Saturday, December 20, 2008

Daddy is Home, by Huey

... as told to Mommy.

"We got in the car and we waited for Daddy. We saw Daddy come down the stairs and we hugged Daddy! I was happy! We went out for dinner. I ate hamburger and fries and Daddy had salad and we also had cheese... just cheese. We went home. Daddy watched Tom and Jerry with me. We played Candyland and Thomas the Tank Engine games. Dewey and Huey and Mommy and Daddy. All of us was the winner. I am happy Daddy is HOME!"
So there you go. Daddy's return in a nutshell. Huey can say in 10 sentences or less, what would take me eight paragraphs to write. Huey say's "you're welcome".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Huey!

Huey's 4th birthday was yesterday. He is such a big boy now. I can't believe how fast these four years went. Seems like yesterday he was this tiny little bundle of love! Where did this big kid come from?

We celebrated by taking him to San Jose for chips and cheese dip. I did order real food, but for the boys it's all about the cheese dip. (Hey... It just occurred to me that the cheese dip at San Jose is WHITE... GASP! How could this be? My children devoured non-orange cheese???)
Anyway - we went to dinner... just the boys and I, and they were really, really good! So good that I am at a loss for material. But one funny thing did happen. While at the restaurant, Huey was trying to tell me about his finger that somehow got cut, or smashed, or bit... i don't know.. something. Anyway he waves his middle finger high in the air and yells... "THIS FINGER RIGHT HERE"! I spewed Coke all over the table! For once the mess I had to clean up was made by ME!

After dinner we came home and had a tiny little birthday cake and opened a gift from "Auntie Kelli with the Black Hair". A Thomas train of some sort. Huey LOVES IT... of course! And Dewey tries to steal it. You'd think that 3 million trains in this house would be enough... but no... Dewey must have the newest addition! Nothing else will do! Only the newest and the best... wait... kinda sounds like his mom. Oops!

Anyway - Huey had a wonderful birthday. He is such a delightful boy and I am truly blessed to be his mama!

And now the big news... Friday night after Huey's birthday party with his friends, we had a discussion about Christmas. He wanted to know all about baby Jesus and what it all meant. So I explained it as simply as I could and then he decided to ask Jesus into his heart. He prayed after me and he made it official. Huey explains it this way, "Jesus in my heart"! There are no words better than those! I realize he's too young to truly understand what this means. But it's a really good start!
Happy Birthday, Huey!
Mommy loves you so much!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gross or Not Gross?

Today I decided that I NEEDED to vacuum the nasty carpet! I know... you're all shocked! When on Earth have I actually vacuumed on "awesome housekeeper's" off week? Well, the kids did a totally superior job in trashing the place after housekeeper left.... but that's another blog entry entirely. So I am vacuuming... And I decide that if I'm going to make this very rare effort, I might as well give it my all. So I MOVED the furniture and everything. This was not just your everyday vacuum job... this was "super-mom-discovers-she-actually-owns-a-vacuum-and-must-find-out-how-this-strange-contraption-works!" Anyway... as I move the coffee table, we learn that a cookie has been living under there for... well... a very long time. Who really knows how long. So, as I'm vacuuming I say to Dewey, "Hey Baby, can you get that cookie and...." (I have to pause mid-sentence, because before I can say, "throw it in the trash"... the cookie is gone and "icky-boy" is happily chewing really old... most likely very stale... possibly moldy... disgusting cookie!") So I would call that "GROSS". But that got me thinking... my kids and I have very different ideas of what is and is not gross. Here is a sample of what my precious boys believe to be gross or not gross.

Roast Chicken and Mashed Potatoes: Gross
McDonald's Chicken Nuggets: Not Gross

Mozzarella, Provolone, Swiss or any other
"non-orange" cheese: Really Gross
Nasty processed American "Squirt Cheese" in a can
: Not Gross.

Spaghetti Sauce: TOTALLY Nasty Gross
Boogers (old or new, wet or dry, any color): Not Gross. Quite tasty, in fact!

Steak: Gross, gross, gross, gross!
Old french fries under the car seat: Deliciously non-gross

Scrambled eggs: So gross they are horrified at the thought.
Finger painting with poop: A totally cool form of artistic expression... oh.. and very NON gross!

I could go on and on... but I think the point is clear. I live in bizzaro world. What I believe to be disgusting is actually very, very cool! So I've decided to re-think how I approach dinner time. Perhaps a steaming plate of.... oh never mind... That's just entirely too gross to even type! :o)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Huey, Dewey & Louie Go To Michael's

The following story is true... I swear! It is not exaggerated in any way. Even I could not make this up!

Yesterday I had some shopping to do at Michael's. Now, those of you with small children are aware that the aisles at Michael's are very narrow, making it impossible to place your stroller
anywhere in the store that is out of reach of stuff! You can't even do the "put-your-stroller-in-the-center-of-the-aisle" trick... because that will only enable your precious, precious children to access stuff on both sides of the aisle. Hey Michael's people, listen up!

So we are in the candle aisle. Somebody... not sure which one... breaks a small glass votive candle holder. It goes splat all over the place. I'm standing there in a zillion shards of glass and trying to get the attention of someone to help. No such luck. So I push the stroller around the corner to the ribbon aisle and instruct Huey to "stay and watch your brothers"... I head off, in search of someone to inform about the glass. While I'm away Huey did, indeed, watch his brothers. He watched them "access" about 8 rolls of ribbon and throw the spools down the aisle, causing about 200 feet of ribbon to unravel all over the floor.

Now we have one aisle with broken glass, and one aisle nicely decorated with ribbon. Oh... but "we're" not done yet. As I am trying to re-roll 200 feet of ribbon, and Louie is continuing to throw more ribbon spools on the floor... more unraveling ... Huey comes to me and says "mom... I think there is something wrong with my foot". (just a side note... Huey is wearing his Lightning McQueen Crocs in December... because... well... that's what we do in South Carolina. ) Anyway... turns out, there is glass inside his shoe and his toe is bleeding. I frantically search my purse for a tissue... Band Aid... gauze pad... tourniquet... there is nothing. But then a light bulb goes off and I pull out..... wait for it..... a pantie-liner!

So I am kneeling on the floor of Michael's, holding a pantie-liner to my 4-year-old son's toe, while his brothers continue to "decorate" with ribbon and customers try to avoid glass on the next aisle. It occurs to me, "this is one of those 'mom' moments!". I start to laugh... and laugh... and start to cry because I find this so incredibly funny. Huey looks at me as if to say "why are you laughing... my toe is cut!" All I can tell him is... "I know you don't understand, but this is really, really funny". Then I put the pantie-liner inside his shoe and it is the
perfect fit... Like some sort of Dr. Scholls-Lite-Days-Sole-Insert. We continue to shop, knowing that Huey has several hours of "protection".

Fast forward about 5 hours. It's bath time. I have totally forgotten the pantie-liner incident. Huey brings me his "sole insert" and he says to me, "Mom... my toe is all better. Thanks for the shoe band-aid." I'm on the floor laughing again..... The child just slays me!

And I'm certain we are no longer welcome at Michael's. :o)

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Viewmaster Should Not Take A Bath"

File that under "phrases I never thought I'd say". Those words actually came out of mouth this morning, followed by, "well... there's the title for my next blog entry".

Today began like any other day. With the sound of Louie's voice bellowing down the hall "Ma! Ma! Ma!" I entered his room and was greeted by the waft of a very distinct odor. Then I discovered some "leakage" from his diaper. This was NOT a good kind of leakage. This "leakage" should have been solid... but sadly, was NOT!

So... off to the bath for stinky-boy! As I drew his bath, "happy-naked-baby" ran about the house in search of awesome toys for this morning bath-time adventure. Into the bath went the usual toys: duck, boat, infant-snot-sucking-device (which is now a really cool water squirter) and the Viewmaster, loaded with a reel of farm animal pictures. You would think the paper picture wheel would become soggy-mush in the water... but surprisingly the Viewmaster functioned normally, even while filled with water. No doubt due to some highly advanced modern technology. So the question remains... Why can a $7.95 picture-viewing device take a bath, while a $149.95 Kodak Easy-Share clearly cannot? Seems Kodak could learn a thing or two from "Matel". Just something to ponder!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What We Are Thankful For

This year we decided to spare the turkey and were instead very thankful with lasagna.... and garlic bread and Caesar salad. This is a tradition that comes from the lesser-known Italian Pilgrims who were also at the first Thanksgiving feast.... with their pasta, cannolies and wine. Never heard of them, you say? Well... it was probably Guido and Luigi Johnson and some sort of "wine incident" that got them written out of history. Anyway - we decided you don't need turkey in order to be thankful. (When I say "we", I am including the Moss Family and the Winters Family who joined us for our less-than-traditional feast.)

We had a wonderful time. There was yummy food, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" on the TV, and a rousing game of "pin-the-Pilgrim-hat-on-the-turkey"! The kids had a blast with that one. Tiffany made a wicked-awesome pumpkin cheesecake and Kim brought a very yummy pecan pie. Mmmmmm....

After the party, Huey and I had a discussion about what we are thankful for. It went something like this.

Me: Huey what are you thankful for?
Huey: Oranges
e: (not surprised, but looking for something with a little more depth... I ask him again)
Huey: Apples
Me: Oh... those are yummy... but what are you really really thankful for? (This time I am confident I asked the question just right so he'll understand I'm looking for something profound)
Huey: Ohhhhh... (as if he finally gets what I'm looking for) STRAWBERRIES!
Me: Also... very yummy! What ELSE are you thankful for?
Huey: YOU!

Okay... now we are getting somewhere. It's good to know the whole pregnancy, birth, serious-sleep-deprivation, and vomit-down-the-cleavage incidents got me an honorable mention behind fruit salad.... but whatever. The important thing is that my son is thankful for me. I am content with that. At bed time we talked about Thanksgiving again and he added a few more things to his list.

  • Daddy
  • Ms. Tiffme and she's Children and she's Daddy (I'm guessing he means her HUSBAND and not her DAD)
  • Joel
  • Thomas the Train
  • Elli and Elli's mom and dad
  • Our house
  • Skittles

So that's the list. Those of you who did not make the list will just have to work harder. :o)

And here is my list (in no particular order)

  • My wonderful husband (who is missed very much this year)
  • My adorable children (even when they are somewhat less than adorable)
  • Our beautiful home
  • Food in the pantry
  • A healthy family
  • Our nation
  • Good Friends to get me through this deployment
  • Mr. Shawn for doing the dishes
  • God's unchanging, unending, unconditional love

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

If They Just Loved Lime....

The boys love orange. They are obsessed with orange. They fight over who gets the orange plate, the orange bowl, the orange crayon, the orange shirt, the orange train..... (oddly it is somehow understood that all orange cups belong to Huey.) They love to wear orange, color with orange, paint with orange.... orange, orange orange. Huey told me yesterday we should paint the "train room" orange. (I don't know what is worse, the fact that my nearly-4-year-old wants orange walls in the train room, or that we have an entire room in our home dedicated to trains.) 

Anyway.... back to orange.  They only eat orange food.... mostly. Here is a list of their favorites: cantaloupe, cheese (definitely NOT the white kind,) macaroni and cheese, Cheese-itz, Goldfish, orange juice, carrots and of course... the king of all orange foods... the orange substance that rocks their world and makes them all squishy inside... Orange Jello!!!

Now I have nothing against the color orange (well... I certainly would not wear an orange sweatshirt since it would make me look like a big 'ol pumpkin). But as colors go... it's okay. It definitely ranks much higher than say... taupe. But I DO have a major problem with orange Jello. Because that sticky little treat is stealth. It can hang out on a hardwood floor and go unnoticed all day (that is IF you are not walking around barefoot!)

So, yesterday the boys and I made orange Jello. It was a major big deal because Huey got to STIR! Yes, that's right, the sky opened up and the angels sang and Huey beamed with pride at his stirring ability. He is quite talented! So we made the Jello and I told them they could have it for snack if they ate a good lunch. Well... they ate a good lunch (mostly orange foods... but whatever).

They were so happy to have orange Jello they were almost beside themselves. So they ate their Jello... and it was good. It was good all over their faces and hands and shirts and chairs. It was good in their hair. It was really, really good! Now before I continue, let me just mention that I usually wear my Crocs in the house to avoid another stair-surfing incident (just a side note). So I cleaned up the Jello and went on with my day. We played, we ate dinner, I cleaned the kitchen again. Finally at about 11:00pm, as I was heading to bed (without my Crocs this time because...well... who sleeps in crocs? duh!) I stepped in something cold, and gooey, and sticky. I looked down and ... what the heck?... there was nothing there! WHAT ON EARTH? It was not until I was down on my hands and knees with a wet cloth seriously searching for the source of the nastiness currently oozing between my toes, that I discovered orange Jello all over the floor. And I mean ALL OVER the floor. Seriously! It was there for about 8 hours and I never knew it. Gross... I know!

So it is my new mission as a mother to convince my children that Lime is the very best flavor of Jello. "Lime is all the rage with toddlers nation-wide". "The cool kids like lime". "Lime is the new orange!" (I know... nobody likes lime Jello.... and I am evil... and wicked in every way... Bwaaa Haa Haa!) But can you imagine how much better my life would be if they just loved lime?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There is a New Rule in Our Home

In every home there must be rules and regulations. Some rules are for safety purposes and must be strictly followed. No exception. Here are a few examples:

  • You are not allowed to hold a BBQ lighter anywhere near your brother's head. 
  • When mommy is unloading the dishwasher, you are not allowed to 'help' with the steak knives.
  • If you must wear a Huggies box as a hat, you are not allowed to go anywhere near the stairs.

Other rules help us to keep order in the home, and are followed with some flexibility. Like these:

  • All toys live in the toy room
  • Boys who are learning to use the potty must also learn how to use the Clorox wipes right beside the potty. (this is a good rule)

Then there are the rules that are mere suggestions...purely for mommy's sanity and for no other reason at all. These rules include:

  • The silverware lives in the silverware drawer and Thomas the Tank Engine does not
  • It's a good idea for only one boy at a time to sit in the Huggies box (this rule came to me as I type while all three boys are, in fact, trying to sit in one Hugggies box at the same time.)

But we have a new rule that comes under the heading of "Personal Growth and Self Discovery". This new rule applies to all members of the household and goes something like this:

  • Your binky, if you choose to use one, must be left in your crib / toddler bed / twin bed / king bed (whichever applies) and is only for use at night-night or nap time.

Four out of five members of this household are not having an issue with this new decree. (This rule is optional for those of us who are currently deployed as "bunk beds" are not officially mentioned in said rule). However, one of us is having serious difficulty with the regulation and had a major melt down yesterday when the rule went into effect. This rule is currently under appeal and could end up being heard by the Family Circuit Court (Daddy) and ultimately by the Grand kids Supreme Court (Grandpa). In either case, I am confident the letter and spirit of the law will be upheld. My biggest concern at this time, is that somehow the ACLU will get wind of this rule and come to the aid of a very distraught 16-month-old who believes his civil liberties have come under attack. Should this happen, causing a reversal of decision, we will consider bringing an amendment before the voters next fall.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Still Do

Long, long ago (10 years) and far, far away (California) these two young (30-something) kids got married. It was a beautiful sunny (75 degrees) autumn day! The birds were singing, the planets lined up, the universe was at one with nature and everybody was happy forever and ever amen........... Fast forward ten years, three children, and a couple of deployments.... And I am still living in Bliss (the state of mind, not the fort in Texas) and am completely happy to be Mrs. Army Guy.

When this picture was taken, I was happy and hopeful but not really certain about this thing called marriage. But I thought... "hey, I'll give it a shot". Turns out marrying this man is the smartest thing I've ever done. It has been an incredible journey and I am looking forward to growing old together.

Let me brag about my husband for a second. This is the kindest and most thoughtful person I have ever met in my life. It is just God's blessing to me that he happens to be my husband and best friend. This man wanted to be SUPER SURE I received my anniversary cards on time. (I say "CARDS" because his love is bigger than what can be expressed in just one Hallmark card.) Army Guy sent three this year. And he didn't just stick a .42 cent stamp on them and forget about it... he really covered his bases and sent them EXPRESS because the post office could not guarantee delivery in time if he sent them PRIORITY. So he sent them Express to make SURE they would arrive a full two-days early. They did arrive on Tuesday, Nov 18th... however I was not home and the postman (er... post lady-person) did not leave the express envelope on my doorstep. Instead I got a slip that said "we tried to deliver... bla bla bla... we'll try again tomorrow". Two days later and still no "EXPRESS" envelope. So I call the post office and they said "we don't attempt to re-deliver, you have to come get the package". To which I reply, "Then why did my letter carrier check 'we will attempt to re-deliver tomorrow'? Long story short... they will (hopefully) deliver my cards tomorrow. But I think the stupid post office owes Mr. Man a $18.95 refund. Anyway... I digress.... I included that story to make this point.... My husband will (and does) go out of his way (every day, all the time) to do whatever it takes to keep me happy. His motto is "Happy wife... happy life". Not that I am difficult to keep happy, but this man has not stopped making every effort, every day, for ten years of marriage. And I find that truly remarkable!

So, here we are 10 years later. A little more weight (US).... a few more wrinkles (ME)... a lot less hair (sorry babe) and I am still madly in love with him. He is more handsome today than the day I met him and I am truly blessed and loved.

Oh... and did I mention these (below) that were left on my doorstep today? Nice! Ten roses for 10 years,
and stargazer lilies because they were in my bridal bouquet. Just another reason to love him... he remembers the little things.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Toddler Time at a Local Steak House

Tonight we went to dinner with our good friends Brian, Kelly, and Elli to celebrate Brian's birthday at a local family restaurant in our neighborhood. They make a mean burger and are pretty family friendly, so I figured it would be ok.....

For those of you who don't remember how dinner at a steak house with 4 children under 5 might go..... Let me just set the scene for you....

Cast of Characters

Elli: Four years old and adorable. Elli enjoys being the center of the boys' universe.
Huey: A smidge younger than four. He adores Elli.

Dewey: Two-and-a-half. Also adores Elli but enjoys being a puppy more.
Louie: Affectionately called "Baby". He is not quite one-and-a-half and really, really adores ketchup.
Brian: Elli's dad and the birthday boy.
Kelly: Elli's mom and my dear friend

So here is just a small sample of how dinner went....

Elli: Huey!
Huey: Elli!
Dewey: Bark! Bark!
Baby: AAAUUGGHHH! (throws sippy cup on the floor)
Me: (frantically searching diaper bag for something to feed baby while we wait for the food)
Me: Dewey, get up off the floor. You are not a puppy!
Dewey: Bark! Bark!
Baby: (biting table)
Huey: I want a corn dog!
Me: You don't like the bread on corn dogs.
Huey: I do like corn dogs. I want them!
Me: Who smells poopy?
Baby: Uh oh! (Throws cup on the floor)
Dewey: I want chicken
Me: I really need to feed baby before he loses it.
Baby: (loses it)
Dewey: I want grilled cheese

Me: Dewey, do you want grilled cheese or chicken?
Dewey: Grilled cheese chicken
Me: Hey there's some bread on that table over there
Baby: still biting table
Brian: That was left by someone else
Kelly: They didn't touch it. It should be good.
Me: (getting leftover bread because I am desperate to feed baby ANYTHING so he'll stop crying... and biting the table!)
Elli: Ms. Lori, can I have some bread?
Dewey: Bark! Bark! Bread! (crawling under table)
Me: Dewey do you want chicken?
Dewey: chicken grilled cheese
Baby: (drinks milk and spews it onto the table. Laughs hysterically)
Me: Who smells poopy?
Brian: (taking pictures of kids acting like idiots in a restaurant.)
Me: This bread is hard as a rock.
Brian: (banging the bread on the table) This is good bread!
Elli: Ms. Lori, can I have some bread?
Waitress delivers food
Huey: Hey! I don't like the bread on corn dogs!
Baby: Whaa whaaa whaaa. Oh... French fries!
Dewey: I wanted a hot dog!
Huey (picking the bread off his corn dog)
Kelly (attempting to have an adult conversation with me)
Me: (blank stare)
Dewey: (Ignoring the plate his food was served on and eating straight off the table)
Baby: (Ignoring anything that resembles food while enjoying finger painting with ketchup)
Elli: Ms. Lori, can I have some butter on my bread?
Kelly: ELLI!
Brian: Hey is that Santa Clause over there? (steals a French fry from Elli's plate)
Huey: (finishes picking every scrap of bread from his corn dog and runs around the restaurant with Elli.)
Dewey: (loses all interest in food and returns to his dog house under the table)
Me: thank goodness we are the only ones in this restaurant
Baby: (standing in the high chair). Whaa, whaa, whaa. (Throws cup on the floor)
Me: Dewey get up off the floor
Dewey: (reaches from under the table to grab a chicken nugget)
Brian: Lori, are you ok?
Me: Who smells poopy?
Elli: Ms. Lori, can I have some butter on my bread?
All kids: running around the restaurant
Me: Blank stare

Fast forward four hours..... the kids are all asleep and I suddenly realize.... "Hey! WHO WAS POOPY?"

(note: the above described events really DID take place and are only slightly exaggerated. No children were harmed during the course of the evening... much... and all children DID, in fact, go to bed with clean butts!) :o)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Do You Think These Children Make My Butt Look Big?

... to which my husband would very cleverly reply, "No honey, your butt makes your butt look big". :o)

Okay, everyone calm down. Before you speed dial Army Guy to read him the riot act, keep these two things in mind. 1) He's not wrong... and 2) He didn't really say that... but he would if he were here. And that's the stuff I'm missing with him gone. The daily silly stuff.

Army Guy left for Kansas in mid October where he is currently in training prior to his deployment to Iraq. I've decided to start a blog mainly to keep him current with the latest happenings in this crazy house while he's away. But also to keep our family and friends across this nation up to date. For the next 15 months it's going to be me and these silly, adorable little men. Working like crazy not to become.... well.... crazy! So far so good! But we sure do miss Daddy like CRAZY!
Copywrite 2018 - Loretta Monroe