Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Introducing The Phantom Stallion

aka Audrey's blog. So named for the latest set of books she cruising through. Shane takes her every week-end to get new ones, usually three or four at a time. Depending on how well the book store is stocked. So she chose Phantom Stallion for her blog name. If you haven't check the link to her blog yet, I highly recommend it. But I don`t recommend the books. Audrey typed that last sentence while I stepped out to check on Pippin. Apparently she wants to keep the books a secret.

Anyway, I set her up with an address this morning and showed her how to download pictures to it and two hours later she had created her first few posts. All by herself. I was pretty impressed. I didn't even get the hang of it that quickly. Kids these days. I think it is really good for her and she likes to write and is very creative so maybe we'll just use her blog for her writing requirements this year. She already pointed out to me I misspelled "gallop" on my blog. Good thing I have her around to keep me on track.

We sat down to play Scrabble this afternoon and she suggested I should get the dictionary because I'd need it. Audrey won. Again-she wants me to add. She makes me leave the room when she is blogging but likes to stay and edit as I type when I sit down. I guess that is what I get for teaching her to read.

So, if you want the dry what did we do today news come here. And when you want cutting edge journalism and fantastically interesting stories check out Audrey's blog. You won't be disappointed. And, no, I do not edit her posts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Horsing Around

The big kids like playing with Cyprian and fight over whose game he is going to play. Kateri tries to caox him upstairs to play "tiny kitchen" with her and Audrey tries to appeal to the equine side in him by prancing on all fours and neighing. I think he likes horsies better.

He takes her for walks using her mane as a leash.

They go on rides through the woods

Ocassionally, he'll try the smaller ponies, which ends up in unintended dismounts.

He always wipes his horse down after a long gallup.

And then joins them for a playful frolick in the fields.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Kids are growing so much, infact, I am going to have to ....cheat

Cyprian was getting a little too clever in manuevering chairs around the kitchen to use as step stools. A lot of the time he'd "make" coffee and while cleaning up the freshly ground coffee spilled on the cupboard, I'd decide to just use it rather than toss it, and make a latte. Some days I'd get a little jittery from his escapades and when I couldn't turn my back, or leave the room without him climbing up to see what's cooking on the stove, I decided to put a stop to it. And when that didn't work, I decided it was time to tie the chairs to the table. I stole the idea from Tirzah when Jack was going through the same stage. My first time dealing with it I came up with using folding chairs and putting them away after every meal. It did get old, as I am sure navigating around the rope web will, but for now I can feel safe going to the bathroom by myself.

Pippin is not as happy with the new arrangement.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Growing Kids

I think I am at the turning point in raising kids. The point where it starts to get easier- meaning there are more kids who can dress themselves than can't. When they are little and it is just you taking care of four little ones it feels like there will just be more laundry and dishes and diapers to change and you'll never get on top of it all. Then you wake up one day and Cyril asks to mow the lawn. And Audrey wants to learn to use the espresso machine. And Kateri says she will come in a minute she is still "weeping" the floor. Suddenly the lawn looks magically manicured, the kitchen floor feels fine on your bare feet, and a foamy breve latte is waiting on the cupboard for you. It does happen. Kateri just came in to tell me she is done cleaning her room and ready to vacuum. I feel spoiled. I did pay him $5 for the lawn. But he asked for work to earn money.

Kateri dancing in her "India dress. Its pordant (important) so be careful"

One breve latte coming up!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Please go away

So, we've been meaning to put up a sign since we got here but I've finally been bothered enough to get this up for now. I feel so not in my own private kingdom when strangers come sauntering up to the door all the time. This was the third one in three days. Two were just today. And they won't be deterred by a broken doorbell either. This last one knocked so loudly I heard it from the back yard. One magazine subscription and one business card later I've had it. I don't read the Times, I don't want to, and my recycle is too full already. Nor do I want to discuss if I have a security system and what do I feel are its deficiencies and what time will my husband be home so we can talk about it. The most bothersome aspect of it is when I open the door- I know I could not but with the kids shouting at the door and Kateri un-locking it, it just wouldn't work- the front door all the kids come running and I have to restrain Pippin who wiggles and fusses to get down and escape down the driveway while the sales man undaunted launches into a pitch. And Kateri sneaks past and is dancing on the porch asking to ride bikes so I can't just say good-bye and quickly shut the door. So after this last one- who promises to come back later when Shane is home- I finally put up a sign. I hope he doesn't take it too personally.


No, I am not offering it. I am soliciting it. After the success we've had with getting the kids things in order I am trying to tackle other areas that need attention. I keep coming back to a few regualr areas. I've brainstormed about a few but I find I need to have a grab bag of tricks for every occasion- and child- and sometimes I reach in and come out empty-handed. I'm not entirely sure what I am looking for but I feel like sitting down with a group of mothers and grandmothers and great grandmothers and asking ,

"What did you do in this situation? And why? Did it work? What would you do differently looking back? "

And then I though of all of you.

I know there are some areas I have not even thought of yet but a few of the ones I'd like to hear about are:

-Discipline ideas
-Fighting/arguing- with each other
-Sharing- I like the setting the timer idea but sometimes I feel like doing away with private property all together
-House Rules Lists
-House Schedule/Organizing etc. for moms and kids
-Bedtime routines
-Mealtime& menus& shopping
-Dad involvement
-Allowances/ rewards/incentivising
- Free time, nap time, quiet time, family time, prayer time
-Schooling & extra curricular activities

I know this list is kind of dis-jointed and doesn't cover much but feel free to add anything you or anyone you know has to offer.
Sometimes I'll hear another mom handle a particular situation and I'll think, Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. Its nice to see/hear things in action that work. Or don't for that matter too. So, if anyone has some little, or big, bits of advice I would really like to hear them as I try to put together some more structure for all of us, I guess. If it's too long and you don't want to post it here you can e-mail me too. Or any books you found helpful and for what areas.

While I am on the topic of helpful hints, my sister-in-law told me about come freezer cooking she has been doing and really enjoying. Basically you do all the prep work up front then thaw and cook on the day you eat, which sounds fabulous. I love trying to dice onions with a fussy baby pulling at my feet. There is a web-site where you can buy a set of recipes-say for chicken, or beef or whatever. Kim has tried a bunch and says they are good. I might figure out how to incorporate the same method with some of the recipes I use already. I think some things would taste better frozen in an un-cooked state. I actually bought a dinner once which was basically the same method. It was Cajun chicken breast with bleu chees mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. It was tasty so if I could do the same thing myself it would be great. And since the recipes come in sets if you get 10lbs of chicken breasts you can make 5 different that all involve chicken. I am going to try the chicken ones first. I'll let you know what I think. The web address if you want to check it out is

Our Newest Cousin

Tirzah and Aaron's son was born on August 14th. She has pictures of him on her blog. I heard him making sounds on the phone and seeing the fuzzy pictures makes me miss the tiny stage. Kateri took one look at the pictures and asked,

"Can we go and get that baby?"

After out colds are gone we'll make a visit, but for now pictures will have to do.

I am actually feeling much better today. Yesterday was pretty lousy but I still managed to make it to Costco and finish painting the fence. But I feel much more energetic today and it is overcast and cozy today so it feels like a good day to work in the house. Like on laundry.

Pippin Ben Hur

Kateri and Pippin came up with a clever solution to the " we have one tricycle and two kids" problem. It was all on their own and I was pretty impressed. Kateri is out whizzing around the cul-de-sac and Pippin shouts "Ride!" and she screams up to the curb, he hops on and off they go. She is pretty amazing flying up and down driveways and inclines without even pausing. Whizzing around the bigger kids on their bikes and cars. He just stands like a charioteer and looking stoic, takes in the views. Shane wants to superimpose them over a picture of the chariot race. I was amazed at how long they would ride this way. Its a good thing he is still lighter than she is-though not by much. She tried giving a neighbor girl a ride and they flipped over. So far Pippin has only tried a running dismount once and only got a few scrapes on his foot.

I went to check on Kateri in the bathroom and found her sitting, reading the Wall Street Journal. I think she has her eye on some stocks and companies that play into her plans for world domination. I'll pass on any good trading tips she lets me in on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Do It Myself

Cyprian is getting to be such a big boy. He insists on eating fruit loops with milk and a spoon. By himself. And he can take his bib off. I cringe, knowing it means an outfit change and thorough washing of the table, and probably floor, but I figure he's got to learn somehow. He does look pretty cute carefully slurping the sugared milk from his spoon.

Hmmm, where did it all go?

Apparently, George was hungry too. and Cyprian didn't see the "Do not feed the stuffed animals" sign. At least he was sharing.

Spill-proof my foot

So I had to go to the store today and the kids found some bubble packs and asked to get them. They were $1.50 each so I got them each one and come from home from shopping planning on the kids playing outside while I worked on the house and lunch. I didn't look on the back of the package which explicitly states it is only spill proof when the bubble liquid does not exceed this line. And tells you to dump out the extra liquid to save for another day of bubble-blowing fun.
Seriously, the line gives you this much which is barely enough for the wand to get wet.
So, in short ordere Cyprian did this with his bubbles, which he actually thought was pretty fun.
And the big kids made more bubbles with the hose to clean off the porch. Then we all came in to change our soapy and wet clothes and make lunch together as we made plans to do it again sometime soon. But I think all the bubbles are gone so it might be awhile. I am not sad.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Craigslist Rules

So after, our long day garage saling, we decided to put everything left on craigslist. In 10 min we sold 3 large wooden chairs- which I had actually forgotten to put out on Saturday- both of the dressers - for $25 each-and lots of inquiries about the other items. And the items were picked up so all we hd to do was take pictures. Definitely the way to go for furniture. And no sunburn either.

We spent the day working in the garage and Shane cut off a couple inches from the maple shelves and I helped him move them up to the school room. He's going to put the trim back on the top but make it one continuous piece. I like them more and more. I decided not to work on refinishing them. They are in decent shape but I'm going to get some Liquid Gold to clean them. It works wonders on wood. Trudy, my mother-in-law, used it on the wood cabinets on our old house and it looked like we had refinished them. Amazing stuff. I might start filling up the shelves too but I also woke up with a cold yesterday and it is worse today so I might take 'er easy. Kateri woke up with one as well, which explains her really really whiny mood yesterday. It usually happens without fail- every time Shane thinks about crossing the mountains to visit his grandparents the kids get sick and then we have to wait a couple weeks for it to get through everyone.

Shane just informed me the weight set and file cabinet are going to be picked up tonight. Maybe I'll go through the house and see what else I missed for the garage sale. I think we're getting close to covering my grocery budget for the month

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our First Garage Sale

The neighborhood girls with their umbrellas. Shane decided to offer some entertainment.
Woud you like to buy some candeeeeez.

I've never actually had a garage sale and don't think I would have but the neighborhood suggested doing a block sale so we rummaged through the garage and house and put up a table and some things with little sticky price tags and sat out in the sun to bake. It was not an overwhelming success and I think it could have been advertised a little better- like on craigslist-but we ended up with some cash, a little more garage space, and really funky sun burn lines. Actually, it will be tan by the morning but I have a funny v-shape from my button up to and one corner of my forehead is considerably whiter than to other due to my bangs. We were making fun of the neighbor lady because she had strange lines on her face from her hair and after I got out of the shower I saw I had the same. But if I keep my bangs forward you can't tell.

After the hordes of people out looking for stupid people selling things for a fraction of what they are going to re-sell it for on craigslist or e-bay ( and yes I fell into that category- the stupid category) we all planned a big barbecue in the middle of the cul-de sac. It was really fun and the kids had a great time. We have a very family friendly neighborhood and there were boys whizzing around on their bikes and shooting with guns and girls pushing strollers and blowing bubbles. I think we had about 13 kid together the oldest beint 10. They were all filthy when we brought them in. And exhausted too. As we all were. One of our neighbors made bratwursts which he kept in warm ale for 3-4 hours and them made a pepper and onion and beer relish to go on top. It was really good and we all ate much and then ate brownies and rice crispie treats and lots of other things. It was a really exhausting day and getting up at 6am that morning I am not sure how I think it went yet. I'll wait until we tally things up and I get some sleep. Our main objective was to clear out the garage and we did do that some by getting rid of two bookshelves- one of which we finally just gave away. But were a little bummed to still be stuck with to large dressers and I guess we'll try craigslisting them. We kept lowering the price as the day went on and finally after no one even looked at them for $10 a piece gave up.

One of the bookshelves we sold I got on craigslist but since I found the big maple shelves, didn't really have room for. I sold it for what we paid but it worked out well because the lady who bought it lives 1 1/2 blocks from here and she homeschools her two kids so I got to meet and exchange numbers with her. She thanked me for all the sanding I'd done as she plans on staining it to match some her other furniture.

And I learned to research items before pricing them so it was I guess a fruitful event. The kids had a blast and are ready to do it again tomorrow. I'm still tired and am fine waiting at least a year.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Less is More- or at least its Better

After 10 years of accumulating "stuff" we decided to hit the reset button on the kids rooms. We weeded out a lot of things in the move but still things grew and were way beyond the abilities of the kids to control. So we started by paking up EVERYTHING in their rooms, giving them a thorough cleaning and then came up with a plan for a maintenance routine.

They each got to choose a toy to keep out and we assigned a place for it go and every evening they clean their rooms and if they can handle it for awhile they will get another one and we'll assign a place for that one and so on. It has been a couple weeks and we have not gotten any new toys out. Not because they have not taken care of their first toy but because it is so nice not having so much stuff in their rooms. They have not even asked for any of the toys after the first few days and seeing how creative they are without them I think it might be a premanent thing. The other day Audrey and Cyril were making up a game using kids plastic scissors for characters. Today they got out some sheets and made a fort. And I think having less options makes it easier for them to pick what to do. They will play with Audrey's toy horses for hours at a time.

Another reason we cleaned out the rooms was to to assess what they had and what kind of storage they need to keep things in. As opposed to throwing everything into a big box and then not knowing where anything is.

One issue I do have is keeping things they like to do- like arts and crafts- in places where they can get to them but Cyprian can't. How do you make a Montessori classroom work in a house with different age kids and a "teacher" who has to switch loads, nurse the baby, and make dinner and can't monitor every area of the house at once. I don't know yet but right now I am pleased with changes we've implemented so far and I am excited to continue the trend in other areas of our house.

Wine, anyone?

I finally took the kids in for their shots. I figured it would be best to get it all over with and do them all at once. Thankfully, my mother-in-law came with me to help and though it was a bit of a shuffle it actually went well. The kids didn't make a peep even once. I was very proud of them. The kids' eye sight is all good for now. I got a referral for Kateri to get her ears and hearing checked. Her speech is still pretty garbled and I had to interpret for her on the eye exam. The doctor seemed a little leary of homeschooling and asked about the kids socialization skills etc. When I mentioned Cyril doesn't read yet- he is 6 1/2-he asked,

"Does that concern you?"

"No", I said. "He's a just not reading yet. I know his eyes and brain work fine. He'll read eventually."

"When would you be concerned?"

"If he was 15." I answered.

It does get a little irritating , all the questions they ask to make them feel like you are qualified to be a parent.

I think the kids are having a reaction to the shots. Today they are excessively whiny and quarrelsome. Oh, wait. That is a typical day for them. I wish it was a reaction so it would go away eventually, I'm tempted to put them all in solitary confinement so it will be quiet. Or we could just work on our problem solving skills.

Speaking of wine, I've been wanting to start a wine journal here. I've started a book but it is nice to see the labels too, not that I have all of them but here are a few I have at the moment so I figured I'd jsut start here. These are all not too expensive 2005 California Merlots.
The Bogle($10) Tirzah and Aaron inroduced us to in Hatteras. Its nice for just about any occasion and the one we usually fall back on if we are undecided what we are in the mood for.

The Hahn($7) we tried based on the recommendation of the owner of Arista's- the wine cellar in Edmonds. It was very good. I don't usually get the whole top notes of lemongrass with hints of truffles, a bouquet of calla lilies with a finish of cardammon, bernaise sauce, and spam. I just like the wine or I don't. But this one, though very subtle tasted like dark chocolate with lilacs. Which I have actually tasted. The lilacs I mean. It was best just out of the bottle and would fade too quickly if decanted but was still fine to drink. We bought a second bottle.

The Cycle's Gladiator($8) was not too great and a little spicy- but not the good kind. I wouldn't get it again.

Shane decided it would be good to just have some wine you can count on on hand so he got a case of the Bogle. I think they look pretty lined up against the tiled backsplash in my kitchen. I'll add some other favorites later and maybe figure out how to keep a running list I can up-date on my blog but I am not that clever yet.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Speaking of Montessori...

Kateri and Cyprian decided to do some transfer exercises using coffee and the espresso equipment. Not a good plan but they did have fun. They got the idea while I was talking to my mom discussing how to make things more accessible to the older kids but safe from the younger ones. I'll have to keep thinking about it.

Thank You Saint Anthony

Yes, it getting a little crowded out there but I'll finish my project soon and we are having a neighborhood garge sale this week-end so hopefully it will get cleared out.

Yes, we finally found the charger for the camera battery. Of all places it was in Shane's desk drawer. You never think to look where something actually belongs. But it was and now I can have up to date pictures. We did miss a few good photo ops in the couple weeks it was lost but oh well. Now if I can just find the mouse for my computer I'd be set.

We made a Resotration run the other day. No bedroom furniture but I did think to look for knobs for Shane's desk. I am almost done with the slides for the top and though they have "hand carved" areas for handles I thought it would look cute with little knobs. They had one that was perfect. The only problem was, it was one. And it was actually the display on the box. I was sad because it was perfect. It was round and small and brushed nikel and super adorable. Cyril had to go to the bathroom so while Shane took him the kids and I went on a hunt for misplaced knobs. There were baskets to go through so we sat down and stared searching. The kids thought it was fun and found lots of treasures. Many were miniature sized and they liked that. I started a collection of possible candidates hoping to get a pair. Shane came back and helped and finally we found a match for the original one we wanted. I was so happy. The picture doesn't do it justice. Part of its attractiveness is its weight. It looks so small but it is heavy. I just love quality hardware that you know won't break or fall part and that feels nice to use. And to find all that in a tiny little pull! I can't wait to see it on the desk. I know it seems crazy to be in raptures about a lump of metal but I really appreciate how attentive they were in making the knobs and it didn't go unnoticed.

I've almost finished staining the rest of the fence. I'd like to finish today- I only have half a section-but it is raining. Which is probably good because I worked all day on it yesterday and the house is in need of some serious attention. So I'll be working on that today.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I think I have a problem.

I just stuck this picture in for fun because my camera is still not charged and too much text looks boring. A baby in one hand a gun in the other. My kind of man.

We were eating cherries and Kateri and Audrey stuffed their cheeks full. They remind me of the bunnies in Wallace and Grommit.

Shane has been telling people at work I am leaving him for craigslist. He backed up the accusation telling them first thing in the morning instead of making him coffee I am checking craigslist. Before getting in bed I check agan. If Iam woken up in the middle of the night I check just in case someone listed the perfect bookshelf for Kateri's room at 3am. And all throughout the day I send him links to some hidden treasure I found asking,

" Can you pick this up for me?"

I am starting to think he is right and at the moment I am a little tired of it - although I did do a quick check before I started typing this confession. Nothing. Actually that is a lie. Maybe I should be worried. I did find a foosball table which I am thinking might be easier to arrange the garage around than an 8' pool table. But Shane is gone to the movies so I can't ask him right now.

My last adventure with craigslisting turned out to be a lot more than I expected- by at least 3 inches. And although it was free, it was not without some expense- mostly Shane's brawn and my nerves.

I was browsing the free list looking for more storage for the school room and I came across three solid maple book shelves all with cabinets on the bottom. I really wanted something with doors so I could secure the little kids things when I was not there to supervise but with shelving on top for the big kids books. They looked perfect so I e-mailed Randy and said my husband has a truck and he blackberried back and said that's nice for him. And also that the shelves were still available what time could we retrieve them and I said around 7 and he said call when you are on your way. I forgot to mention that before I said we'd be there at 7 I e-mailed Shane and he gave me the go ahead.

I had a few hours to kill before Shane would be home so I copied down the measurements and got the measuring tape and went up to figure how I'd configure them. At 4' wide they were too wide to all fit on one wall and the heighth was exactly the floor to ceiling measurement. And at 18 inches deep I was thrilled with the endless possibilities of storage options. What wouldn't I put on those shelves? And then I had a horrible thought, what if they are TOO tall? I called Shane and told him the measurements and he said it should work fine and if not we can put them somewhere else. I felft better and got to work on some shish kebobs so we could eat before going.

Everyone ate well so I was really surprised that Cyprian was really fussy on the way down. Luckily, I had the foresight to bring some dark chocolate to keep him distracted but it was all gone before we even got to the exit- which was only 20 min away. I was thinking earlier today when he was extra sensitive and fussy he might be teething and I was mad at myself for not giving him some pain killer before leaving. I was also hoping he would fall asleep at some point but he didn't.

We got to Randy's and I was already feeling worn out and ready to be home. Randy was having some couches delivered at the same time so he asked Shane to help move them up some stairs, which he did. There were two of them and it took awhile and all the while I was trying to distract and keep Pippin happy. We sang songs, told stories, made faces, I gave him my cel phone. All for naught. I was explaining to Shane what it is like for a mom to hear her baby cry and I said it is like every wail is a pile drive to the face and you can't just tune it out. I definitely felt beat up by the time we got home. The crying continued while Shane loaded the shelves- all three barely fit-and the entire drive home. I smartly remembered the drugs and eventually he calmed down and nursed to sleep. I'l try and remember tomorrow morning.

Cameron came over to meet Shane for the movie and helped unload the shelves. I wish my camera was working. They are enormous and honeslty they scare me a little. They take up half the garage and even in the big expanse look intimidating. I got the tape measurer out and sure enough the shelves are 96" but the molding on the top adds another 3 inches. I just never imagined a bookshelf could ever be too big. But Shane says we can lower the trim and it does have an added block on the bottom so we can fix any height problems. They will need some work. I'm not sure what all I want to do with them. They are a clear maple now and I think it looks nice but there are some scratches and I want to put handles on the doors so I can lock them. I would never try to move one of these on my own- like I did with the pine shelf. I am glad I learned my lesson on a lighter shelf.

I admit a few times during the whole operation I thought let's just go home. My baby is sad and tired. My nerves are fried and those shelves are gargantuan. If they don't fit I don't know what we'll do with them. Maybe this is a mistake. A big one. But now that we are home the kids are sleeping and I can relax I am happy with them and am looking forward to having a project with some problems different from just needing a refinishing. Some of the backing needs to be tacked on and the trim is loose in afew places. And I get to pick out some pretty knobs for the doors. I told Shane on the way home we would be set in the school room storage department for years to come. He is such a Sweetie putting up with all my wild schemes. I could never have done any of them without him.

I just went out to take a last look before retiring for the night. I looked out and surveyed the vast sea of wooden projects in various stages of doneness our garage has become. I still need to finish the pine shelf- I did finish sanding now I can move on to staining. Then there are the slideouts for Shane's desk. I got those stained now I need to polyurethane them. There is Kateri's dresser partly stripped by Trudy. The little wood shelf I had to sand to get the ink stains out of but now needs a protective coating. And last but certainly not least the three Goliath-sized shelves that actually look pretty good out there. I suppose we could even just keep them out there. We need more shelving in the garage to free up some floor space. For a foosball table. If it is still available.

Kateri's Fourth Birthday

Kateri turned 4 yesterday. I think it is about time to retire her 24 mos outfits. Grandma Trudy got her a darling little dress, size 3T, and it fits just right.

The day started out well and I woke Kateri up with her birthday card from Great Grandma Mac. She was so pleased with her lady bug stickers, I blew up some of the balloons, and she put her money up and told me how she is going to put it in her pocket and buy some gum and candy with it. We seemed off to a festive start but then it got a little crazy. I fugured with all the cousins we could get together a last minute party. I'm not one for planning ahead much. At first we were coming up empty handed but then Tirzah called and invited herself over for lunch so we were set.

First we ran to Fred Meyer's and Business Costco to get some provisions and very sneakily, a present. I was pleased she didn't notice the pencils, paper, hair clips, and big girl panties I snuck in under the paint thinner and brushes for my on-going projects. And she was delighted with her new things and the kids all sat down to draw together as I threw the cake together and felt very satisfied with everything going so swimmingly. Or so it seemed. There were several tired and nap-resistant children and only one large flower balloon, courtesy of Auntie Tirzah, with a big smily face that seemed to say to each of the children

"Don't you wish you had Me?"

And they all responded in the affirmative by trying to take it and much mayhem resulted. Tirzah looked at me and said,

" You can tell I only have one kid, huh?"

Fortunately, the kids were not over it this morning and I finally had to ban the older kids from touching the balloon, the string, or the weight.
We tried our best to get the kids to eat, I was contemplating employing the fois gras methods, hoping against hope it would improve their moods. It didn't. Finally after we choked down enough bagels and juice we said a sad farewell to our guests. It was very sad. Really.

I was determined to finish the party just to be done so we proceeded to ice and decorate the cake which resulted in a chocolate frosted coating on pretty much all the surfaces in the kitchen and on the children. But they were happy and then we all sat down to sample, mush, deconstruct and then abandon our slices of cake. It really was not very tasty and I tossed the rest this moring. No one has asked about it. But it was all about the process anyway.

My battery charger is still AWOL but I figured using last years picture was ok as she has not changed much and the cake she made with Grandma Trudy was a lot more asthetically pleasing. And it was tasty.

So today I am feeling the effects of the morning after the party along with some bad allergies. I've tried nettles, ibuprofen and a latte and am only slightly functional at present. Which is bad because we are having the house inspected tomorrow morning so I get to clean and make sure the crawl space and attic accesses are I guess accessable. Which means cleaning out the front closet and my closet. Neither or which I am doing right now.

I finally got Pippin to take a nap today. Yesterday's was only 20 min in the car. He is almost two and will probably be giving them up for good soon. I feel sick when I hear people mention their 3 or 4 year old still needs a 2 hour nap. I'm happy to get 1 hour these days and it won't be for much longer. So while he sleeps I suppose I should do the responsible thing and start working. Shane, being the thoughtful sweetheart that he is, vacuumed and swept the entire house the other night after he sent me off to play at Tirzah's new house. And then when i got home to a house of sleeping children he said he wished I'd stayed longer as he was about to get started on the kitchen. So at least those things are done and I feel like I have a head start so maybe I can get it all done and I won't feel badly about going shopping with Tirzah this evening. I'm really jealous though because Shane and his brother are going to see Bourne Ultimatum at midnight tonight. But that is ok because I'll be sleeping.

P.S. Kateri just came in to inform me she purposefully let her balloon go outside and is ready to go and get a new birthday balloon. I told her no. But that might mean we can have Jack over now.