The morning started in the usual manner: a few cups of coffee for me and then upstairs to
gently wake the sleeping sweeties yell at the monsters to hurry and get up: Potty! Teeth! Dressed!
Andrew (still so, so sweet) sat up and asked groggily if this was my day to go to school with him. YES!!! I told him excitedly. I PROMISE, I told him, I am going with you today. (On Tuesday I was scheduled to work in his classroom, but another mom showed up, too. Turns out she had her dates wrong, but she was 11 days postpartum with TWINS, had a babysitter in place, AND it was her preschool son’s birthday and she’d brought chocolate filled cupcakes for snack time. She TOTALLY trumped me and my store bought cookies. I said I’d come back on Thursday, much to Andrew’s disappointment.)
The kids mostly made it through breakfast and I started gathering the things we’d need for school. Then I hear: MOM!!!! I’M SICK! (And a few other sounds that you’d rather me not try to recreate.)
Luke was in (my) bathroom, puking. Ugh!!! I asked if he was okay and he told me no. I asked him if he’d made it all into the toiled and he said yes (whew). I asked if he’d be okay if I left him home to work at preschool and he said no. The tears started rolling down Drew’s cheeks as I explained that I was again going to have to skip helping at school. “I am NOT going to ‘chool without you!” he told me. I apologized profusely and explained that his brother was sick.
Then, through the bathroom door, the Best Brother in the World could be heard: “I’ll be okay, Mom. You can go.”
After making SURE that Luke would be okay, I ushered the other kids out the door and into the van. As I parked in the school lot and the kids hopped out, I received a text from my friend, asking if I could take her daughter during the recess hour. As I was texting my reply about having a barfer at home, she pulled up in her car. I quit texting, walked over and explained in person. She told me she’d find someone else to do it and began pulling away. I turned back to my van to see that it was still running, keys locked inside.
Thankfully, my friend was still in shouting distance and I had her stop. I ran Andrew into school and explained my dilemma, telling his teachers (and swearing to him) that I’d be back soon. Passing Jack in the hallway, he asked if I could grab his track shoes while I ran home, as he had forgotten them.
I jumped in with Erin and she drove me to my house where I checked on Luke (just fine), grabbed Jack’s shoes and dug up Dan’s keys to our van. Then Erin drove me back to school. As I approached my still running van, I noticed that the door to it was unlocked. WHAT??? Did I hit the key fob? I don’t think so. As a matter of fact, it occurred to me that my van doesn’t LET you lock the door if the engine is running. I know I tried to lock the door as I got out, but I guess it didn’t engage since the keys were in the ignition.
Hanging my head low, I thanked her for the ride and then begged Erin not to tell anyone.
Maybe all the planning, late nights, sawdust, noise, graphite and drilling were worth it after all.
Still, it was nice to see it all come to fruition.
Our boys cleaned up at this year’s Pinewood Derby!
Sam took SECOND PLACE in the beauty contest (aka “cool car”) and then took THIRD PLACE for speed!
Luke won FIRST PLACE for speed!!!
Oh, and lest I forget, Andrew won ALL of the exhibition races. (He was the only one racing, but still…)
I don’t think it gets better than that. Luke gave a bunch of credit to his dad (“I have the best dad EVER”) he told the crowd. Then he mumbled something unintelligible about his mom helping him a teeny tiny bit with the paint.
Sam was a little more generous with his mom, as he told everyone his favorite part of working on the car was painting it by hand with his mom.
Brother against Brother…
Guitar vs. Cardinals…
Last weekend, Dan and Luke got into a heated argument and Luke started spouting off about how he could beat his Dad in a foot race.
Dan wasn’t going to let that one go. So, despite being old and slow and on the injured list, he challenged Luke to a race.
Sam was… somewhere, and Jack was at mass, but the rest of us piled into the car and headed to the track.
Which was covered in a foot of snow.
So, we headed to the path. Maria sat in the warm car and Dan and Luke headed off to warm up. Andrew and I stuck around the finish line for a while, until Andrew decided to set off on his own:
Soon after, they all caught up with each other:
Then the real race began:
He’s all smiles, even if he did lose.
“I’d beat you in a mile race,” he told Dan as they walked back to the car.
My fool child:
He came in wet and cold from shoveling, but left the shovels lying around in the yard. An unhappy Dad demanded he go back out to put them away properly. Not wanting to put on wet, snowy pants, he opted for going out as-is.
Have I mentioned here that Andrew wears his cape EVERYWHERE?
A few weeks ago, while I was searching for something (no idea what anymore), I came across this cape. I had had it made for Jack long ago by a friend’s mom. To go with it, I bought a sword, shield, breastplate and helmet. A perfect knight’s outfit. We gave it to Jack for Christmas and he loved it.
The sword broke (go figure) and we’ve also since moved. I think the shield and helmet are still in the dress-up bucket, but the cape had disappeared and been forgotten about. Until I recently came across it.
I immediately called to Andrew and showed it to him. “Put it on!” He demanded.
And he hasn’t taken it off since. Well, except to shower. And poop. (It wouldn’t do to have doo on the cape!)
He wears it all day, sleeps in it at night, skates in it, and even wears it to church. Forget about the knight idea. He is a super hero. A HOLY super hero! (There is a cross on the back.)
Well, it didn’t take long for super kid to request a cape for super dog. I made it a couple of weeks ago, but finished the embellishment today.
Watch out evil-doers!
Not only will Andrew go NOWHERE without his cape these days, but he also wants to take Cheerio with us everywhere we go. Being the youngest, I tend to indulge him. (I know.)
The problem with taking Cheerio (besides her AWFUL breath in my face as we drive along) is that it has become a habit. As a result, when we leave the house, she tends to bust through any crack in the front door and makes a beeline for the van.
Unfortunately for my neighbor, rather than running to the van yesterday, Cheerio chose instead, to attack (in a friendly manner, of course) Bonnie and her boxer, Chloe. I guess “good mornings” were needed. I think she scared the piss out of Bonnie, who, I have to say, recovered quickly. I yelled an apology as we jumped in the van and then also texted mea culpas later in the morning. “No worries,” Bonnie texted back. I’m sure, however, she will shed no tears for us when she moves to Tennessee in March.
Since I needed to run an errand this morning after dropping the kids at school, I told Cheerio that she was NOT going and let Andrew know that I’d try to bring her with me when I picked him up from school in a few hours. Andrew and I headed to the van while the others made their way to the van in their own time. Including Cheerio. Dammit.
With not much time left to get the kids to school at this point, I threw the dog in the car and backed out of the garage. The kids complained the whole long way to school (5 blocks) as Cheerio jumped into laps, stepped all over backpacks and sniffed lunchboxes. As we made our approach and the children began gathering their school things, I warned them all to NOT LET THE DOG OUT. As further insurance, I held onto the dog’s collar as the kids started jumping out. Until, that is, I had to let go so that I could extract Andrew from his car seat.
GUESS WHAT HAPPENED? Yep. Cheerio went running off to school.
Luke, angry that he got stepped on (and having a basically crabby morning) did nothing to help with the dog, even though she ran right up to him.
Maria dropped everything in the middle of the parking lot and chased her.
Sam and Andrew were still trying to get out of the van.
And, of course, there was a loooonnnnnggggg line of cars held up behind me. As if the other moms don’t hate us at drop off time anyway, I think we managed to up it 10-fold.
Thankfully, Cheerio came busting back to the van before Sam and Andrew even made it all the way out. So, I grabbed her to prevent another escape, kissed my “baby,” pushed him and his brother out of the van and shut the door.
On Saturday morning, our WHOLE family got up before dawn. We had signed up to cook and serve breakfast at an area Catholic Charities shelter.
3:30 a.m. is pretty early, but the shelter is 45 minutes away, and we had to start cooking by 5. Anticipating the early hour, some of the kids slept in their clothes. The ones that didn’t stumbled in the dark getting dressed before heading down the stairs. It was too early to eat, so I threw some coffee cake in the van, along with the sausage, eggs and pancake mix we needed to take with us. With the weather the way it is, we were expecting 140 people.
We met our mentor/trainer in the parking lot of the school and then followed him to the shelter. The kids were tired, but looking forward to it. When we arrived, there was someone to let us in and we made our way through the sleeping people and into the industrial sized kitchen. After finding the equipment we needed, we all got busy cooking the eggs, sausage and pancakes. The older kids were great at cracking the eggs and the younger two were able to help stir batter and scramble the eggs before cooking.
Once we had a decent supply of food cooked, we set it out, opened up the kitchen and let the kids start serving it up. They did a fabulous job! They let us know as their supply of food dwindled, so we could replenish. The kids were chatty and cheerful and funny (if you like their kind of jokes). All told, in about an hour, we went through 16 dozen eggs, 6 pounds of pancake batter and about 130 sausage links.
Waking the family – especially with 5 young kids – so early in the morning may sound crazy, but we can’t wait to do it again! It turned out to be the perfect service project for us. The adults cooked, the kids served and we all had a nice time doing it.
You know what else is way cool? I posted about it on Facebook and already three other families have asked me how they can sign up, too!
I cannot imagine what it would be like – especially in this weather – to find myself without a home or something hot to eat. We are so much more blessed than we ever realize. I truly hope that by giving of our time – on a regular basis – to those in need our kids will grow up to be generous and compassionate.*
*It would be nice if the kids could find it in their hearts to be generous and compassionate to EACH OTHER, too, but that may be just too much to ask.
January 17th, 2014 · Animals
Andrew and I just had a funny conversation in the car. We had Cheerio with us, as Andrew likes to take her along for the ride, and he started talking about the time she was hit by a car.
AP: That’s why she had to go to the doggie doctor.
AP: The doggie doctor is the vet.
Me: That’s right, but the vet also takes care of other animals like cats and hamsters and guinea pigs.
AP: And squirrels.
Me: I don’t think squirrels go to the vet – people just take animals that live at their houses.
AP: Yes squirrels go to the vet!
Me: They do? What? Do you think they just knock on the door and say, “Let me in?”
AP: (Laughing) Mom!!! Squirrels can’t talk! They just open the door and go in.
God has blessed me with five wonderful, healthy, smart and (mostly) adorable children.
You will notice that the list does NOT include quiet, meek, shy or calm.
My five children, combined with oh, just about anything, equals MASS DESTRUCTION.
To give you an idea, I’ve kept track of what has been broken around here in just the last two weeks.
- 1 Paper Jamz guitar (not expensive, but no longer made, listed on eBay for $70)
- The pump on an industrial sized bottle of shampoo (mine, of course) which causes shampoo to leak ALL over the place when used
- 1 blue drinking glass (my favorite)
- 1 tooth (Maria’s, which caused quite a panic and a call to the dentist, followed by Mommy-surgery)
- The sewer. FOUR times since the kids have been off from school. (Thank God for friends with the right equipment.)
- An iPhone-controlled RC helicopter. (Lasted less than 48 hours after Santa brought it.)
- My favorite coffee mug – no longer available in the company store from which it was bought.
- A hockey helmet. (Which I was able to fix, due to my quick reaction and ability to find all the parts that fell off.) Hmmm… starting to consider what might happen during a rough game.
- 16 (maybe 17) Christmas tree ornaments.
- 1 homemade archery foam target. (Think pink snow EVERYWHERE.)
- Several books.
- The toothpaste tube
- 1 (brand new) lamp
- 1 preschool Christmas project
- Two soccer photo magnets (3-year-old LOVES scissors.)
- Scads of crayons (which are then eaten by the dog.)
- A basket
- 1 hydrometer (used to make much-needed beer)
- Countless ping-pong balls
I’m absolutely sure I’ve left some things out, BUT thankfully, no human parts have been broken. Yet.
Think you have an indestructible toy? An unbreakable piece of furniture? A really tough home appliance?
Send it to me. I’ll prove you wrong.
Maria has been growing her hair out now for over a year. The plan was for us to do it together, then donate our hair to Locks of Love.
I, however, didn’t have it in me. In November, I was still 2 inches shy of the required 10 inches. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I had it chopped.
Maria had it in her to wait. Of course, her hair is much more beautiful than mine. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked the long look on her, but it grew on me. (Haha.) I learned to braid and to do other really cute things to her hair. She never let me do them, without a serious bribe and lots of screaming, but still, it’s been fun. Sort of.
We’ll be visiting Grandma soon, so yesterday, as we were driving along, I asked her if she wanted to see if it was long enough to cut. We could surprise Grandma. (Grandma – don’t tell her you saw the pics!) When we got home, we measured and re-measured. Looked like 10 inches to me! I made the appointment for this morning at 9.
This morning, Dan informed me that he wanted to watch Maria get her hair cut. So… we ALL went. (Jack is camping, but everyone else tromped into the salon for the big event.) I’m sure we looked like a circus coming to town. Here, all these ladies were in getting their hair done and my boys are punching each other, cracking fart jokes and lying all over the furniture.
Thankfully, the boys only stayed for the big chop off.
And, here is my gorgeous girl an hour later: