Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Wait a Sec, It'll Change!

So here I was, keeping a couple babies by myself, then all of a sudden Melody left to go spend her days with Grandma, a new little girl started, and so did my assistant!  Now I'm back to two grownups in the house and working on ramping up to keeping more kids again.  We've had several interviews this week with SUCH sweet families- would love the chance to take care of those boys.  They are fabulous, and as an added bonus it would be nice to balance out the estrogen overload we've got right now.  :)

One of the boys just turned two, so I'm rethinking the "infants only" thing.  With two adults here, a split age group works really well and it's likely that we'll move the graduation date back to age three.  I miss Remy, Alice, and Perdita!!  Darn.  But I hear wonderful reports from their new teacher and I know they're doing well.  These last few months just didn't work for me to have everyone.  I'm really hoping that now things are settled down- the kids I have plan to stay awhile, Assistant and I are happy and onboard, and a few more are in the wings.  All is well.

Aurora dropped on in Fair Day when her kindergarten was closed.  Merryweather really enjoyed having sister around for the day, and they all had a good time.  I don't usually get to post anything of Merida at all, so I'm happy to have this one that completely hides her identity and still shows her playing.  She's got the MOST awesome laugh- it's very low and throaty for a baby, and she was laughing and having a great time with this hat.  Fun day.

 Maid Marian says to you, "blah."  She is such a laidback and easy baby- just hangs out and learns how to use her tongue.  :) 

And here's our newest addition, as yet unnamed for the blog.  She's made a quick and smooth transition into hanging out with us and is a joy to be around.

I am very much enjoying this season!  Fun and happy kids = happy me.  It feels very different to not be on the move every minute like I was when I had older kids.  Now we lie on the floor a lot and build block towers for each other to knock down, and we chase balls around and take things in and out of boxes.  However, Merryweather is quickly approaching complete mobility, and even without walking yet she's doing this:

It'll be no time at all before we're back to art projects and outside time!  They grow up so fast.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


It is very bittersweet to have all my big kids gone.  I know they were ready and needed more challenges and are going to have a fabulous time at their new school.  I also really do like having a tighter age spread and doing only baby things- I feel like I'm able to focus more closely and serve my babies better when I'm not trying to do preschool at the same time.  I miss my big ones though.  Merryweather is my oldest one now- I've got nobody here who walks or talks.  It's such a big change from just a couple weeks ago.

Here are a few pictures from before Alice left.  I made green smoothie for breakfast one morning and she and Merryweather both liked it.  Kinda surprised me- I was expecting more fuss about it, but they sucked it right down.  It actually is pretty good- for sure the only way I'm willing to eat spinach or kale.

Then we walked over to the elementary school to have lunch with Duchess.  Now that I have a new quad stroller, we can actually get inside.  The last one I had was about two inches wider and it wouldn't fit through the front door.  Super annoying.  Now we can travel!!  My kids are always so excited to see the babies, and they like it when I bring them cookies too.  I figure I better do this while they still are happy to see me, right?

I packed a lunch for Alice so she could sit with Duchess like a big girl.  She was pretty impressed at the time, although later when I asked her if she'd had a fun day she told me no.  :)

One of Duchess's friends fell in love with Merryweather and kept her company while Alice was busy eating.

And here is Melody.  The Disney reference is a little more obscure, but in the sequel to the Little Mermaid, it's Ariel and Eric's daughter.  This satisfies my silly rules, since she remains in the mermaid universe with her siblings, and it's pretty close to being a merrybaby too. Close enough anyway.

What? I wasn't gonna touch the baby, I promise!

Maid Marian has slept a lot this week and I haven't gotten too many good pictures of her yet, but I'll put up some more of her soon.

And as far as updates on getting help, my friend is ready to give two weeks' notice at her job as soon as I need her.  If I stay by myself, I'm comfortably full- I have three full time babies and a part time.  If I get two more babies who want to start, then I'll bring in help.  I'm just having to play it by ear and wait on the phone to ring.  :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Small Pink Goodness

I have a new one scheduled to start next month.  I know her mama is not super excited about having to go back to work, but I am.  Selfish, yes, but I love my job and I especially love getting new teeny ones.  She is very greasy.  Can't wait to kiss her grease.  Just look!   Could you die?

Since I have Merida and Merryweather and I've been referring to the merrybabies, I was thinking maybe I would call her Maid Marian.  Then they will all still be merry.  :)  There are other movies I haven't used characters from though- she could be Violet or Vanellope or Rapunzel.  Penny, Jasmine, Cinderella... I'm going to have to start reusing movies eventually, but I know for sure those haven't been done before. 

I have another new little girl that will be coming part time- she is the little sister of Ariel and Sebastian.  They are now in 2nd and 3rd grade, HOLY COW.  So in keeping with the rules I set in my head that nobody else cares about, I want to give her a Little Mermaid name too.  But not Ursula.  I don't give my babies villain names.  I have to go look and see what other girl names they use!  The only ones I can think of are the sisters.  They aren't major characters in the first movie but they do show up a lot more in the sequel.  So the choices are things like Adella, Aquata, Arista, Andrina... and then I draw a blank on the others.  I think there are seven.  Or I could break with tradition and just name her something else. Either way I can't think of another Merry name.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Timing Is Everything

I started doing this job in June 2002, after finishing up my fourth year of teaching sixth grade.  That was such a bad year that I told my principal at my end-of-year interview that I would rather drive a garbage truck than have another year like that.  I'm not always very diplomatic, I'm afraid.  But she forgave me and I actually ended up taking care of her grandson two years later so it all worked out.  This job is where I belong.

I worked with my mom at her house from 2002-2005, and then we split the business.  (that's why one of my email addresses still has bb in front of it- we were called Bright Beginnings at her place.) I brought Duchess and her big kid friends home when she was two and I did toddler/preschool daycare by myself for almost two years.  After that my parents moved in with us and Mom helped me out for about eight months while I was pregnant with O'Malley.  Fall of 2007 she got a job outside the house and I was alone til April of 2009 when Kanga started.  Kanga had to leave in December 2012 and so it's been just me again for the past eight months. 

Everyone has been asking if I planned to hire someone else to come in and I've been pretty hesitant about it.  Working with Kanga was really smooth and easy and I just wasn't sure if it would be the same with somebody different.  Also, I definitely didn't want to hire a stranger, and I didn't know anybody who was interested.  But it's been pretty lonely- I forgot how much difference it makes to be able to have some adult conversation during the day.  I love having someone to bounce ideas off of, and to have a person who knows your strengths and weaknesses and can fill in the gaps.  At the beginning of the summer I toyed with shutting the daycare and going back to teaching.  No worries- it's not happening.  I would like the schedule now that my kids are in school, but I don't actually love elementary school the way I do the littles.  I started thinking about what my favorite things were about teaching.  It was the good kids- the ones who really were fun to have in class and liked to learn.  I'm friends with some of them on facebook because now they are grownups.  Turns out my very favorite one (for real, even then) is looking for a job.  She has previous daycare and nanny experience.  I've known her since she was eleven and I am excited about working with her.

The problem is just trying to get the timing right.  Do you remember that commercial a few years back where the guy was sitting in a park and the ambulance comes screeching up?  Paramedics jump out and start yelling about the limb.  Where's the limb?  Get the ice!  The guy is just looking at them like they're insane, so they apologize and leave.  As they turn the corner, a crazed gorilla with a chainsaw comes running out of the woods right at the guy and the voiceover says, "Timing is Everything."

I wanted to find it on youtube but I'm having trouble, I think partly because I don't know what product they were trying to sell.  Anyway, that is totally how I feel right now.  I really would love her to come work with me, but she can't just quit her job and sign on till I have enough kids here to support two people. So!  If you are thinking about starting, please get in touch with me!  I've got fresh young help and that is exciting!  If I can't find some more kids soon, she might have to give up this idea and look for something else, and that would make me sad. 

The fabulous two year olds I was keeping are driving away in the ambulance, so to speak.  If I'd had any idea this was going to work out the way it is, I would never have said I wanted to graduate them.  I miss Remy, and I will miss Perdita in a few weeks.  Hoping to hang onto Alice a little longer but she very well may go too, since *I* was the one who kicked off this whole "I'm only going to keep infants" thing.  One age group was the best plan for me when I was thinking I'd be alone, but with two people I wish I'd kept my mouth shut!  Argh.  Yup, timing is everything.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Focus: Alice

Look, it's Alice!  I like this picture of her.  It's the current one on her cubby. She's very excited about "hair pretties" these days.  Her mom brought me a whole bunch so I can continually put little piggies in.  Makes everyone happy.

She really is pretty happy most of the time.  This was a rare sad moment I caught and it doesn't even look too sad.  More horrified, or possibly constipated.  :)  Mostly she just plays and talks and makes cupcakes and talks and reads and talks.  Oh, and also talks.

This post has been sitting in draft because she has SO many awesome one-liners that I get bogged down and overwhelmed when I come to write them down.  She makes me laugh out loud every single day, and her vocabulary is pretty amazing for her age.  She's spending the night tonight.  I was sitting at the table eating mac and cheese with her while my iTunes played on shuffle.  Some song by Material Issue came on, I don't even remember which one.  She starts bopping around in the chair immediately.  "OH!  Ms Kelli, do you like this song?  Will you rock out with me?"

Rock out.  I could die from the cuteness.  And then other days it's like still having Kanga around.  She'll follow me around and say really grown-up sounding things like a coworker would.  "Oh, are you pouring Perdita milk?  That sounds like a good plan."  FOR REAL.  She says things like that all the time.  "I think actually we ate pears last week Ms Kelli."

And I'll say, "would you like some more milk?"  And she says, "That would be a yes."  She kills me.

She got super huggy awhile back- this picture is kind of old since Mater was still here, but it was a really fun morning.  They all went around and took turns hugging, and she was orchestrating it all.  "Okay, now I will hug Remy.  Lady, you hug Mater.  Now I will hug Mater.  Remy, you hug Lady."  It just went on and on and then they started spinning around till they all fell down. 

Right now she's enjoying cupcakes and dinosaurs.  Oh, and the Three Bears still.  Officially we've finished the unit, but we still talk about it and read the book at least a couple times a week.  I eat pretend cupcakes probably 30 times a day too.  And she still loves anything blue.  Cracks me up.  "This is blue!  Blue is my color!  I like it!  It is pretty like me!"

And it absolutely is.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Too Hot, Too Painful

So.  The week of July 4 I was noticing that asking my dad to fix the caulking around the playroom doors didn't really help.  Still too warm in there.  I'll admit I was blaming the heat partially on him and his workmanship- which is ridiculous because it's what he does for a living and he's good at it.  But hey, you know.  If you can't pass the buck on to your dad, then who?

By that weekend I had to admit it was the window unit.  Since the playroom used to be the garage, it isn't really connected to the central air for the rest of the house.  We have a big separate unit that USED to do its job.  I called Sears because we have an extended warranty agreement with them.

You may notice it is now August 15.  Going on six weeks of (too many hot phrases going through my head to process at once, ack!!) heat.  Some Like It Hot.  Feeling Hot Hot Hot.  In the words of Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for dat.  Alas, it's the Sears people.  This thing has been a comedy of errors in all ways, leading up to tonight where I actually have a new unit!  given to me under the terms of the agreement that we finally worked out!  installed back in the wall even though dad had to come over and cut the hole bigger!  And?

It has a different type of plug and won't fit in the existing socket.

I'm calling an electrician tomorrow.  Tonight just shoot me.

During all this time I've been conducting daycare in the kitchen and the living room, which was novel and fun for a bit, but we're all tired of it and very ready to get back to having all our space and toys and routines.  It's hard to bring enough stuff in there to entertain two age groups in one space and not have overlap that causes problems, not to even mention my kids who are SO TIRED OF SUMMER AND CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL are bickering and want to play video games all day. 

And yes, go back and read that sentence.  Remind yourself that I was an English teacher before my children were born and sucked all the grammatical knowledge right out of my head.

Also last Wednesday I sprained my ankle.  Couple days of hopping and scooting, now in a boot and bruised like crazy.

But all that to say, we've made it through!  We've made it work!  The merry babies are mobile and into everything and the big kids have enjoyed mimicking the ridiculous contortions I make as I try to get from point A to point B.  We've read approximately 5,245 books, and played with the counting bears and built blanket forts and looked out the window at the lawnmowers or the bunnies, depending on what day it is.  It's all good.  Flexibility at its finest.

Tomorrow, or I guess really later on today, it's Remy's last day.  He'll be joining Lady, Mater, Hercules, and Silvermist over at my friend's in-home preschool.  We will miss him.  I'm making his favorite oatmeal for breakfast, which I will tell him is porridge.  If I'm lucky he'll use his "great big daddy bear" voice to talk to me about how it's too hot or too cold.  His bear voices when we read really make my day.

Next month, his space will be filled by a small delicious princess.  I need to double check and see what her mama's feelings are about pictures.  If I can, I'll steal one from facebook.  She has bows as big as her head.  I can't wait.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Park Love

One day last week it was not very hot (or so it seemed to me from my air-conditioned house) so we ventured out for a walk.  Now that I've settled into keeping five, only one has to actually walk, and my kids are there to take turns holding hands too so it makes it really easy. 

Usually Alice walks.  Duchess and O'Malley like walking with her, until they get tired of answering all her questions.  Then she helps me push the stroller and tells me things for a few minutes while their ears rest.  :)

I still am not entirely sure why I love pictures of kids walking so much, but I continue to take a ton of them and they make my heart squish every time.

We walked around the block and my kids were bugging to go home.  I had the brilliant idea to stop at the park instead.  The Merrybabies stayed in the stroller and I alternated between pushing it up and down the sidewalk in the shade while pushing the swings a few times.  It was a nice change of pace.

The blue swing, OF COURSE.  Alice's love of all things blue borders on obsession at the moment.  Duchess loves that about her- makes them kindred spirits.

Remy, serious and pondering as usual.  He's such a quiet little guy most of the time.  "Are you having a good time?" I ask with a big smile.  "Yes." he tells me very emphatically but with no smile.

Duchess and Perdita working through the mechanics of the big girl swing.  Didn't last very long but it was cute.

We only stayed about ten minutes and then we all were very hot and tired.  I walked back home pushing the quad stroller and herding Alice, who was dragging behind and wanting to sit down.  Finally I put her on my shoulders so I could walk faster.  I'm sure I looked like a crazy person, pushing the huge stroller and holding on to Alice with my other hand.  She didn't trust me a bit and was quite sure I was going to let her fall.  She kept putting her hands over my eyes so I had to stop and adjust.  We made it almost a block before she begged to get down.  So I put her in the stroller and gave Perdita a chance to run.  Girl can book it with the promise of ice water and Mickey Mouse.

It was so fun!!  But I don't think we'll do it again until October or so.  The back yard is about all we can handle these days in the heat.  :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Focus: Merida

My Merida is so deliciously chubby and squishy.  She has the best cheeks ever.  Almost everyone who comes into my house comments on how great they are.  I pick her up and nom nom on her cheeks and snuffle her neck an awful lot.  Just looking at her commands it.  Moral imperative.

Occasionally I have trouble finding cute pictures that are recent and correspond with what I'm saying for posts.  Not the case here- I have a bunch, but her family would prefer I not put pictures up.  I absolutely, always, follow those guidelines, so no pictures.  You'll just have to imagine the fabulous, roly poly, starting to be maybe a redhead, smily cheeky monkey.

She's pretty amazing on motor skills- I think being a third child ensures those skills are never just average.  All my youngest babies have either been way ahead of schedule because they're trying to keep up with their older sibs, or else they're a little late on milestones and don't care at all because there are so many people around to do things for them.  :)  Merida falls into the "fiercely independent and I WILL do it myself" category.  I took these pictures three weeks ago, when she was just over four months old.  We were sitting on the couch while she ate.  I put her down on the rug to look at the fan and I went to the kitchen to put the bottle away.  I was gone less than a minute probably.  Here's what I came back to:

Look, no baby on the rug!  And it's a big rug too.  I was quite impressed with a barely four month old rolling so far and so fast.  So where did she go?

Here's where I wish I knew about photoshop and picture editing so I could put a big arrow pointing at her toes.  Can you see her feet?  They're up in the air, right in the tiny space between the two car seats in the middle of the picture.  She rolled at least six feet.  Strong girl!!

She's my youngest until September, but I have a feeling she won't be my baby for very long.  Miss Merida is a force to be reckoned with.  So much fun!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Hate It When That Happens

I wrote a long cute post updating all kinds of things and catching up on this and that.  I hit publish and it disappeared into the blogging mist, never to be seen again.  Now, not only can I not remember everything I said, but I feel like I already said it.  I keep having to go back to previous posts to see what I actually have published and what I don't.  Very annoying.

Thing the First:
Mater and Lady have graduated over to Ms. Kathy and are doing well from all reports.  I knew they would.  Transition time is inevitable, of course, but they were ready and once they get used to new routines they will be really happy, having more big kids to play with.  I made them slideshows, which are stuck in limbo in my computer.  At least they haven't disappeared, but I can't get them to burn to disc or publish.  Hopefully I can do both those things at some point.

Thing the Second:
Alice, Remy, Perdita and I have started The Three Bears curriculum through Read It Once Again.  They're glad to be back to reading and painting.  It's a good, fluid routine to our days.  Not always the same stuff, but enough consistency and predictability that it works for everybody.  Merryweather and Merida are sometimes awake in the mornings to read with us too, which is always fun. 

Thing the Third:
My fall spot is filled!  I'm excited about this family- they were the kind that I'd have felt sad if I didn't get them.  Remy will be going to Ms. Kathy in the fall and then this new little girl will come in.  I'll have all girls at that point!  Strange.  That hasn't happened in awhile. 

Thing the Fourth:
I know I've been awful about keeping up with Friday Focus, and probably nobody but me even notices, but now that Ms. Mimmie dances with the big kids on Friday mornings, I'm hoping to make that a blogging time if the merrybabies cooperate.  :)  Usually that is naptime for at least one if not both of them, but they aren't on a strict schedule and sometimes have other plans for me during that time. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Show Off Day

Ms Mimmie did a show off day this week for the parents to come and see what we've been doing in class.  Predictably, some of them were reluctant to show off and spent the time huddled in mom or dad's lap.  I took a bunch of video and pictures today during class to try to get a more accurate representation of the day.  They all love it- it's really fun to see them marching around and blasting off. 

You can tell the minute Remy sees me filming him.  All moving stops immediately and he just stares at me suspiciously.

Some more fun blasting off shots.  This whole month they've been grooving to the space music from an old Mother Goose Time theme.  It's actually one of my old CDs.  I ripped them all to my iTunes and gave them to her so she could use them in her classes.  The kids are somewhat familiar with the songs since they hear them when we play music during meals and it's been fun to keep the same theme going all month.

Merryweather wanted so badly to be dancing with the big kids.  She was singing and kicking so much that Mimmie decided to give her a turn with the log roll.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Catching Up

All the tutorials about blogging always say that you should never start out a post with an apology for how long it's been since your last one.  So I won't apologize.  But I'm thinking about it.  It's been a month!  I haven't even done Friday Focus or anything.  Oh well... real life is happening, and I guess that's more important than documenting it.

My Merrybabies are getting so big.  They're sassy and fat and happy and oh my I love them.  Merida is actually shaping up to be a possible redhead, I think, although it could certainly change.  She doesn't have a ton of hair yet and it's still in that state where it could go either way.  She's gotten super smiley lately and is a joy to be around.  She's rolling and scootching a pretty good amount these days too and sometimes is five feet away from where I laid her down in a pretty short time.  Pretty great for four months old!  Her grip is amazing too.  I can't find the post, but I know I've talked before about how if you take something from a firstborn, they may cry, but they give it up easily.  A second child knows from day one that the older sibling will try to take stuff away and they hold on TIGHT.  We refer to it as the second child grip, and pretty much every second child really does have it.  Well.  Miss Merida is a third child.  The other day I went to pick her up out of the exersaucer and she lifted it off the floor with her.  The girl is serious. 

Merryweather is a champion sitter and loves to play the piano.  She doesn't care much about rolling just yet- she might do it once if she feels like it, but at this point she would rather use her newfound loud and shrieky voice to see if I will bring her things instead of working on getting them herself.  Can't say I blame her much on that count.  It gets quick attention and it's easier.  :)  My current favorite thing about her is her fierce love.  When you pick her up, she lunges at you with both arms, wraps around your neck and hugs you tight, all while trying to kiss your face ferociously with her wide open drooly mouth.  It's sometimes a tiny bit startling, but it is very awesome.

Only two weeks left before Mater and Lady go off to their new school.  It's definitely going to be different.  I've already started rearranging the playroom a little and trying to figure out the best toys and space for my new crew.  Well, not new, because I don't have any new ones starting right away, but it makes it feel all new whenever I add or subtract anybody from my mix.  I got a new braided rug for the playroom and Mater spent a lot of time diving onto it and rolling around today.  It was pretty cute.  I'm glad they are enjoying it- I love it.  Makes it seem much more cozy and we spent most of the morning all lying on it and playing.

Remy has learned to take off his pants.  He takes them off sometimes during his nap, and most days I can tell they've been off because they're a little twisted, but it's not too bad.  The other day though, he was magnificent in his inability to fix his drawers.  It made me laugh a whole lot and then he got his feelings a little hurt.  Lots of pant-fixing and hugging after this shot.  :)

Ms Mimmie is still coming every Friday and the kids are really enjoying tumbling time with her.  I think she wants to do a showoff day soon so all the parents can come watch.  Should be fun.

 They're doing pretty well at sitting in a line and waiting for their turn.  Sometimes they wander, but they're getting the hang of it.

And not to be left out or undone, Alice and Perdita love my Viking hats.  They call themselves "Fakings" and they run around wearing hats.  Perdita usually makes me sing songs about it too.  And when I took this picture I may possibly have been wearing the tall pink hat from Duchess's Mad Hatter costume.  Maybe.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stream of Consciousness

My little people chatter all day long.  Some of them never stop talking- not while they eat, while they play, or while they're in bed- right up until they fall asleep mid-sentence.  I like to talk too.  Most of the time this works out nicely.  They tell me things, I ask more questions, and life carries on.  Other times I'm in the middle of something and not paying 100% attention so they trail along behind me talking and talking.

Today I was trying to get dinner going.  It takes all day and I forgot to rinse the beans last night so I was setting them up for a quick soak.  I had help.

"Kelli?  Whatcha doing?  Those are beans?  What beans?  Pin- TOE beans?  Oh. You put water?  You cook them?  Is that a clock?  oh, a scale?  You get beans?  I have nipple!"

At that point I did a double take and stopped my bean patter.  Sure enough, she's standing there pointing at it.

"Actually, you have two of them."  I mean really, what else is there to say at that point?

"Oh!  Yes!  I have two nipples!  I cook beans with you?"

And we're off and running again.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Friday Focus: Lady

Lady is my oldest kid!  I know I say all the time how quickly it flies by, but it's so true.  She's getting ready to graduate and it seems like just yesterday that she was a new baby. 

I have trouble getting good pictures of her because she usually lunges forward and wants to look at the picture on my phone before I've finished taking it, so I get big chunks of nose and forehead, or else her eyes are closed.  This one turned out really well though, finally!

She's not one of my more adventurous eaters.  This was Green Eggs and Ham day.  Note the clean spoon and untouched food.  Milk maid at work.  She'd probably drink a gallon a day if I let her!

The story of this picture makes me laugh- she was fixing breakfast with various plastic peppers and asked Mater to come sit down by her.  He did.  And then she gave me this look, like "you see what I have to work with here?"  I'm not sure if she thought he should sit in a different place or what, but he did exactly what she asked and then it made her mad.

This one happened this morning- it's not really a great picture of her, although it's more representative of the type of shots I generally get.  She was engineering a "let's hide from Kelli" game and had everybody bring the chairs in.  They were all lining them up in a row and then they stood behind them.  They didn't sit or crouch or anything.  But their legs were behind chairs and I guess that meant I wasn't supposed to see them at all.

Then they yelled, "We hiding!!" at me for about ten minutes while they laughed. 

She likes to be the queen bee, but if somebody else comes up with an idea, she's a good team player too.  I think she has a good balance there.  She plays really well with Girl Friday, who is about four months older and is getting into actual play with friends, rather than just the parallel play that a lot of the kids here do.  She's going to have an amazing time when she gets to her new school and is one of the younger ones- she'll have no trouble keeping up with the older kids and will LOVE all the new stuff she gets to do.  I'm excited for her!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reasons My Friends Are Crying

On facebook last night I saw this blog called Reasons My Son is Crying.  Basically it's just pictures of him crying, with very straightforward captions underneath.  If you've spent any time at all around a toddler, you will recognize these as absolutely true, and the more of them in a row I read, the funnier they get.

Now of course, it would be a bad thing to make your kid cry just to take his picture, or to keep from giving him things he legitimately needs, or do things that are unsafe.  But there's really no sense that any of that is going on.  It's stuff like "This milk is not juice."  "He asked me to butter his rice.  I buttered his rice."  He probably asked his mom twenty five times to butter the rice, and the instant it was done he changed his mind.  It's a very accurate depiction of life with little kids.

And wow, it looks like they're on Good Morning America because of this.  On the one hand, I wish I'd thought of doing it first with my kids, and on the other hand, wow, that's a lot of pictures of the poor kid crying.  I feel like they need a companion blog where they show him eating cotton candy and running around with unicorns.  And I hope it makes them some money, because those boys are gonna be mortified by this whole thing in about 13 years.

Crying kids that don't belong to me are a different story though.  Yes, you know intellectually that your child probably has a tantrum or cries at daycare at some point.  You don't really need to see pictoral evidence of it though.  If Duchess and O'Malley had been in daycare as toddlers, I doubt I'd have wanted pictures of that. Even now, if the kindergarten class did something like this, I'd be sad that O'Malley cried at school.  There's too much mom guilt in the world already for that!  This blog is for cute things and art and funny anecdotes, not for sad faces.  However, I have been captioning some of our little episodes in my head this morning.  And like the dad said in the video, this are tiny things that last about seven seconds and then the kids get happy and move on.

Actually, it's made for a very cheerful day so far (at least for me) because crying is not bothering me one little bit.  Thinking of interesting captions is a lot more entertaining than getting frustrated by whining. When you break it down to such a small thing, it's actually easier to be sympathetic.  You wanted to be naked.  Kelli made you put on your pants.  Yeah, that's sad.  But look!  Now you have pants on and we can go play!  It makes a lot of things easily fixable and gives me more patience even if it's not fixable.  He still can't hold his shoe while he walks around wearing it.  But he wants to and I get that.  :)

So here's my morning:

  • The block I threw up in the air fell down and hit me in the head.
  • Ms Kelli cleaned the smelly poop off my leg.  Oh, and my hand now too.
  • I just realized that I can't reach the shoe I tossed over the gate half an hour ago.
  • I can't find the otoscope.  (And yes, she was saying that as she cried)
  • I asked him to sit down next to me.  Now he is sitting next to me.
  • The movie that I asked to watch is on.
  • The second helping of breakfast that I asked for repeatedly is in front of me.
  • I want to run around naked and Ms Kelli made me put on my pants.
  •  I just woke up from a long nap and I am starving.  Ms Kelli is feeding me.
  • I want to hold my shoe while I wear it.
  • My friend is sitting beside me, not touching or bothering me in any way.
  • I am convinced the cup I left in the playroom is in the fridge.
  • This water is not milk.
  • This water is not milk.
  • This water is not milk.

Instead of sad, here's this.  I've never had a big kid fall asleep upright in a chair before.  They used to do it all the time in the little buckle chairs with the tray, but this is a first.  Remy was super sleepy this morning!

Of course, as soon as I laid him down in bed he popped right up and was mad.  I could have titled another one.  "She put me to bed because I fell asleep in my plate."  And seven seconds later, back down and asleep in the bed.  Love my Remy boy.

Monday, April 8, 2013


There's not been anything especially new or exciting the past couple weeks- but every day is fun.  We've been working with Mr. Potato Head more lately- they are all enjoying it a lot, even Merryweather, who can sit up on her own for a couple minutes now.  She's been thinking she's one of the big kids now that I have Merida.  It's really amazing how fast kids get skills.  She loves to sit in the living room with a bucket of toys to practice her grabbing and sitting.

And really, Mr. Potato Head just never gets old.  We spent a large portion of the morning discussing body parts and making real faces and silly ones.

Alice is convinced that she is Doc McStuffins. It pleases her greatly. She wore that stethoscope all morning.

Merryweather watches the boys with wide-eyed interest.  They move too fast to even take a clear picture.

I also was able to take them out a couple days last week in the new stroller.  I love the view both looking down and looking out.  :)  My kids are teaching the walking ones what to do.  (I used to call my big kids the walkers, but after the Walking Dead I just can't do it.)  Only as far as the next mailbox if a big kid is running with you, otherwise stay with the stroller.  Freeze your feet when a car comes.  Don't touch dogs.  All that good stuff....

Alice, on her way back to give me a high five.  Mater and O'Malley stomping acorns up ahead.  All is right with the world.

Baby toes!  Best thing ever.

And as previously mentioned, here's Merryweather hanging out in the living room with her own personal toys.  She's getting pretty good at the sitting thing.

One of the most fun things about Mr. Potato Head is trying to wear the glasses on your own head.  It never works well, but it continues to be super cool to try.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Smile Like you Mean It

Lots of times when I'm thinking of something, I'll click over to read Mary P. and see it written much more eloquently than I ever could.  Like this post about mood, for example.  If you don't feel like clicking through, it's about how the adult in the room sets the tone for the day, because toddlers WANT to be happy.  As she says, a child stuck in a funk is usually tired and can be fixed with a nap, but almost no kid can stay happy in the face of a grumpy adult.

This morning my big kids had some issues that they needed to work through- shoes that wouldn't stay on and painting that should happen NOW instead of later, and I started thinking that if they spent half the energy trying to fix the problem instead of just whining, how much easier would it be?

And then I turned it around on myself and thought, Oh.  Right.

So I asked them what would make them happiest for breakfast, and now they're eating baked oatmeal and smiling, and we're going to have a great day today!  The babies are milk-drunk and passed out happily and I"ll have some time for big kid curriculum stuff and more box-sliding and all kinds of good things.  Even if I started out the day feeling a little crabby, now I'm smiling and I do mean it.

And for real, when you get to hear this kind of laughter at work, HOW could you possibly feel grumpy about anything?

I think this is the easiest first day transition for a two year old that I've ever had.  She's sunny and delightful.  She ate well and slept well and is happy to come for hugs right away.  I mean, listen to the great laugh!  I love it.

Had I known beforehand that she was a redhead, I might have waited to name the new baby Merida.  But it's done and I do love my Merrybabies so I need to find a new name for this cutie.  I haven't used Rapunzel yet, or Tiana.. can't think of what else is new off the top of my head.  Oh, Wreck-it Ralph is the newest Disney and I do like the little racer girl character, but I think that spelling Vanellope is going to be tiresome.  I had to look it up just now to manage it once.  :)  We'll see how it shapes up.

I put the box in the playroom yesterday thinking they'd go inside and build a fort or something.  I didn't expect them to turn it into a slide.  It works well though and they are all really enjoying it!

And here's my cue that breakfast is over.  Remy would like some help with his escape!  Off to have a fabulour morning!  Alice tells me we need to go play library now.  :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Painting Fun

I bought pink paint last night!  This is reason for rejoicing.  I also bought blue, which made Alice super happy and she tried really hard to talk me into using that this morning instead.  Girl loves her some blue.  However, our paintings go with our book, and we're supposed to use the color they recommend to connect thoughts to what is happening in the story.  "I" longed for strawberry ice cream.  Not for berry blue.  Pink it is.

Remy was the last painter today, which made him sad.  He watched the other three paint with his one eye, while he buried his head in my lap and heaved big sighs.  When it was finally his turn, he was very pleased.  He also got a cheerleading section and some backseat driving.

Perdita kept running commentary the ENTIRE time he held the paintbrush.  "REMY!!  REMY PAIN!  REMY PAIN!!! PAIN AH-KEEM!!  AH-KEEM REMY!!"  I think she just wanted some sort of acknowledgement from him, but he was focused on his task and ignored her completely.  That meant, of course, that she had to keep yelling.

Mater just needed to touch base and make sure it was the same paint he'd used.  Also point out spots that needed touch up.

And then he touched a little too closely.

And he was perturbed by the pink paint on his fingertip, and I nearly got an eyeball-ful of it.

Happy Thursday!!