Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When it rains

It pours...

Tonight was one of those nights where 8 pm couldn't roll around fast enough. Let's not sugar coat it, even the best of us parents have such nights, so there is no sense in not calling it as it goes.

Frog prince was a wonderful, amazingly well behaved boy tonight and I could kiss him a million times for it, because his little brothers really could have been sold to a roaming pack of gypsies tonight, and I'd probably have told them that they could have had the lot of them for 50% off. So thank you Frog Prince, for making mommy's life just a smidgen easier.

Twinkle toes was starving, and couldn't seem to get enough to eat regardless of how much he was fed. We even tried to give him some avocado but he didn't want it so he just sat and cried... and cried.... and cried some more. I finally just changed him and put him down to bed, since he was going to cry one way or another... He had his shots yesterday, so I can't blame him too much, but man he was on a roll tonight.

Sheepie refused to finish his supper, and was told he couldn't get up from the table until he plate was clean. So he sat, and sat, and sat some more. Finally, he did have to get up though because he had to help FP clean their room before FP headed off to bed. He wasn't about to get a free ride on the cleaning by not eating supper. But that was like pulling teeth and I'm still convinced that had FP not been in there, all of Sheepies new toys would belong to me. After the room was done it was back to the table, where he continued to denounce his avocados and chips (what's wrong with the kid)!

Mean while, it's time to get Boy ready for bed, so we head into his room. Now, for those of you who have never had the pleasure of seeing Boys room, it more often than not looks like a tornado went through it. I pick it up about three times a day, and don't much mind, except that I really like it to be picked up before bed so that I don't break my foot, should I have to go in in the dark during the night. As we're picking up I think that it's probably a good time to pull all the decorations and stuff out of his room to pack up, since I had a few more boxes that were still needing stuff to fill them. Well, first he decides that instead of staying on his bed, and reading his books he is going to slip out of the room every time I turn my back to set things in the hall way. This happened about five times. Finally, he realises I'm taking all the stuff out of his bedroom and he begins to get really panicky and starts sobbing... Mean mommy after all is making his room barren sans bassinet, bed and changing table. So he's now hysterical because his room no longer looks like his room and I want him to sleep there. It took a while to get him to go to bed.

After that, I go to tuck in FP and he is on the floor trying to sort out the pieces to about five different 25 piece puzzles that go into this puzzle book he got for Christmas... Quickly I put all the puzzles together ( I can put together about 300 puzzle pieces in about five minutes, for the record) and then tuck him in.

And then comes the real shining moment of mother hood for me.... Sheepie at the table still. I come back out and he still has touched nothing.... I have more packing to do and don't want him up all night, so I tell him to open up and I start putting the food in myself... He chews one bite and then starts gagging like it's toxic waste. I tell him to swallow, and then I put in another bite. Now he's actually producing throw up in his mouth from the first bite. He's warned that if he makes himself throw up he will be punished, and that he had better stop straight away. He continues to force himself to throw up, so I haul him up and to the bathroom (I really don't need him puking on my floors) and on the way he forces himself to throw up all over the hall carpet.

Now, there is this vicious romour going around that I'm super mommy; anyone who would have witnessed what came next in tonight's little episode would be able to dispel that rumour straight out of the shoot... I'm sad to say I dropped him in front of the toilet, threw a towel at him and told him to clean himself up (I quickly went to scrub up the salsa, nacho, guacamole vomit from where it was sitting next to all my imported Peter Rabbit nursery decor in the hall) and then I had him come out into the living room. At this point I was SO mad at him the only thing I could think to do was make him do push ups. I'd already cleaned up his mess. His dinner was in the trash, and it was either me screaming at him, or him doing push for me until I could breath again..... Did you know that a four year old can actually do about 20 push ups? I know the number sounds terrible but he does almost that many in karate anyway, so it's not like it was hard for him. But like I said, I doubt I will be winning any parenting awards for this one.

Sooooo. My house is now quiet... (and empty; all my furniture is in storage), my husband is helping some friends parents move into their new house, and I am torn between showering, playing some video games, or packing.....with only two weeks until we need to be out of our house, packing really should win, but I think I need to play a video game or two to unwind.

Monday, December 28, 2009

the hat...

Here it is, ladies and gents.... the first thing I've ever crocheted correctly! Isn't it super cute.... The colouring in the first photos is kind of off, but I liked the picture better than the next picture with the right colouring, so you get both!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Crocheting queen

I have always wanted to know how to crochet... for years I've tried to learn only to fail horridly because I'm left handed. Heck, I even had a left handed woman in our ward try to teach me, but it was at a time in my life when I was too busy to really try to learn. My dear friend Kaitlyn, though, has prompted me to want to learn again because she got a really cute hat for Christmas. So since my kids were home from church sick today, I decided it would be a good time to finally learn how to crochet. Thanks to a bunch of yarn laying around my house, one random crochet hook and youtube, I'm now a crocheting queen.

This beauty is eventually going to end up on the heather grey hat that I'm crocheting right now. And seriously, now that I have it figured out, I can't for the life of me ever understand why it was so hard.

more Christmas Craftiness

These are the blocks I made for Twinkle Toes....

The top left one had a rattle in it, and the bottom one had a crackly baggie of rice in it to smoosh around.

This is Boy's crayon case, along with Toy Story (his fav.) crayons, and it had a little note pad to go with it as well.

Finally, this is Sheepies quilt... just like last year it was an eleventh hour operation, and I actually had to tie it the day after Christmas because when I sat down to tie it Christmas eve after the kids were in bed, I discovered I had no quilting needles.... But it got done and he likes it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Speed Racer Birthday Cake

Move over Wall *E there's a new best birthday cake in town.

Cooking up the sugar to make sugar glass for the wind shield.

Chocolate cake baking

Rough shape of the cake (note that after I did this I put on a layer of butter cream frosting to help the fondant stick better)

laying out the fondant... can you see the shape?

Start by shaping the details, and an hour later you have....

The Mach 5!

Go Speed Racer, Go!

Here is hoping the little kids like it. Now to blissfully ignore the mess in my kitchen and head to bed.

Annual Christmas Letter

December 2009

Dearest Family and Friends,

It seems almost impossible that already I am sitting down to type this year’s holiday letter, and yet, here I am. Weren’t we all just doing this, last year? The last twelve months have certainly flown by for the Carleski family, as I’m sure it has for all of you. We’ve had many new and exciting changes as our little (hardly feels like we can call it that anymore) family has progressed, and we are enjoying life to the fullest!

Mr. C is continuing to work for the same company he’s worked for these last five years. He does well, and finds the work challenging and fulfilling. At church, he was called several months back to be our congregations’ executive secretary, and it’s a calling that keeps him plenty busy, but is right up his alley. He loves to know what’s going on and the ins and outs of things, so between that and his amazing organizational and planning skills, he and the calling seem to be a perfect match. Hubby still enjoys our motorcycle, and with the help of friend has even been able to learn how to do some improvements and maintenance to it. He will turn thirty this coming March, so he’s enjoying the ‘last of his youth,’ while he can.

Katie seems to be living life in the fast lane, as usual. As a stay at home mom to four boys her days start early and tend to end rather late. She was called to be a seminary teacher (seminary is a before school religious education class for high school students) a few months back, so she is out the door most mornings on her way to teach class by 6 am. She loves being able to be with the youth, and has a special bond with the particular group she teaches, as she’s been involved with them at church in one way or another for the last six years. Besides her church involvement, she stays busy coming up with crazy adventures to take the kids on, learning how to cook ever more complicated dishes, and sewing. She’s made two quilts and several dozen other craft projects this year for friends and family members. She also taught herself how to can food this summer. A great deal of Katie’s day is spent driving the kids around, and so in what free time she does manage to grab, Katie still enjoys blogging, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She also is in love with her Wii, and uses it nearly daily to work out.

Frog Prince turned the big 0-6 this December and will tell everyone in the world about it. He has had several big adventures this last year. In January he got his first pair of glasses, as we discovered from a check up that he couldn’t see well out of his right eye. His best friend got glasses as well this year, and he now calls themselves the, ‘glasses twins!’ He had his first season of tee ball in the spring, and discovered a great love for playing the game. While he’s not exactly natural, he worked hard and earned the most improved player award at the end of the season, for his team. He also started Karate over the summer and attends classes three times a week. He loves it, is quite skilled at it, and will test in two days time for his first promotion to yellow belt. In the fall he started his first year of elementary school, and is now a big Kindergartener. I can hardly believe my baby is that big already. He is reading and writing well, can count to 100, and is already starting to learn to do subtraction and very basic multiplication. His favourite things in the world right now are Frogs (still), Dinosaurs, legos, and the history of The Titanic.

Sheepie is still the sweetest little boy on the face of the planet. He is four and a half now, and is enjoying his last year of preschool. He too, is involved in Karate, and takes the schools ‘Little Dragon’s’ program every Friday. He is learning to read, and loves to play math games in his head, and sings all the time. He is a very empathetic boy, and loves to spend time trying to make his little brothers happy. His favourite things at the moment are also, The Titanic, Dinosaurs, and he is still more than happy to take his beloved blue blanket just about anywhere with him.

If there were ever a nickname for our little Boy, it would be, ‘trouble.’ That sweet little boy goes about 100 miles a minute and is always looking for and getting into whatever he shouldn’t be. He is 21 months old this month, and is such a smart cookie that sometimes you forget that he’s not yet even two. Speech wise he’s extremely quiet, but has a very good vocabulary of words. He loves to play with his older brothers and has a very strong grasp on how different things interact with one another. Recently, he has started potty training and is already about 60 % there, after one a week. He adores getting to be a big brother, and is very kind and helpful to his mommy. Some of his favourite things are Pixar’s Toy Story, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Star Wars Lightsabers (he likes to walk around and hum the Darth Vader music while waving them around). He is certainly a boy through and through, and we sure love him.

Twinle Toes was born August 8, 2009. He arrived three weeks early, but was still a healthy 7 lbs, 12 oz.; 21 inches long. He is the sweetest baby with beautiful blue eyes and a very fuzzy bald little head. He is four months old and loves to play with toys and smile and coo for his older brothers. He’s sleeping through the nights (something mommy and daddy love!) and is almost sitting up, already. He is our last baby for the foreseeable future, so I am hoping he doesn’t grow up too quickly, as I sure do love snuggling him and having him be my baby.

The biggest adventure in our family this year is that we put our house up for sale, after four years of living here, and will be closing on the sale, in the middle of January. We are excited for the next step in our lives, in which we plan to build something a bit bigger, with more room for four growing boys, and something a little closer into town. We feel we’ve been very blessed in this, at such a rough time for many. We are mindful of where the blessings come from, and because of such are grateful to be able to celebrate this Christmas season. We hope that it finds all of you well, and that you are able to enjoy the holidays with those whom you love. Happy Holidays!

The Mighty C's

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Christmas

My new Christmas goodies....
What's your tree look like this year?

More Crafty goodness.

This is my first attempt at ever recovering a pillow. It's my attempt at this pillow.
I think it turned out okay. I'm not sure if it's just the colour that I don't like or what, but I'm utterly in love with the one in the tutorials picture and only mildly okay with the one I made. Maybe I just needed more circles.

Pay no attention to the ugly pillow behind it; it's getting recovered as soon as I figure out what the colours in our new house will be.
Post Script: in looking at the picture of the tutorial pillow more, I realised that I did need to add more circles and have done so along the bottom and a few other spots.

It's time to get crafty.

This is the skirt I made for my niece's seventh birthday. It's only a few weeks late....
Her birthday was on Thanksgiving, but my sewing machine broke (getting the skirt caught in it, I might add) as I was finishing the hem. I really like the mix of the every day bubble fabric with the shimmer of the dressed up satin. It still feels like something is missing though. Maybe some cute rickrack around the point where the two fabrics meet. Maybe not? I don't think we will ever know since I'm going to drop it off to her house later today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A wise and gracious woman

This is an excerpt from an Emily Post's Miss Manners column in 1922. I believe it rings just as true, if not more so, today, as it did then. I hope in our home that we are able to live up to these standards.

Every-Day Manners at Home

JUST as no chain is stronger than its weakest link, no manners can be expected to stand a strain beyond their daily test at home.

Those who are used to losing their temper in the bosom of their family will sooner or later lose it in public. Families which exert neither courtesy nor charm when alone, can no more deceive other people into believing that either attribute belongs to them than they could hope to make painted faces look like “real” complexions.

A mother should exact precisely the same behavior at home and every day, that she would like her children to display in public, and she herself, if she expects them to take good manners seriously, must show the same manners to them alone that she shows to “company.”

A really charming woman exerts her charm nowhere more than upon her husband and children, and a noble nature through daily though unconscious example is of course the greatest influence for good that there is in the world. No preacher, no matter how saint-like his precept or golden his voice, can equal the home influence of admirable parents.

It is not merely in such matters as getting up when their mother or other older relatives enter a room, answering civilly and having good table manners, but in forming habits of admirable living and thinking that a parent’s example makes or mars.

If children see temper uncontrolled, hear gossip, uncharitableness and suspicion of neighbors, witness arrogant sharp-dealing or lax honor, their own characters can scarcely escape perversion. In the same way others can not easily fail to be thoroughbred who have never seen or heard their parents do or say an ignoble thing.

No child will ever accept a maxim that is preached but not followed by the preacher. It is a waste of breath for the father to order his sons to keep their temper, to behave like gentlemen, or to be good sportsmen, if he does or is himself none of these things.

In the present day of rush and hurry, there is little time for “home” example. To the over-busy or gaily fashionable, “home” might as well be a railroad station, and members of a family passengers who see each other only for a few hurried minutes before taking trains in opposite directions. The days are gone when the family sat in the evening around the fire, or a “table with a lamp,” when it was customary to read aloud or to talk. Few people “talk well” in these days; fewer read aloud, and fewer still endure listening to any book literally word by word.

Railroad station reading is as much in vogue as railroad station bolting of meals. Magazines—“picture” ones—are all that the hurried have time for, and even those who profess to “love reading” dart tourist-fashion from page to page only pausing at attractive paragraphs; and family relationships are followed somewhat in the same way.

Any number of busy men scarcely know their children at all, and have not even stopped to realize that they seldom or never talk to them, never exert themselves to be sympathetic with them, or in the slightest degree to influence them. To growl “mornin’,” or “Don’t, Johnny,” or “Be quiet, Alice!” is very, very far from being “an influence” on your children’s morals, minds or manners.


A Supreme Court Justice whose education had been cut short in his youth by the Civil War, when asked how, under the circumstances, his scholastic attainments had been acquired, answered: “My father believed it was the duty of every gentleman to bequeath the wealth of his intellect, no less than that of his pocket, to his children. Wealth might be acquired by ‘luck,’ but proper cultivation was the birthright of every child born of cultivated parents. We learned Latin and Greek by having him talk and read them to us. He wrote doggerel rhymes of history which took the place of Mother Goose. He also told us ‘bed-time stories’ of history, and read classics to us after supper. When there was company, we were brought down from the nursery so that we might profit by the conversation of our betters.”

Volumes full of “manners” acquired after they are grown are not worth half so much as the simplest precepts acquired through lifelong habits and through having known nothing else.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh how they grow...

It seems like it was only a short while ago I was posting a picture of Sheepie holding a bottle for a new born Boy....

Look at him now.

Behold the Dread Pirates!

Nothing more dangerous than a couple of pirates on a quest for some, Pirates Booty!

Oh OMSI how we love you.

If you've been a long time reader of my blog you know how much my kids dig OMSI. We decided it was time to take another trip up to see some new stuff, and so a few Saturdays a go we pack the kids in the 'big red car' and drove up to Portland.

They had a new exhibit called, 'The Science of Fear.' It was alright, but not as good as many of the others I've been to. My favourite will always and forever be the Titanic one they had (followed closely by the Dinosaurs of China). It really wasn't that interesting for the kids, so we went through it pretty quickly and moved on to more fun stuff. Nothing beats skipping out on house work like a good family outing. We even ran into our lovely friends, the Youngs. And, if you look carefully in the pictures you might even catch a cameo appearance from Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody.

Twinkle Toes first trip to OMSI, oh so exciting!

Boy really got into playing in the Preschooler and under rooms

Sheepie loves playing at the water station

Sadly it seems that we didn't get any pictures of FP. Aren't we great parents! He'll probably end up scarred, since we only have 900 other pictures of him.

If you're ever in the Portland area with nothing to do... OMSI is certainly the happening place to be.