Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not much exciting on the home front today...I was working today. As much as I enjoy a little adult conversation at work, I miss my kids. I love coming home and have them scream, "mommy!!!" and come running to give me a hug. That makes my day. Even though we have some rough days from time to time I would stay home with my kids every day over anything else. The good out weighs the bad by a land slide. They are the best!!

I will be a on a bit of a break from the blog. Nathan and I are going to a marriage seminar at a hotel for 2 days. Again, fun to "get away" for a bit (that's about as exciting as our vacations get) but by Sunday morning we will be missing the kids like crazy. My kids are going for a sleepover at my mom's with all the rest of the cousins....Yep, all 11 of them...well acutally 10. Keira is having some special time with Deb and RW for the weekend. The kids will have a blast I can't wait to hear all about it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ava and I sat down to play a game of war. She loves games and cards. I think some of it comes from the fact that she gets to go into the "adult game cupboard" and get the pack of "adult playing cards" that's she's seen me play with so many times. I think she feels like she's doing something way above her age...when in fact we all know that war is a kids game. When she figures that out I bet it won't be too special anymore.

She insisted on being the dealer. Holding the whole pack was stretching her little fingers as far as they could go. She split them in two packs and handed one to me and kept the other. She had been playing with them beforehand so some were turned face down and others were face up so there were a few cards in her stack that she could see.

We were playing along, some tricks she got, some I got. Then the beloved "war" came. We both had 4's. It was time for us both to turn another card. (I skip the three cards's just too much at 3) I turned mine first....a 9. Not a great card but pretty good. She saw this card and looked at her stack of cards. The top card was turned face down, she picked it up to look at it....A 7...Along with that card she accidentally picked up the next card which dropped on the table face up because it was turned the wrong way...a Queen. She looked at my card which was already turned over and she looked at the card in her hand and then to the card that fell on the table. One would think, oh bummer she loses with the 7 which was the top card....Oh no, not my precious Ava. She grabs the Queen with her other hand and puts the 7 neatly back on her stack and places the Queen on top of the war pile. She looks at me so sweetly.

A: (with a innocent soft voice) "Do I get all those cards?"

Me: (With one of those mom looks) "Yes, Ava. Looks like your Queen wins."

At that very moment she throws her head back and lets out this deep-throated cackle which turns into a huge giggle of pure satisfaction. All of this while she gathers in her loot.

Me: (trying to not laugh) "Ava I don't think the Queen was the card on top?"

A: "I know!!!! I sneaked it on top!!!!" (the giggling starting all over again)

Me: "Ava you need to play the top card first even if that means you lose."

A: (with a somewhat un-genuine tone) "Okay mom."

We continue on playing with no more incidents. It was then time to turn our whole stacks over and start again. Ava likes to keep her winning tricks in piles of 2 and line them up across the table. So starting over involves her picking up all the stacks of two and getting them all into one pile. She was carefully picking up her stacks taking a look at each one of them. She spotted a King which somehow made it's way to the top. The 3 that was in the same trick managed to work it's way to the bottom of the stack. Then a Queen comes up...hhmmmm that found a spot at the top of the stack also. That nine that was with the Queen obviously fit best on the bottom of the stack. We are finally all set to start again.

I turn my first card and so does Ava. She smacks her King on top of my card and the huge cackle comes back with full throttle.

A: (laughing and cackling hysterically with a cheeky grin) "I sneaked it on top!!!!"

Me: "Did you?"

This wasn't really "cheating" per say. So I again, just continued to play, also finding it quite humerous.

The next card is flipped. A Queen. You could imagine what happened next. Yep you guessed it. The huge smiling giggle.

A: "I sneaked it on top again!!!!!"

Those were the only two cards she "sneaked on top" so on we played. I was thinking that was the last thing she was going to pull, until I laid down an 8. Remember the first sneaking episode? Same thing happened again. She had a 9 in her hand and a 6 fell to the table. Now if she would have played the 9 in her hand which happened to be the first card on the stack then she would have won...but what does she do??? She picks up the 6, slaps in on my 8 and starts to take the pile.

Me: "Oh no Ava. Let's look again? What's the higher card?"

Ava: (with a somewhat worried look, smile fading) "Mine."

Me: "Well let's count 1...2...3....6...7...8. You had a six. Eight comes last so it's higher. I win." (raking in my cards with a smirk)

Ava: "That's not fair!" (with a huff, slumping down in her chair)

Now I could have made her play the right card on top but I thought it was good lesson teaching time. We continued to play and she took the top card every time even if she could see the card underneath without me saying another word.

I bet she won't get her 6's and 9's mixed up next time!!!

Having 4 little ones plus a husband produces a lot of house work. I don't mind cleaning for the most part. I like having a clean house...makes me feel put together and the fact that I haven't showered in a few days seem a little less important...I may not be clean but my house is!!

The kids have learned that there are proper ways to clean and not so proper. When they clean up their toys...throwing everything where ever it fits it not acceptable. Everything has it's bin and that's where toys need to go. And around the house when I say clean up your means all the toys. If you're going to spend time cleaning you might as well do a good mom would probably laugh at this comment. I was always known...and still am in a few take the short and easy way out. For example, when weeding pumpkins getting 5 out of 10 weeds is a job well done and when sewing if the stitch is half straight with only small buckles in the fabric it looks great!!!

The kids do a great job most of the time with a little direction. So it was Sunday morning and I had two sinks full of dishes and the dishwasher was still clean...I had made a few comments to Nathan that maybe he could do the dishes....that went over real well...and then the light bulb went on! THE KIDS!!! They can do the dishes!

So I sent all three of them to the kitchen, opened the dishwasher and simply said put all the dishes away and walked out. I listened from a distance....

Q: Jentzen, I will do the knives, they might cut you.

A: I will get the glassy ones. Jentzen you do the bowls

Q: (silverware crashing into the drawer) Jentzen, that's not where the forks go, I will put them in the right spot, thanks buddy!

J: Here Quaid, more spoons! (with another crash)

A: Jentzen, careful, that's a glassy one, I will take it.

J: No!! I do glassy!!

A: Okay buddy, careful, careful, it goes in here!

Q: Let's line them up!!

A and J: Yeah!!!

So on it went...I have to say I was impressed. And little do they know, by doing such a great job they have now awarded themselves with another chore around the house!! This was the end result. One more thing off "mom's to do list" I love it!!!! Now if I could just get Quaid a pair of stilts to reach the cupboards!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jentzen came trotting down stairs this morning.

Jentzen: Shark in my bed!"

Me: "There's still a shark in your bed?"

Jentzen: "No!!! He's not!!!"

Me: (continuing on with this converastion to see what he will come up with. At every chance do this with your never know what they will come up with when proded for answers to their comments! It's hilarious!!) "Well where did he go?"

Jentzen: "Not in my bed!"

Me: "Where did he go?"

Jentzen: "I dunno, probably lost."

Me: "Where did he get lost?"

Jentzen: "I dunno"

Bummer, I thought for sure there was going to be more funnies than that!

So for all of you who were worrying, my son will no longer be attacked by sharks at 4am!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How old am I??

Last night we had 7 of our youth kids over to have a sleepover...sleep being the operative word. When they all come that's not the main activity of the time they are here. As 10:00 hit, time to feed little miss...10:30 rolled around to bed she went. I was all ready to go to 10:30. I began to think back to the same point in my life. When I was 16, 17, 18...10:30 was barely the start of the night, as it was for these kids. And now, I could hardly keep my eyes open anticipating my comfy bed. I was up since 5:30 so I was ready for the end.

I heard random laughs and shouts of fun through the night...again thinking back to all the fun I had with my friends at this stage in life, meanwhile thinking about my 4 little ones who would be up and raring to go at 7am...Sleeping in till 10:00 am gone and motherhood would be calling. Nathan being a night person anyway, and able to sleep in later than me came creeping in at 3am. When 7:30 came my kids couldn't wait any longer to get up. I did my best to keep them quiet but I wasn't the one who made them stay up till 4am :)

Their favorite thing to do is wake them up by jumping, climbing, laughing (and the occasional cup of water over the head). I couldn't hold them back any longer when 9am came along....have at it they did. I love to watch them play with the teens, they have so much fun with that generation. I am thankful espeically for the few of them that come around often (Mr Michael, Miss Kelly, and Miss Kayla) that are awesome and love our kids. I love being able to teach my kids respect for those older than them, even though they're not quite adults. Our kids miss out on the teen to adult part of life in us, they will get to see it in these great people.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Precious Sleep

Keira pulled an all nighter....sleeping that is!

I was startled awake two nights ago at 4am by a little fuss...looked at the clock...4am! That's the longest she has gone. I was especially happy because I had to work and it's always nice to get a good night's sleep before a day at work. I was on my way to get up to feed her and then silence. Well if she is quiet I thought, I suppose I'll let her back to bed I went and that was it for the night until Nathan woke her up at 7. What a little star. Although it's quite weird to think I've had my last night time feeding. Keira is everything for the last time. A happy sadness. My sweet Little Miss Keira, I will miss your smiles in the wee morning hours.

I am so excited to watch my kids grow up to see who they will become and what they will do...but with this comes the last of everything. Some things I will miss...and others not. The things I will miss I am enjoying and will always remember (or at least try.)....the first smiles, they way their faces scrunch up and make the cutest faces, the way they stay tucked in a ball even when you pick them up, sleeping everywhere and anywhere in the strangest positions, the first time their little fingers wrap around yours... the list is endless!! The things I can't wait to be done with I will be dancing with gladness when they are done...Potty Training for one...I despise it!! (I was going to say hate but I know as soon as my kids can read this I would be reminded that we don't say "hate" in this house :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Fun

Now that it's finally warm enough, the kids are outside playing. They were out yesterday from 12:45 until 3....and back out again today. I love love that I can just send them out alone check on them from time to time and know they are perfectly safe. After all...what could they get into on 10 acres of cornfield??

Today I peeked out my kitchen window at them. There is a little hill that they sled down. Yesterday Ava was having a tough time getting going. She would get all set up in her sled, this taking a long time in itself.

She would get her legs in and then forgot the string on the front of the sled, she would get out and grab it, then trip on it getting back in and then she would start sliding and then fall out and the whole process would start over again. And then she would thrust her head forwards and back over and over what seemed like 5 minutes...inching closer and closer to the go point where she would start sliding, by that point she would have scooted up in the sled too far and her legs would be hanging over the front of the sled and she would be doing a nose dive and then stop moving all together. Then out and start yet again at trying to get down the hill. Quaid would go down 2 or 3 times for her 1. So today I watched...Ava got all set up and then Quaid would come running and gave her a big push. Then he would jump in quick and meet her at the bottom. Then up to the top and again, she would get ready and Quaid would come running to give her a push again.

I LOVE watching my kids help eachother. It's so cute. (When they want to be...) They are so kind and thoughtful, looking for ways to help the other out and then all the big thank-yous and your welcomes come out...along with all the directions that I give them about sharing and helping

"God likes it when we share."

"I wouldn't like if someone took my toy so I won't take yours!"

"We need to take turns, I will wait patient for you to be done."

"I'm the big brother, I need to take care of you, I can help you with that!"

"I like when someone helps me, so I'll help you!"

I think they really just like to feel like little mothers, like they are in charge of someone, a sense of responsibility.

Whatever the reasons, I love it and could watch it all day long!!!

At least I know they're listening to me!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The kids were all taking turns holding baby Keira. They sit on the couch with a pillow on their lap and she lays on the pillow...that is what holding her consists of. I'm pretty sure Ava wishes that she could strap Keira in her baby stroller and take her for a spin around the house...and if I hadn't set such huge ground rules with the new baby, I'm pretty sure she would have tried it by now.

Jentzen was waiting so patient for his turn. Then it came. He plopped down on the couch with his pillow and stared lovingly down at his little sister. He looked at me, then down at her takes his two little hands and squishes her cheeks as tight as he can.

Jentzen: "Fish Lips!!"

Me: (trying my best not to laugh) "Jentzen you can't squish her cheeks like that, it will hurt her."

Jentzen: "Want to touch her!"

Me: "Jentzen you have to be gentle with her."

Jentzen: (with a thoughtful look on his face) "Knuckles?"

He then grabbed her little hand down by the wrist which was already in a fist as all newborn hands usually are, makes a fist with his other hand and gave her some "knuckles." You know, that "display of affection" that two men give eachother. He learned that one from his dad and has now passed it on to his little sister.

Shortly after that while she was sitting in the swing, I happen to walk past Quaid who was standing in front of her "making her smile." He was pulling the little corners of her mouth apart.

"Quaid what are you doing?"

"I want her to smile at me!"

And what was baby Keira doing this whole time you ask. Not much, she just wiggles around trying to get away from their grasp. What a good sport she is!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Be Our Guest??

Like I've said before...our house is usually very under control....not so much today. A friend of mine came to visit today. This is a rare occurrence in our home. My kids are not used to having people they don't know very well in our house. We have friends over but it's usually the same friends. Nathan and I and Social butterfly are never found in the same sentence.

When new people come over it's like circus time for my kids. It's as if they are in the rings in the center and everyone is just waiting to see what crazy stunt they can do. They just go nuts! Doing things that they never do, and behaving totally out of the norm. Any other parents face this same thing??

So afterward I was talking to my mom. I love my mom. She has helped me so much in the parenting area. She taught me that glorious routine that I talked about yesterday and has taught me my babies schedule so I can now say...having a newborn is easy...yes easy! So I was telling her that my friend was over and then I told her my kids were nuts....Running, screaming, climbing everywhere. She said well what did you do? Nothing I told her....hhhmmmm could that be my problem???

I know that disciplining a child in front of someone else is not a good thing to do. How would you like it if your boss called you in a room with all your coworkers and started reaming you out about your bad behaviour...humiliated and embarrassed. I've never wanted to do that to my kids. So this means I would actually have to stop my conversation, take them in a different room and deal with it. Yeah, that didn't happen today.

As funny as it isn't...Quaid would do something that isn't allowed and look at me and pause for a if he's waiting for the usual response I would give him. I trying to maintain my role of a friend first and parent second would just continue on talking... That was the moment it all went downhill...he knew that he was free to do whatever he wanted. And of course all the other kids follow him...if Quaid's doing it then it must be okay.

My kids have got me figured out when I am occupied by company they will not get in trouble so they can go nuts...and why wouldn't they take full advantage of that?!?!? So sadly another teaching opportunity missed...but let me tell won't happen again!!

So this brings me to my title...anyone want to come for a visit so I can have another "teaching opportunity?"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We are having a great day today!!

Daddy is still gone up north and will be coming home this afternoon sometime. So I've been "single parent" all weekend. Something I don't really look forward to. I love being home with the kids during the day but always can't wait till I hear Nathan's irritating custom exhaust coming up the driveway. Sorry honey, but it is a bit ear piercing. So being this is then end of my 2 1/2 day stent...I thought I would be in not such a happy state.

So like I said, we are having a great day. Kids are happy, mom is happy, everything has gone smoothly. I am routinely asked "how do you do it?" pertaining to my kids. People mostly think my kids so close was an accident because what sane individual would have 4 children in 4 years...well 4 1/2 years to be exact.

I started thinking about what makes happy days and what makes not so happy days around here. I have to say a majority of the time my house is very under control. I am in control of this house and my kids and they know it. There are very few days that are chaotic. Every once in a while "happy hour" is a bit crazy...but that is just kids being kids. They are not being disobedient, they are not being destructive...they are just getting some energy out!

So I got to thinking if yesterday was a rough day and today was a great day...what made the difference? I came to the was me!!

I woke up yesterday...a little tired from sleep being disturbed by spiders in the bed (see previous post) I knew that it was just me all day...Nathan would not be coming home to give me a break, I would have no adult company, and I had 15 hours of child care to get through. I have to admit...the thought it of made me a bit cranky. So when the kids needed direction and discipline I was already impatient. They were no different than they are any other day. The difference is how I react. I allowed myself to be crabby and impatient..and we were all out of routine.

My kids are very structured and as a result the days go very smoothly. Meal times, play time, school time, rest times and clean up times are all things that happen every day and the kids know when, so when I say it's time to issues, it's time to issues, it's time to clean up...usually no issues (my kids are still kids and if anything raises a fuss, it's cleaning up time!)

Yesterday I was just in one of those moods when I wanted to put the least amount of effort into parenting as I could, I'm sure we all have them. They weren't lead throughout the day, they didn't know what we were going to do and what was going to be expected of them next. I did whatever I felt like whenever I wanted to do it. At the end of the day Ava comes running, "Mom we forgot to do school!" That was a description of the day...what were we doing and when were we going to do it? The kids were lost! And as a result a bit all over the place getting into things they normally dont bother and me over reacting and getting frustrated with them.

I think sometimes we like to think it was a bad day because of something our kids did do or didn't do...but I have decided it's all up to me...which is not a fun conclusion to come to. I set the tone for the day, I decide how our day will be run...even my attitude sets the day. When I am patient, I'm showing them patience and which they in turn show to eachother. When I'm calm and controlled, so are they.

My kids were no different yesterday than they were today. It was me. I have made a promise to myself that I will never use the "my kids just won't do....." or "my kid is just like that" excuse. I know my kids behaviour is up to me. Yes they have personalities but I need to ask myself, what have I done or not done to teach them.

I decided last night what was going to be accomplished today, what the order of the day was going to be. I woke up with a plan for the day....and it all happened and happened smoothly with lots of smiles and laughs. Meal times went smooth, school time was great, the laundry got done, the toys are all cleaned up, my house is clean and they are now having their quiet resting time. A peaceful home...must different than yesterday.

So forgive me kiddos for the days that I just don't have it together. It's not's me. You are GREAT's mom who's not so great some days. As we pray together every day, "Help mommy to be a good mommy." Keep on praying kids, I need it!!

For those of you that ask how do I do it, that is how. A routine that allows my kids to always know what's happening and works for all of us. The rest is up to me. My days are my decisions.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nathan is gone for the weekend at the Subaru Ice Races...AKA "a bunch of guys acting like 16 year olds racing their cars around on the ice trying whip as many doughnuts as they can without hitting the snowbanks" So I was eagerly awaiting a great nights sleep (on Nathan's side of the bed :)...I always want to switch for a night and he NEVER will, so guess what honey? the chance came and I took it!!!) and sleeping in as long as I could with my 4 kids. Keira was a star, eating quickly and right back to sleep. I settled back into bed and was planning on 4 more solid hours. Then at 4 am Jentzen comes running in...using his night time quiet voice...NOT...." in my bed!!" He said this mystery word followed by "in my bed several times." And as a two year old, if you don't repeat back to them exactly what they said they will keep going on it until you do. Since I was in a sleepy fog I just kept saying, "It's too early Jentzen, go back to bed." Obviously this wasn't what he said so it wasn't good enough. So I walked him back to his room and finally understood....


Me: "There's a spider in your bed?"

J: "Yeah, big one."

Me: "Jentzen there's not a spider in your bed."

J: "Yes there is!" (sounding quite concerned)

Me: "There's nothing in your bed, go back to sleep."

J: "Spider in Quaid's bed?"

Me: "There's nothing in your bed or Quaid's bed...go back to sleep."

J : "Okay."

I wandered back into my tomb of a bedroom. We finally got curtains on our windows which is quite a change from the "moon nightlight"


J: "Mommy?"

Me: (before he even got started) "Jentzen your bed is just fine, go back to bed."

No sound, away he went back to bed. Yes!!!!


J: "Mommy? Done sleeping?"

Me: "Jentzen go back to bed and do not come out again!"

No sound again! Finally victory. I'm not sure why he's so in love with 4am. I'm really not so much. The other morning he comes walking in that same time.

J: "Feed baby Keira?"

Me: "No Jentzen she's still sleeping, it's not time to get up yet."

J: "Oh" (walking back to his room)

What a nut....if only he could tell time!!

So this morning I had to find out what he was thinking.

Me: "Jentzen why did you get up last night?"

J: "I don't know."

Me: "Did you think there was a spider in your bed?"

J: "YEAH!!!" (with an enlightened excited look)

Me: "Jentzen, there's no spiders in your bed."

J: "Shark!"

Me: "There was a shark in your bed?"

J: "Yeah big one!"

Me: "Jentzen there isn't a shark in your bed."

J: "Yeah there was, Waggy Tail!!"

Me: "The shark in your bed has a waggy tail?"

J: "YEAH!!"

Quaid: "Jentzen, sharks live in the water."

J: (satisfied by that answer) "Oh"

Who knows what a 2 year old is thinking. I love the imagination....just not at 4am!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

So it was "happy hour" at the Walkington's a few days ago. That time between 4:30 and 6 when kids just kind of go nuts...for babies it's fussy time, for toddlers it's get into everything time, for Quaid and Ava it's crazy time. They are more wild than normal, running, yelling, laughing. This is when rules get pushed. I'm not sure why but it just is. And of course this happens to be the time when my hubby is coming home and we're trying to discuss whatever needs discussing, every child has an emergency at the very same moment...Keira needs to be changed and put to nap, Jentzen has decided that he can do a puzzle all by himself and then very quickly finds out that he needs help, Ava has to have a book read to her at that very moment and Quaid is stuck in his incredible Hulk costume, can't reach the zipper and is doing the "I have to pee" dance, the noodles for are boiling over because I forgot to turn them down....It's not always this crazy...sometimes not at all, and sometimes now that the picture is painted....

Ava had done something, I don't even remember what but Nathan had sent her to her bed until dinner...we were getting dinner ready and then I thought...where is Ava? I don't hear her...which almost never happens so what was she doing. I caller her name.....nothing....I went upstairs to tell her she could come down...and found this....

She had obviously missed her nap time...and crazy time had gotten a little too crazy for her to handle!
(Yes I do let my kids have blankets when they sleep...they were in the more thing I was trying to do during happy hour!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Keira has started to smile as of last week. I always love this time because it's when you really feel rewarded for all the work you've put in, like they really appreciate you. It's when they start giving back. She not only flashes a gummy grin, it's the whole big open mouth with a big coo. It's so precious.

Usually I have to work at it a little bit...start smiling at her real big, talking in that baby talk that all mom's do whether they try to or not. It's almost as if we think that babies can't hear us if we talk in a normal voice. Then comes the big smile. the middle of the night it's a very different story. I go to pick her up...trying to keep myself half asleep. As soon as we exit the closet and get into the light (Yes, my child sleeps in our closet...we have not set the crib up yet and she dosen't have her own room, so even if we did have the crib set up she still wouldn't be in trust level with Ava in the same room is not quite there yet...not until Keira can at least hold her own.) We also have no curtains on our windows yet, which are quite large in our bedroom so the full moon reflecting off the acres of snow is really quite anyway as soon as she sees me, comes a huge giggling grin...over and over and over. It doesn't matter if I'm looking at her or not...away she grins. Even while feeding her, she smiles as much as she can with still managing to keep eating. It is so cute....but I'm pretty sure it would be alot cuter at say 3 in the afternoon instead of 3 in the morning!! Oh little miss Keira, if only you knew that your little night time fun will be ending in a few short weeks!!!
This was the best pic I could get...during the day that is....If it was 3am you'd have a stunner!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This one goes awhile back...pretty sure it was around a year ago. Ava was around 2 1/2. I had put the kids to bed and was relaxing on the couch when I hear, "Mommy!"

I went into Ava's room to find her awake in her bed pulling on her ear.

Ava: "Earring, Earring."

I check her ear and sure enough it's gone. It was a cheapo one that I had to keep pushing the back on so it wouldn't fall I wasn't surprised it was missing. What did surprise me however was the conversation that would follow.

Me: "Where is your earring? Did it fall out?"

Ava: "Yeah."

Me: "Is it here in your bed somewhere?"

Ava: "No"

Me: "Well then were did you lose it?"

Ava: "Eat it."

Me: (believing she got her words mixed up) "Ava, where is your earring?"

Ava: (pointing to her tummy) "In my tummy."

Me: (a look of shock came over me) "You ATE your earring???"

Ava: "Yep"

Me: "Did you swallow it?" (still thinking she must be confused)

Ava: "Eat it."

Me: "Ava, you didn't eat your earring?!?!"

Ava: "Yeah....Eat it."

Sure enough, it was no where to be found in her bed. So the next day.......

Heck no! Did you really think I would go looking for it?!?! I figured if there were no symptoms of pain it must had made it's way through, and I was going to leave it at that!

There was another evening round about the same time in her life, she was put to bed with a gummi bear as a treat. Again, I was called into her room.

Ava: "Bear, Bear!"

Me: "I already gave you gummi bears, Ava."

Ava: "Nose."

Me: "Ava did you stick your gummi bear in your nose??"

Ava: "Yeah."

I turned on the light and sure enough, there it was...lodged in the right nostril. I could see that it was half chewed. I thought it might cause a little problem, being all mushy and sticky. I debated for a second what to do...get a tweezer, get a toothpick, get a Q-tip. I started from the top and squeezed down. There it came squishing out. Great! No tools needed! She did fuss a bit because she didn't get to eat it, that took a little explaining and a new gummi bear. Better that than a trip to the ER!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

It all started at 1:45 in the did I know the one morning I want to actually do something before Keira gets a little needy. I hear a fuss...oh great, here we go. That was way too early to feed her...she usually gets up between 2:30-3:30, after which she sleeps another 4 hours. So If she gets up closer to the 3-3:30 time then I know I'm golden for the morning to get up at 5:45 and workout for an hour and be home by 7:00 so Nathan can get up and going for work. So I tried the pacifier...she will take it and is happy with it but she's at the age where she keeps spitting it out (if only she knew what was good for her) so I did that for 45 minutes and figured 2:30...I'll feed her. Well then 6 minutes before my alarm goes off another fuss...Dang!! The challenges of a newborn and not being able to say, "It's not time yet, go back to sleep."

It was then that Nathan jumped up, grabbed her and took over so I could go...What a man!!! He's always been great in the mornings letting me get my morning workout in....We went through this same process with Jentzen and he never once complained. Maybe it's the end result of me exercising that motivates him????

So I'm all ready to go...jump on the eliptical and punch in the program codes and get started. It feels so good to be back at it. The sweat is coming, my heart rate is up, breathing hard, legs burning, have already needed a few drinks of water...I look down at the time.....1:06! One Minute!?!?! I've only been going for 1 minute!!!! True I haven't worked out in 4 months but seriously!?!?!

I should have known this was going to be the case as last week after bringing the wheely bins (I love that Aussie much fun to say than garbage cans) to the end of the drive way. It was cold so I decided to have a little jog on the way back...I was huffing and puffing like I had run a marathon!!

I managed to finish 15 minutes and walked for 10...a little disappointing but gotta start somewhere. I did do a little weight lifting also...if I miss my daily blog tomorrow it's probably because I am on the couch completely unable to move!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quaid is becoming such a cool little man, it's amazing to see them develop their own thoughts. I am used to my kids responding to what happens, what they see or repeating what I tell them. Quaid is starting to come up with conversations all on his own and commenting on things on his own. Not such a little parrot anymore.

There have been many times when he knew he was about to be in trouble. We would find he's done something and we would call him to us. He would come running in with his arms wide open, press his head against me, "I love you mom." As if that would spare him from what's to come. A hug and those words are always welcome.

Lately he has been doing it all on his own for no reason at all. I've been in the kitchen cleaning away and he'll put down his toys come running up to me, give me a huge hug "I love you mom."

It makes everything else that is going on go away, make everything seem so small and insignificant. This past week he's done this at times when I have needed it the most. When I'm frustrated about something, when I'm tired, when listening the first time by my kids isn't going so well that day, when I'm just cranky for who knows what reason. That's when he comes running. It's as if he can sense that I just need a hug. I think to myself, "you're right Quaid, things are good, I've got no reason for complaining, change the attitude."

Thanks my young man, I need it. What a lucky wife he will have if he keeps this up :) I'll do my best to make sure he does!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So it's a routine happening that Jentzen comes running to me crying...and trying to figure out what really happened can be a challenge.

Usually it's because he tripped over his pants that are falling of his bottomless backside, he was running too fast around a corner on the wood floor and took a header into something...or like today he got off from spinning himself around in daddy's office chair, went staggering across the room sideways and straight into the wall. Sometimes because something is stuck somewhere that he's trying to play with or he can't do exactly what he wants with a certain toy, he gets rather frustrated.

But this one particular day he came running in crying. As always, "Jentzen did you fall down?"

"No!! Quaid!!!

" Did Quaid hurt you?"

"Yeeeeaaaahhh" (as he always turns this word into 2 if not 3 syllables)

I then call Quaid into the room, he comes in looking rather guilty.

Me: "Did you hurt Jentzen?"

Quaid: "He tripped and fell down."

Me: "Did he really Quaid? Don't lie to me." (we've been working on this, who knew kids naturally lie when they think they're in trouble:)

Quaid: "He tripped over my foot."

Me: "Quaid, don't lie to me."

Quaid: "Well, I bumped him by accident and he tripped over me."

Ava: (hearing this conversation from the next room, comes running in shouting) "Mom Quaid took Jentzen's toy and shoved him over and he fell on the ground and hit his head."

Me: (with a glaring look from me to Quaid) "Quaid did you shove Jentzen over?"

Quaid: (with a dropped face, avoiding eye contact) "Yeah" (in a quiet whisper)

As much as sometimes I wish Ava would just let me be the is nice to be able to always get the true story, because she ALWAYS knows what's going on with everyone and everything!!

Poor Quaid ratted out by his little sister again!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My dear friend Deb got me this great kids kitchen gadget. We've all seen them. The molds that allow you to make your own Popsicles...and as everyone knows, parent or not...what a mess they are to eat. So last year when I received this great gift I became a little smarter than the gift giver.

I thought if I filled it up with just water it could melt all over and no big was just water. We enjoyed these many times last summer sitting on the deck in the hot summer...refreshing cold water dripping all over them. And no mess for mom!!!

So on Tuesday Quaid saw this gadget in the cupboard and begged me to make them I did. They were told that tomorrow night when daddy was at youth group we would sit down have our "icey pops." (A clever and exciting name for an ice cube on a stick)

So Wednesday night came, dinner was eaten, toys were cleaned up, jammies were on, movie was in and they were all cuddled up in a pile of pillows...and it was finally time...what they've been waiting for all day......ICEY POP TIME!!!

I brought them out and gave one to each of them...The pic above was how it started out...see how happy everyone is??

Well, I was in the kitchen cleaning up dinner when Quaid comes walking in with a very sad face.

Quaid: "It doesn't taste like anything!" (While fighting off his tears)

Me: "I know Quaid it's just water, you know, ICEY pop, as in just a really cool ice cube."

Quaid: "It doesn't taste like anything." (As a tear streams down his face in disappointment)

Me: "Well Quaid, that's just the way it is, if you don't like it then go put it in the sink."

He walks off into the tv room. Just then, Jentzen comes running in screaming looking at his hand which was beat red from holding the ice part in his hand. (While crying about his one hand he was holding it in the other hand.) Then he switched it back into his first hand and started crying about the 2nd hand. Meanwhile, Ava is chasing him, telling him to hold it from the bottom..."Look Look Look Jentzen!! You need to hold it like this."

I showed him what to do and he finally caught on that holding the ice cube part wasn't a good idea. Ava was quite proud thinking that Jentzen had actually listened to her and kept a watchful eye on him.

A few moments later Quaid comes running through the kitchen straight to the sink and throws his icey pop in the sink. Turns back around, "I don't like it mom!! I want something else!!

"That's all we're having Quaid, if you didn't like it then that's you're choice. And throwing a fit and crying about it surely isn't going to get you any other kind of treat either. We are to be thankful for what we get whether we like it or not."

Bummer for those great teaching moments huh...the kids always come out on the bottom!!

Ava and Jentzen loved them by the way, just as Quaid did last year...I guess he's a little too wise for my trickery. Ava just today asked if she could have another!!

So here is the perfect picture displaying the end of the night with the icey pops. Quaid disgusted that I would consider such a thing as a "treat", Ava trying to help Jentzen...and Jentzen very confused by the top heavy contraption that's supposed to be enjoyable.
So for all of you moms out there who dread a sticky mess...this is a GREAT idea!! (for kids 3 and under that is :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

So it's late and it was my first day back at work. Keira had some issues with her little fingers freezing last night so she was up a few times...I worked 10 hours, went shopping with Nancy, then grocery shopping and I am home now 15 hours after I left....but I'm determined to write every day, so here goes.

Everyone always says that putting your kids to bed ends up being the best conversations you'll ever have with them...maybe I'll have to wait till they're a bit older because this is what they came up with last night...

Quaid: "You know those pirates on Veggie Tales...they don't do anything...nothing at all mom....they just lay around."

Me: "That's okay...they can do that."

Quaid: "They don't even go to the bathroom...they don't have any butts. None of the Veggies do."

Me: "You're right Quaid"

What was I supposed to say to that!?!?

Me: "Ava you can't get out of bed till the sun comes up. The sun tells us when it's time to get up."

Ava: "But mom, he doesn't have any mouth."

Me: "Ava, I just meant that when the sun comes up then we know it's time to get up."

Ava: "Oh"

Me: "Now if you need to go potty, get up, jump out of bed and go."

Ava: "Mom, I can't...if I jump out of my bed, I'll get hurt."

Me: "Ava, I just meant if you need to go potty, climb down then stairs and go."

Seriously must she take everything so literally??? I guess I better learn now to say what I mean or I'll be saying it again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow Birds

Between Christmas and New Years the Pahl family goes skiing. We have been doing this since I was 7 years old...a 20 year tradition. I have many fond memories of skiing with my family... A 17 hour car ride with 9 people in a surburban with all that luggage and skis running down the sides making an oh so comfortable place to rest your head. An 8 person train going down the hill. Foraging new trails through the woods with only an occasional run in with a tree. My sisters and I deciding we knew the way back to our ski in-ski out condo by foot through the woods so it was no big deal if we got caught on the hill when all the chair lifts closed. After all we were just on the other side of that tree line on the next slope over, or the next tree line, or the next tree line, or the next....doing this all with ski boots on in 3 feet of snow carrying our skis...that was an late would we have to have been before they sent out a search party??

But we all have grown up and lets face it, the older you get the colder you seem to get and the fun of skiing doesn't win over the fact that your toes and fingers are numb and you can't feel your face. I have skipped the past few years on the slopes and have instead enjoyed guess what else, playing cards with my parents and other siblings who opted for the less physical activities.

But this year my kids are old enough to learn. We did take them out for a little bit last year but it was cold last year and they didn't last long. But this year I geared up and took them out. Not my favorite thing to do. Like I said, skiing doesn't really excite me much anymore. It was a beautiful day, sunny and 30 degrees. Perfect for skiing.

Quaid and Ava did surprisingly well for only a few hours out on the slope. We went sledding with them the first day, so they only had the morning of the next day. We held onto them for the first few times down and then they were doing it on their own. All the little kids of the family were out there, Gabby, Lauren, Lydia and my two. Poor Jentzen missed out...I coudln't handle all three of them!! Next year little man...

Ava was little girly about it the first few times down...hanging on for dear life. But then she looked to her left...what were those chairs floating in the air like a carnival ride?!?!? I want to go on those mommy, she says to me. I told her when she was able to ski by herself, turn, and stop then we could go on those. So we finished down the hill and went up to the top again. When we were all set at the top, she brushes my hands off her, "Don't hold onto me mom, I can do it myself." And away she went...she was determined to ride on those chairs. Next year we will. Quaid was also cruising along by himself up and down the "Magic Carpet" having fun with Gabby.

Even though every Christmas might be the only time we go every year, I am glad we are teaching them now. It gave me a lot of motivation to get my kids out there and teach them now while I was watching a lady my age trying to learn. Man it was's a lot easier when you're closer to the ground!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So we have a toy room for the kids and this is what it looked like. A TOTAL disaster. I gave up trying to make the kids clean it up. There's really no "place" for anything. When we did get after them to clean it up...they would just pushed everything from the middle of the room to the edges...making the room look semi clean. It was still just as disorganized, just in a different place.

I don't know if my kids are the only ones but when things are messy, they will not play with it. So since we've moved in they have been playing in the house and since there are no toys anywhere in the house except in this room they got into everything else they're not supposed to be playing with. Tough on them and tough on mom and dad. Their toy room was becoming a punishment. When we had had it with getting after them for messing with things are aren't toys we would banish them to the toy room...the would drop their heads and walk slowly into the toy dungeon.

Seriously...what kids sulk at the thought of going into a big room of toys??

So Nathan and I got to go to the very best store in the whole world...really it is.....(Nathan might not totally agree)

IKEA!!!! I love this store...I could go here weekly and always find something I "need to have" And of course the price no matter what it is always...always seems worth every penny. I've been drooling over a certain page in the IKEA catalog since long before our house was built..knowing this was going to solve all my toy room problems. And here is it....

A picture of beauty...I love to organize!!! And now the kids have no reason to not clean up.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Since Nathan's website isn't up and running yet. It should be soon. He is working like mad on it...I thought I would add a few pictures.

A glorious thing happened yesterday in our home...but you'll have to wait till tomorrow for that post :) I'll leave you all wondering.......

I'll leave you with one little conversation between Ava and I.
Me: "Ava, you can play with stickers but I want you to pick 2 sheets and use those and put the rest away."

Ava: "Okay mom...only 2??"

Me: "Yes Ava, only 2 sheets."

I then was easily distracted playing a game of Hand and Foot with Deb as the kids were sitting nicely at the counter. I turned a few mintues later...well could have been a lot of minutes later. Does time really matter when you're playing cards???

Me: "Ava, I told you 2 sheets. Why do you have every sheet out on the counter and using them all?"

Ava: "Because you weren't looking at me, mom."
Guess I have to keep working on this one!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's not often I get to spend time with just one of my kids with no interruptions and feeling that there's 100 things looming over my shoulder that should be getting done, or that someone else is missing out.

Last night I got to hang with just Keira...just me and her. The rest of the family was all in bed...yes daddy too. I snuggled her up tight in her pretty pink fleece blanket and we cuddled on the couch while I watched a great girly movie on the Hallmark Channel. I love to just sit and watch her sleep. So quiet and still munching away on her cute how it covers half her face, squishing up and down.

I'm pretty sure all moms look down on their children and wonder the same things. Where will life take her, what will 0her personality be, what joys and tears will she bring us in the coming years. As I just sat and prayed over my sweet girl I think how special these times are but also how excited I am to see her grow up. I prayed that the Lord would give me the wisdom and guidance to raise her up to be a genuine woman led by Jesus in every step...not just when she wants to follow but to follow even when she doesn't. And also that we would have times just like these at every stage in life...That when she was 16 I was somebody worthy of her love and respect that she would still want to cuddle up with me on the couch. And even further down the road I would get to cuddle with her on the couch and watch her as she holds her own little one, feeling like I have taught her to best of my ability.

Times like these are ones that I try my very best to purpose to have and to always remember.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My goal was really to post something every day...I've already missed a day on the 2nd of January!! I have to say....all for good reason. A rematch of 500 with Deb and RW. How on earth did I get Nathan "the game hater" to play yet another night of cards so close to the last??

The ultimatum...

Me: "So honey, so are you ready for tonight?"

(Earlier in the day Nathan had sent me an email saying we should go over our budget for the year...something I knew was going to be extremely helpful for the rest of the conversation I had planned.)

Nathan: (with a huge disappointing eye roll) "Yeah Sure"

Me: "Well you have an option. We can talk money....or....Deb and Wayne want a rematch."

Nathan: (answering way more quickly than I had expected) "A rematch is fine."

I couldn't believe my ears...I had victoriously found something Nathan hated more than cards!! So do you think I can threaten him the budget talk every week??

For those of you wondering, the outcome of this second match is still not over...we had to quit at 11:30pm....Although I have to admit it's looking a bit dreary for Nathan and I......

On a kid note for yesterday a few little snipits of humor....

Ava comes down the stairs dressed in her "good clothes." (At our house all of their good clothes are in the closet hung up and their play clothes are in a they always know what to put on and can dress themselves.)

Me: "Ava why do you have your good clothes on?"

Ava: "Because I want to go somewhere."

Me: "We're not going anywhere today."

Ava: "But I have my good clothes on!!!"

As if the fact of her putting her good clothes on was going to convince me to go somewhere!! Try again honey!!

I have to admit, since little #4 came along...I venture out for church on Sundays and that's about the kids are stuck in the house pretty much every day. They are used to me working 2 days a week and going to Bible study one other day a this change of life has thrown them a bit.

On New Year's Day I decided to make a change in my daily routine. I figured public schools are closed so "The Walkington Home School" was going to be closed too.

(I have started to homeschool Quaid and Ava every day for about an hour....well Ava lasts about 15 minutes, but still is desperate to do it every day. Quaid really does like it, never complains about it, and has fun doing it....remember that for the following conversation so you don't feel bad for him.)

Ava: "Mom when are we going to do school?"

Me: "I'm taking a vacation from school today."

Ava: "Where are you going? Can I come with?"

Me: "I'm not going anywhere. It just means that we are not doing school today, I'm on a vacation from school."

Ava: (thinking thoughtfully for a moment) "Yeah but I want to come with you."

Me: "Ava, all I meant was that we're not going to do school today."

Quaid: (with a big sigh) "Oh good mom, now I don't have to be cranky and tired!"

That probably came from the day before when he was learning to write his "K's" Who knew that letter was so tricky!

Jentzen last night added a little humor to our evening as least Deb thought so! (You know how it's always funny when it's someone else's kid.....)

They were all crowded around Wayne and the garbage carefully sharpening all their colored pencils...when Ava and Jentzen decided that they both needed the same colored pencil. So obviously there was some screaming, grabbing, and fighting happening. I gave them the mom, "Hey" and nothing happened so I got up and took all of them away and they both lost all rights to colored pencils for the rest of the night. I explained that Ava was screaming and not sharing and Jentzen was grabbing and not asking properly.

Jentzen turns to me, stands firmly scrunches his little eyebrows with a very angry look....(which is absolutely the cutest thing ever!! You know in that cute but not so cute way that kids misbehave that you have to turn your head and laugh) He flings his arm straight out with his finger pointing right at me and yells, "Mad at you mommy!"

So of course I go promptly to grab him up take him to a different room to "talk about his behaviour." As he does every time he knows he's in trouble and I'm about to grab him....He looks at me with this melted sweet and innocent look with the softest voice, "sorry, mommy?" Oh son of mine....that's a little too late.

Ava always has questions....ALWAYS...she always ask the obvious and questions she already knows the answer to...I think she just likes making conversation.

So yesterday we were going around the room as we often do..."Who loves mommy?" And they all yell, "I do!! I do!!" (Aren't I sneaky making sure they don't forget it!!) We do that with all the family members. So yesterday I say, "Who loves Ava?" Quaid and I yell, "I do! I do!" Ava decided to chime in with this response pertaining to herself as well.

Ava: "I love myself mom."

Me: "That's good Ava, you should love yourself because God made you very special."

Ava: "How did He make me mom?"

Me: (trying to skirt around the question...she is only 3) "Very carefully Ava."

Ava: (with a huff of frustration) "I know carefully mom,(with a "duh" kind of expression) but how did He stick the head on?"

As you can see what answer I give every time something like this comes up..."carefully" won't work for long with her!!

Me: (thinking quickly) "In mommy's tummy just like baby Keira."

No response...oh good...a satisfying least for now!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years what exactly do parents of 4 small kids do on New Years Eve???

Have a wild and crazy party night of course!! Well about as wild as we get anyway :) We had our bestest friends Deb and RW over for a game night! Deb brought dinner...which is ALWAYS a good thing...not only do I not have to cook, but she never fails to bring a stunner of a meal. I however slaved away on the sides to her Chicken Kiev...left over garlic bread and salad in a bag from our annual Pahl family ski trip the weekend before. So if anyone is going to comment on the "slave away" part...think again. If you've ever tried to open a salad in a bag with no knife knows exactly what I'm talking about!!! Okay so I had a knife...I did have my house clean...that's enough slaving for one day!!

Deb brought a little craft over for the kids to do which they always look forward to, little foam letters to stick on foam boards. She's great at entertaining them and doing extra special things with them. After half the kids were in bed and the other 2 happily watching a movie with popcorn...we got to it.

500 was the game of the night. We hadn't played it since last New Year's Eve when we taught Deb and RW. They claimed to have practiced up....ha ha ha....I laugh at the thought. As if that was going to help them win!?!?!?

As everyone probably knows, my very very very favorite thing to do is play cards...I live for it and will play any game at any chance I get with whoever is willing to play with me. As I was talking to Deb today...we both decided we could play games for 10 hours a day...every day! One of the many reasons we get on so well. And it's even more fun for me when I get to do my very favorite thing with my very favorite hubby.

If anyone knows's his very very very least favorite thing to do. (Which TOTALLY baffles me...who on earth doesn't like games???) Especially after he had been up since 4 am snowplowing and then a 10 hour day at work. It's always a speical occasion when he plays with me but considering the day it was even more appreciated!

He suffered through it till 11:45pm!! (I think he secretly really has a good time...but he would never let me in on it because I would be after him more than I already am to play with me...I'm on to you honey:)

We did manage to beat them 3out of 5 games...the last one coming back from a huge deficit to clinch the title: "500 Champions 2008" A great ending to a great night!

So kids, when you read this a few years from now...look how much your daddy loves me...he "suffered" through playing cards with least once this year:)

What will 2009 bring for us?

Whatever happens between today and the end of the year will happen...the important thing is knowing it will end with "500 Champions 2009" claimed by the Walkingtons once again!!

On a side note, Nathan will be reviving his website which is full of pictures of us and the kids.

So I've done it...joined the masses of the blog world! Never thought it would happen. But nonetheless here I am. My main purpose is for my dear little ones who have a completely uncreative mother.

I don't have baby books, I don't have albums, I don't have journals...and I'm sure in a few years, won't have much of a memory left either! So unless I stick to this, my children's childhood will be completely lost!!

As you've guessed by the title we have a cross-cultural husband Nathan is 100% thru and thru Australian...which at sometimes makes for interesting happenings in our home. Yet another reason why I'm doing this, for his dear family who doesn't get to be involved in our day to day life. His sister Mel, (the best sister-in-law I could ever have who I love love love and miss a ton!) has a blog about her family which I love to read. It makes me feel apart of her life and family. So Mel, this is for you!!! And as sad as it is...most of our friends we see about as much as we see Nathan's family that's on the other side of the globe! So there Mel, don't feel too bad that you're missing out!! So for all of them that ask, "How are your kids?" after trying to figure out the last time we saw them, which by the way is usually figured out by who was I pregnant with or who was just a newborn....All your questions will be answered here!!

I am no writer, my grammar is so so, and my vocabulary isn't that huge so bare with me in all future posts!! Entertainment is not the goal of this. Two things will be Ozzy family will get to feel connected to our day to day lives and be involved in all the funny little details that are sure to happen in our busy home (Quaid 4, Ava 3, Jentzen 2, and Keira 1 month) and most importantly my kids will have a lifelong journal to look back on!

So sit back, have a read and enjoy!!