Empty Oreos

January 31, 2011

It never fails …. I go shopping, come home and find more things that I need to buy. Not because I forgot to put them on the list, but because my kids have a habit of putting empty boxes back into the cupboards and the fridge.  I usually make up my shopping list quickly on my way out the door to Walmart.  I just take a quick inventory and see what things we are out of and add them to the list. However, the empty boxes look very similar to the full boxes so unless I pick up each box or container up and shake to determine fullness of the box I will not know to buy more.  I have tried to explain this time and time again to the kids, but their selective hearing must prevent them from picking up on what I think is a pretty simple concept … when you take the last cookie, cracker, fruit snack, etc. and the box is empty THROW IT AWAY! 

A couple weeks ago I returned home from the store and was putting the groceries away when Ethan asked, “Did you buy more Oreos?”   “No” I replied, “There is an almost full package in the cupboard” (this time when I was making up my shopping list I had gotten wise and picked up the package and could tell the Oreo box was not empty).  Ethan looked up at me with his sad little face and said, “Yeah, but those Oreos are all empty.”  “What do you mean, they are ’empty’?” I asked.  “You know … they don’t have any of the white stuff in the middle.”  he explained.  That’s odd, how could they not have any filling?  I went to the cupboard and opened the Oreo package to find that Ethan was right … empty Oreos. Hmmm …. who was the one that ate the filling out of all the Oreos ?  Could it have been Emma or Drew?  Or maybe it was Ethan and that’s how he knew they were empty. 

As I was pondering this mystery I walked into the living room where Drew and Emma were playing the Wii. Ethan was behind me and so I asked the three of them “Who ate the filling out of all the Oreos?”  Of course, I got the standard answer of “Not me!” from all three of them.  I knew it wasn’t Caleb because he doesn’t like Oreos and I was pretty sure Dwight wasn’t the culprit so that just left these three as suspects in The Case of the Empty Oreos.  I was frustrated that no one would confess to the crime and I was tired from shopping. I tried to remain calm, but unfortunately it didn’t work. “Fine! I said, until one of you admits you ate all the filling out of the cookies, I am not buying anymore Oreos! In fact, maybe I won’t buy any cookies of any kind at all !”  I took the package of empty Oreos and threw it on the coffee table. “You’d better enjoy those empty Oreos because they may be the last cookies you see for a while!”  As I stormed out of the room I heard Emma whisper to Ethan and Drew, “I think the lesson we have learned here today is that you don’t want to make Mommy mad”


January 30, 2011

The padding was gone and there were stains covering the fabric. The recliners were broken and there was a large tear in the arm. A tear so large that the wood frame was slightly showing. Our sectional couch had surely seen better days.  Like the day we purchased the couch 14 years ago and had it delivered to our home.  It had looked a lot smaller in the showroom, but in our living room it was much larger and took up more space than we had planned.   Dwight and I were so excited because it was our first piece of furniture that we had purchased since we had gotten married 4 years earlier.  All the rest of our furniture had been hand-me-downs or had been given to us.  We didn’t have any children at the time, but we were trying to get pregnant and hoped to have several children over the next few years. 

Over the past 14 years this couch has shared many happy memories with our family.  Memories of Thursday night Seinfeld, Friends, & ER parties with my parents and my brother and his wife.  Memories of sleeping on the recliners with our newborn babies lying on our chest so that we could get some much-needed rest. Memories of our children laughing and singing along with Blue’s Clues, Dora, and Barney.  Memories of pizza and popcorn on New Year’s Eve each year.

Today we said goodbye to our beloved sectional couch.  A couch that was worn and tattered but was a wonderful couch to come home to and relax after a long day.  As our couch was being moved out of our home the kids hugged the cushions and said goodbye.  They talked about their memories of fun times they had on this couch and looked forward to the happy memories we would have on our new couch.   So here is to another 14 years of memories … memories that will be sure to involve meeting girlfriends and boyfriends, wedding plans, and possibly grandchildren.

Pretend Holidays

January 29, 2011

The kids are always excited about upcoming holidays, especially ones that involve candy, cake, and/or getting out of school.  Emma was looking at a calendar for February and said, “Wow! February has so many holidays!”  I could only think Valentines Day and Presidents Day so I asked, “Really?  What are the holidays in February?”   She started counting them up on her fingers, “Well, there is Dr. Seuss Day, Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, and Presidents Day.”  Emma was surprised that I had forgotten Dr. Seuss Day and Groundhog Day … c’mon Mom, get with the program! is what I’m sure she was thinking.  I asked Emma, “Do you know how many  of those holidays Mommy gets off work?”  “No, how many?” she asked. “Absolutely none!” I answered. “Well, that’s not fair.  It’s like those are just pretend holidays.”  Yeah, Emma it’s rough out there in the real world!

Try Something New

January 28, 2011

I have never been big on trying new things, especially when
it comes to food … I always order the same thing when I go to
restaurants. I often THINK about trying something new, but I
usually chicken out because, “What if I don’t like it?” So I guess
I can’t complain when my kids use this excuse …. they come by it

So tonight we took the kids to Fazoli’s and instead of my
usual baked spaghetti, I branched out and tried the baked ravioli.
It wasn’t as good as the baked spaghetti, but it wasn’t terrible
either. And, of course, with the bread sticks you never leave
Fazoli’s hungry! I know what you’re thinking …. baked ravioli is
not a whole lot different than baked spaghetti, but just remember…
“baby steps”.

The other new thing I’m trying is that I am posting
this from the WordPress App on my iPhone instead of from my laptop.
Again, something I’ve thought of doing before, but just never
actually done. Wow … two new things in one day! Maybe change and
trying new things aren’t so bad after all!

What’s That Smell?

January 27, 2011

Ethan came up to me the other night and asked, “Wanna smell my armpit?” I gracefully declined but he persisted and said, “C’mon Mom … it smells really good! I used some of that stuff Drew puts on his armpits to make them smell better.”  I chuckled and then said, “OK … come here and let me smell.”  I took whiff and told him he smelled great. “Yep”, Ethan said proudly. “Now I smell just like Drew!”

When Drew was a toddler his favorite show to watch was Jim Henson’s “Bear in the Big Blue House”. He watched it on TV and also had videos (VHS tapes at that time) and books so that he could visit Bears Big Blue House and hang out with Ojo, Tutter, Treelo, Bear and Luna whenever he wanted.  One of my favorite songs from that show was “What’s That Smell?”  The main character, Bear, would bring his big, brown fuzzy nose up to the screen , sniff and say “Do you smell that?” and then break into song.  “What’s that smell? Smells like cornflakes, or maybe pancakes, a glass of milk and something swell. What’s that smell? Smells like clean clothes, tickling my nose, warm pajamas and soap as well.” 

The song had a catchy tune but it also made me think of how smells remind us of certain people, places or times in our lives.  We may catch a whiff of a cologne or perfume that reminds us of a loved one or maybe we smell a food that reminds us of a memory from our childhood.  Some smells that bring back memories for me are the smells like the heavy chlorine from an indoor pool that reminds me of my days on the swim team in high school. Or the smell of Desitin that reminds me of when my kids were babies and I spent most of my days smelling of Desitin and spit up.  Then there are those smells that are just relaxing and calming, like the smell of fresh rain or the ocean breeze. Speaking of relaxing smells, when our kids are sick or they are having trouble sleeping I have found that if I give them one of my pillows it helps them to relax because, as they say, “It smells like Mommy!” 

Last Spring Emma and Ethan had a field day at school where they participated in lots of fun outdoor games and events.  They were, of course, very dirty and smelly when they got home so I gave them baths before bed.  Emma was in the bath to wash off all the sweat and sunscreen when she looked up at me, smiled and said, “I smell just like vacation!”

Getting Fancy Now

January 26, 2011

OK – so to spice things up as I continue my journey in the world of blogging I have decided to try something new and fancy …. adding video to a post. 

This hilarious video clip by comedian Anita Renfroe is for all those moms out there that know they could run the country better due to their experience. Afterall, aren’t all  politicians kinda like kids?  …. they don’t want to admit anything is their fault, they don’t clean up their messes and they think that there is an endless supply of money.  What this country needs is a mom to come in and save the day!

If you enjoyed this clip as much as I did you can find more of Anita Renfroe on YouTube www.youtube.com/anitarenfroe3 or check her website to see when she might be coming to your area.   www.anitarenfroe.com

I Cannot Go To School Today

January 25, 2011

‘I cannot go to school today, ‘
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
‘I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more-that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut-my eyes are blue-
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke-
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is-what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is…Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!

                ~ Shel Silverstein


“Sick” by Shel Silverstein is a poem that I memorized when I was in elementary school (Yes, kids … they had poems way back when Mommy was in school) and I still have this poem running through my head whenever I am dealing with one (or four) kids trying to convince me that they absolutely can not go to school today.  This past week we have had REAL sickness running through our house and the battle has been that if one child is staying home the others all want to stay home too.  They try to convince me that it really would be in my best interest if they stayed home with their sibling(s).  Sometimes they have the same sickness as their brother or sometimes they need to stay home and help take care of their sister, or sometimes they have some new sickness that they think would prevent them from getting on the school bus.  They are constantly taking their temperature “hoping” for a fever, pointing out things like the splinter in their finger or making a case for the loose tooth that is just about to fall out.  I hear cries of “My head hurts” …“My tummy hurts” … “I think I might be getting a fever soon” … “What if I need to throw up at school?”   Pretty soon MY head starts to hurt from all the whining and complaining!  I have always tried to instill a good work ethic in my children so that when they go out into the “real world” they will be a valued employee that is dependable and reliable.  I really don’t think a boss will buy “I have a splinter in my finger” as an excuse to not come into work.  So much to their dismay they are prodded out the door and onto the school bus.  As I watch them go off to school with their sad and pitiful faces I know when they come home they will be replaced with smiles, laughter and excitement as they tell me about the wonderful day they had at school.

That “Snot” Funny

January 24, 2011

Having three boys I am always amazed at how easily entertained they are with their bodily functions. They have contests to see who can burp the loudest or the longest, they break into uncontrollable laughter when someone farts and they think that their poop and snot are interesting enough to share with others.  “Wow, you gotta come see how big this poop is!”  or “Look Mom! I laughed real hard and this huge booger came out of my nose! See, it’s right here in my hand!”  Really, boys?  Do you think I really want to see it?  But, boys will be boys and even when they grow up they still have this fascination. I worked up at summer camp when I was a teenager I remember the boys on staff would sit out on their porch and have burping contests . It was more of an advanced competition at this age … they would see if they could belch the alphabet.  They even knew the best combinations of food and drink to create these prize-winning sounds …. I think Mt. Dew and Cheetos were often the ammunition of choice.

In Kindergarten, when Ethan and Emma were learning German at school Ethan asked me one night, “Hey mom – do you know how to say ‘black’ in German?”  I shook my head and said “No, honey I don’t. How do you say black in German?”  Ethan got this big, silly grin on his face and answered, “She farts!” and then waited for my reaction.  “What! Did you just say ‘She farts’?” I asked. “Yep” Ethan proudly said and then burst into laughter.   He went onto tell me that he and all his friends had laughed through most of German because of this new word they learned and the joking and laughing continued on the playground and bus ride home.   I don’t know any German so I was not sure if “she farts” was the correct way to say “black” in German.   I called my Dad since he took German in school and asked him. He said the word for black was “Schwartz”, which when said with a German accent does sound surprisingly close to “she farts”.  I’m not sure how thrilled Ethan’s teacher was with this interpretation the boys were amusing themselves with.

Since we are on the subject of amusing oneself I don’t want to leave out the entertainment Caleb amused himself with last night. I heard this hysterical laughter coming from the bathroom and I went in to find Caleb laying on his back in the bathtub and watching his own little “fountain” of pee.  He would pee a little, then giggle, then pee a little more and giggle a little more.  Emma came in and asked what Caleb was laughing about and I told her and she said “Awesome!” and then went and told Ethan who replied with  “Cool!” and then proceeded to try this trick when it was his turn to take a bath. 

You never know how their creative little minds will work to come up with the most unusual (and often gross) ideas.  Ethan got a snowball maker for his birthday and he was talking about how excited he was to use it the next day when he went out to play in the snow.  He was looking at the plastic mold and then said, “Hey, Mom … what if they made something like this but it was called a ‘snotball maker’?  You could make balls of snot and throw them at people. That would be so cool!”  He thought for a moment  and then added, “Well, maybe not so fun for the person that got hit with it. I bet the person that got hit would say that ‘snot’ funny!”

Three Weeks Already?

January 23, 2011

Wow – it’s hard to believe I have been doing the post-a-day blog challenge for three weeks already.  Twenty-one posts in twenty-one days!  It’s been more of a challenge to find the time to sit down and write than it has been to find what to write about. With four kids I have plenty of funny quotes and interesting stories to write about, but with four kids I have very little time to sit down and actually write.  I had a good rhythm going for a while and would write in the evenings right before I had to start the kids bath and bedtime routine and then schedule the posts to publish the next morning. But this past week with snow delays, snow days, sick kids, etc. our family schedule has been off and so I haven’t been able to stick with it as well. I’m glad that I was still able to post each day, but I hope to get back into a better routine and rhythm so I don’t feel so rushed and can enjoy the whole writing experience. Thanks to all of you who have been following my blog and the adventures of the pastor’s kids!

To make things run smoother in the mornings I try to lay the kids clothes out the night before. Ethan, Caleb and Drew wear pretty much whatever I lay out for them, but with Emma it’s always a little more challenging. She will complain the shirt I picked out is too itchy or she doesn’ t “feel” like wearing green. Sometimes she just wants to switch the top or sometimes just the pants but then there are times she rejects the entire outfit. One night I was laying out their clothes and I said to Ethan, “Here is a sweatshirt and some jeans for tomorrow. Is that OK?”  He answered, “Yep” and then I added, “Of course it is because you aren’t picky”  Emma, who had been quietly drawing a picture, stopped, looked up, and said to me with a cold tone in her voice, “Are you saying I’m picky?”   Well, Princess Emma you are a little picky, but with three brothers I think you have earned the right to be picky.