Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day Five...

Or as I like to call it: The Day I Lost My Mind!!!!

Today was such a long day. And you know it was a long and painful day when teaching nursery was my favourite and calmest part of it. Holy Cow!!!
So last night, we all sat down together to watch Mary Poppins before the boys went to bed. It was really getting close to bed time so I told them they could watch it until the, 'Spoonful of Sugar' song. Well sometime before that (and this is really sad since that's very near the beginning!) I dozed off... I'm still not really sure what time I woked except that it was well after 10pm and the movie had long since finished. The kids were perfectly content to keep playing, instead of waking me up. Go figure. Somehow, I managed to get them all to bed, and the dogs fed and put in their kennel.

This morning; surprise, surprise, everyone was very tired. We actually did pretty okay. Frog Prince had a melt down because I tried to make something other than cereal for breakfast. He declared that Sundays were always 'Big Bowl of Cereal" days with Daddy and that he'd not eat unless it was cereal. (But he did point out that he'd 'compromise' and eat it at the table in a little bowl, rather than a big one) How magnaimus of you, Frog Prince.

Everyone took bathes, and got dressed for church; thankfully without major incidence. As I was getting dressed, FP came to tell me that there was someone at the door. Upon opening it, we discovered Kaitlyn, our babysitter/nanny/amazing-girl-around-the-corner! She'd take off to spend the entire summer with her aunt back east and had come home late last night. It really was sweet that she made a point to come see our family first, and the boys (and me too!) were very very happy to see her after such a long time gone. She even brought me lotion back, because the peach scent made her think of me. Peach is my scent of choice.

However, with Kaitlyns visit this morning we were late getting to church and completely missed choir. I also didn't get a chance to set up my nursery and so it made for a frazzelled Kate the Great. Frog Prince again melted down, because Hubby wouldn't be conducting, and decried the idea of someone else doing so. According to him, 'His Daddy is the greatest conductor at church and no one else is better than his Daddy.'
After Sacrament meeting, I handed Frog Prince off to a passing lady, who was taking her son to class as well and Sheepie and I went to our class. Boy comes along by default, but today proved to be very useful, because he became a treat for a sweet, but very shy and uncertain little girl who really wants nothing to do with coming to class. She got to spend the whole first hour just sitting with Boy, and everytime we moved into a new activity, Boy moved with her to where she was sitting. She didn't cry once! And I even got her to tell me that she wanted to come back next week and be with her, 'Nursery Baby'.

Nursery went very very well today, except that when I got there I realised my helper hadn't shown up at church, nor had she arranged for a replacement. So I was alone. I did have the dad of the shy little girl in there with her for the first hour, but he basically sat in the corner and made sure his daughter treated Boy gently. The kids were great today and were very mellow, so it wasn't bad at all. Sheepie however decided that he wanted to be completely defianant, and scream whenever I did something he didn't want to do. For about the first half an hour, I thought I would kill him. But then I decided that for once all the rest of the kids were engaged and really attentive, so I was just going to flat out ignore Sheepie and play/teach/ sing with the other kids. We decorated our class room (which previously was just four white walls and a chalk board. Not even any pictures of Jesus) for activity time, and they were all so proud to look at what they had put up on the walls. My Primary president came in afterward to see how I'd fared by myself, and commented on how much happier the room looked and how inviting it would be for the less certain kids.
I had to, after all the parents picked up their kids, return stuff to the library, so I told all three of the boys to say in my class room with the door closed, so I'd know they were safe. Little did I know that Frog Prince got a whole pack of crayons in Primary today; when I got back they were standing on the table and had coloured all over the chalk board in crayon. I was so mad-- because this is a thing I have gone over and over with them; you only colour on paper-- that I just had to leave it and walk out of the building. My sweet Primary president told me not to worry about it, that they clean the chalk board every Saturday before church, but I plan to go back this week anyway, to clean it up, I'm not sure that the little kids who normally clean all the board will know how to get it off.

Sheepie, passed out on the car ride home, and I thought this was great until I tried to take him inside and he started screaming and thrashig with all his might. Frog Prince didn't want to go to bed, so he too threw himself on the ground and started screaming. Boy also was screaming as he hadn't eaten in three hours. Now, under normal circumstances, I probably could have kept my cool, and handled it well, but I was exhausted, missing my hubby's help, and just trying to get everyone into bed so that I could feed the baby and start supper. I finally just lost it, and literally threw (hey they're soft!!) everyone into bed, closed the door and told them not to come out unless they were bleeding, a shark had taken a bite out of them, or they had to pee.
I then made dinner as quickly as I could. God bless who ever invented broilers, and the idea of selling crab legs pre-cooked, so you only have to heat them up. I threw the veggies in the microwave, and quickly mashed up and garliced the previously boiled potatoes, and then we sat down to eat. Dinner thankfully, was rather calm, since the boys love crab meat and all the accompanying foods.

We all got to talk to the Hubby via the web cam after supper, and everyone had a good time. FP broke down into hysterics though after we hung up and said he wanted to get to talk to his daddy twice. Since the Hubby had to leave for work I told him he was out of luck, and that it was time for scriptures. Now, don't get me wrong, I love scripture time and I love listening to my kids read their scriptures, but I was never so happy as I was to see that tonight's chapter only had 19 verses in it. Sheepie read three verses; Frog Prince, still pouting, wanted nothing to do with reading, and I quickly read the rest. We said prayers and then I shoved them off to bed.

About that point I sat down to type this. In the course of typing this I have had to get up twice to break up fighting. And Frog Prince, who insists on hitting Sheepie, for the stupidest reasons has lost his Little Froggie doll and his Nemo pillow. However, it seems that they have finally passed out.
So yeah; I know this post has been complete and utter complaining, but so far you've gotten some pretty up beat and 'oh aren't they just dandy' posts. Here is my dose of reality, and I am sure tomorrow after a good nights sleep, I will be right back to the jolly posts of yore.

Below are pictures of my new hair, and the boys helping with the fire wood yesterday.
So I said I'd tell you the story of Sheepies's boots in my last post, and then realised that I never did. Apparently they boys, on the camping trip were jumping into puddles and spashing around. Unbeknownst to me, his boots had holes in them, where the seams slip and water completely soaked them. He didn't mention this at all, and took his own boots off when he went to bed that night. In the morning when I went to get him up, his boots were soaking wet, and he'd not put them on. I had no other shoes for him, and had to finally turn on my car heater and 'blow dry' his boots so he'd wear them. Needless to say, they no longer serve their purpose.

Oh Pioneer

Since the camping trip was our wards camp out, I figured most people wouldn't be there until at least six o'clock... giving them time to get home from work and drive out to the camp grounds. This thought in my head, I decided we'd head out and be there around 5pm. This way the boys could run around and play in the big open field that is centered in the middle of all the camp sites, without having to worry about car driving in and hitting them. This was a great hit with the kids, but even better was that another family from the ward, whose son is in Frog Prince's class, had the same idea. The boys had great fun playing and chasing each other around and it was like icing on the cake to have Sam there to play with them.

When I later asked Frog Prince, on the ride home, what his favourite part about the camping trip was, he told me it was 'The Rope Swing'. Now there is quite a story to go with the rope swing, but I will try to keep it short. FP has recently been very in love with the movie "Bridge To Terrabithia" in which the two main characters can only get to their magical kingdom by swinging over the river on a rope swing. I will leave it at that, in case you want to watch it. Anyway, the kids have lived this movie non stop since they first watched it, and everything revolves around Terrabithia these days. So that being explained, back to the camping trip. We get out of the car and Frog Prince and his friend run off to explore, and come back telling me they've discovered a rope swing. From then on it was all I could do to pull Frog Prince away from it. It was, after all, a real rope swing like the one he'd been imagining for weeks, each time he'd find something in the house to tie to his bed! I was very inclined to let him stay there all day too; he was playing tougher and more bravely than I can ever recall. He'd fall, and instead of crying and running to me, get right back up and go again ( a first for him!) It even evolved into him swing as high as he could-- which don't worry, isn't very high for a 4 yr old-- and then throwing himself off when he got to the highest point and rolling to the ground. I was really proud of him!!

Sheepie had one thing on his mind and one thing only!!! S'mores. Really, can anyone blame him. Once the fine was up and going though, he proved how much he is related to his mom and dad-- he LOVED the fire. He was so happy to be around it, that is where he spent most of the night. Thankfully, unlike his parents he's not in love with seeing how big it can get; he just enjoyed sitting by it and watching it crackle and pop. He even went so far as to ask me to take his picture with it.

Look how happy that boy is with his fire

Eventually the hot dogs and other dinner items were pulled out and I even managed to pull Frog Prince away from the swing to eat. They were both so tickled by the idea of roasting their hot dogs over the fire, and I wish I'd managed to get pictures of that, sadly though I had to keep an eye on them to make certain the sticks didn't end up in the fire. With the s'mores as dessert they ate in record time (completely gone was the Sheepie of that mornings breakfast incident!) and they roasted their marshmallows for s'mores. By this point almost everyone was there for the camping trip and the fire was swarming with little kids and their sticky goodness!

The rest of the night was basically the same as most camping trips. The boys ran around with all of their friends, and I tended to Boy and talked with the other families. My sister in law brought grow sticks for all the kids, so even after it was dark they continued to run through the camp grounds and field because we could all just look for our kids coloured glow stick. They had a blast.

Boy seemed pretty ambivalent to the entire thing. He spent most of the time attached to my back, and even went so far as to fall asleep there. It likely would have been for the night, but I didn't have the brains enough to unstrap him and take him to the tent. But really he did amazing. I detached his bassinet from it's base and brought it along so I could lay to sleep in it, in the tent. Since it is something he's used to sleeping in (he's still small enough at 5 mos. to sleep it in, and takes many naps there) and since it gave him a nice soft place to sleep, he slept just like at home.

Some time around 9:30-10pm Sheepie finally said he wanted to go to bed, so I took him to the tent and laid him down. It was so cute, because when my friend and I brought Frog Prince and Boy back to my tent so that we could all go to sleep, Sheepie was still wide away and was using his glow sticks to do shadow dances in the tent.

The next morning everyone got up and ate breakfast together as a ward. Then it was time for, The Pioneer Club! This is something all the kids look forward to each year. One of the men in our ward has always done this with his family, and has kindly shared the tradition with all the kids in our ward, and they love it. The entire club is just marching everyone down to whatever body of water he can find, making them do some silly imitation of a Maori war chant, and then they all take turns having him turn them upside down and dunking their head in the (normally freezing cold, since we live in Oregon) water. Thats it! And they love it! I guess in his own family it's evolved into jumping entirely into the water, and his kids joke about how one day he's going to have cardiac arrest from jumping into such cold water, but I think it's very fun to watch all the kids get so into it.

The ever fearless Sheepie at his first initiation into the club

Frog Prince wanted to do it, but wanted me to be the one to dip him.

The rest of the ward then stayed on to do a fire wood cutting project, but since there was really no way to watch my kiddlets and do this, it was time for us to say good bye. They were ready to go home anyway. Even at that we didn't go home.

I spent the rest of the day over at my in laws house helping my father in law turn some trees that had fallen in the yard into fire wood. It was long and hot, and gruelling, but I am pretty sure they will not have to cut more fire wood for a REALLY long time. They boys even got in on the action. I will post picture of that with Sundays post, since this one is long enough and we have to leave for church now.

So is, I can officially say I survived camping alone with three kids. I have to give a HUGE thanks though to the man who does the Pioneer club, and his wife (aka the apple lady for those who read my newsletters) because with out them I think I'd not have been able to do it. They all but put up our camp site for us, and quite literally took it down for me, while I was handling three crying boys. Add that to their non stop patience for my kids and they are some of the most kind and saintly people I've ever known. Thank you Apple family!!!! (and thus they shall hence forth be referred to as.)

Three's Company; Four's...still missing their fifth!

Since several days have passed since posting (because of the ward camp out) I am a little hazy on how this day played out until actually going camping, but I am pretty sure I can give you the gist of it. Really it was pretty boring.

The day began with waking up extremely early to feed the baby. Boy, I have discovered has now doubled his birth weight and is tipping the scales at 13 lbs and some ounces. Not sure how many because I just used a bathroom scale to weigh him. I also discovered yesterday that he has a tooth that I am pretty sure will be popping through the surface anytime now. SO... it's small wonder Boy has been getting up to eat twice a night again. Truthfully, I was awake anyway because I find it extremely strange sleeping without Hubby next to me.

I tinkered around until Frog Prince and Sheepie woke up and then got them breakfast. The first thing Frog Prince noticed was that I had dyed my hair again the night before, to fix the crazy pinkish copper thing that had 'exploded' on my head (this is how one of the boys described it the day before). Anyway, FP told me how much prettier and red my hair was and that made me feel muchly happy! I then made the boys breakfast, and then say down to put together the play list for my blog. That is when Sheepie declared that he wasn't going to finish his very nice breakfast of banana bread, yoghurt, and sliced pears. And such it was that the first battles of will began between Sheep and me, sans The Hubby.

Now anyone who has known me for a while knows that my Sheepie is more like a ram or a bull when it comes to stubbornness than a sheep, and unfortunately he got that from his mother; the end result is that he and I butt heads against each other with the best of them. And sitting at that breakfast table I was not about to let him get away with mutilating his food and then not eating it. So I told him that he was not going to be excused until his plate was empty; if that meant we didn't go to Costco (which I am pretty sure, in some language, translates into 'Kid Mecca'-- seriously, have you ever seen how excited every kid gets when you mention Costco?!), we simply wouldn't go. Sheepie figured if he dug his heels in enough and cried and flailed around enough he'd finally get his way.... apparently he's forgotten who his parents are, because this has never worked in our house, and never will. Eventually, the only thing it did accomplish was getting moved from the table, where he was trying to smear yoghurt everywhere, to sitting on the carpet in the kitchen where I could watch him more carefully ( I was putting away some dishes and loading the dishwasher before leaving). Let's just say that I had planned on being to Costco at 10 am when it opens, and Sheepie finally finished his breakfast at 9:48 am. He loaded his plate proudly into the dishwasher and announced that he was now ready to go to Costco. Whatever, Sheepie.

And to Costco we went! I am quite pleased to have bought most of what my kids needed by way of new school clothes while there, and realised that I easily saved a third of what I would have spent other places. I still need to buy them new boots, but more on that in the next post!! We also picked up things for s'mores, and some groceries (including the most delicious looking crab legs, that would be totally under appreciated were Hubby here, but that we will enjoy terribly as Sunday dinner!)

Next stop was going back home to pack for camping, which I managed to do fairly quickly. Boy was sleeping, and I sent the kids out to the backyard. I loaded everything into the car, loaded Boy into his car seat, and put him in the car and then went into the back yard to secure the dogs into their run, and collect the kiddlets. Oh ho ho.... what I surprise I had in store for me! They'd gone into the garage and gotten out Hubby's croquette set, and scattered it all across the yard. Not the biggest of deals, he let's them play with it all the time. They'd also take one of the dogs water bowls and dumped it into their sand box so that it now resembles a small marsh floating in a plastic turtle; again, not the end of the world. The real kicker was what I discovered upon going into the garage. Apparently the reason they were so quiet, and hadn't been bothering me while packing was because they'd been in the back yard, taking all the special (aka very expensive) gardening soil out of my garden boxes, which I'd just cleared out for the season, and upon loading it into their dump trucks taken it and dumped it ALL OVER my garage floor. I mean everywhere. And this is the garage/shop that Hubby had just cleaned before leaving.

Yeah, I wasn't all that happy. I will admit, I totally just left it there though, and still haven't had a chance to go and clean it up. But since I won't be the one cleaning it up, I have to pick a time when I can fight the great fight with those two monkeys.

Finally, it was off to go camping!!! This--even though it technically started in the same day as this-- will be all in one post covering Saturday, because this post is already really really long! So tune in next time for another exciting installment of "The C's". Same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Days Go Marching Two by Two

Well, two days down and.... more than I'd like to count to go. Today, actually, was pretty okay. Things ran a bit smoother and having managed some sleep last night, I'd say we won in the epic battle of The C's vs. the world.

I truly think that small children have little internal chronometers in their heads that they can set, so that whenever something exciting or important is going to happen, they are programmed to wake up before it is even natural to do so! I told the boys before bed last night that, when they woke up this morning, The Hubbys plane will have landed and he could speak to them on the web cam. Lo and behold around a quarter to 7, Frog Prince comes stumbling into my bedroom asking me if it was time to talk to Daddy. Hubby's plane hadn't even landed by that point, so after mumbling something I certain was incoherent, I sent him out to play with his trains and eat some breakfast. About a half an hour later Sheepie got up; and as such, so did I. Wheee!

Deciding to have some fun, I sat down and started playing with making a banner for this blog, and then I realised that I didn't have photoshop or paint shop pro installed on this computer; they are on Benjamin's laptop. So I went to the Adobe website and started downloading a free trail of Photo shop. Apparently my computer didn't like this, because the Internet went out, and I.... I went into panic mode. Hubby was supposed to be in his hotel any minute and ready to talk to us... and I had boys who'd likely eat me if they didn't get to talk to daddy.

But being married to a computer person, I've learned a thing or two over the years about such problems!!! After a great deal of muttering under my breath and a few swift hits to the router, the Internet was up and running again! Sadly, not so much the case for The Hubby...

He'd not had a chance to get a power converter for his power cords/wall plugs and is laptop battery was dead. We also found out he can't make out going international calls on his cell phone. Thankfully, he was able to text me and tell me to call him, so pretending to not know how much it was going to cost, I picked up my phone and called to India....The boys were FINALLY able to talk to their daddy, and tell him that they loved him, and to have a good night.

The rest of the day really was, I'm sad to say, just loafing around the house. The boys played trains for a long time, and then went out and spent several hours trashing playing in the backyard.

Boy got a new little surprise today, when pulled out our activity saucer for him to play in, now that he is almost sitting up. At first he wasn't really sure what to make of it, but once he got his footing-- literally--- he had a great time bouncing in it and playing with all of the noise making and chewy toys.

'Look at the toys! So many things to touch, which do I press first?'

Have you ever seen anyone so smiley as Boy?

We spent the evening eating supper and cake at my sister in law's house, for her birthday. Then it was back home for scriptures and cleaning up. Frog Prince seems to have done quite a bit better today, although I caught him just sitting looking off into the distance several times today, and I could tell he was thinking about Hubby.

I got the stuff to hopefully fix my hair to the colour I want it to be, so tomorrow morning I have to get up early and get that done before we head off to Costco. I am also taking the boys camping tomorrow night for our ward camping trip. People have laughed at the idea of me heading into the woods with three kids, all by myself. My thought is: if I loose one of them, it will just make the next two months a little easier! So anyway, no update tomorrow night, but expect on Saturday morningish.

Now it's off to watch some more old episodes of THE OFFICE before heading to bed.

The First Day's Always the Hardest

I can certainly say that the first day of business trips is always the hardest around here. I had no idea, however, that this one would be as hard as it was. Our day started at the most unearthly hour of 3 am, when we had to get everyone one up and into the car, so that we could arrive at the airport by 5 am. Have I mentioned that I am, in no way shape or form, a morning person. Oh yeah, I hate mornings with a passion-- especially those that begin before the hour of 7 am. Thankfullly though, the boys were amazing and got up without any fighting or even grumpiness. They were VERY excited at the idea of driving Hubby to the airport.

Now it should be noted that, at this point, I have been secretly crying on and off for the last twenty-four hours. I am sure that I'm not the only person who, in the face of loosing their best friend for the next 8 weeks, and being left to parent three small kids alone, would sneak into their bathroom and let out a few tears.

That aside, we made it up to the airport, and enjoyed a relaxed wait until it was time for The Hubby to leave. Everyone gave kissies and happily waved good bye, and then back out to the car we went for the drive home. By this points it's around 7 in the morining, and my kids have decided that, since the sun is starting to come out, it's time to stay awake. Running on about 4 hours of sleep, I bravely battled the joys of rush hour traffic coupled with 2 hours of their non stop talking about India.

It was only when we got home did they finally realise that daddy was gone, and would not be home for a long, long time. Sheepie couldn't have been bothered less and blissfully went off to play trains and Boy was thankfully, sound asleep (one of the last times that day he would be!); Frog Prince, however, was smacked with a huge dose of 'I miss Daddy' and completely melted into a puddle of tears in my arms. I explained to him that it was okay to feel sad, and to cry, and that Daddy loved him very much and missed him too, but that Daddy didn't want him to be sad while he was gone, and that it would make Daddy feel much better if he knew that Frog Prince was having fun while he was away. This seemed to do the trick for a while, but only on the condition that he got to write The Hubby a letter that afternoon. When tears started springing back up a few minutes later, we decided to make The Hubby a picture that he would find in his inbox durning his layover.

Now, as much as I'd love to say that the day ended there, and since we'd all gotten up at 3 in the morning, we curled into our bed, we all know that wouldn't make an interesting post-- now would it? So After taking the picture and uploading it, off we went to make a 9:15 Visiting Teaching appointment I had for church. Again, the boys surprised me by playing quite well, despite being exhaused. After VTing, it was off to the Dollar Tree to buy stuff for my nursery class.

Upon getting out of the car, Sheepie tells me he needs to go to the bathroom, so quickly we walk into the store where I ask the girl at the counter for the key to the bathroom. Her answer, "No." I'm sorry, what? Can you not see that I am standing here with two preschoolers and a baby in my arm-- one of whom is doing the 'potty dance'-- and you tell me no? Apparenlty, after prodding for more answers, their toliet was broken, so the closest bathroom was in a near by Albertsons. Thankfully my friend who I planned on shopping with was entering the store at that moment, so I foisted Frog Prince on her and ran with Sheepie next door to the bathroom; lugging Boy, in his carrier, with me.

The rest of the day was pretty low key. Frog Prince had several melt downs (as did his mommy) and finally passed out in his bed around 3 in the afternoon. Sheepie likely would have kept going all day, except that I banished him to bed to at least rest. He too finally passed out. While the boys slept, I dyed my hair. It was something I've wanted to do since before Hubby left, but I promised him I would wait. Sadly, the colour turned out WAY not what it supposed to, and it is too light. If it actually looked like it did in the picture in real life, I'd leave it, but it looks much more pink to me, in real life. And frankly, pink hair's not for me. So I am going to try a slightly darker shade.

We had pizza for dinner to cheer everyone up, and then it was time to pick up. Frog Prince was once again having a hard time adjusting, and from where I was checking my email, I could hear him yell meanly and then hit Sheepie. Once again we had to talk about how it was okay to be upset, and to even feel mad that Daddy was gone, but that it wasn't okay to show that by being mean to another. That if anything,we needed to love each other even more while he was gone, so that we could be happy. I think he understood because I heard him go back out and tell Sheepie he was sorry and he didn't mean it, he was just mad that Daddy was gone.

After scriptures and prayers, everyone headed off to bed, where once again F.P. started crying. I decided this time I'd let him just cry it out (after all, some times we just need to cry). And I went and tried to find whatever I could to keep busy until I could make sure he'd fallen alseep. I ended up watching a couple old episodes of THE OFFICE, and then once everyone was tucked safely into bed, I too went to sleep. I have hope that it will get eaiser, because afterall, they say the first day's always the hardest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In the beginning...

There was a family.

...and what a family we happen to be! We're The amazing C's. That's right; it all starts with me, Kate the Great, along with my amazing man, the Hubby! As if that wasn't enough awesomeness for ya, we've got my three amazing boys. The eldest is my dear Frog Prince, followed by Sheepie, and bringing up the rear is Boy.

((Insert Dragnet music. *Dum da dum dum! Dum da dum dum dahhh.* The names in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent. And well, frankly, around our house, the not so innocent as well.))

I have had many a blog before; in fact I still regularly keep one on another site, but I found myself always having to come over to blogger to read my friends family blogs, so I figured, "Why not just get on the game and become one of the many who use the site? After all, Kate, wouldn't that make life much easier?"

And then I said to myself, "You know what Katie my dear, you're most certainly right. Make yourself a family blog over there on Blogger and call it good!"

And then I realised that telling people in my blog that I talk to myself probably isn't the best thing in the world, and I decided to move on. So yes... I've started this blog mostly as a way to keep a daily account of things while the Hubby is away in India, but it will then go on to serve as our primary blog for family information and updates. Come on now folks, you know the drill.

If you want to get to know our family, I invite you to come on in and see what it's like in our world. We're just five people madly in love with each other and living life the only way we know how... enjoying every day that comes our way.