Monday, April 27, 2009

Twilight Zone

My blog is behind. Also, my behind is a blog. It's called "Tales from the Wide Side" Just kidding here people. I'm a little punchy still up at 1 am.

Emmeline has been fighting a cold which makes her a little more demanding. Still cute, but covered in snot and demanding. She has this endearing new habit when she nurses -- she has always grasped onto my pointer finger for all it's worth when she nurses, and now in addition without missing a beat she will pull off the Breast of Plenty and pull my finger into her mouth try to nurse my finger. Even when she is very sleepy, or very hungry. Even if my hand is quite far from her mouth. When I try to hold my hand back she kicks me and fusses. Then I tell her how silly she is and tickle her tummy. She looks at me, smiles, and goes back to the nipple. SO silly!!!

A quiet weekend in our wee house -- just the baby, the 14 year old, and the mom. Big, bigger and biggest as Chloe calls us. I enjoyed the relative silence immensely, and while I didn't get a lot done (cursed laundry pile mocking me as I type) I enjoyed my girls and am looking forward to the other kids getting home. Chloe and I talked about what our lives would be like if this was the actual size of our family; a bit like peeking into an alternate universe where familes only have four people in them.

It's really, really, really good for hubby to take the middle kids by himself for a weekend. I did all the grocery shopping for the trip, but he had to heat the food and keep an eye on the clock so they didn't become starving monsters. And manage four kids on bikes -- none of whom want to be last on the trail -- and swimming, and who rides where in the car, and on and on. It's good for him. I chuckled under my breath when he said on the phone, "It's not the same without you." Yep, I bet it's not!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Emmeline has a new favorite food. It was once peas, then sweet potatoes, now it seems a big stalk of raw celery to suck on is the new beloved. I just watch that no long, fibrous strings come off in her mouth and she is as happy as can be. No nutrients in celery, though, so it's only on special occasions she gets to have it. Take a peek at her wee fingers -- so cute!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Sunday, and it's warm. Mid 70s warm. What are the kids to do when the lemonade stand dies off due to no interest? (I stopped underwriting lemonade stands a long time ago ... )

Why, dig out the camping gear and assemble a massive tent (which you have used exactly once before you realized you hate camping) for your family of eight. Confer with siblings that since dad is away on business he will never know (dad is not a tent-in-the-front-yard lover). Ultimately call dad on cell phone anyway to see where stakes are.

I don't think I could put that tent together ...

My beautiful, complex, smart daughter

My funny, optimistic, sweet son

They are still outside accordingly playing "bloody murder". One of the girls who cannot tell a lie (Megan) assures me it is perfectly safe. Update: they are now playing "sardines". I don't care what they're playing. All but the teen are out there, goofing off and laughing. Laughing so hard I hear them through the baby monitor which can pick them up through the master bedroom windows (they are closed). Ahhh, if only they keep this excitement all summer!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Keeping Nike in business

Track season is in full run here in the northwest. As luck would have it our first meet was sunny! My daughters are seasoned pros at track and field, but my son is a first-timer. We were exceptionally proud of him when ...

Brian running the relay

Long jump boy ahoy

Megan, left, skunking the competition at hurdles!

Megan running the first leg for her relay team

Chloe runs track, too, but per her request no photos will be posted. I totally understand.

In other news, Nolan needs to see a specialist for his cough which we just can't beat. He has an inhaler. He takes allergy medicine. We have tried more than one kind. He has been on antibiotics. He uses a humidifier. He has had a chest Xray. Still, he coughs so hard I expect his eyes to pop out. The last time I talked to our ped. about his cough she wanted to let it ride a while, but time to insist on a referral.
*Emmeline is 6.5 months now. She had a hard time with her last round of shots which was terrifying. High fever, bright red rash -- your basic cause for massive parental guilt and nightmares. And, that was with leaving out Hep B which she can get later. Happy to say she is now showing no residual effects of her vaccines.
*Final note: my sister in law is having another boy! That makes three boys for them; a perfect fit.
*And with that, dear reader, I am off to school because the nurse just called and I have a child with an upset stomach and 101.5 fever awaiting pick up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


For the love of God, no more egg salad!!!!!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

We should all be so cute

"Idiosyncrasies of Emmeline"

* I love to be outside. When my mommy walks to the door holding me I pump my legs and get very excited.

* Thanks to my Daddy I have touched a kitty's whiskers. Now I squeal whenever I see Miss Tiger.

* My favorite food is peas. I do not like pears. My sister Megan is very good at feeding me. I will eat more if you let me have my own spoon. I need high chair, and soon.

* I do not like the car. I like to be out places, but not the getting there part.

* When I am very tired I will only nurse on the left side. And I do not like to nurse if Mommy has just taken a shower. Too soapy, too clean. Give me some body odor, Mommy.

* When I am crying sometimes "Itsy Bitsy Spider" cheers me up. Not just the first verse; all six from that book we have. You know, climbed up the kitchen wall, the rocking chair, the maple tree ...

* When my brothers and sisters are gone I like to look at their school pictures on the wall. I pump my legs and stare.

* I am very ticklish on my sides. Sometimes I laugh so hard I get hiccups!



Many of my clever amigas are blogging about their even more clever Easter crafts. Very impressive, actually. I instead am writing about some biome vases my twins brought home from school. Brian's biome was the Galapagos -- see the big tortugas eating plants? We saw a real tortoise from the Galapagos at the Phoenix Zoo last year. Sorry the photos are out of sync; can't get them to cooperate and am out of time!

Megan's biome was the Chiuaua Desert. Note the cactus and scorpion.

Incidentally, dear readers, do none of you want to be my follower? Really? Over 800 hits and no followers? Pretty please?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Signs of Spring

I was indulgent today and took a long walk with Emmeline (who slept in her stroller because she was up last night with a horrific cold. Again. But that's another post altogether). I felt badly because there were so many other things which needed attention. But, exercise is good for us, right? And the rains return later this week.

This tree species is the bane of allergy sufferers city wide!

Quite an impressive trillium
Ok, this one cracked me up. These homeowners pay a lot of money for a crew to trim their hedge. This year they missed a branch!
Any ode to the changing of seasons cannot escape a comment about the up in laundry! This is from the weekend, and does not include clothes from teenage daughter and 12 year old son whose wash was completed before this round. I don't blame them -- the day starts out cold, then maybe they get wet ... or bloody ...can make several outfits for six kids.

Sunny weather!

Oh, Oregon's got it good with the weather this weekend! Like 99.9% of Portland-metros we dove right into an ambitious yard improvement project. This side of our house gets minimal sun and hardly any water in the summer, so we decided to make a path. Pavers are from Washougal. Progress so far? Five pavers.

Oh, but my kids had fun getting seeds in the ground. Chloe planted nasturtiums every where we could think of, and Nolan watered his peas. Suzanna and Megan planted bachelor buttons and zinnias. Brian, alas, bought corn seeds which we are having trouble finding the right spot for since they are supposed to be planted six wide, and four rows deep. Our yard just isn't that big! Well, maybe, if Tom would agree to lose the grass and turn the front yard into an organic garden, which is my heart's desire. But, I digress. Word has it the Easter Bunny may bring more seeds. And, no, I really don't like fake terra cotta planters; it's what we happen to have so we're using them. Close your eyes and imagine nicer ones.

Wait! Did we get a dog? Oh, nay, I say, not in this lifetime! "Tis the neighbor's dog! All the fun, none of the work!

Ah, homemade popsicles from Gatorade. Gatoradesicles?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Free Aveeno Hair Products!

Dear Readers:

I shamelessly stole this link from another mommy's post! My apologies, but wanted to share the word you can get free, full sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner from Aveeno. Just fill our their short questionnaire & you're good to go!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Growing kids

All six of my children are in a growth spurt right now. Consequently, they are also eating more.

Parents who cook for large numbers of children know of what I speak. It means boxes of cereal at breakfast; sandwiches, snacks, and bagels in lunches; a dozen muffins after school and a dozen huge tacos, vegetables and rice devoured at dinner; one gallon of milk, one loaf of bread, and one pitcher of orange juice per day. This is followed by ice cream at night. And baby is nursing so much I can hardly keep her full.

I know it's good for them and necessary. With three kids running track, and one playing indoor soccer as well, it is to be expected. Still, the food demand around here is mind boggling, and lately the more I cook the more they eat, with no left overs. Yet, I still hear "Mom, there's a famine!" and other remarks suggesting there is not enough food. I just feel I cannot keep up. I have invested time in finding particularly filling, heavy foods to serve along with my regular dishes. Recently when serving cheeseburgers I fried eggs and served them inside the bun on top of the beef. Anything to fill them up. Oatmeal and cheese (not together!) have become invaluable, as has the potato.

They're. Still. Hungry.

I always wondered how buffet style restaurants kept in business -- their food is low quality and frankly, not at all appealing to me. Until now. I might just drive these starving kids over to one and let them loose!

Sesame Street Gangsta Rap

My hilarious brother in law forwarded this link to us. The funny part to me is I knew which original episodes these clips came from!