From the phone - February

I discovered it's much easier to get the pics from my phone on my blog if I just blog from my phone. But that's a pain to do all the time so I'll just do a blog feature of "From the Phone." (I'm sooo creative,huh?)

P.S. If you follow me on Instagram this might be redundant.
At the library. We sometimes read books but usually just go for the "Music and Movement" class where Miriam feels like a performer. 

Lazy Sunday afternoon. I can't believe this ever happened. Talk about a facade!

Eli's Artoo-Detoo Valentine box. (Go ahead and debate the spelling Star Wars geeks.) 

The wedding of "Q" and "U". An annual tradition at Reed Elementary. Clever, clever vows.

Just another day in the life of Simon. 

That's my hipster Eli. The tie MUST go on the outside he says. 

Martina McBride and George Strait. We learned that George had a LOT of popular songs before we started listening to him. 

My annual haircut. Why can't I seem to get more regular hair care?

That's enough for now. My thumbs are tired. 

February: The Most Bland Month Boise Can Offer

Ohhhhh I hate February in Boise.  Gone are the crisp blue-sky mornings of January.  It's just 28 (or 29 during leap year) days of INVERSION.  Fortunately my birthday falls in February.  But I'll get to that later. 

I guess since Simon's pizza was cheese-less his smile is more genuine.  Cameron, Eli and Miriam have cheese oozing out of their pores.  I'm not sure what instigated this photo session but the minute I get out the camera and take a picture of one of the kids, the rest have to have their moment to shine.  As a side note, because I'm thinking of it, in Miriam's picture you can see the top of her Tangled microphone.  The other day there was no school so I took the kids downtown to have lunch with Richard.  Miriam carried her microphone with her everywhere that afternoon.  It's a different demographic downtown, I get the feeling many of those people don't have much exposure to kids, let alone a family with four of them. We get attention whether we like it or not.  But Mim likes it.  She performed or posed for everyone who asked about her microphone.  The girl is not shy. 

Darth Vader


Darth Maul

Eli is a project oriented kid, and for several weeks his projects were these homemade Star Wars masks.  I really am quite proud of his creativity, but the masks were severely irritating my OCD.  I have a zero tolerance for clutter, everything must have it's place and there was just no good place for these awkward creations.  So I took some pictures to immortalize his hours of hard work before the masks went the way of the landfill.  

We have been part of a babysitting group for several years now.  One Friday night each month we take our turn being in charge of all the couples' children.  When we started there were only six or seven kids.  At one point we were up to 13 kids but then one of the families moved away and a smaller family replaced them.  The other three Friday nights we get to go out, and have free babysitting.  We love this arrangement, it's a brutal three hours once a month, but it's not even really that.  And the kids love it too of course.  On this particular evening Simon had to be quarantined to our bedroom because he had a cold. He ate snacks and watched cartoons on Netflix.  He's adorable even when he's miserable.  Note to self: Squinty eyes can be cute even when they are puffy and red, just smile!

This must have happened after the Busy Hands post.  It happened twice that day.  Simon and/or Miriam dumped out all the plastic little hairbands.  I made them help me clean them up the first time, but since that lesson apparently wasn't effective, I just cleaned them up myself the second time.

Mim started gymnastics in February. I think I smiled the entire hour as I watched her the first day.  She tried everything with gusto.  She isn't super coordinated, but she makes up for it with enthusiasm.  It was her first social experience too, and I think she felt so grown up having her own activity to tell everyone about. 

This is either a movie-night or a cartoon-morning.  Hard to say.  I'm trying not to raise a bunch of couch potatoes but I think they would be if I let them. 

Turning 31 is Anticlimactic

So I wrote about the Whole30 back in February or something.  After finishing that, all I wanted to do for my birthday was go bowling and eat the kind of food you find at bowling alleys.  French fries and nachos made with processed cheese.  Which we did.  And it was as anticlimactic as turning 31.  Processed cheese is still, well, gross. 

Bowling however, is RAD.
Ohmygosh! Is Cameron making the duck face? #themomentyourkidiscoolerthanyou
And... #themomentyouhashtagtolookcooler
Before I know it he will be taking dozens of selfies with my old iPhone.  Oh wait. He already does that. 
 Okay fine grumpy, I'll try with a child who adores me.
That's better.
 Richard must be the parent he REALLY loves. 

And I think that meets my quota for pictures of myself on this blog for the year.  And only in February...

Busy hands

At Miriam's three year well-child exam the Dr. asked about her disposition.  I used the drawing paper as a representation of Miriam's disposition.
"She colored this in the 30 seconds after the nurse left and before you came in."
When I try to describe Miriam and Simon's mischievous dispositions to other people, my mind always draws a blank.  So I decided to start keeping a log.  These...disruptions... individually would just be an inconvenience, but collectively they test my sanity.  They are incidents that Cameron and Eli either never did, or did so rarely that it was still cute. 

Miriam found a kitchen rag in a pile of unfolded laundry and got it soaking wet, then took the dripping rag and "washed" everything in site.  She did this the night before too, only it was a dirty rag she had found on the floor in the laundry room and she laid it, soaking wet on the living room carpet, only to be discovered after she went to bed and I was doing my nightly "pick-up-everything" ritual.

This also reminds me of the time Miriam got her hands on the Windex and sprayed every last drop of what remained in the bottle, all over the furniture, bedding, and walls of her bedroom.

When I fail to shower before the kids are out of bed I've found it to be safest to keep Simon in the bathroom with me. Today while I showered he took the 16 or so rolls of toilet paper and stacked them in towers around the bathroom. 

As I type this Simon is trying to pluck the few fine hairs on the top of my foot. (Don't tell me you don't have hair on your feet.  We've all got a little Hobbit in us, right?)

Three times in two days Simon emptied the contents of an old Crystal Light canister, which contains 1000 plastic hair elastics.  And Miriam made a "snow angel" in them. 

They frequently remove all the dvds from the armoire, dump the laundry out of all the hampers to use them as cars/boats/planes, and pull all the clothes off of Miriam's hangers. (Hers being the only hangers within their reach.)

Don't they sound horribly devious?!

It is part of their daily ritual to yank all the books off of the shelves of Cameron and Eli's bookcase. And sometimes in desperation I lock them in their bedroom while I cook dinner, always to discover that they have pulled every wipe out of the container and scattered them around the room. 
These things occur too rapidly and too frequently for me to remember everything I ought to do to prevent them.  But go ahead and call me a glutton for punishment because, really, some are so easily preventable.

Like Simon climbing in the bathtub fully clothed.  Or Miriam putting every lotion or cream in Simon's hair. 
And I'm still too devastated to say much about the giant gouge in my freshly stained table surface.

But I'm on a roll here...

There was the time Simon took the lid off the dog food bucket and tossed it with reckless abandon around the kitchen.  (While stuffing a kibble or bit into his own mouth.)  No drink on the coffee table goes unspilled.  No cereal box undumped. 

Where am I failing as a mother?
Miriam loves to take one bite of each apple or pear and leave them unfinished in the fruit bowl.  And just days after her birthday she decided to make her new dollhouse "pretty" and colored it all with purple and green marker.  
And one of the greatest mysteries of all around here, is how one of the pair got the tv remote inside the piano, and how I managed to understand/believe that it was actually in there when the only evidence was Simon's dimpled finger pointing at the piano. 

And of course there are just the everyday messes, one of which involved putting all the toys in the crib, and my discovering it only as I'm trying to put the sleepy child in bed. 

And the somewhat adorable venture, of Miriam and Simon each putting on a pair of my shoes in my closet, marching them down the hallway as if walking the runway, and then returning to the closet for a new pair, leaving the last pair on the living room floor.
And the not-so-adorable time Simon took a bite out of Richard's deodorant...

And then nauseating blow-outs like this.  At Chik Fil A.
(Sorry, that one deserved a warning. I only took the picture to text to Richard to elicit sympathy. And now I do the same here: the other three children were unsupervised in the play-place. I had only wipes to work with, and naturally, only a few at that. I ended up tearing the onesie off with my bare hands - I attribute that to sheer adrenaline- and throwing it in the garbage.)
I've been feeling so baby hungry lately.  I ache for a newborn.  And then I wrote this blog post.  And I realized that I might need therapy if I tried having another child.  Forget that, I need therapy as it is.