A bath for four

With Christopher working his third 13+ hour day this week, I had the pleasure of bath time on my own tonight.  In hopes of being efficient, I welcomed all four kids in at the same time.  There was no splashing, everyone was on great behavior minus a few sprays of water at me and in Audrey’s face.  We were doing great, soap was flying everywhere, I’ve never seen so much cute kid skin in one place at one time.

Getting clean together
Getting clean together

With everyone just about ready to come out I made a disappointing discovery.

It’s all fun and games in the tub until someone poops green beans all over in the bath.

That’s a real fun-spoiler.

I don’t even know when it happened.  There was such a slew of soap, skin and water that I didn’t see it occur.  And no one seemed to notice.

Until I started scooping them all out “clean as whistles” and found deposits (from Audrey of course) all over.

At least I tried.  Is that worth something?

Rainy (snowy) day fun

Snow, rain, cold wind-there was no way we were going anywhere today.  To help with developing arm strength and to provide good sensory input (important for all kids but especially one of ours), we’ve been encouraged to draw on an easel with chalk-messy but fun, to use crayons instead of markers because of how they feel when you write with them and to drive cars along a racetrack that hangs on our wall.  Our OT made this and then we made another one so both boys would have one.  It has proved super fun this week.

Kyler racing two trucks down the wall (while Audrey napped and actually stayed asleep!)
Kyler racing two trucks down the wall (while Audrey napped and actually stayed asleep!)

We also made spelt oatmeal cookies with no refined sugar, maple syrup and honey and molasses, that was sticky and fun too!  I am sick of all our lunches so we tried a new lunch today and it went over far better than I expected.  The idea came from the bottom of MckMama’s post today, we added/omitted as we saw fit.  This was the final product (no pics sorry!):

Tuna Pasta Salad

Drain and rinse one can of cannelloni beans.

Drain one can of tuna.

Cook 1 cup of tiny pasta (elbow or mini shells).  Drain, rinse with cold water.

Chop a few tablespoons of onion, red bell pepper, pickles and carrots.

Add a scoop of mayo and plain yogurt.  Mix well.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Rylee took one bite and said “This is awesome”.  I never hear that from her.  Especially not at lunch.  It was super yummy.  I added extra pepper and kick to my serving.  Kyler turned his nose up to it, no suprise there.

Our other indoor fun which also had good sensory input built into it was making puzzles.  We took old photos, glued them onto cardboard, let them dry, then cut them into pieces to create little mini picture puzzles.  It was great fun and Caleb worked extra hard to cut through the thick paper, it was hard work.  Throughout the day we put the puzzles together several more times.

Caleb working the scissors
Caleb working the scissors
I could watch her 'working' face all day...
I could watch her 'working' face all day...
Puzzle pieces
Puzzle pieces

Just Heard Thursday

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It’s Thursday again and we have been collecting some of the funny things we heard our kids say this week.  We would also love to read about what your kids are saying too.  We just get such a kick out of posts like these.  Here is some of what made us smile this week:

Daddy: (after realizing that it has been about five minutes since Kyler was sent to the bathroom to wash his hands after dinner and it has been dangerously quiet) “It’s been a bit too quiet, where’s Kyler?”

Mommy:  “I don’t know”

Daddy: “That’s not good.  Kyler…what are you doing (loudly now down the hall).”

Kyler:  “I not know how to do this. (as he is coming down the hall holding a tampon in two pieces)

Rylee:  “What is that?”

Mommy: “I’ll tell you when you are older.”

Daddy: “So was that a t-a-m-p-o-n?

Mommy: “Yep”

Rylee:  “Did you say tah..teh..pon? (trying to phonetically put the sounds together”

Daddy: “Our days of spelling out loud are almost over”

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Kyler stuck in the baby bath seat

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Rylee – (to Audrey) “I’m so glad you are my sister. I would not be the same without you. I am so glad to have you. Mommy, you know how I feel, you know how it feels to get a sister. You remember when you were little and you got a baby sister don’t you? It feels so good. It is just so special.”

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Mommy: “Put the bacon down…right now.  The bacon is not a weapon.” (Instructing Kyler to not use the bacon like a sword)

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Rylee – “I want us to have five kids, too” (to Kim, not Karissa for those counting at home!)

Rylee's drawing this week "Remember when Audrey was in your tummy-she was so tiny-it was so fun to be there when she was born!"
Rylee's drawing this week "Remember when Audrey was in your tummy-she was so tiny-it was so fun to be there when she was born!"

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I wish I smelled like Versace…

..but I smell like strawberry flavored cod liver oil instead.  I was trying to get Kyler’s shoes on while he drank his vitamins-a bad idea apparently-but multitasking is the name of the game around here.   After I said, “Hold it with two hands, don’t spill it!” , he promptly poured the cup in my lap.  I flew off the handle “Are you kidding me?  I just said hold it with both hands, I just told you not to spill it, these are my LAST CLEAN PANTS!”.  Now Kyler is crying, he feels really bad.  I run to the bathroom, no towels, check the hall closet, no towels.  For crying out loud, where are all my towels?  I use a dirty sweatshirt but by now the juice is soaked in to my skin.  Then I remember all my laundry is in the family room.  On the couch.  Lot of good it’s doing there right now.

And to think I actually got a shower today after spending two nights and all day yesterday in the same pajamas (and yes I went to the doctor, the store and the park) and I actually did spray my most favorite Versace perfume gracefully onto my neck and wrist just minutes before I was covered in cod liver oil.  Okay, not covered but really, it was a lot.

I held Audrey in my arms all night as she cried, tried to sleep and had a fever.  I did not sleep but dozed off sitting on the couch a few times.  We were headed to the dr this morning already to get Caleb’s cast sawed off (that should be fun) and his foot x-rayed again.   Now we’ll get to have Audrey checked out too.  That works out nicely.

I wonder if anyone will notice my new fragrance.  I really don’t have any other pants to wear.  This life as a mother is really something else.   Trying to remember what goes on my thankful list for today and taking a deep breath.

#1-Four darling children call me their mother and love me to pieces even when I get upset.  Oh, that’s right.  I guess stinky pants and no sleep is worth that.  Actually I don’t guess, I am quite sure it is.  Even today.

Rylee’s party

Rylee with puppies
Rylee with puppies
Cousin Isaac watching puppies
Cousin Isaac watching puppies
Our own Davy Crocket!
Our own Davy Crocket!

Rylee with Payton on the cart
Rylee with Payton on the cart
Rylee on a horse
Rylee on a horse
Mama and Kyler riding a horse-he was so brave!
Mama and Kyler riding a horse-he was so brave!
The boys had more fun running and playing with toy guns than riding horses or playing with puppies!
The boys had more fun running and playing with toy guns than riding horses or playing with puppies!
A treasure (candy) search in the hay pile
A treasure (candy) search in the hay pile
The birthday girl and her horse cupcakes
The birthday girl and her horse cupcakes

Our friends Mark and Holly opened up their home to us today to make Rylee’s party so special.  She has been talking to strangers at the grocery store, to anyone who will listen about her upcoming party with so much anticipation.  It was everything she’d hoped for.  Thank you!

Holly and Audrey
Holly and Audrey

Boys will be boys

Kyler after a rousing game of "Caleb please dump dirt all over my body"
Kyler after a rousing game of "Caleb please dump dirt all over my body"
American gladiator broke out on the picnic table while I made lunch-I knew old broomsticks were good for something...
American gladiator broke out on the picnic table while I made lunch-I knew old broomsticks were good for something...

And a little Audrey bonus:

Audrey pulled herself up on the fireplace this morning-first time, all by herself!  She is 9 months this week
Audrey pulled herself up on the fireplace this morning-first time, all by herself! She is 9 months this week

Home sweet home

A little throw back hat in honor of bringing Jr. back!
A little throw back hat in honor of bringing Jr. back!

In case you have not heard, Ken Griffey Jr. is headed back to Seattle after eight seasons with Cincinnati and one with Chicago.  1989, Jr.’s rookie season, I was 12 and totally into baseball.  I acquired five rookie cards of his that year and could not think of anyone else I wanted to emulate more than Ken Griffey, Jr.  I was playing on my little league team that won the city championships and then joined the all-star team that won state and took 3rd in regionals.  I was consumed by baseball and loved to watch Griffey play.  As I grew up, so did Jr. and it was tough to watch him go after 11 great seasons.

Seattle has not been that great of a sports town over the years.  In fact, we have not seen too many hall of fame players call our city home.  Ken Griffey Jr. is a bonafide hall of fame player and not only did he play with us for 11 years, but he has made the decision to come back home.  Who does that anymore in sports?  I for one am excited that we have an aging (39) year old player signed to play left field for the M’s this year.  I don’t care if he doesn’t produce HR’s and RBI’s the way he used to when we were watching him in the Kingdome.  I don’t care if he won’t be robbing home runs from over the center field wall.  I just can’t wait to watch #24 take the field once again as a Seattle Mariner.  For those of you who follow baseball, the following is well known to you.  For the rest of you, I won’t bore you with the details of why the following play is one of the greatest plays in all of Seattle sport’s history.  Thank you Dave Niehaus for this brilliant call:

Right now, the Mariners looking for the tie. They would take a fly ball; they would love a base hit into the gap and they could win it with [Griffey] Junior’s speed. The stretch and the 0-1 pitch on the way to Edgar Martinez; swung on and lined down the left field line for a base hit! Here comes Joey! Here is Junior to third base, they’re going to wave him in! The throw to the plate will be…LATE! The Mariners are going to play for the American League Championship! I don’t believe it! It just continues! My oh My! – Dave Niehaus

It is a rare day when we get to say “well done” to the Mariner front office, but today, I say THANK YOU for bringing back the Kid.  If there ever was a time to spend some serious coin on a Mariner’s jersey, this would be the year.  I can not wait to see #24 trotting out there down at The Safe.  The one question I have is what will his music be as he comes up to bat?  Will it be “Hip Hop Hooray” – Naughty by Nature like it was during the magical 1995 season?

Welcome back Ken.  Welcome back to the house you built.  Call me, let’s catch up!

Is it really morning?

I got away for an hour or so last night.  I spent some time reading one of my favorite parenting books and some time texting my friend Kristin who just moved away.  Between tears and texts I didn’t read much but felt like I needed a little primer on sacrifice so I skipped ahead to that chapter.  Here is an excerpt:

God calls us as parents to lay down a blanket of sacrifice on behalf of the next generation.  This is the way of Jesus.  In many ways, sacrifice defines love.  It was one thing for Jesus to tell the world, ‘I love you’.  It was another thing entirely when he demonstrated his love by dying on our behalf….Without sacrifice, love becomes mere words and empty sentiment.”                          -Gary Thomas Sacred Parenting

So this being fresh in my mind, with a very sore throat and a cold coming on I went to bed early….you know where this is going if you read this post two weeks ago.

It took me an hour to fall asleep because of the severe throat pain, every swallow made me want to cry.

12:30 AM – I wake to Caleb sobbing in his bed, I run in, he is waving his hands everywhere and crying about his trucks, “They are gone, someone stole them, it was Kyler, it was Daddy, they are not here, I put them right here”.  I rummage around in the dark to find his bag of cars.  Crisis solved.  Tuck both boys in as Kyler woke up in the mayhem.

1 AM-Still can’t get back to sleep because of the throat, get up and take some pain medication.  Lay in bed 30 minutes waiting for it to work.  It does.

2 AM-Kyler standing 4 inches from my face “Read a book?”.  Me-are you kidding me, I just fell asleep-“No, come into bed with me and snuggle, it’s nightime.”  He spends 20 minutes trying to get comfortable then wiggles out of bed.  I take him to his bed, tuck him in there.

2:30 AM-Just fell asleep again.  Audrey wakes up, I feed her.  While she’s nursing, I hear noises.  Then more noises.  I am hyperventilating, sure someone is in our house.  I am too tired to think clearly.  I lay Audrey down and creep out to the living room.

Kyler, no burglar.  Just Kyler.  Playing with daddy’s lighter that was left on the floor.  Taking the contents of daddy’s wallet out and lining them up on the floor.  Playing with daddy’s leatherman tool.  Taking out his work papers.  He asks for a snack.  We put all daddy’s stuff back where it was.  I let him blow the lighter out a few times and praise God he didn’t light the carpet on fire while he was out there alone.   I give him some milk and put him in bed again.  Lay with him.  Tuck him in.

4 AM-I wake to the sound of Kyler on top of me  and something sticky dripping on my face.  I smell peppermint.  He tries to talk to me.  I can’t understand anything he says.  He is drooling all over my head and pillow.  Finally I realized he’s chewing most of a pack of gum.  No idea where from or how long he’s been up.  I ask him to spit out the gum.  He’s happy to oblige.

I’m about done with this fun.  I finally wake up Christopher and ask him to deal with Kyler.  5 seconds later Audrey wakes up.  Only she doesn’t go right back to sleep like usual.  She’s up for the day.  So now it’s 6:30 and she just went down for her first nap of the day.  Somewhere in there before 5:30  Christopher left for work too.  And you do the math, how much did I sleep?  Yeah, I don’t even want to know.

Sacrifice indeed.  The phrase that I’ve read so many times in the Bible about Jesus laying His life down for us has never been so real to me as it is right now.  I’ve said it before to friends but it’s taken a few kids to bring me to my knees in so many ways (good, hard ways).  I could fake it, keep it together, act like things were under control and generally keep up with life with one child, two kids and even three surprised me.  But I can’t anymore.

My desperation for God to carry me through the day, to sustain me in ways that are truly beyond comprehension are a daily reality in this life with four.   There are many, many days that by all signs should be in the toilet from lack of sleep, sickness, etc.  But I believe with all my heart that God hears my quiet prayers and He is faithful to answer them.  Not always my way, but He always comes through.  I can feel it.  I know He’s here.  I know He’s placing one foot in front of the next and tenderly leading me through the day.  I could not survive a day without that.  He is more than able and I am SO not able, especially on days like today.

Just Heard Thursday

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It’s Thursday again and we have been collecting some of the funny things we heard our kids say this week.  We would also love to read about what your kids are saying too.  We just get such a kick out of posts like these.  Here is a great example and this one had me almost out of my chair.

Here are a few things we heard around our house recently:

Rylee – “Oooh!  Daddy, I just burped and it hurt my heart. (long pause)  But it’s okay, it’s still beating.”

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Rylee – “Daddy, I wish I could change a poopie diaper for him.” (On Valentine’s Day when we were babysitting her cousin Isaac)

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Yoda – “What sound this is?” (Actually it was Kyler in a regular occurrence of a Yoda impression wondering what was making the ringing sound in the background)

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Kyler – “Is coffee ready yet?” (Sunday AM waiting for his little cup of joe)

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Daddy – “So, is Kyler poopie or not?

Mommy – “I am not sure, I am not sure if he really was.”

Kyler – (Hollering authoritatively from down the hall) “Yeah…I is poopie”

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Birthday fun

Starting off the day with raspberry scones and a presentStarting off the day with raspberry scones and a present

Rylee requested raspberry scones despite the fact she went out for a special birthday breakfast with her Dee Dee who shares the very same birthday.  She got to open one present at each meal, this one was my favorite.  Hair clips from a favorite etsy shop.  Darling.

The birthday girls after breakfast: Danielle Jeanne and Rylee Jeanne!

The birthday girls after breakfast: Danielle Jeanne and Rylee Jeanne!
Kyler who thought he was in the picture above-tickled pink to be included!
Kyler who thought he was in the picture above-tickled pink to be included!
Rylee and her new baby Alexis on the slide
Rylee and her new baby Alexis on the slide
Rylee's lunch gift opened on the deck with ample help from the brothers
Rylee's lunch gift opened on the deck with ample help from the brothers