Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised

I don't normally post pictures from my phone (and these pictures are especially bad because the light in my kitchen is so terrible) but I just had to share this story with you, and I knew it would be all over before I could get my real camera, so I just grabbed the phone in my pocket and started snapping.

Bart was gone this weekend for a conference, so I (foolishly) tried to get the house really clean and organized all on my own to surprise him when he got home.  It was a nice idea in theory, but the end result was a semi-clean house (I still have to sweep and mop my dang floors!) and a tired me who had worked nine hours straight attempting to clean in what felt like a tornado of toddlers.

Well, I finally decided I was just done for the day, so I fed the kids, turned on the TV, and went to the back room to lay down and attempt to figure out why such a crazy notion entered my head and how I could prevent it from ever happening again.

While I was back there, I heard an odd sound, but I was so tired it didn't really register.  The sound went on for another few minutes, and finally it clicked: trash bags!  I knew I had been hearing the sound for a few minutes, and that Addison (the only person who might legitimately be using a trash bag) was enthralled in the show I had put on.

I decided there were two courses of action.  Either I run out there to what was, undoubtedly, a room full of trash bags, chide the individual responsible for the disaster and attempt to cajole her into picking her mess up, or I lock my bedroom door and just wait for Bart to get home and deal with it (a VERY tempting prospect since I knew he would be home fairly soon).

It took all the motivation I could muster to pull me up off that bed, but I finally was able to do it, and when I got into the kitchen I saw this:

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  Do you see what is going on?!?!?!


My TWO YEAR OLD was taking out the trash!!!

Albeit it wasn't perfect.

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But it's a HECK of a lot better than trash bags all over the room.

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Next I think I'll try teaching her how to do her own laundry.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Law of Unintended Consequences

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So a few months ago I was attempting to bathe my children.  As I was trying to undress the twins, one of them (I can't even remember which) was giving me a very hard time.  She did NOT want to get undressed.  Drawing on my extensive mothering knowledge (insert laugh here), I thought, "I know!  I'll make it a game." 

So, I started to move her legs and arms like she was dancing and sang, "Naked, naked, naked." It worked like a charm.  Soon each of the kids were dancing around, in their birthday suits singing, "Naked, naked, naked!"  From there it was easy to corral them into the shower and get everyone clean.  I had turned a potential power struggle into a cheerful, fun situation.  I felt as though I was a wonderful, competent mother. 

Unfortunately, that day I taught my children something I never intended.  I now regularly find them stripped down to their diapers/undies (or less), dancing around the house singing "Naked naked naked!" 

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is the law of unintended consequences in action.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

As Promised

Here are all of their eyes.

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Blue Eyed Girl

Can I just say that I LOVE these pictures.  You probably don't notice it, but as their mom, I TOTALLY see their personalities in these little eyes. 

Addison's eye has that wide-eyed surprised look I see on her face so often.  I had a friend in high school who always laughed when I got that look in my eyes.  Like mother, like daughter.

Hannah's picture had her "pretty hat" (her words) in it.  She LOVES to dress up in pretty things.  And both Addison and Hannah's picture show their little freckles that I love so much.

Lilly's eye is just begging, "Pick me up mom."  Something I see frequently in her eyes too. 

And in Maya's, that hair over her eye is just so Maya!  Her bangs are always falling in her face, but she doesn't mind at all.  I know, I know, we need to get her hair cut, but I just love it so much!

And, FYI, with respect to iris pattern, Addison & Lilly both have dad's eyes and Maya and Hannah have  mine. 

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Christmas - Part I

***disclaimer: this post contains some barbie nekkedness****

I really need to start blogging the Holidays as they happen.  Every year I put it off until the end and then wind up just throwing a post together to have them documented.  Oh well.  I suppose that just means I was able to enjoy them a little more since I wasn't stressing over posting pictures about them.  :)

But it really was a wonderful Christmas this year.  I absolutely LOVED decorating the house.  I feel like this house was MADE to be decorated for Christmas.  I can't wait until I have enough decorations to actually do it justice!  (Bart's shuddering in the background).

I did get one room well decorated...the room with the Christmas tree.  And once it was done, I declared it my happy place and told the kids if they even thought about leaving any toys or shoes or ANYTHING on the floor in my happy place they would face the wrath of mom.  There were a few not so happy moments, but for the most part we were able to keep it festive and clean.  ;)

The kids LOVED being in there.  If the lights on the tree ever weren't plugged in, Maya and Lilly would run to plug them in.  Sigh.  At first I tried to stop them, but gave up after a while.  At least they weren't sticking other things into the electric socket.  And the kids did love looking at the tree with the lights on.

Christmas Tree

Since we knew Santa would be bringing some larger toys that wouldn't travel well, we had a little Christmas at our house before we headed off to Moab for our real Christmas.

Bart and I try to keep our Christmas eve low key: read a few stories open Christmas PJs and call it a night.  But even that wound up being quite a challenge.

We got through about two sentences of the first Christmas story and this is what the kids were doing:

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So we read THE Christmas story (we figured we'd better get that in at least) and moved on to the PJs.  (There may have been some wrestling mixed to the "Christmas Program" at this point too).

Christmas Eve

And after the kids were all nestled snug in their beds, Santa came. He brought cereal as usual.

I have it on good authority that it was Mr. Clause, not Mrs. Clause that posed the barbies in the doll house.
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My favorite part of Christmas is seeing the kids faces as they walk into the room and see what Santa brought.  Hannah's expression in that lower left corner is the BEST.  She had just noticed that Rapunzel was letting her hair down from the balcony and she was almost getting misty eyed because she thought it was so wonderful.  It was hilarious!

Christmas Morning
Needless to say, the kids LOVED what Santa brought them.  Thanks Santa!

I pointed out how Santa had posed the barbie in the tub and asked the girls if they thought it was funny.  They did...and then proceeded to pose a different barbie in the tub insisting it was much more appropriate.
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Hard to argue with them.    I don't often wear my clothes in the tub.

And that was our little Christmas before Christmas.  Next up, our real Christmas.  I give no promises about when it will be posted.  If I get it up before next Christmas, I will consider it a success.  ;)

Friday, February 01, 2013

We've been sick.

If you follow me at all on Instagram, or on Facebook, you know we've been sick.  We've ALL been sick.  For a very long time.  Seriously, Lilly's had an ear infection since before Christmas!

It was bad.  Really bad.  A sick mama caring for four sick, whiny children for weeks on end.  Toward the end I was really starting to lose my sanity there.  I sincerely questioned my decision to stay home full time with the  kids and even briefly considered what it might be like to be back working in an office and having someone else take care of my ever whining, very very needy, children.

And then, the clouds departed, and yesterday happened.

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Nobody was whiny, everybody played together without fighting, and everyone even helped clean without complaining.  Seriously people, it was a miracle day.  And boy did I need it!

The only bad thing that happened was that poor little Maya smashed her hand in the car door.  Seriously...the door was completely shut and her had was in it.  It was so sad (and scary)!  I really debated whether or not to take her to the doctor's office to see if it was broken (the door was completely shut!!!).  But after about an hour it was clear she was going to be fine...despite her red, swollen hand.


(Don't worry, it looks almost completely better now).

And these two.  Man, I have never seen them play so well together.

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And it was the 100th day of school.  Around these parts, it's a pretty big deal.

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The whole day just reminded me of how stinking fun my kids are....weeks and weeks of whiny, crying, needy children can make you forget that from time to time.  And for the record, the decision to stay at home with my kids? Best decision I ever made...well, other than marrying their dad.  

Close Up Portraiture

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Last year I joined group of photographers who chose a theme to photograph, and then share on our blogs each month.  Most of my group dropped out after the first few months, and there were some months that I was definitely not as into it as others, but I decided to do it again this year for one main reason:  It kept me blogging.  And not just on the themes from our group either. 

There were a lot of months when the time to post on our theme was coming up and I realized I hadn't posted anything since the last theme. I didn't want the theme posts to be the only thing on my blog, so I'd dig through the pictures I had taken over the month and choose something to blog about.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am at it again.  But I am excited.  This year's themes are more open ended.  Although, let's face it, that can be a good or bad thing.  Open ended means you have to think more doesn't it?  ;)  But regardless, I think it will be good for me.  (And if nothing more, it will keep me blogging).

So, this month's theme is Close Up Portraiture.  I confess I really struggled with this one.  I don't have a macro lens.  In fact, the longest focal length I have is a 50mm, and you can only get so close with that.

But for a long time I had wanted to photograph my kids eyes, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Bart and I have nearly the exact same eye color, so it's no surprise that all of our kids have blue eyes too.  But, despite the nearly identical color, it's fascinating how different the eyes of each of my kids look. I only got pictures of Lilly and Hannah's eyes, but I'm going to work on getting Maya's and Addison's too.  Maybe I'll even share it in another post.  :)

Here's Lilly's:

And here's Hannah's
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They were taken at different times of the day in different lighting conditions, so the color isn't as close as it is in real life, but compare the irises.  They are just so different!  It's awesome!  I love it!

Now go ahead and check out Catherine's take on this month's theme.