Monday, April 30, 2012

We had a heck of a week last week. After a pretty healthy winter, all things considered (a couple of colds, an ear infection for one person, a sinus infection for another - pretty standard for a family with small children), James somehow picked up Coxsackie virus, aka: Hand, Foot and Mouth. Not to be confused with Hoof and Mouth. He doesn't actually have hooves. Funny name. Not a funny illness. It was awful. Google it, if you don't believe me. That stuff is like a horror movie. Then the baby got the stomach flu. Then the J-bird came and got me at 2:30am to tell me his tummy hurt, after which he spent twelve hours throwing up. A lot. Then, inevitably, I got the stomach flu. That tends to happen when your two year old's preferred place to vomit is on Mommy. My favorite part of being sick was the whole, "attempting to take care of three other sick people while wanting nothing more than to crawl into bed and remain there for approximately 400 hours and feeling like I was failing everyone" part. Thankfully, by the time I got sick, James was able to prop himself up enough to supervise Miss V (who was feeling better) while she watched "Melmo" and trashed the TV room, so I could take care of my poor J-bird, who just kept thanking me for helping him and telling me I'd "really saved him".

We ha a couple days respite, and then, last night, the final Houx fell to the stomach bug. Poor James. He'd JUST recovered from the Coxsackie.

Wheeeeee! Sound like a fun week?

We're all back on our feet now, tired and slightly shaky, but glad to be putting last week in the "past" column. Also, I may need to buy stock in Lysol. Is that a thing? Let us just say, I have repeatedly scrubbed every possible surface, and I still may require some napalm to finish the job. Anyway, it's over.

Let us never speak of it again.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kids Playing In The Sandbox

 The baby ate some sand.

She wasn't one bit sorry either.

She never is.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Nope. No way my sister, Tassi is FIFTEEN today. WHAT?!


Happy birthday, Princess. I sure do love you. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Polka Dot High Tops From Granny

I wish I had a photo of my sister, Olivia at this age, because that's what this picture of Miss V makes me think of. Olivia may be 22 now (today, in fact), but to me, she'll probably always be that precocious little two year old, with her curly hair, high tops and skinned knees.

Happy birthday, Liv. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tech Truce

 My kids, like most siblings, fuss and fight with each other a good bit. It's not constant, and they really, really love each other. They always make up with hugs and giggles and then go off and play for ten or fifteen minutes before they start bellowing at each other again. They're just in one another's space all the time, and that leads to what boils down to a righteous amount of noise.

*sigh* Do you ever relish the ten seconds it takes to walk around the car, after you've put your child(ren) in their seats and shut their doors after forty five minutes in the grocery store? Just a few, brief moments where you know they're safe and fine, but you can't hear them? No? Just me? Right on. 

Anyway, one great equalizer and guarantee of a few minutes of peace and truce is our iPad. Miss V likes to sit and watch the J-bird do reading and writing games (or just regular games. Who doesn't love Angry Birds?), and he lets her press the occasional button - big of him, right? They both really love the interactive "Monster At The End Of This Book" with Grover and Elmo from Sesame Street.
 They'll sit and do the whole game. Quietly. Tranquilly. Without shoving each other or screaming.

 It's almost as if....

they're getting along. So weird.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Long Morning

Grocery shopping, man. It's exhausting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

iPad Revolution

Our family got an iPad about a month ago, and MANISTHATTHINGAWESOME! We use it for the obvious stuff, like email and Facebook and involved games of Draw Something and Words With Friends, but there are also so many apps for little children. We've integrated it into the J-bird's home school, and it's been really great. We do reading and writing games, math, and even some music. Of course, we still do the work we'd normally do as well, but I love a varied approach to learning, and when it's so fun that it doesn't feel like work - well, that's just fantastic. We're hoping to use FaceTime to connect the J-bird to each of his grandmothers for some tutoring as well (Miss V too, as she gets older). James's mom is an amazing teacher and PhD, and my mom taught home school for several years. I love the idea of getting our families involved in our kids' education!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yo Gabba Gabba Birthday

  Miss V's birthday was this last Monday, but we waited to have her party until yesterday. Her favorite TV show is "Yo Gabba Gabba", so I themed her party around that. We had so much fun, celebrating our girl and marveling over the fact that she's 2 whole years old.

 The party started at 10:30am and just went until noon. Everyone loves a party, but it's a rare person who wants to hang out at someone else's house with a bunch of two year olds (plus their older siblings) for much longer than that. I put out a plate of fruit, a plate of veggies, and a plate of crackers and cheese, with lemonade to drink (it doesn't stain when it inevitably gets spilled), as well as birthday cake, of course.

Just for the party, I put away the play clothes, the puzzles (too many pieces everywhere), and any other toys that kids would fight over. Three or four kids fighting over a doll stroller is ok. Ten kids fighting over a doll stroller is less ok. I put an assortment of toys out on the coffee table, and that seemed to keep everyone fairly occupied. Wedgit blocks, wooden blocks, a shape sorting clock...stuff like that. I also had music from Yo Gabba Gabba playing, so there was definitely some toddler dancing going on, and I defy you to identify anything cuter than that.

 We gave the big kids the option of playing outside with bubbles and chalk. They were all OVER that action.

The two daddies that were present stood by the street, to make sure no one left the yard. Safety patrol. Ya know. Like they do.

 Most of the littles opted to stay inside with the mamas

 Who are JUST as much fun, thankyouverymuch.

 Miss V spent a large portion of her party admiring, patting and kissing my friend, Jaimey's baby, T.

 After some play time, everyone hit the table for snacks. I had the kids sit on the floor. Unfortunately, that meant most of the parents ended up sitting on the floor, too. Sorry parents :(. I'll plan that better next time!

 And then we had cake!

 RAINBOW cake.
 SEVEN LAYER rainbow cake.

 Miss V opened presents.

And then we played outside some more. It was a gorgeous day!

Miss V might have had some bubbles to drink...

 We sent everyone home with a little favor bag. I got these (blank) bags in packs of three at the Dollar Tree and painted the Yo Gabba Gabba characters on. I think they turned out really fun! Each bag had a colorful crazy straw, a string of beads, a candy ring and a glittery pencil.

The girl of the hour seemed pleased with her party, and that always makes me happy, since that is, after all, the whole point! Happy party, baby! We love you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Garden Helpers

Every Spring, as I start work in my garden after a winter of just looking at it through my kitchen window, I think of how gardening is such a great metaphor for so many things. The hard work of clearing away all the dead stuff and yanking out the weeds to make way for this year's new growth is cathartic. And sweaty. And worth it. This year's garden will be similar to last year's, but it will be very different as well. It'll be its own garden, and I look forward to seeing how it shapes up.

Miss V and the J bird got completely filthy and had the kind of fun they only ever have outside. They dug in the dirt, sat in the mile-high grass, found some worms, and Miss poured a cup of sand on her head. THAT was fun to shampoo out.

Friday, April 13, 2012


 We live close enough to the edge of town that we get a little wildlife now and then. There are frogs a-plenty, on one memorable occasion, a raccoon, and every Spring, ducks!

 And once the ducks get tired of being chased around by little kids, there's always the neighbor's good sport of a teenager and his basketball goal to keep everyone amused.