Friday, May 30, 2008

Random Goings On

Well, giving me a three day holiday sure puts me in a tail spin, never to catch up to real life. I have three loads of laundry in the tv room beckoning me to be folded and at least four more that need to be cleaned TODAY for fear the boys will begin their Saturday baseball extravaganza with grass stained knees BEFORE the games instead of just AFTER. But we are nearing the end, folks. There is light at the end of the tunnel. But then the tunnel just burrows underground again with football starting up in a mere two months time.

Las Vegas was great! We actually left only 30 minutes after our planned departure time. Made it there in time to make our kids's lives miserable by dining at Panera for lunch instead of the much lusted after McDonald's. (Forget the fact that beef bullion is in the french fry oil, I'm thinking maybe they've added crack, or some other very addictive drug for this type of insane kiddy behavior. And why are they always so excited to get the toy, when it's some cheap plastic thing that is fun for maybe five minutes, never to be oggled again?) Oh the trauma of having to eat a utilitarian sandwiche and GAWD FORBID - organic yogurt. My middle boy, the eight year old, refuses to eat sandwiches unless they are in a narrow spectrum of sandwiche-dom - grilled, cheddar cheese, period. So he opted for the chicken noodle soup which he only ate half of, and most of that was hand spooned to him by his desperate mother who would very much love to stick an IV of butter into his scrawny little arm. The reason for his refusal to eat the said soup? It contained 'mucus'. I don't even want to know what was going on there.

Then on to the Strip. Which, let me tell you folks, I don't care how many tourist boards tell you 'Vegas is for kids', it is most definitely not. It is for parents who are desperate to go to Vegas and feel guilty. While yes, there are attractions and roller coasters and 'shows' (I am not forking out $60 per seat to a 'kid show' when I have five kids. Whatever,..) We hit the Mandalay shark reef and that was nice, if very crowded and humid. Tough for the mom to be whom we were visiting, I'm sure.

They have these cool little tv changer looking contraptions that you can program and listen to information about the display you are looking at. But you add nice gents at the beginning of the attraction giving ALL the kids their very own + overloaded stroller full of sweatshirts, dollies, blankets and toys = mommy trying to get to elevator to leave being almost thrown in jail for stealing said contraptions.

After fighting my way through a standing room only crowd just to get to the elevator with stroller beeping furiously (don't your strollers beep? I thought nothing of it, always being surrounded by sound such as I am), I am stopped by security agent demanding contraption. Find one contraption and hand it over. Security guard turns to leave. Stroller still furiously beeping. Feel under more strata of child stuff - find another contraption. Yell at security guard, "here's one more!" Hmm,.. stroller still beeping,.. Go deeper still,. find another contracption. At this point, security guard is so far away, have to involved crowd in calling her back. Finally stroller stops beeping and can get to the elevator. Where is my family? They have escaped down the escalator, chortling as they go, whispering to each other they are so glad no one knows I am a part of their group. How embarrassing for them. Thanks, guys.

Drive to Bellagio and look at amazing flower atrium displays and dancing fountains. Very nice. Decide to cross street to Paris hotel. Mistake. Have to cross insepid path of girlie hawkers and their scantily clad cards of vixens strewn all over the sidewalk as we make our way to the Eiffel tower. 11 year old holds his eyes and exclaims they are burning! Argh! Middle child says "I tried not to look, but I just HAD to!" Eyes are popping out of his head like some sort of cartoon cat. He asks me, "WHY are naked women such a big deal?!?" I say, "Well, let's have this conversation some time later." To which he asks me in puzzlement why and I say something along the lines of trying to explain monogomy and the beauty of the human body just seems wrong when you are walking the Strip in Las Vegas with your eight year old. Freak out 11 year old who thinks I'm giving him 'THE TALK.' I assure him, no, not quite yet. He is thankful as he tells me the kid can't quite handle it yet. I've got my work cut out for me apparently...

Go back to bro and sis in law's condo for grilled steaks. Best part? The boys spend the night there, so we only have to purchase one hotel room and deal with only two kids during the night. Yowza!

Next day do the Church thing, then the older boys take off for golf. I opt for the pedestrian to us mere adults, but fabulously exciting to small kids tasks of lunch at McDonalds and then toy shopping at Walmart. Don't tell me I don't show my kids a good time! Hit McD's, stand in lunch line, order half the required amount of happy meals when smallest boy informs me his brother has thrown up in the kiddy habitrail. Nice. Shut down habitrail, check out kid who seems fine and hungry (this is the skinny one - must feed him at all costs), commence with lunch and go to Walmart.

Then to the pool, where baby thankfully falls asleep in stroller, boys swim happily and little two year old happily paddles around hot tub. I stay in hot tub too, as we seem to have an ice age happening here in Nevada and Southern California.

Then, to grilling hamburgers and off to the new Indiana Jones movie which was totally AWESOME, even if 8 year old found out that Indy is actually 60 years old, the same age as his grandmother, to which he exclaimed, 'That is just weird!" Then fantasized about Grandma marrying Indy and how rad that would be to have him as his grandfather. Hint, hint, I guess. Start writing those fan letters now, Grandma!

Why is the return trip from vacation always three times lengthier than the trip there? Made it home pretty much unscathed, but mood brought down by the thought of three days worth of laundry trying to explode out of the suitcases.

Wednesday evening the fam did a presentatio at Church to the little Church school kids about our journey to Indonesia. It was very fun and we think they enjoyed it fo rthe most part - tough to talk to first through sixth grade and keep everyone engaged. But afterwards, had a few kids come up and tell us how 'cool' we are, so I think it wasn't a total loss.

'Kay, that's about it. Pictures coming sometime when I have the brain capacity and time to upload to the computer. Enjoy your weekend! Sleep in for me!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Monday!

Well, even bloggers take vacas you know. We just got back from a great weekend in Las Vegas visiting Hubby's brother and his wife who is expecting in a mere couple of months. Very fun. I'll talk more about it, but now I'm nursing my 'post vacation depression' and have only 9 minutes before the race to get five kids and me ready to get out the door.

In the meantime, I'd like to know what happened to our global warming, as we spent the whole time in the hot tub trying to stay warm?!?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Metaphysical Lives of Children,.. or "if a child whines in his room and you don't hear it, is it still irritating?"

Oy vei. I guess my kindergartner's life just isn't has dramatic as he'd like. I got a phone call from his speech therapist yesterday, 'mother to mother.'

"Well,.." she says, "My son went through this stage and I thought I'd want to know as a mom,, so I thought I should call you."

Great. Smile through the phone. "Oh yes, please, thanks for calling me, what's going on?"

"Well, I don't know what's happening at home, but Kyle was really sad today and told me that you are going through a divorce."


"Uhm,.." I stutter. "Please be assured we are not and I'm not sure where he got that idea."

"Well, I thought I would talk to his teacher" (Wonderful,l now the school thinks we have a volatile, unloving household) "And she did tell me to be careful, because he is prone to telling stories, like the time he told her his dad died in the war in Iraq. Which, she said she knows isn't true because she's met Kyle's dad."


I guess I shouldn't be surprised. My boys seem to think the grass is greener on the other side. When smaller, they would get mad at me because they never got to go to daycare when 'all their friends did." Now, they think their friends of divorced parents are 'rich' because they have two houses. Maybe Kyle was just trying to show off with the war hero and the broken home.

Too bad we have such a boring, poor life.

This little lying stage doesn't bother me, however. I'm a smarter mom today. My oldest son also went through this phase. The 'pinnochio' phase as I call it. I remember believing my oldest son's stories until one day I found out he had lied about the mean lunch lady at school not allowing him to get food. But not until I'd had a meeting with both the principal of his school and the lunch lady. I learned to take a deep breath and that boys between the ages of 5 - 10 don't always know the difference between reality and, well, their reality.

Somehow, my imaginitive kid, the middle son, skipped this phase. Maybe he's too busy building dragon traps in the backyard and trying to hatch rocks, er, I mean dragon eggs in his room to lie to me about stink bombs going off on the bus (Jared) and his daddy going to jail (Kyle).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sophia's Life in Pictures

Little elf baby. Although the kid is only 12.5 lbs (less than 25%) she has jowls. And my butt. So sorry.

Channeling Patrick the Starfish from Spongebob Sqarepants.

From these pictures you'd think she spent her life happy and eating. Not true. She's a screamer and would rather wear the cereal than eat it. I was attempting to feed her solids since her weight is so slight, but I don't believe she's really ready. She seems ready. She wants that sirloin in the steak salad. She reaches for your fork when she's being held, but rice cereal? No go. Now that I think about it, I don't think I'd want that tasteless, lumpy white gruel either, when everyone else has speghetti, hamburgers and bbq chicken.

Here Sophie is either saying, "Hey, me too!" or probably more likely she's saying "WTH! Why do I have to be the fifth? Why can't I be the spoiled only child??" Sorry, chickie. Someday you will love your overbearing big sister who loves you so much if you had stuffing, it would have been squished out by now.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sisterly Love

Already fighting for independence,..

Mommy's little helper.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Return of Roksosa??

So hubby got a call from Pak Goreng (our friend Chris Frey) yesterday. Chris was the one responsible for our trip to Indonesia and is still over there building houses and infrastructure and generally probably staying out of trouble by just the skin of his teeth. We miss him and our life there dearly, but we're also thankful that we're back here in the U.S. We're giving a presentation a bunch of crazy kids at Church in a couple of weeks and it's been fun to think about all the insanity of the last year and a half. (If you didn't know we all went temporarily insane and went to help rebuild after the Indian Ocean tsunami go here. I promise you will laugh at our insanity)
Anyway, Chris has been back to an island call Nias where Hubby and Chris had travelled to scope out some work when Hubby was still in Indonesia. (I had since left with the four kiddos and one in the oven to nest back in the states). Now, for the most part, this area of Sumatra, Indonesia has been cut off from the rest of the world because of stringent Islamic law and civil warfare. Islands off the mainland even more so (Nias is Christian, actually).
When Hubby went to visit Nias that first and only time, he was followed by a group of kids in one of the villages they stayed in. They lurched behind him like frankenstein and called him 'Roksosa' which is Indonesian for 'giant.'
Chris went back to Nias and that same village. While there he saw some kids and heard them talking about 'roksosa' again. Chris asked one of the CRS employees there, who is Indonesian and can translate to english what the kids were talking about (Hi Florentino!) and Florentino said they were saying Chris was the 'friend of Roksosa and wondering if Roksosa would come back.'
Gotta be great to be a legend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What Price Vanity?

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

I am coveting this stupid bag from Dooney and Bourke. I first fell in love in the local Gottchalks. I glanced at it, then left the store. I came back to said store a few days later to 'buy a gift for my friend's birthday.' Went to the counter and flipped over the price tag. Thought to myself, if it's less than $150 I'm goin' for it! $395!! Whaaaa? Can you believe it? So I sheepishly left the store. And subsequently saw it at the grocery store, then the air show, then the little league park. I had just forgotten about it, and it showed up at the gym! Argh!!! Why does everyone have my bag? And why do I still want a bag everyone has?

I was whining to hubby about this very thing. He is coveting an object, too. A Porche 911. A few $395 more than my bag, I might say. I did jokingly tell him, "You know, if you cashed out my 401(K) you could have one of those." The gleam in his eye is telling me I need to change the password on my account.

Anyway, my good buddy WEW told me this is God's way of testing me. To which my husband (forever the cheapskate) agreed, saying, yes, it's true, it's vain to want it.

Sigh. But I think I look good in giraffe,...

Happy Birthday!!!!

Five months old

480 months old

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Morning View

You're NEVER too tired to play video games,...

B helping her baby eat breakfast (it's a doll, I swear!)

The restless baby mewling at me to stop blogging,..

Ready to take kindergarner to school!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

From my family to yours. (And yes, that's a rat's butt in the picture. I'd of changed it, but somehow, it just seems so darned appropriate.)

Hope you all are having a great one. I got a great breakfast cooked for me, and then the icing on the cake - a cleaned up kitchen that happened magically while I showered. Then to Mass, where once again, I did not transcend my usual prayer after communion of 'Please God, don't let me kill my offspring before the closing hymn." Someday I'll rise above and ask for peace in the world, and to feed the hungry masses, but for now, I just want to make it through. I'm sure you can relate.

I was hoping beyond hope that today would be a little 'eye of the hurricane' in my life of bodily injury, but alas, I did not post early enough. Let me map it out for you:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - BASEBALL!
Thursday - a night at home,.. no, wait,.. Jared sprained his knee by JUST STANDING AROUND and hubby had to take him to the urgent care for appropriate X-rays and bandaging. Home by 10:30pm.
Friday - BASEBALL! But before that, the dog attempts to eat the night's baseball player's rat. I am too old for this excitement, it took about four hours for my heart to stop trying to beat out of my chest. I think that was a better aerobic activity for me than actually going to the gym. Rat was unscathed, little boy's tears were wiped away and he was deposited on his bike to ride down to his game.
Saturday - Rat bites boy's lip. Blood and screams all over the house. Boy is fine. Boy is lectured not to kiss rat. Hubby asks boy what he'll do when girls start to kiss him, since he has such scrumptous lips, obviously. Boy looks a little green.
Sunday - 11 year old hit in the eyeball by a hard baseball while playing pickle with his brothers. Hubby tells me this is just the beginnings, so I'd better get a stronger heart.

I'd post pictures, but I think I'd loose my 'G' rating on the blog, what with all the carnage.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Bicycle Built for Two,.. And Danger Boy

Continuing in the spirit of 'Christmas Throughout the Year', we continue to uncover as yet unpacked items in our garage. C'mon, we're only going on month five of being the house,... Hubby found Kyle's bicycle wagon we scored in Boise, Id. and took it for a warm up ride around the block. Sabrina thought it was pretty cool.

We also have a baby seat for the bikes,.. * somewhere * that I'm not allowed to use on my bike because I have balance issues. Bikes scare me. I hate to ride them in the street because people will see me. For this reason, I'll never own a convertible. I don't like to be so 'out-there.' I have issues, I know.

But this little kiddy - wagon, I think it could possibly help my biking, as it would keep me upright. Don't cha think? Or perhaps I should just stay on the ground and take pictures.

Then there's DangerBoy. Who will do anything. The boys are insisting they want to do BMX, but being the cheap, exhausted parents we are, hubby took them into the hills near our house. Which was quite enough thank you very much. Little DangerBoy had to push his bike up the bigger hills and the other two couldn't feel their legs by the time they peddled home. I had a lovely afternoon of NO BOYS in the house. Aahhhh,.. contentment. The boys can't believe I could ever do anything like that. And the last time I did try we had driven up into the bigger hills near our house, dropped off Jared and hubby and a couple friends, drove down to our meeting point, I struggled three bikes off the top of the Suburban, hooked the front wheels back in, clipped on helmets, mounted the bikes, then 25 yards in DangerBoy hit a large rock, sprang off the bike via the handlebars headfirst into a burbling brook and got a bloody nose. So we trudged back to the car where the boys climbed rocks and trees and ate snacks for the next hour where we waited for the rest of our party to emerge from the woods.

But I used to mountain bike as one of our friends, my witness, testified to the 11 year old, who still to this day does not believe I can do anything but stand around holding a baby in one hand and a latte in the other.

But, we got happy kids, and that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My Manly Weekend

Figured I'd better post about my last weekend before the next one jumps out of the shadows at me. They seem to come fast and furious these days.

I can feel hair on my chest growing from my last weekend. It was a testosterone weekend, starting with movie night on Friday. Every Friday we have family movie night. We've just finished watching the Indian Jones trilogy - again - in order - to get ready for the newest one coming out this month. Nothing too manly about that, but as hubby was putting down the Lost Temple or whatever it was, he slapped down 3:10 to Yuma next to it.

"Why'd you get that?" I ask in disbelief.

"So we can watch it tomorrow night," Hubby replied.

"But," I say, trying to conjure the word, "It's a western."

I hate westerns. My dad watched everything John Wayne made. And Clint Eastwood. And this did not make my heart grow fond of the genre.

"Can't I just stick Texas Chainsaw Massacre in my computer and use my earphones?" I whine. "I'll still sit next to you on the couch."

"No!" He puts his foot down. "After two decades of watching all the crap you've dragged me to, I'm making you watch this movie!"

He says this with love. And he does have a point.

I can't help it that I love horror movies. Not so much psychopathic killers, but give me a werewolf or a vampire, and you have my rapt attention for a good hour and twenty minutes. After all, it takes true love to sit through Species with someone. Yes, it's my terrible character flaw.

So I acted like an adult, and watched the movie. It was actually a great movie, and I highly recommend it. I don't think it was because my brain was fried from seven hours of sitting at the baseball park cheering on the boys. (can't wait til the girls also have activities. I will be able to fill my entire weekend with kid activities, like a bingo card.) I came out of that unscathed except for the racoon tan I am sporting on my face that even foundation can't quite rectify and one sunburnt foot.

Sunday we found an airshow happening at March Air Reserve Base. The kids and hubby toured a few big tin cans with wings (kidding) and we watched the Thunderbirds perform. Not the best place for a sensitive, crabby baby, but Sophia survived the festivities and loud engine noises.

So, baseball, a western and an airshow. I'm ready for some Mother's Day breakfast in bed. Hint hint.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Don't forget yer mama

This is hilarious. Go to this funny lady's Website for ideas on what to get mom for her special day. I could really use a diary, if ya know what I mean!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ack. I had the flu yesterday. What is up with my immune system? First pink eye and now this. Could it be my lack of sleep, oh little nine-pound wonder? I think so. After yet another night of up every other hour, even hubby is begging me to wean the babe. It' s time. She's developed some nasty habits, thanks to me. Now it's time to break them, if for no other reason, to regain some sanity here.

On the other hand, perhaps I'm livinig my own personal biblical plague scenario. Yucaipa seems to have hatched the world's largest fly population and they all seem to be hovering on the overhang of my front entry-way. Thank goodness for the industrial fans in the TV room and the bedroom fans hubby installed - with all that swirling wind the flies congregate in specific no-wind zones, like the little area between the 'office' and the kitchen and my bathroom.

What I'd give for some of that poison they sold in Indonesia that would KILL BUGS DEAD on impact; none of this granola spray that makes them dizzy we seem to have here in America. I mean really, what good are flies? I know we need bees for the flowers (I did see Bee Movie, you know), but flies? Can't worms eat all the dead things? And some beatles? Can't we put flies on the endangered list?

I came home on Wednesday to my bedroom window forgottenly left open and no less than 500 flies in the house. Which gave visions of The Amittyville Horror, but I think their house had less dust.

And then that night - freezin' cold! I mean, this is Southern California - I expect to be wearing tank tops now, and not my freshly-dry-cleaned-so-I-can-put-them-away-for-the-summer wool sweaters. I'll take that as the frogs falling from the sky, or the lightening. So far no boils, but I did sprout a pimple and I think at my age, that is ridiculous, if not a little unfair of life.

Some housekeeping - I inadvertently called hubby's sister Deanna his cousin. I was thinking about Murphy and wrote cousin. I don't have time for proofing or spell check and lack of sleep makes writing things that make sense a challenge, so sorry about that. I'll add the link to their blog on my page so everyone can see the happy family, but in the meantime you can check out their blog here.

Also, and I should have put this at the top, but here it is, Paul and Sarah's 3D pictures of little Andrew, the next cousin to be born into the Richardson tribe. Amazing, isn't it? Almost feels like I've met him!!