we combine resources for a dinner, and we play a game or go for a walk or just sit and visit. Last Sunday, the Knouses came to our house and we went for a walk.

Along the way we passed a corn field. Karen told Orion (her 12 year old) that this was his chance to run through a corn field. He looked at her uncertainly. She said, "Go ahead!" He still didn't believe he could really do it, so I took off running into the corn like a maniac. When I stopped to turn around, I could hear lots of crashing footsteps and rustling corn behind me. I moved over a row and started running back. When I got back out I tried to get pictures of everyone as they came out.

There is something about running wild through a corn field that just makes me feel youthful. Once in while I do something like that, something I haven't done in years. Something I have forgotten about or grown out of or haven't had the opportunity to do. Immediately I return to my childhood, to corn fields, to haymows, to horseback riding, to playing in the brook, to rivers, to ice skating on a frozen pond. I am so very grateful for the way of life I experienced growing up. I am grateful for a simple time and a simple place and for a secure, loving family. I've said before that I wish my kids could experience more of the simple joys that I got to as a child, but I am glad that they too are part of a secure, loving family, and that they are experiencing simple joys of their own.

ELP Playdate With Renie

Those of you who have read along on my blog for the past year or so, know that ELP stands for Early Learning Program. This is the 4 year old kindergarten program at the elementary school here. It's preschool through the school district, free to all 4 year old children in the district. Devon attended last year and already this year with have another child old enough to attend. Once a quarter, the ELP classes invite parents in for a playdate with their child. This first quarter, the playdate focuses on literacy concepts. Renie's teacher, Mrs Davis, had stations set up around the room with fun, educational activities for us to do together. Renie loves school- though she is not a fan of getting READY for school- and it was fun to be with her in her classroom. At home she's one of the little kids, simply by birthright, but at school she is a big kid. We had fun doing puzzles, cutting our names out of play dough, writing our names in magnets, and having a snack together.

A Boy and His Bologna...

Jesse wanted some bologna the other day. It wasn't lunch or snack time, so I told him no and continued about my business. When I returned to the kitchen, this is what I found:

The poor lad hugging the entire contents of the bologna package.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Be Jealous, Be Very Jealous.

This past week was a rough one in terms of my parenting partnership with Lincoln. Monday and Tuesday he had to work late in preparation to be away from the office on Wednesday. Wednesday was his birthday, so I felt like it should be his day off from domestic responsibilities. (He didn't really take it off, he's always helpful, but I didn't feel like I should ask anything of him.) We had anticipated him returning late from Chicago that day, so we planned his birthday celebration for Thursday night. I spent Thursday preparing for the evening, baking bread and making cheesecake. The rest of the evening we celebrated his birthday. Friday night Lincoln went to a game night with "the guys". Saturday morning, Lincoln went fishing. I knew he wouldn't be back until at least noon, because immediately after fishing he was going to help Karen and Jamie get a piano an hour away.

So this gets me to my story.

Saturday morning the kids woke up around 6:45. (Maybe earlier, but that was when they came upstairs and roused me.) I told them to go eat breakfast and wake me up at 7:30. I rolled over and curled up in my nice, warm, comfy bed, looking forward to another 1/2 hour of rest. Ten minutes later they came in the door, and excitedly surprised me with this:

I was bitter about being awakened before 7:30, but how can you be angry when your kids have been so sweet? I thought Julia's candles were a nice touch. Don't be fooled! They are actually cheesesticks! (I didn't eat them because we hadn't had any cheesesticks in the house for weeks, to my knowledge.)

I sat up in bed and began to munch my toast. Approximately 2 minutes had passed since the surprise, when I heard Jesse and Devon fighting about my grape juice that I had requested they leave in the kitchen for me, to avoid spilling it in my room. Approximately 2.5 more seconds passed before I heard the glass hit the kitchen floor. Ready to weep, I called, "Please tell me that wasn't grape juice hitting the floor!" Renie ran to investigate for me and reported, "Yup, Mom. It's grape juice spilled all over." I moaned and left my warm cocoon to stomp to the kitchen and sop up sticky grape juice. I cleaned and lectured no one in particular, then returned to my bed to eat and hide. Approximately 1.5 minutes passed before I heard the tell-tale splatter of liquid once again hitting the floor. Incredulously, I lept from my bed and found Jesse's cup of grape juice emptied on the kitchen floor. I still don't know if it was an accident or a deliberate act to empty his cup to make way for water. I do know that my cleaning was not very thorough when completed with blurry morning eyes. The floor was sticky for several hours until I got up the energy to tackle it again.

So lesson learned. It's not a good idea to attempt to sleep in when the children are awake and the husband is away. Duly noted.

Another Blog

Ok folks, I've started another blog. That doesn't change the staus here, I just thought it would be nice to have a spot to dump all my projects into, gathered in one place. If you're interested in seeing what I'm doing around the homestead, come over and check it out. piecesofmolly.blogspot

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Visit From Jack Frost...

We had a pretty hard frost last night, or at least, a thick one. Roofs, cars, grass, mailboxes, patio furniture, all of it was covered in thick, fuzzy frost this morning. It was really pretty and actually helped put me in the Christmas spirit. When Lincoln takes the kids to school in the morning, I stand at the front window and wave as they drive away. As they walked out the door and down the sidewalk to the car this morning, all three of them (Devon, Julia, and Renie), stopped to touch the frosty grass. Not a huge thing, but a small, beautiful moment, that served to lift me over the frustration and desperation I've been feeling with my kids lately. In that one, innocent act, they reminded me about the joy of being a child, the curiosity, and wonder of still being new to this world and trying to learn and enjoy every minute of it. It made me grateful to be their Mom, humbled by the magnitude of the responsibility, eager to be better. I don't know how I can possibly be for them all that I want for them, but renewed by this simple, early morning observation, I will try.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Festivities...

This could potentially be a very long post. If only I was better at posting more often...

Last Monday we carved our pumpkins.
We usually reserve the last Monday before Halloween as our Pumpkin Carving Family Home Evening.
Without fail we underestimate how long it will take us to carve pumpkins with/for 5 kids and the kids get to bed ridiculously late.
This year we didn't even manage to get a fifth one done for Jesse. He just kind of had fun getting his hands into everybody else's pumpkins.

The final results:

On Friday night we hosted our annual Halloween Party. This is so much fun. All of our guests are such good sports about coming in costume and bringing a pie for the bake-off. We had 10 delicious pies to eat this year, along with the sugar cookies, popcorn, and doughnuts I made.

A close-up of my punk chick costume. That nose stud is a screw back clip on earring. It was my grandmother's. I wish she could have seen this!

Karen as a biker chick and the full shot of my punk look. Do we look tough or what?

Alexis and Kennedy after the mummy-wrapping race:

The Howells as hard rockers. Kym and I both kept flashing people the hardcore "I love you" sign.

Me and Balloon Boy

Wall-E, my pick for best overall costume. Drew and her big sisters put a lot of work into this one!

The Mario Brothers, better known in our circle as the Pimentels!

The Deckers. The Deckers won best costume last year and could easily win every year. Melissa made these costumes! Sooooo talented! The whole family was dressed in Sleeping bEauty costumes. Mason as the prince, Megan as Aurora, and Jesse was my pick for funniest as the fairy Meriwether!

The Waterfall Family. In costume? Or just concerned about a Swine flu outbreak at the party?

The Prowses won funniest costume. They were pretty hilarious- Spencer in his painfully tight pants, Michelle with her hairy mole.

The Mayorgas showing off their perfected Goth Death Stare:

The Sandstroms. Billy's Robin costume was fantastic, even if I couldn't look him in the eye all night because he was wearing tights!

And the full shot of Balloon Boy:

Trick-or-treating was pretty chilly this year. OK, it was downright cold. Luckily, I got the job of staying home to bake bread, boil stew, and hand out candy.

Kennedy was the Bride of Frankenstein:

Julia was Cleopatra:

Devon as Obi Wan Kenobi:

Irene the wingless, wandless, crownless, flower fairy:

And Jesse. He refused to wear the costume we had for him, despite the fact that he insisted he was going to be "Dark Bader". (He would even sing the Imperial March after saying that). So we forced him into this Spiderman costume. Alas, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. He refused to trick-or-treat. Instead, he stayed home and took over candy distributing duties:

Testing the goods:

After trick-or-treating with the Knouses, we had a warm dinner of stew in bread bowls, witches fingers, eyeballs, Halloween shaped jell-o jigglers, meatballs, and candy.

I enjoy Halloween but I find it a bit exhausting! It's nice to lay low today and start looking forward to the winter holidays!