Sunday, May 30, 2010

Introducing Clarissa and More Construction

Introducing Clarissa
Out of boredom, Lydia dressed Clayton up like a girl. He was a good sport, and he made a cute girl.

More Construction


The home improvements are ever on-going. No, my kitchen is still not finished. I am getting there by baby steps. We got the ceiling up several months ago. After a couple of MESSY mudding and sanding episodes, I am finally to the texturizing stage. I have half of the ceiling texturized. Lydia is extremely happy that we've finally gotten a central heater / air conditioner unit installed upstairs. Her room, along with J & C's room, the bathroom, and the library are all comfortable year round now. Yesterday we had a few guys come over and help with our insulation project. They built subwalls, insulated and got the drywall up in both Lydia & Justice and Clayton's rooms. THANK YOU to our helpers!! Now we just have our bedroom, and the library to insulate. Then it will be quickly on to two complete bathroom remodels (including insulation).

I just love the way that little boys are always wanting to be part of whatever the guys are doing. Justice spent most of the day yesterday driving three inch nails into a scrap piece of wood. He actually got pretty good at it. He was coming in every few minutes for a new nail at the end of the day. Ross, Mark and Clayton eventually caught on. Ross and Mark started nailing pieces of wood together to make things.


Here is Mark with his creation Laser Eyes, and Ross with a "shrine" that he built.

Here is Ross' latest creation: "Boromir after he met up with an army of orcs."

Friday, May 28, 2010

No School

Return of the half naked boys
Clayton gloating over his victory in finding where Mommy keeps the chocolate chips.

The kids have officially been home from school for one week. Lydia and I got dough nuts last Friday morning to celebrate. We did a happy dance all the way there and back.

On Craigs list, last Saturday I found a running stroller exactly like the one that had been stolen, rust and all. I had to drive about an hour away to pick it up, but I only paid $20 for it. The splurge that Bruce, the kids and I did on the way back was much more expensive. After picking my new old stroller up, we stopped and explored the BIG mall and let the kids play a bit at the arcade and the indoor playground and let them do the trampoline bungee thing. The kids also had fun looking at all the animals at Cabela's, where there was a metal bin filled with dog pillows. Lydia and I took turns flopping our upper bodies down on the stacks of dog pillows exclaiming how comfortable they were. That is until Bruce picked me up and threw me into the bin. It was pretty funny, but I made him help me out quickly before anyone at the store came over and yelled at me. By the time we left the mall, it was so late that we stopped by Burger King on the way home to feed our crew. For all the money we spent on the way home from getting my stroller, I could have bought myself a nice used running stroller, but my old one did the job just fine, and so does this one. Plus we had a good time.

In other news, Ross and Mark are both playing baseball this summer, so we have baseball games to go to nearly every night. Poor Bruce is hardly getting anytime to relax at all. As soon as he gets home from work, it's off to a ball game.

I've really been enjoying my early mornings which are now free from waking kids up to go to school. Instead I go walking or running. I love quiet mornings outside before the world is up!

Mark has convinced Justice that there are "sewer gators" in all of our drains. That's what makes the gurgling noise. Justice seems to find the sewer gators interesting, but not particularly scary.

Clayton is getting better and better and expressing his every thought and wish, though most of it is indistinguishable (Wow that's a big word! I'm going to have to remember that one for the next time that I play Book Worm Adventure.) for someone who doesn't know the language. He has lots of made up words for things. Here is a translation guide:

A va va = Cat
La = Keys (his favorite thing to play with)
Ella = Lydia
Daddon = Dad
Bom = Mom
Umm = Yummy foods like ice cream or candy
Yleahk = Mud or anything gross
Eis = Drink
Eish = Shoes (he ALWAYS wants his shoes on)
Bowl = Can I have some cereal in a bowl?
Baseball = Any kind of ball or a bat
Laden = Slide or sometimes Light

Oh, Lydia says to tell you all that John is a stupid head, and that Trent is a weirdo. Ashley is a goofball, and Todd's just strange.

And now for something completely different: Ross almost NEVER likes what I make for dinner! I think the only real food that I make that he likes is mostaccioli. (My spell check says I spelled that wrong, and maybe I did. I don't know, but it thinks maybe I am meaning molestation.) Anyway, Ross is always eating canned ravioli instead of whatever I make. There is no point in trying to entice him. What cracks me up is when I was in a hurry to go out with Bruce and I made macaroni and cheese from a box, and hot dogs, Ross gushed and carried on and on about what a wonderful dinner I had made. He did that again yesterday when I was in a hurry and reheated some left over hot dogs, hamburgers, and bacon. "Thank you, Thank you Mom! That was wonderful!" Silly boy!

On as sort of similar note, Justice was at my Mom's house a few days ago and helping her clean grime off of a table in the backyard. As they scrubbed it down, Justice exclaimed "Grandma, we always do the funnest things at your house!"

One more thing, Clayton had a particularly bad week. In one week he has had croup, pink eye, an ear infection and a heat rash. Happily, he's doing much better now.

To end on, here's an 8 second silly clip of Lydia and Ross:


Alright that's enough for now. Have a good one! Love, Renae

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poop, Poop, Poop and More Poop!!!

Well radio edit! Someone walked off with my double running stroller! VOMIT!! Large intestinal puke! Periodontal fungus! Gangrenous Trench Mouth! Underside of a SMELLY TROLL! One of my kids pushed it up to the edge of the yard and left it there. Someone apparently thought I was getting rid of it, and took it! DARN IT!!

Well, I'm off to Craig's List and Freecycle to see if I can find another one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Times

I've been staying away from the computer more lately. Never fear I will always be a blog addict, but I'm trying to keep it under control. I have MANY things to include in this catsup blog, so I hope I don't forget half of it.

It seems to me that parenting is sprinkled with many highs and lows everyday. Take yesterday for example, our basement flooded (DARN thing! We have done MANY a thing in hopes of stopping the flooding, but every year we get one or two rains where it is just too much, and it gets in. I'm still hopeful that we can fix it though.) Anyway, while I was in the laundry room washing the clothes that had gotten wet, I heard the sound of glass breaking. I ran upstairs to find that Justice had broken a glass vase. I cleaned that up and went back to the basement to find that J & C had made a bridge or something in the water with our couch cushions. GREAT! Then I had to call poison control because the kids broke a bottle of car wax in the closet and I was afraid that Clayton might have tried a taste of it. Also someone dumped an entire box of croutons out in my bed. This is about a typical amount of mayhem for one day at my house.

Then there are the highs that just make it all so much more than worthwhile. Sunday we went to my brother John's house and we got to talk to our little brother (a missionary serving in Switzerland / Austria / Germany) on the phone. That was great. John, Bruce and I took the kids for a walk in the rain. It was actually a really fun time. We got yelled at by some guy for making a dam in a parking lot's drainage pathway with some rocks. It might be wicked but we made a lot of dam jokes. Ross and Mark kept yelling things like "I need more dam rocks!" It was pretty hilarious. I just had a good time watching the kids jumping in puddles. There is NOTHING cuter than a (nearly) 2 year old running around and splashing.

Yesterday Justice was playing with a toy dinosaur and he says "Mom, if this dinosaur was alive, Heavenly Father would be afraid of him!"

I guess he was thinking that the dino was just THAT scary. Then we had a conversation about how Heavenly Father made the dinosaurs, so he wouldn't be scared by them. It took some convincing, but I finally managed to get him to understand that a dinosaur wouldn't eat Heavenly Father because He could just make them go away.

Let's see, here are some pictures from the Father / Son camp out. Bruce may post them, but I want them on mine too.












One day last week, a baby bird somehow ended up sitting on our windowsill. It was really neat. The kids and I watched the mother feed it a worm or two.


Last night we gathered at my parents' house for dinner and family night. "Uncle Christmas" (a long time friend of the family) came over too. For our family night game, we reaffirmed my parents' neighbors' longstanding suspicions that our family is a little nuts. We played a round of follow the leader around the block. Five adults (Mom, Ashley, Chris, Bruce and I) and our 5 children ran around the block jumping, yelling, flailing, and doing whatever nonsense the kids could invent. I saw at least one neighbor watching us out their window. It was really fun!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Father Son -vs- Mother Son Camp-out

I heard someone once say that as soon as the baby is born, the husband becomes mentally retarded in the mother's eyes. Meaning that the mothers are worried that the husband will do something stupid and endanger their children. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a complete bubble-wrap-the-world-for-my-child kind of mother. Right now my three oldest boys are at the Father / Son camp-out with their father. They are doing some kind of service project that involves cleaning up some kind of woodsy/ brushy area. I just got off the phone and my husband told me that as we speak, Ross, my 10 year old is walking around swinging an ax. Mark, my eight year old is using a pair of pruning shears (the kind that you can cut off your finger in one second), and Justice, my four year old is out there with a hack saw.

This begs the comedic question: How different would a mother /son camp-out be than a father / son camp-out? I can't imagine the mother / son camp-out where a four year old is handed a hack saw and everyone there is okay with that. There would probably be crafts. Can you see a father-son camp-out where they sit around and glue pretty wild flowers onto some pretty scrap-booking paper? There would be considerably less peeing in the woods, I'm sure. I can hear the mothers fretting about the kids around the camp fire. "Oh, not too close!" "No running with the pokey roasting forks!" Ha ha! I'm not saying that the mother's way would be better, nor that the father's way is right. It's probably somewhere in the middle. I just think the contrast would be funny.

Well as long as my children all make it back with all their digits in tact, I'll be happy. It's good for them to be around men and learn how to do manly things. Boys need that. I do trust my husband, but sometimes I can't bare to watch.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Time For My Monthly Bout With Depression

Here's the picture that Mark drew on the back of my Mother's Day gift. It's a picture of me cleaning up and scowling. I feel like crap a bit.

Monday, May 03, 2010

I Waterboarded My Baby

Yesterday I heard Clayton crying in the kitchen, the kind of cry that gets your attention. I came in to find him standing on my counter top rubbing his eyes with a heavy layer of dish soap covering his face, hands and arms. I quickly picked him up and started rinsing. Since his eyes were my biggest concern, I held his eyes in the stream of running water for a good little bit. Poor little kid, he thought I was drowning him! I felt so bad for him! After a good thorough rinsing, and then a LOT of cuddling, he was fine.

On a sort of related thing, in that it REALLY upset Clayton, Bruce came home from work for lunch the other day. He was sitting at the table with his back against the wall, so it was hard to get out. I was up doing the dishes, and Bruce asked me to fill his glass with some water. He had one of those single powdered drink mixes, so he wanted a specific amount. I filled his glass and he sheepishly asked for a little bit more. Being a smart-alack, I filled his glass to the tippy top and handed it back. "Um that's too much, Renae." says Bruce.

"So drink a little bit." I say.

After Bruce drinks some, he says "Oops, I drank too much. Could you give me a little bit more water?"

To which I responded by squeezing out my washcloth into his glass. To which Bruce responded by tossing the contents of his water glass on me. At which I gasped in shock. We were just playing with each other. But the second that Bruce threw water on me and I did that big gasp, Clayton absolutely screamed in horror! It took some hugs and a bit of reassurance that Mom and Dad were okay to calm Clayton down. What a sensitive kid! I feel bad for kids whose parents actually fight with each other!

Oh, and one more thing that made me do a sad sigh today. Lydia mispronounced the name of her old imaginary friend. She's growing up on me.