Saturday, May 18, 2013

And This is... American Idol!

Benny's pre-school class had an 'American Idol' type contest the other day.  This was his entry.  He got my vote.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Never Jump to Conclusions

For those of you that don't know, I now have a full time job.  I'm no longer a stay at home mom, and I'm a bit sad about that, although I like my job.

I now have a little kingdom all my own, a toddler classroom where I reign supreme and no one is allowed to walk around with food, or sippy cups clutched in their hands, I get to dictate what music is played, where we go and what we do.  There is a lot of diaper changing, but life is good and pleasant--until I have a toddler who manages to thwart me for 2 1/2 hours of nap time, but that's a rare occurrence.

The reason I'm sharing all this, is I'm trying to justify my lack of attention to my blog.  So sad.  I do have a few Benny stories to share.  Here is one from his first day of school.

I took this new job, because I could have my kids there with me.  Olivia is in the next classroom up from mine, and Ben is in Pre-school (he'll be in Kindergarten in August.  Hang on to your hat, Mrs. Welch.)  The first day of school, his class did a cute project in which the kids laid down on butcher paper and their outlines were traced.  Then they colored themselves in.

I went to see Benny on my break and he proudly showed me his creation hanging on the wall.  The teacher took me aside and said in a low tone, "We have a few questions about his drawing."

I could see why.  Benny had colored in his hair (brown), eyes, (blue) and turned his legs blue, which I assumed were his pants, but in that region below his bellybutton and above his knees, he had drawn a circle, and in it was a hot dog shape with arms and legs, dancing around excitedly.

I decided not to jump to conclusions.  This has served me well before, particular when Joseph asked in his cute four-year-way, "Mom, did Dad fill the baby inside you?"

Ryan and I exchanged alarmed looks over his head all those years ago.

"What do you mean, Joe?"

"Didn't Dad fill the baby inside you?"

The pronunciation came out slightly different the second time.

"Do you mean feel the baby?  Feel the baby kick?"

"Yeah, fill the baby."

Oh good, we could put off that conversation for, what?  Twenty years?

Anyway, much more recently, I turned to Ben's teacher and asked, "Did you ask him about it?"

"No.  I was a little scared to."

"Let's ask him."

So I put Benny on my hip and told him I loved his drawing, but by the way, what was that circle?

"It's what's on my shirt," he tells me proudly.  Okay, so he'd drawn his shirt a little low.

"Who's on your shirt?" I ventured to ask.

"It's Curious George!"  and he wiggles out of my arms, distracted by something across the room.

Of course it's Curious George.  Get your minds out of the gutter people.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

My poor neglected blog.  I do want to write about my amazing vacation/10-year anniversary trip, but that will have to wait for a later date.  Tonight, it's all about Halloween.

My Benny, that child never ceases to amaze me.  We didn't get any decorations up this year because we were gone for the portion of October that usually happens. So this morning, the kids got those long faces and begged me to put up decorations, I drug out the box and we managed some spiderwebs, ghosts and a witch on the door.  They were happy, and it wasn't terribly time consuming or difficult.

The weather was picture perfect today, sunny and 65 degrees, so while the boys decorated, I tackled the neglected leaves in the front yard.  Having raked them into a big pile, I went to bag them when Benny stopped me.

"No, don't."

"Did you want to jump in them?"

"No, you have to leave them for the other kids."

"What other kids?"

"The ones that are coming trick-or-treating."

Apparently, Benny had a vision of miniature ghost and zombies launching themselves at this pile of leaves on their way to the door to ask for candy.  I think this is because if he had come across a giant pile of leaves in one of our neighbor's yards, he wouldn't have hesitated taking advantage of it.

So the leaves stayed.

I don't know if you've seen his costume this year, but if not here it is.
Trigger Happy from the Skylander video game.

So as the sun set, and the streets started filling with short silhouettes of dozens of kids, you could always tell where Benny was as he bounced from house to house with those crazy ears creating a very distinct shadow.

They roamed the neighborhood for over an hour, we had to pull out Olivia's stroller, he quest for candy was greater than her walking stamina.  Joe had to actually come and empty his bag it was so full so he could go out and collect more.

All in all, a very happy Halloween.  We made it home a little after 7pm and the kids were really excited to hand out candy to the later trick-or-treaters.  They begged me to sit in the front yard with them, which I agreed to do it they provided me with chocolate.  They would run up the sidewalk as far and I would allow and yell down the street to the distant kids.

"Come to our house for candy!"

"We're open!"

Then Benny would grab two handfuls of candy and chase these kids down the sidewalk, shoving candy in their bags before they can even ask for it.  If we could harness that energy and rechannel it, we could have an amazing salesman on our hands one day.

We were all about fangs on our
pumpkins this year.

The final trick-or-treaters came right as I was getting the kids ready for bed.  The doorbell rang, and all three of them bolted for the front door yelling like banshees.  Benny of course fell on the way to the door and Joe opened it anyway to some stunned kids watching Benny scream like he had been stabbed, all while trying to elbow his siblings out of the way and shove candy into the bags kids who were starting to edge away from the door.  They weren't even able to get out a "trick-or-treat."

My little 'angry bird' with matching pumpkin.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The plague

The plague has descended upon our house. Everyone, expect for Ryan has been sniffling and coughing for a week. And to top off this loveliness, Joe brought home pink eye and gave it to everyone. So with the coughing fits, I have to clamp Olivia between my legs and simultaniously keep her flailing arms from her face and pry open her eyes to squeeze in two drops. And then she's supposed to keep her eyes closed for two minutes. Yeah, right. Sadly, Joe is not much better, there is just more of him to flail around, and he has become the master of delaying the inevitable. "Wait, Mom, before you do that, can I tell you something?" Strangely, Benjamin is my ideal patient. He's always had a practical attitude toward pain. There is no use fretting about it before hand, and he gets over it pretty fast afterwards. Four times a day for 5 to 7 days. I dropped these problems off at my Mom's door yesterday and left. Aren't I a good daughter? A week in San Francisco and Napa is just what the doctor ordered. Ryan informs me copious amounts of wine will kill off those germs.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gearing Up

I have been very lazy about posting.  Time to get back to it.

We leave for SAN FRANCISCO! on Friday, drop the kids off at my moms and fly out of SLC on Saturday.  About a week before all this happens, my mom starts what she calls, "gearing up," for my kids to stay a week.  Believe me, it takes some preparation.

She usually starts by Benny proofing the house as much as possible.  Moving breakable and/or fragile things to little used corners of the house, or up high.  Although there's not a high space in our house he can't reach, it may lengthen the life of the object.

Next, she stocks up on essentials, things the older folks don't keep around anymore.  Peanut butter, real milk, applesauce and wipes.  I think she likes it when she's forced to have milk that is not soy based in the house for awhile.

Finally, she puts her boss on alert (the grand kids are coming, won't be here a full 40 hours this week) and starts calling in favors.  Having lived in the same town for over 20 years, she knows people that give train rides, own little ponies, give private tours of the firehouse and roll out some amazing Halloween parties.

All of this is punctuated with calls to me.

"Don't forget their Halloween costumes, I think the library has trick-or-treating..."

"Remember to bring their swimsuits, we might go to the pool..."

"Do I need a medical release form?"

She's a good grandma.  It's no mean feat to take on all three for a week.  They'll have fun, but I have a feeling I'll have to scrape her off the floor by the time we get back.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Benny the Hulk

A few highlights of my week.

Joseph called 911 from Ryan's classroom phone at school.  I still am not sure why...

Our doorbell rang after I had left for work the other day.  This by itself is cause for great excitement for the kids.  It was a man going door to door asking about voter registration.  
Benny pokes his head out the front door and declares, "You're black!"
To which the poor, startled man calmly replied, "Yes I am."

I had to go relight the pilot light to the furnace at the rental condo, AGAIN, with Benny and Olivia in tow.  They hopped around this poor woman's house while she tried to keep them from tumbling down the crawl space I was in.  She finally bribed them with Butterfingers to get them to hold still.  Smart woman.  

And then Benny became The Hulk.  I'd just like to point out, Mom, he did not use blue.
I think this pretty much sums up my week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

... and then they almost burned down the house

WARNING:  This is a pity-post.  I try to avoid them, mostly because I don't usually need to write them, but on Sunday/Monday my kids were at their worst.

Sundays are crazy busy.  Really I would like nothing more than to take a day of rest once a week, I suppose my hour and 15 minutes of peace and quiet at mass is my rest.  But it's a full day with 8 hours at work and mass, plus travel time I'm usually gone from the house for 10 hours or so.  All I want to do at the end of the day is get home, and Ryan is usually ready for a break from the kids.

So image my surprise when I find Ryan was at the same evening mass as I was, and he's waiting for me as I walk out the doors, all kids in tow and instead of hello he says, "the kids almost burned down the house last night."  I can see my quiet, relaxing evening taking wing and flying away.

Apparently, Benny and Joe had taken their small lamp that sits on their dresser as a nightlight and Benny had cut the shade to shreds.  Then they knocked it off the dresser and left the bare bulb, lit, on the carpet all night.  What Ryan had found after I had left for work that morning was a piece of carpet melted to the bulb and a three inch hole in the carpet.

This all happens after they've been put to bed and are supposed to be sleeping.

Really, I should be more grateful.  This was probably the best outcome of the incident, the worst being the entire family burnt to a crisp in their beds.

So that is what was waiting for me when I walked in the door. That and Joe's undone homework, which required pictures being printed.  Which required going back to Target at 7:30 on a Sunday evening (thank you Ryan for making the trip, I just didn't have it in me at that point).

Now, what happened on Monday wasn't really a huge deal.  But you know how little things seem so much worse when you pile them together on top of an already crummy day?  Yeah, that was Monday.

Joe has a dentist appointment at 8am.  This involves getting all three kids up and feed and dressed and in the car for 7:20, because believe it or not, I live 40 minutes from our pediatric dentist office.  Good grief.  The prep for this endeavor began at 9pm the night before when I started breakfast so it would be ready to go early.  (Now for those of you that do this daily, I apologize for whining.  I know some people do this everyday, with more than three kids.)

To mine and everyone else's amazement, I made it, on time, in the rain, with my sanity in tack.  And as the receptionist is checking Joe in, about the time I'm thinking, this is taking a long time, she announces that I have the wrong day.  His appointment is for Thursday.


Oh, and after that, I got to call our landlord and tell him there was a three inch burn hole in his carpet.  That was a fun conversation.