Showing posts with label my four boys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label my four boys. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

untold stories: the watermelon

half-way through the clean-up
true story.
july 2010 - it had been a long exhasting day that included the grocery store. the boys were 6, 4, and 2 then, so they were just about the right age to drive me completely batty when in public. we were living in travis' parents rental home while anxiously planning out a hopeful near future: a campaign for county prosecutor and a fourth baby. so, tensions were high. and let me just tell you a thing about that place: although that house is beautiful and the land is gorgeous (like, magazine-pretty), it is not really set up for children. The floor plan is kind of wonky since it was built in three seperate sections, the first, a rustic room built entirely of logs, rumored to be posey county's very first post office. there are no hallways, just rooms that lead into the next. the kitchen and eat-in dining area, right off the log room, is big: tall ceilings and a built in corner pantry, it is actually quite lovely, or will be when renovations are done.  inside the kitchen is a  crazy-steep open wood staircase that descends into a tile floor in the basement that has cedar woods walls, which served as the boys playroom.

and that is really where the heart of this story takes place.

july, in the midwest, is synonomous with: THE BEST WATERMELON ON EARTH. and on my way home from the grocery store, i had stopped at a road-side market and paid $5 for a monster watermelon that had me and the boys licking our lips all the way home and me answering questions about it: "yes, we will cut it up before dinner. yes, you can have some. no, triston doesn't get the whole thing"

when we finally arrived, i lugged all the groceries in the house while the boys played in the front. as i started putting stuff away, i rolled that watermelon to where the pantry is and let it settle right there on the cold tile floor. mistake # 1 - it was right in front of the staircase.

after my job was done, i yelled for the boys and they came inside for an afternoon movie while i caught up on some laundry (which is also located in the basement) and got some peace and quite. mistake # 2 - i left them unchaperoned. mistake # 3 - i actually thought i could have peace and quite with young boys in my house.

as i was busy sorting and folding, i heard something hard bouncing down the wood steps. i started for the door to reprimand the culprit because we had told them to be careful on the new hardwood floors that were only a couple years old.

but....there was no reprimanding. i watched our giant watermelon flop out onto the tile floor and literally explode before my eyes. it was on the ceiling. it was on the walls. some part of that watermelon covered every square tile on that floor. i stood there, shocked, not believing what my eyes were actually seeing and THEN i saw a little head peek around the corner of the doorway, just the top of his head and his eyes.

"jjjjjaaaaaaccccCCCCKKKSSSSSOOOOONNNN!" i started in, but couldn't even finish it. i had no words. my mishievious child had struck again and there was nothing i could do except start cleaning it up. and cry. i actually started crying!

"mom. i'm sorry. mom, i didn't do it on purpose. mom. mom, are you mad at me?" with wide eyes he  peppered me with questions that i didn't even answer. bryce and jackson came to see what had happened and started hooting and hollering. i think triston even tried to chase jackson down because he saw that i was upset. i secured all the boys in the living room upstairs, got a broom and paper towels and every cleaner i had in the house and started the massive clean-up. half-way through, i thought to grab my camera. i needed proof that this actually happened.

the clean-up actually only took about an hour. i picked up all the big pieces and put them in a trashbag, then swept up everything else. i picked pieces off the walls and wiped down all the toys that were covered in juice and watermelon matter. once only the juice was left on the floor, i used a whole roll of paper towels to soak it all up. then i had to just mop it - 3 times.

i am pretty sure this event shaped my current chocolate addiction. once it was completely cleaned up and things were back to normal, like my freaking blood pressure, i was able to actually look at my kids again.

but i didn't buy another watermelon for the rest of the summer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

dailybuzz moms 9x9: out & about!

i am so excited to have been selected by DailyBuzz Moms for their july 9x9 challenge. this month's challenge and theme features ideas by 9 different bloggers on getting your kids "out and about". you can read the other blogger's ideas on july 26th at dailybuzz moms!

oh, summer. we have a love/hate relationship going, her and i. at the beginning of the season i just love our lazy and care-free days, but by the end? not going to lie here folks, i loathe them. i mean, we have just exhausted every. single. thing. we could ever possibly do on the dailies. the pool? check. the library and summer reading program? check. going to the movies? chhhhheeeeeck. we've got art supplies coming out of our ears (for the four-year-old,  sometimes quite literally) and art masterpieces lining every wall. and now we're all bored to death. i should preface here that we're in the middle of the worst heat wave and drought since the 1930s out here in the midwest so playing outside lasts about 5 minutes. (but we've been doing that, too!)

so what to do?!

i decided to recruit my mom and take these boys into the city for some culture. not a kid's fun land. and not a kid's museum. we took them to our historical district on the riverfront to our local art/science/history museum. the kind adults go to.
ready to go!
now, i am a realist. i have four sons and i know their limitations. for example: you will NEVER see me in the mall simultaneously with these guys. but, triston is 8 now and jackson is 6, and they are getting in to history a little bit. they can definitely appreciate historical stories and as i mentioned, they all love to paint/draw/color/ect, so i thought we'd give this a go. as for the littles, i packed a gazillion snacks and worse-case scenario, we would just leave asap if we had to.

visitor's center
aren't they sweet?!

well, we didn't have to leave. it turned out to be a pretty fun day. we started out at our city's visitor's center. it's a really neat building with a few historical mementos and has a stunning view of our riverfront. our river has been instrumental during several wars. and what do you know?! my boys thought that was so cool! even 4 year old bryce, who asked a ton of questions. glad to see those little minds working!

billy koch's steamboat steering wheel
chatting about the indiana/kentucky line that is marked by buoys in the water

historical marker right outside the visitor's center

checking out a replica

next, we walked over to the art museum. three floors of artifacts, replicas of life in the early 1800s, beautiful paintings, and interesting sculptures.

the first floor is mostly just these replicas of life in the 1800s. a log home, a general store, doctor's office, copper shop, toy store, and a dentist's office. it is set up like a little city and the kiddos had fun running around and looking at each set-up. if you are wondering, of course we didn't get to walk around to each exhibit and talk about the importance of it and blah blah blah...but they got it. they recognized the differences of how things were in the past and how things are today. for example: dentist's offices are always scary, even today. but in the 1800s? suuupppeeeer scary. i would have let my teeth rot out. the kiddos agreed.
a home in the early 19th century

who knew we had a medical college at one time?! the closest one now is IU.

the dentist's office. eeeee.
 next up was the town hall. now, i am a self-described political junkie and it has rubbed off on my kids. they know about past and present presidents and governors, elections are dinner table discussions in our house. and they were the cutest little helpers in their dad's own county election just a few years ago:

don't judge my dirty children. 100 degree weather at the county fair. ugh.

so we know politics. and how exciting that our museum has a whole room dedicated to all of the presidents that have visited our city! it was fun to show the kids pictures of past presidents (and current ones - president obama visited our city twice during his 2008 campaign) and to see some really old lapel pins (okay, maybe not so interesting...) and lots of neat information and tidbits.

next up: the science center, that was just around the corner. lots of hands on projects and neat experiments. 

little nash getting in on the action

next, we traveled upstairs to the museum of natural history. this is a small museum, there are no dinosaur fossils or any super spectacular things kids are really that interested in. but that is where i come in: moms can make anything interesting, right?! not really. but, my mom and i tried our hardest to get the kids excited about what they were looking at. and it worked! there is just something about seeing an actual artifact that someone else from hundreds or thousands of years ago actually used or wore, or held in their own hands. it connects us all in some way. anyway, the kids thought some of the artifacts were really cool. 

an african game.

the favorite of the day: a mummified cat.

and finally, to the art gallery. i wanted so desperately for my kids to love this part of the museum. but, sigh. they just didn't. it was toward the end of the trip, they were starting to get hungry, and if you have any experience with boys then you will know what they do when they get bored in a wide open space:  they run. and wrestle. and mess with each other. and yell to make a echo-y sound. even though we got some looks, it was fine. we looked at what we could look at and moved on. the least favorite gallery was the medieval art. i mean, it was the dark ages after's pretty gloomy. but the favorite was the gallery of robert c. jackson. everyone loved it! triston especially, and he has even drawn a few of his own versions since. and that was the whole reason for going to a place like this to begin with. for them to be inspired by other's ideas and lives, past and present.

robert c. jackson
isn't this painting so fun?!

and this was my favorite of the day

sculptures of ann weber. these are made out of strips of cardboard!!
seriously?! if only i had a smidgen of her talent...
the third and final floor is home to a really great domed planetarium. but after our last experience with planetariums, we opted out. actually the boys all shouted, "NO!" and ran to the elevator. ba ha aha, i don't blame them.

we finished up the day with lunch and ice cream. this may not have been the most "fun" outing for  them that we've ever had, but we did have a good time and most importantly: my boys got out of the house (and out of any normal "thing" we've done this summer) to experience something new; something different. and that makes this mom one happy girl.

here's a few more snapshots from the day:

and to top it off, my mom came back to our house to have movie night with the boys so my mr. and i could have our own little "out and about" on the town later that night...thanks mom!

...but our date is another post for another time...

so, tell me, what kinds of things are you doing with your kids to get them out of the house this summer?!

and is anyone else ready for school to start? i'm such a bad mom.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

overheard: in my backyard.

sitting on the back patio after a LOT of playing and sweating and enjoying an ice pop, i overheard this conversation:

triston: geez! why do these gnats keep getting in my shorts?
jackson: they're probably going after your weiner (only he pronounces it wee-nor). you KNOW, if you don't wash good, they'll eat it right off.

good to know they take my washing instructions seriously.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

and then, you know, i just try not to flip out.

what is considered flipping out anyway? I am sure my kids could tell you. An inner defense mechanism won't let me even re-type all the happenings that have happened during this spring break.  and it is only wednesday, mind you. nothing too tragic - just some, okay a lot, of embarrassment on my behalf that included underwear, a little unfounded fear that my kids would fall into a freaking cavern for goodness sakes and be lost forever (which turned out to be a total over-reaction on my part), and some battle wounds to the littles all resulting from not listening! story of my life, right there.

these boys. there is something different about raising boys. i know it because i live it, but i am constantly validated when i hear from friends and strangers alike, "wow, all boys?" or "you have to be one tough mom!" or "good grief. how do you do it? i bet it sure it crazy at your house."

yes. yes. and yes. i get compliments to, though, like "there is something special about mothers of all boys" which I am beginning to believe is just a nice way of saying "hang in there. maybe you'll make it and won't have to be put in a loony house."

we are committed, though. these boys will grow up to be men and i am a big believer in righteous, hard-working men that are not wimpy or lazy or distracted by the cheapness of the world. and so my job is a hard one but we will get there - one injury, one time-out, and one dirt covered shirt at a time.

in the meantime, i am going to relish in books like this. moms of boys just getting it out there in the open, all the stuff you might hear or see from your sons on any given day.
peyton was kind enough to send me a copy of her new e-book. i laughed out loud reading several of her clever haikus. it was just what i needed to make me feel like "at least i'm not the only one". because one day i really might be in the loony house from all the craziness and i will have to read as many books like this as possible to figure out just what went wrong with all these boys! ;)

you can purchase peyton's e-book, suburban haiku: boys to men, and her other e-books at:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

i totally pulled a macgyver

v i a

my parents came in town to hang out with the little clowers' boys last night. before they could get here, though, i made a last minute decision to hit the mall. hell-o, jcpenney's 80% off sale. but that turned out to be a total bust.

anyway, after over-staying our welcome in the mall (which is the easiest thing to do ever with four man-cubs in tow) we high-tailed it to the nearest eatery. nash must have smelled the prime rib, too, because he started yelping for his dinner. a few short minutes later he was grunting and red in the face. everyone knows what that means, yes?

i got up to change him and started digging in my diaper bag for the goods. except, the goods were no where to be found. read: i forgot to pack diapers.

i freaking forgot to pack diapers!

so i did the only thing i could do...i asked for linens.

now maybe it was because little nash-man is my fourth child, making me an experienced kind of mom (yeah right). or maybe it was because i feel a little ownership in that logan's roadhouse on the westside because i labored in that very store for over a year while in college and i feel like i know the ins and outs of that place. and travis and i met there. true story.

in either case, i wasn't worried. i asked for linens because the napkins that they wrap the silverware in are pretty big and would be perfect for a make-shift diaper. so that is what i asked for, but evidently, they don't call the linens "linens" anymore because when i asked for a few, the dear waiter brought me lemons, bless his heart, and then i had to ask for "napkins" to which he brought me little bitty paper napkins. not going to work.

so i hauled that baby to the front of the store and since the hostess was pregnant and i figured she could use a few pointers, i straight up told her what happened and that i needed the l-i-n-e-n-s from the back. and some tape, too.

nash and i headed to the bathroom and after i got him all cleaned up i started to feel a little silly. there were like 50 women in the bathroom at the exact same time as me and they were going to witness me wrapping my baby in huge cloth-like napkins. and to make matters worse they didn't seem as big as i once thought they were. a product of company downsizing? i will never know.

but the heavens parted for a few seconds and i found myself alone in the bathroom with a giggly baby so i quickly turned those square-shaped napkins around so that nash was laying on a diamond and then i did some tucking and pulling and holding it down with one hand while i ripped tape off the roll with my teeth. after it was all said and done i snapped up his onesis, slipped his shorts on, and no one ever even knew.

except when he peed and it came through.

but only a little bit and it was right when we were leaving so i just let him go bare-bottomed all the way home. and i'm pretty sure he loved it.

the point is: i rock.

no, just kidding. the point is...well, there really isn't a point except for to make sure you pack all the necessities for your baby before leaving the house. that would be a good rule to follow.

ps. a little while ago i posted about the kodak point and shoot that i wanted.  it has turned out to be...just crappy. the camera has malfunctioned and i am getting the run around from kodak and walmart about replacing it. and i even bought an extended warranty. tsk tsk. anyway, any good reccomendations on a not hugely expensive pocket-size camera? you know, it would have been good to take a picture of nash's linen-diaper at logan's roadhouse just for memory's sake....but yeah. no camera.

Monday, July 25, 2011

the ac follow-up

i sat down and tried to write this a couple of times, but re-living it was quite tiresome. tuesday night our air stopped working somewhere between 7p - 3a. i awoke and wrote the banana bread post and went back to bed. by morning, though, it. was. hot. we stayed around until 11, when everyone was sweating just by watching a movie with all the blinds closed and fans running. we decided to go to the mall - have lunch, ride the carousel, play in the kid's area, and do some walking - the usual. i actually had to borrow a stroller because we haven't gotten that far in our baby buying just yet...which will be corrected this week, i forgot how awesome strollers are - even if they are big and clunky and take up way to much room.

the mall was better than we expected. there is a new trackless train in the mall that actually drives around different areas and after you pay for a stamp, it is unlimited rides. needless to say, the kids had a blast. they played, argument/fighting free, for a few hours, we had lunch, and i actually tried on clothes and picked up a few things for myself. what?! i'm still wondering how that happened. the kids were being so good, i took advantage and they did just fine in the dressing room. a modern day miracle, if you ask me. don't get me wrong, though, i wouldn't even attempt it again.

we, of course, came home to a house that rivaled the heat of hades. i got the kids dressed as quickly as possible for their baseball game and we were out the door again, no reprieve from the heat, though, because it might have been hotter inside than out. the heat index was 115.

after the game we had to go back to our house to pack an overnight bag for everyone to stay at my in-laws. i am making this sound like no big deal, but packing for 4 with sweat pouring down your face and all the boys pretty much crying because they are hot really isn't an ideal situation. it could have been worse, but it wasn't fun.

the next day our repairman didn't show up so we packed another bag as quickly as possible for a hotel. first, let me just say that i hate hotels, so i wasn't thrilled to be going there. we knew the kids would have fun swimming, though. i packed everyone up and we headed there.

at one point i wanted to cry because of all the questions. i was on edge anyway and nash was fussy and there was just a endless stream of "where are we going?" "is it far?" "can we swim right away?" "what are we going to eat for dinner?" "how long do we get to stay here?" ect. ect. ect. it's to be expected, but holey moley...

we got to the hotel and with careful maneuvering i got everyone and our bags into the hotel room in one piece. we got ready for the pool and realized we had forgotten triston's earplugs (he has tubes) back down to the car we go to run to the drug store. 

we run in, which is never just "running in" when you have four little kids. nash was in his car seat on my arm, and the other three were walking with little hands touching just about everything in site. we find the earplugs and head for the cashier, as i have to say "come on boys, let's go." twice. those creative marketing types are a mother's worst nightmare - there was just too much to see and they got distracted. but, then bryce starts opening up candy at the counter and eating throw that in, too. they are usually really good in stores, but this was just a weird trip, i guess.

let's not forget how hot it is outside...

we get back to the hotel and in to the pool and bryce starts jumping up and down to go pee, while the other two have already jumped in. in my desperation, i knelt down to bryce and just whispered for him to discretely pee in the pool. (and just so you know, that is not normally something i would do) bryce, in the loudest voice possible says, "what?! you want me to pee in the pool?!) to save face i say just as loudly, "no! i DON"T want you to pee in the pool!" so we all get out, two of which are soaked and dripping, and with nash's car seat back on my arm, we make our way to the bathroom, which for some reason is really far away: past the lobby and down a hallway. 

i made sure everyone went, even though triston argued with me about it before finally conceding, and he really did have to go so i don't even know why he made an issue out of it. we get back to the pool and have a great time. nash fell asleep and i got in with the boys and we swam for a couple of hours.

time for dinner, though, so we go to our room and everyone gets ready. travis has been mia this whole time, which is fine bc he was working, but we're waiting for him to arrive and he calls me and says he decided to just stay home because he has so much work to do. what?! i am going to have to do this completely alone?  i said a few expletives and hung up on him - it was his idea to come in the first place.  but just as i threw the phone on the bed, there was a knock on the door and there he stood. oops. i apologized and off we went.

dinner was great, but hectic as usual. rest of the night went just fine. travis took the kids swimming and i sat in the hotel room and of all things turned the channel to disney. i swear, i have no life outside of being a mother. that was proof, right there.

 in the morning it started all over again. we got up and everyone got ready for breakfast. our hotel had a really great spread and the boys were very excited. ( i am realizing we get way too excited about food). we ran into a couple of problems, though. first, i had nash strapped to me in the bjorn. and second, there was absolutely no where to sit. every single table and chair and couch in the lobby was packed. so not only did i have the issue of preparing food for them with a baby strapped on front, we also had no where to go...and the kids didn't want easy things like a bagel, they wanted cereal and waffles from the waffle iron that you had to make yourself.

i told the kids we needed to go back upstairs for just a little while longer. the older boys were fine with that, but little bryce wanted to eat right then and thought we were just going to skip it all together. so the tears started. it was awesome and i really did want to cry because it took a lot of effort to get everyone down there and we had to go right back up and bryce was upset and i just wanted to go home.

but no tears for mom. we came down an hour later and everyone had cleared out so the boys picked what they wanted and i maneuvered with nash strapped to me and we were just fine. untttttiiiil, the hotel clerk tried to be funny and knocked on this hidden wooden door in the front desk and it came down and hit bryce in the face. in typical 3 year old fashion, he started crying and jumping up and down.  the lady made a huge deal out of it and everyone was staring at us. it really wasn't a big deal, worse things happen at home, but she insisted of "treating" the scratch and was dramatic about it. afterwards, we did more swimming. and then i got the call i was waiting for: the ac got fixed and we could head home!

so that is what we did, but not before the kids got a healthy dose of bed jumping...

i and i'm pretty sure everyone else were relieved to be home. so, i learned a couple of things from all of this. one, that baby carrier is invaluable (i already knew that one) two, i never would have made it before ac with children. three, four kids is a lot to pack around. when is school starting again?! four, even though it was hard we really did have an alright time. and five, even though i try to fight it, these little guys really are my whole world (as evidenced by the disney channel deal). and six, there is always someone with a worse situation, so just suck it up and do what you have to do.

...but the very next night my parents came to town and got a hotel room with a pool and wanted us to come swimming. i said no.

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