Friday night we decided to go and try a new pizza place.  The kids all love pizza and since I couldn’t bear the thought of eating at McDonald’s AGAIN we opted for pizza.  Instead of carry-out we decided to pile the kids in the van and go eat at the pizza place.   So after pulling them away from ICarly and X-box games we got everyone in the van and away we went!

When I was growing up my family had a tradition of going out for pizza on Friday nights.  When the tradition started the plan was that we would go out for frozen yogurt after school, come home and clean the house and then go out for pizza.  After a while we started leaving out the cleaning house part and just went for the frozen yogurt and then pizza. (my brother, sister and I thought this was even a better plan!) We had a great little pizza place called Sam’s Pizza Boat and we loved it because they had movies showing while you ate pizza. (Remember this would have been twenty-five or thirty years ago so that was a novel thing … not like today where it’s more the norm than the exception to have TV’s in restaurants.)  The other thing we liked about Sam’s Pizza Boat was that we were often the only people there so we had the whole restaurant to ourselves.  However, as you can imagine, a pizza place that was that dead on a Friday night had a short life span.  So, eventually Sam’s Pizza Boat went out of business and we had to find a new pizza place to eat. 

When Dwight and I arrived at the pizza place we of course had to locate the bathroom first (always important when you have four kids dining at your table) and then we seated ourselves at a nice booth in the corner that had a window with a view of the river nearby.  We ordered our pizza and bread sticks and then talked about the various activities we had done this week and what we had coming up this weekend. 

 The bread sticks were delicious and the pizza was even better! The kids had a contest to see who could eat the most pieces and Drew won, but was in close competition with Ethan who we believe has a hollow leg because he can usually eat pretty close to what his teenage brother eats and he is only eight!  

We all left with full tummies and smiles on our faces … I think we may have found a new Friday night tradition.

Momma’s Boys

May 7, 2011

“Why do boys have to be so annoying?” Emma asked Ethan.  “I don’t know. Why do girls have to be so dramatic?” he replied.  I heard this conversation the other day when the twins had been playing together all afternoon and apparently were starting to get on each other’s nerves.  Ethan had been annoying Emma and she of course had been reacting in typical girl fashion by being overly dramatic about the annoying things he was doing.  She still doesn’t seem to realize that the dramatic reaction is what makes annoying her so much fun and just encourages Ethan.

It has been interesting for me to watch the relationships that have developed between my children and how different they are.  Emma and Drew have a much different relationship than the relationship between Ethan and Drew. The same goes for the relationship between Emma and Caleb and Ethan and Caleb … the brother / brother relationship is not the same as the brother / sister relationship.  I grew up with only one brother and one sister so I didn’t notice this difference until I had kids of my own.

This video clip shows that special bond of “brotherly love” and I can see Drew and Ethan doing something like this about 10 years from now.  (Ethan would definitely be the uncooperative one in the t-shirt!)

Happy Mother’s Day!

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!”

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!”