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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Genes Don't Mean Squat

I get Marcus. It has been like that since as long as I can remember. The way he thinks and acts and processes things... I just feel like I get it. That isn't to say I always like the way he acts, but I understand his behavior. The way he can sometimes be so shy people wonder if he speaks and other times be so loud and outgoing I wish he would stop speaking, it reminds me of myself as a child. He is sneaky and smart and fiercly competitive and a perfectionist and I have been/am all those things too.

Last night I was cooking dinner and he came into the kitchen and asked if he could help. (Him always wanting to help me with chores and cooking is definitely NOT like me as a child at all. I'm not really like that as a grownup either actually.) I said, "Sure! You and Will need drinks. Sean and Aaron need their cups filled. Daddy still needs a drink. And we all need spoons."

He said in an exasperated voice, "Does it look like I have three arms? No. You are just going to have to be patient."

I burst out in laughter. That is exactly what I would have said had he rambled off a list of things he wanted me to do.

Somehow I ended up with my own little miniature version of myself, who came to me from thousands of miles away.

(Here is where I would post a recent picture of just Marcus and me if only I had a recent picture of just Marcus and me. Guess I better get someone to take some pictures of all my kids alone with me at some point.)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas #1

Nope, not behind in blogging at all. Just thought I would try to extend the joy of the holiday season well into January. Yes. That is my excuse.

We had a lovely Christmas around here. A couple lovely Christmases. Although it was exciting to get to celebrate Sean and Aaron's first Christmas, it was even more exciting to get to experience the joy of giving (and receiving) with Marcus and Will since they fully get Christmas now. At least the fun parts of it.

As usual, our Christmas morning started out by caging in the big kids so they couldn't see what Santa brought them before we were ready to witness them seeing it.

Then it was time to attack the presents!

I got a computer!

My jokester of a husband made me think I was getting a new computer at least. Further on in the present opening I did stumble upon a tiny little jewelry box that contained a haiku poem that was the beginning of my scavenger hunt for the grownup computer that I received.

I'm blaming the new computer in part for why I am just now getting around to blogging about Christmas. My lack of blogging of course has nothing to do with having 4 kids. Having 4 kids isn't time consuming in the least.

After presents at our house, we went to my parents to meet up with my sister and her family for brunch. We left everyone there and came back to our house so the kids could get a rest and Greg and I could get ready for Christmas dinner over here. Our family decided this year to try to make things simple and have ham sandwiches and other cold foods. That way, we could eat when we were hungry and no one would have to spend the holiday in the kitchen. It was definitely nice to get to enjoy being together as a family and exchanging gifts, and not have to be preoccupied with oven temperatures and timers. (Making things look effortless takes a lot of effort though. There were some long days leading up to Christmas of housecleaning and baking and cooking and planning. But it was all worth it.) And yes, there were more gifts!

It didn't take long at all for all four of the kids to abandon the toys specially selected for them in exchange for their brothers' toys. Ever change the diaper of a baby armed with a light saber? I have.

It was a busy and wonderful day. One of us ran out of steam before the festivities were even over.

And there was still one more side of the family to celebrate Christmas with! Stayed tuned for Christmas #2... which I will probably get around to blogging about by Independence Day.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Holiday Preparations

We had a great, but very busy, holiday season around here. We kept up with some of our holiday traditions and did some new things this year. I decided to try my hand at baking holiday treats this year. Four kids and no real knack for baking? Yeah, that's me. But I did it anyway. And then I couldn't stop. I think I might still have enough cookies in my freezer to last me through next year.

Will's preschool class put on a musical that told the story of the first Christmas. He got to play the part of "Map Holder". Not sure if everyone knows this, but there were two map holders that first Christmas season. They helped Mary and Joseph pack by bringing a map to put in their suitcase. (There were also two toothbrush holders and two teddy bear holders.) Will's job was to speak into the microphone when the narrator asked what he was putting in the suitcase. His line was to say, "A map." He was fabulous.

My mom has built gingerbread houses from kits with my niece and nephew several times. This year Will and Marcus got to give building with edible objects a try. It was messy and gooey but it was fun!

Once Christmas Eve hit, we dove into our family traditions. Aaron and Sean received their first ornaments to put on the Christmas tree. We all get a new ornament each year on Christmas Eve to add to our collection. Most of the ornaments are pretty simple, but each of our kids have a special ornament for their first Christmas with us.

We got all dressed up and went to church, followed by some time with friends.

Then it was time for bed. We get our kids new pj's for Christmas Eve each year.

At last, time to settle in for the annual reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas before heading to bed to await Santa's arrival.


Friday, January 13, 2012


Mornings are crazy around here. I get up 2 hours before I need to be out of the house. All to get myself ready (i.e. stick my hair in a ponytail and of course, put on my mascara), and then get the little guys up and fed before I even attempt to get my big kids out of bed to get them off to school. This means some really early mornings for Sean and Aaron. Sometimes they fall back to sleep after they eat. Sometimes one falls back to sleep and the other one decides to cuddle with his brother.


Thursday, January 12, 2012


Cute picture? Yep. But even cuter is the non-PG version with their diapers off.


Wednesday, January 04, 2012

25 Things

Once again, on to more things I never said until I had kids. For past links, follow these links.


276. Did you just fart on my chips?
277. No ninjas at the dinner table.
278. Does it have a pickle on it? Then put it on.
279. You don't need to eat my chest hair.
280. Quit smelling it and wipe your eyes.
281. Can I have the remote and a Muslim to chew on?
282. We don't need to sing about your scrotum.
283. He is using the tail as butt floss.
284. Do you want your face to melt off?
285. No wonder you got broccoli on your head.
286. It's "Hakuna Matata", not "Avocado Cello".
287. You don't sit on the toilet and swing your pants around your head.
288. There are no swords coming out of your butt.
289. You don't get up and and walk around in the middle of pooping.
290. Now you have a table stuck on your head.
291. You're gonna get your tongue stuck in there.
292. Who's butt was that?
293. You have meatball in your ear.
294. It is just a regular scented butt.
295. If Jerrod had herpes, would you want that too?
296. I don't think there will be any killing at this birthday party.
297. I should never have to pull spoons out of my butt.
298. I sold some of your poop stains.
299. Whoa! Look at that furry tower of legs!
300. Let's stay out of the dishwasher.


Monday, January 02, 2012

The Dollar Store Christmas

This year we felt it was time that our big kids start to realize that Christmas means giving, not just getting. We wanted them to give presents this year so they could experience the joy of making someone else happy. Marcus and Will both were really excited about getting presents for their family and wrapping them. There are a lot of hard lessons to learn about Christmas though, and like most people, I think they mostly enjoyed the act of shopping more than the actual act of giving. To make this exercise economically feasible, Marcus and Will got to do all their shopping at the dollar store. (Marcus's school does a "Santa's Workshop" where he got to pick out additional gifts for people.) I didn't provide any help with the selection of the gifts because I wanted it to be something that came from the heart of both boys. I let them pick out a toy for Sean and Aaron at Target just because there wasn't much at the dollar store that was suitable for babies. I thought Marcus did pretty good at selecting gifts. Will mostly just grabbed things off the shelf and assigned a name to them. So, a good lesson in giving for Marcus and Will, and no need to have a gag gift grab bag this year for the rest of us! Here were the gifts.

Marcus gave:
Watch - Greg
Dish Towel - Grammy
Flashlight - Pap pap
Serving Tray - Grandma
Play Money - Grandpa
Christmas Napkins - Uncle Randy
Clapping Sound Maker - Aunt Kim
Markers - Maria (cousin)
Cars Watch - Scott (cousin)
Glow in the Dark Necklace - Uncle Willie
Stuffed Santa - Aunt Sindy
Toy Story Coloring Project - Uncle Jeremy
Silly String - Aunt Bethany
Ninja Action Figures - Will
Rope Tug Toy - Maya (our dog)

Will Gave:
Mini Notebooks - Greg
Christmas Plate - Grammy
Glass Bowl - Pap pap
Air Horn - Grandma
Foam Craft Sheets - Grandpa
Ice Scrapper - Uncle Randy
Baby Shower Decorating Streamers - Aunt Kim
Flashlight - Maria (cousin)
Money Bank Shaped like a Crayon - Scott (cousin)
Index Cards - Uncle Willie
Plastic Bowls - Aunt Sindy
Snowflake Ornaments - Uncle Jeremy
Plastic Cups - Aunt Bethany
Ninja Action Figures - Marcus
Rawhide Bone - Maya (our dog)