Tuesday, September 28, 2010

why my daughter just may go to school in diapers....

When I started this blog, my hope was to journal our ordinary, every day, life. The good and the bad. In that spirit, I thought I would sit down and write about my morning yesterday. Nothing fascinating, just typical stuff in the land of 5 little people and a dog.

Oddly, Mondays are typically my favorite weekday. Weekends are usually spent with much quality family time....aka, Tim is home to give me a break from the kids, and minimal housework. If we have a project going, it is usually via the home improvement route... not laundry :)
So, needless to say, I usually tackle Mondays with huge ambition and a refreshed positive attitude.

Well, this past weekend was a blur of busy, and little break. Monday morning appeared all too quickly, when the alarm went off at 4am for Tim. Fifteen minutes later, Ellery was awake in her crib screaming. One whiff of her room told me it wasn't going to be a quick shove the pacifier back in type of situation. After a not so thorough clean up, I hopped back in bed hoping to catch a few more zzz's before getting the kids up for school. Well, that was a pipe dream, because I finally got Elle settled back down just in time to get them up.

Our morning routine went on as it typically does. One kid crying over her cereal, one kid mad because the other one is looking at him, and one kid telling nonsense stories so loudly, that I have to repeat "If you wake that baby, you're taking her to school with you" no less than 15 times.

Did I mention we have a new, full of energy, not so housebroken, track sprinter wanna be, puppy? We do. She seems to mellow out as the day goes on, but in the morning she is clearly full of spunk, doo doo, and quite frankly...nobody likes her. Sydney tells me through tears almost every morning that we should return her.

The kids get ready, and after many reminders, shhshing, and shoe tying, we walk out the door at 7:04. We see the bus headlight come over the hill, and we say our goodbyes. The dog and I spend some quality time together in the lawn, in an effort to get all of her doggy business out. I can already hear Ellery crying from the driveway. Dashed are my hopes of getting a few moments alone with my cup of coffee.

We head in, and I give Ellery her bottle. After cleaning up dog pee, Stella is up as well.

Did I mention that this is the magical day that I am going to attempt getting the potty training process rolling with Stella? Yes, it is. Since we are clearly "back to school" now, there is no more procrastinating. So, after breakfast we begin the fun.

Stella gleefully sits on the toilet, reads her books, and repeats "momma, i go pee pee" no less than 33 times. Unfortunately, she can't produce anything, so she continues to sit and read, and fabricate her own farting noises.

Have I mentioned that when you set Ellery down, she screams, and will continue to do so until you pick her back up? She does. It's her other trademark move. Actually, she's so smart that she can sense when you are going to attempt to set her down. She stiffens her legs so much, your only option is to lay her flat on her back and let her flail.

She was in this screaming, flailing state while I was helping Stella. When I went back to the living room to pick her up, I noticed the foul odor. And for once, it wasn't coming from Ellery :)

So, I tackled the dog and put her in the garage, lay Ellery back down to scream yet again, and went about cleaning up the doggy doo mess. After it was clean, I scooped up Ellery and we headed to the bathroom to check on our happy 2 year old. She shuttered and twitched a few times as she calmed back down. She had been crying so hard she was choking on her own boogery mess.

Well, Stella clearly had too much time on her hands. An entire roll of toilet paper was unrolled, half in, half hanging out of the toilet and strewn on the floor. With a big grin, she proudly proclaims "I pee pee!" Because all you can see is the white goodness, I have no idea if she actually went. I assume she didn't, but excitedly we put her new Cinderella underwear on, and she is ridiculously proud.

We head back to the living room, and I inform her she is not to go anywhere near my new couch while she watches a little PBS kids. I head to the kitchen with Elle to get some coffee, and notice that the dog is hanging on the screen like a cat, in an effort to get back in. Grr.

As I'm letting her back inside, I hear Stella screaming "Mom! I pee pee! Mom! I pee pee!" over and over again. Not something you want to hear from your daughter who is in the kitchen. Sure enough, she's peeing all over the kitchen floor, screaming as she's watching it run down her legs. We now have a small pond in our kitchen...clearly she didn't go earlier. The big faker.

Well all that screaming is enough to excite the already crazy dog. She happily bounds over to Stella, sniffs it out, and then runs through the pond of pee. She continues to run laps around my kitchen, because now I'm chasing her... leaving pee paw prints everywhere she goes. She got a few extra laps in, because I had to lay Ellery back down to scream before I was able to do a full tackle.

At this point, I am just plain foul, and many explative words are leaving my mouth. I can't decide who i'm more upset with, the dog or Stella. In my foul state, I put them both out in the garage LOL. As I'm sitting on the kitchen floor cleaning up the mess through my tears, both girls are screaming, the dog is yet again hanging from the screen...and it feels more like 5pm on a Thursday.

Our day did improve....but we're procrastinating potty training for another week :) I can honestly say I am never bored:)

Monday, September 27, 2010

just for fun.....

While cleaning out Ellery's closet, I stumbled upon this outfit.

A purchase from Old Navy during the summer of 2001. I was in hot pursuit to find the "perfect outfit" to take my first baby home from the hospital in.

While there is nothing fashionably spectacular about it, it has become a cherished keepsake. All 5 of our children have now worn this outfit home from the hospital.

Any guesses as to which babe this is?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


When Mabel went to doggy heaven last February, I was in no rush to replace her with a new canine friend. It was sort of a relief, actually. No barking dog to yell at while the girls napped. No dog hair tucked away in every crevice of our home. No dog doo in the yard to clean up. It took me a good long while to change the defensive way I swept the kitchen floor and loaded the dishwasher. In those first few weeks I found myself saying "git" to the air.

But as time went by, I realized I missed having a dog in our home. I missed having a happy little floor cleaner around....just waiting for food to drop. I missed knowing exactly when someone pulled in the driveway, and the security that brings. I missed having a pet for the kids to love and play with, and the responsibilities that go along with it.

And so I began my search for the "perfect dog." My requirements? A medium sized, happy, non-shedding, good with kids, oaf of a dog is all I really wanted. After some research, my heart settled on the goldendoodle. During most camping trips this summer, the kids would spot one and shout out "MOM! There's your dog!" , and so I would make my way over and play 20 questions with its proud owner.

While we had settled on a breed, timing and price became the next obstacle. We realized we would want to train a dog before winter, but after our last camping trip Labor Day weekend. While scouring the internet last week, I stumbled upon a slightly older puppy, and the price was finally right. I like to think that we got her on clearance :)

The kids love her! Well 4 of them do...and Stella does about 50% of the time :) After a family meeting, and 5 rounds of voting and elimination, we settled on the name "Phoebe". The names that didn't make the cut? Shiloh, Booger, Foo-Fee, Doodle, Gretel, Sandy, Daisy, Maggie and Thelma. In the end it was actually a tie between "Phoebe" and "Foo-Fee", 3 votes each...we decided to toss Stella's vote :)

The one question that remains....
Who will be housebroken first?

The 2 year old...or the dog? :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

what else I did on my summer vacation...

Now that school is in full swing, I have just a smidgen more free time on my hands....just a smidgen, but it's a start, right? While uploading photos in an effort to boost computer speed, I realized there were some notables that I neglected to share with the www.

For starters, we spent a lovely 4.5 days camping with dear friends, during a beautiful mid August week.

Compared to last year...when the highs struggled to reach 55 degrees, and the sun was replaced by ominous gray clouds without a moments notice... the weather could not have been more ideal. We fished, we beached, we played, we chatted, we ate, and we chatted and ate some more. It was positively relaxing and delightful to be in the company of these people I hold so dear.

Some of my favorite pics....

Another summer notable.... I made good on my promise to craft with the kids. We created a laundry list of crafts, including snow globes, dinosaurs, hanging flowers, etc, etc. For our last craft of the summer, we made stepping stones for my garden.

One of Sydney's most prominent personality traits is her persistence. After she convinced me to sew her a purse, wallet, doll sleeping bag , doll dress etc. etc. I sat her down and taught her how to sew! A quick learner she is. She spent the tail end of the summer crafting purses and wallets, and if you talk to her, she'll sell you one for 5 bucks LOL.

We spent time at the cottage with family from Canada! It was so good to see them again! Unfortunately I didn't have my camara around much :)

We shopped! I somehow managed to get away on 2 kidless shopping trips. We went to the antique fair and IKEA. Good times!

Okay, I will now officially call the summer of '10 complete!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

a blustery blast

Ludington is my camping utopia.

Perhaps it is the good company of friends we are with, coupled with 4 solid days of family togetherness. Or maybe the miles of hiking, biking, beaches, and natural beauty that surrounds the area. Maybe it's the rich history tucked away in the lighthouse and the dam, just waiting to be found. We still have yet to see to see it all. Perhaps her goodness lies in the fact that every last memory I have of Ludington is complimented with sunshine and beautiful weather...making it a sweet final summer fling. Probably it's a combination of all these, making it our destination of choice for the last several Labor Day weekends.

While listening to the forecast before we left last Thursday, the weatherman coined the term "blustery", to describe the weather we were to anticipate.
I knew then that I would need to adjust my attitude a bit, and diverge from my "fun in the sun" mindset. While blustery is a term that I would save for a cold, windy day in the middle of January....the weather certainly wasn't anything to write home about.

However, I can honestly say we had a marvelous time.

Don't get me wrong, I had to constantly remind myself that it was okay. On the first night, the rain came down so hard, creating a swamp, fed by many rivers, underneath our awning. I was thankful I wasn't in a tent. I was also thankful when the temperature dipped below 45 degrees at night, Tim let me turn the heater on. :) Not to mention I got to use the camper potty for the first time ever...a true act of love!

As it turns out, an overcast, windy, 58 degree day is perfect hiking weather!

Austin grabbed a park map and figured out that we hiked/biked over 23 miles!
When you stop every 10 feet to look for frogs....it makes for a long hike :)

We biked down to the beach on "that really windy day" to check out the waves. By the time we got to the parking lot, the sand was whipping so hard, that the 2 little ones were screaming like the little girls that they are. I turned back with them, but Tim took the three big kids down to brave the wind. It was impressive! It felt a little like winter, watching bulldozers clear the parking lot of sand.

Many friendly games of football were played. We biked out to the Big Sable Pointe Lighthouse. You have to be 3 feet tall to climb to the top. Since I wasn't large and in charge this year, Tim stayed out with the little 2 , and we spiralled up 130 stairs to the top.

Sunday afternoon was warmish and sunny! We took advantage and went to the little lake.
Syd caught a butterfly, naturally :)

Many poles were cast off the boardwalk. Tim got the 3 big kids out of bed @ 6am one morning to go fishing by the dam....to try to catch the "big ones". Too bad they only got a nibble, as Dylan will inform you.

We sat around and talked alot :)

oh...and we got ice cream!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A sure sign your baby could use a bath?

When the milk cap you are searching for has clearly turned into a fashion statement.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

nose to the grindstone

Like it or not, school is here.

In anticipation of the rigid schedule that stretched out before us, I stayed up late... well into the wee hours of the morning, every single night last week. I slept in as long as these little people would allow, and savored every last minute of non-scheduled freedom, without a stitch of guilt.

"Goodbye SeeSee and Bobos"

We now have a 3rd, 2nd, and kindergartener on our hands.

Some thoughts on the first day:

Austin LOVED it. He has been looking forward to going back for some time now. The kid craves structure and loves to learn ...not to mention his social calendar is finally satisfying again thanks to recess with friends. He's pretty proud he's big enough for a locker this year, and that his teacher remembers teaching his Uncle Casey.

To quote Sydney before we left for school....

"It's not fair. Summer just started. I don't want to go. I just want to stay home with you, and we can sew all day."

Her first quote upon getting off the bus....

"MOM! My teacher wants your recipe for spaghetti sauce!"
Clearly a good day. She loves her teachers, and evidently got cozy enough to discuss tomatos and the likes on the first day :)

Showing off the new skirt I sewed for her. I'm getting the hang of it!

Dylan seemed to enjoy his first day, he only had to go for 2 hours. Apparantly his teacher told him his nutty bar was a real cool snack....because he informed me of this 6 times. Today is his first full day, so we shall see how he handles it. He and Mother Hen Sydney have already conjured up plans to meet at the rock climbing wall at recess.

And this is what I am left with 2.5 days of the week.....

I'm looking forward to having time with these 2 :)