Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mary Clare, 9 1/2

a little photo shoot with my big girl!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My glamorous life

We're only on Tuesday and this week is sure seeming incredibly loooonnnnng.  I need just a little time to whine and vent, so if you're not in the mood for that, I'm sure I'll be back with some fun pictures tomorrow!

But today.  Today is another day filled with messes and tears and everything this life is.  I really need to step away from Facebook this week.  It's filled with pictures of beautiful kids in their first-day-of-school best clothes and smiles.  It's filled with adorable plaid jumpers and nametags, new backpacks and lunch kits.  It's filled with some mommy tears, but also some mommies out having coffee sans kids.  It's filled with happy teachers, everyone eager for the start of the new school year.

I'm not so eager.  Here's my day today.  Warning: it's been very messy and it's not even 3pm.

Around 5am I didn't notice Thomas in bed, but realized he was asleep on his stomach near the bathroom door.  I got up and made sure he was breathing, then left him there and went back to sleep.  I woke again around 6:45 with him at my face, trying to spit something out of his mouth.  Apparently he was playing in the bathroom while Steven was showering.  I thought he was actually in the shower with him, so I wasn't concerned in my pseudo-sleep.  But now my mind was spinning with what kinds of things he might have put in his mouth.  I think I decided it must have been the toothpaste tube I found on the floor.

I got out of bed, so proud that it was before 7:00am, making my entrance to the living room and plopping down on the sofa, staring into space.  "I'm awake!," I raved to my early bird daughter and husband.  Baby was hungry and begged for one fruit cup, and then another (the ones in their own juice, not syrup. Healthy, right?).  So it was time to shower, but somehow Mary Clare ended up finding bubbles on top of the refrigerator and giving them to the boys.  So about halfway through my shower, the boys broke in with the bubbles.  There we were, blowing bubbles in the shower.

Thomas then wanted to escape the shower before the rest of us and kept trying to push the door open.  Often he does this and trips over the side and ends up crying.  Then later, once I've wrestled his clothes on him, he does all he can to push himself back into the shower with Steven Joseph.  Today, I kept him out by distracting him with the nail clippers.  Both my boys love to have their nails clipped.  Don't ask me why.

By this time, Mary Clare is needing help with schoolwork and SJ is begging for "the first thing of the day" (he doesn't know the names of the meals).  We have a bunch of homemade tortillas, but no milk and only two slices of bread.  So I decide on cinnamon sugar tortillas.  Only instead of cinnamon, I grabbed the cumin.  YUCK!  At least it was only me who tried it.  Ellie didn't like hers, made with cinnamon if you were worried, so she made herself some toast with jelly.  Finally it was time to clean up, when Ellie dropped the jelly jar.  Glass shattered all over the kitchen and even into the carpeted room next to it (room that doesn't have a name.  I guess it's a prayer room, it houses only our little prayer table/altar, a print of the Garden of Eden, and a chandelier!).

Ah, so another sweep, another mop, another vacuum.  In the midst of this mess the boys were putting on boots, their new obsession, and kept needing help with socks and determining what feet they went on.  I'm about ready to call it a day.  But my students needed help.  Enter: electronic troubles.  The disk drive on our computer doesn't work and the portable DVD player is missing a cord.  So much for the math video; I guess she'll start that next week.  She got herself set up with her new spelling program, also dependent on electronics.  The CD player is temperamental and won't pause to allow her enough time to write her words.  I spent at least half an hour perusing Amazon for CD/DVD players with no success.

I finally remembered that I wanted to read to the kids each morning.  I got out the Children's Book of Virtues and read a lovely story about a little girl trying to reach the stars.  I gave the girls each half of my hair to braid, and Steven sat in my lap.  It would've been the perfect 5 minutes if it wasn't for the tired baby CRYING the whole time I was reading.  Oh well.  I got him to sleep soon after, for a 10:30am nap!

The girls had been so excited about their science experiments, but today I couldn't convince them to do the mummified apple project.  So I set up Steven Joseph with the apples and a peeler.  Of course the girls changed their minds a few minutes later, which began a series of fighting over the peeler and who was going to peel which apple.  Enter many screams and arguments.

The girls went through old photos for another science assignment but didn't find any, instead they ended up in the garage with the boys and found an old desk they wanted to paint.  20 minutes later, I finally convinced Mary Clare that we don't have any paint to do that right now, and led them back into the science projects.  Finding and printing photos of their heads for this science assignment took about half an hour.  MC was easy, but Ellie was very particular about her photo, and I think we ended up printing more than 5 images before finding one she liked.  Each time I printed one she didn't like, she would start sobbing like it was the end of the world.

As lunch time rolled around, my kitchen table looked like this:

Modgepodge from pasting the heads since we have lost all our glue, paper scraps, water bottles, peanuts, always a Nerf gun, another fruit cup and another bowl of meat.  This is the week of fajita meat!  We ended up with about double the amount of meat than we needed for our party on Sunday so we've eaten fajitas for lunch and dinner, and lunch again.  I went to turn on the griddle to heat some tortillas when a giant cockroach came out of my dish gloves, crawling around the griddle!  I got the flyswatter and went at him, only he flew down off the counter and onto SJ's pants!  We were all screaming and I was swatting and finally the roach fell to the floor and I got him!  What a way to start our lunch! 

One of my favorite quotes of the day happened when SJ was eating some fatty beef and commenting about his plastic watch from Chick-fil-a.  "Mommy, I need to go to Academy and turn in this watch. I need a different one. Then I can give this cow one to Thomas.  He likes cows.  He likes to say cow.  See?  Say cow, Thomas!  MOOOO [loudly burps] OOOO!"  Thomas never answered.

Since then, Mary Clare has gone back to sleep, and the boys are dressed like this, hunting for birds outside (Yes, we live in Texas and it's 96 degrees.  SJ has no sense of weather and appropriate dress.)

My house is a wreck again.  I tried to go through the dress-up box, which became the catch-all when my kind friends were helping to clean up on Sunday.  Maybe I need to get a label-maker?  That might help everyone to put toys in the right place. Anyway, I stopped the dress-up box cleaning halfway, so the whole playroom needs a good sweep down.  I'm ready to go take a nap with Mary Clare!  Too bad the baby has already slept.

So, that was my life before 3pm today.  I've spent a lot of time daydreaming about the big yellow bus, or dropping off my girls with cute plaid jumpers down the street. I've also been reminiscing about our days back in Houston, starting off the school year there with our friends and our family, our dance school, our co-op, and all our other homeschool activities.  Here, I'm kind of feeling like several of the activities I want for my kids I've got to coordinate myself, which has me somewhat emotionally exhausted.  I'm hoping to start a Nature Club and Fine Arts Club, but I'm worried about overcommitting myself.  But I think I do better with overcommitment than undercommitment.  I'm much more content when I'm busy than when I'm bored!

Now I've promised some computer time to the preschooler for picking up the living room (pretty sure he just dumped most of it in the playroom), and to the sister for unloading the dishwasher and clearing my scary kitchen table.  I think it's time to sneak in the rest of the White Collar episode on Netflix, before someone claims my phone for some other chore reward.  Gotta run!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The last days, Beach Bash 2012

The waves were really rough this last day at the beach

Then we got some thunder and lightening, so they finally had their water balloon war under the house!

The Noah's Ark puzzle finally complete!

Finding a spot for some family pics.  Thanks to Steven's sis for taking these photos!

Had to add the bloopers, too! Steven Joseph is at that impossible to smile for the camera stage...

A little more boy time on the last night!

The couldn't get enough Apples to Apples!

One last morning game before we all leave for home!

Thanks to all of Steven's family for making this such a memorable family vacation.  We truly enjoyed spending time with everyone.  The fact that we all survived this many days in one house with this many people goes to show what an awesome family this is.  Here's to many more fun cousin days and a wonderful new school year for everyone!!!

More Beach Week

Another morning in the sun!

Daddy and his mini-me's

They caught a little crab

One of the girlfriends and Ellie really hit it off!

Our "neighbors" built the coolest sand castles!  A living room with couch and coffee table, even a stick TV, then a bedroom, and a bathroom!

 Cousin had a metal detector!

More night time games!

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