Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wii facts

1. How many discs can a 3-year-old fit into the Wii gaming system? 5

2. Where can you find do-it-yourself Wii disassemble instructional videos? YouTube

3. What kind of screwdrivers will you need to disassemble the Wii? special order tri-head screwdrivers

4. How long does it take to disassemble the Wii without the tri-head screwdrivers? very long

5. Who is my hero for fixing the Wii (without the tri-head screwdriver) so I could exercise? Dominic

6. How long did above mentioned 3-year-old spend in her room in timeout? long enough to fix the Wii and then complete exercise routine*

*She didn't mind the timeout. Siblings kept visiting, and we heard a lot of laughter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Rachel just ran past me, and she was buck naked! When I asked where her diaper was, she just looked confused. I remembered hearing her play upstairs. At the top of the stairs in front of the bathroom, we found her discarded (dry) diaper and a pair of Lisy's underwear. Rachel was sad when I put the diaper back on her. Apparently she was trying to put on big girl underwear like her big sister.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bedtime activity

All four children sleep in the same room, per their request.

Benjamin has decided to be afraid of the dark and thus needs the door left open with the hall light on.

Rachel has figured out how to get out of her crib.

This evening when I tried to put Rachel back to bed, she immediately swung her leg over the side again. Since I do not want to make a dozen trips up and down the stairs, I told the children that if Rachel got out of bed again, then I would close their door.

Now I keep hearing Benjamin run across the floor above me saying, "No, no, no!"

*update: Dominic just passed by the kids' room. Rachel is in the process of tearing apart her bed. She didn't even notice Daddy because she was so focused on pulling up her mattress.

Yes, she has been screaming through all of this. If she were a cartoon, she would have steam coming out of her ears. She also does a funny little trill - perhaps she is destined to speak Spanish fluently.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Conversation stopper

In the middle of dinner tonight, Benjamin dropped this non sequitur: "But seriously, I'm a spoon."

He laughed really hard at our confused expressions.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


For the full year that Rachel had to sit in a rear-facing car seat, Elisa would reach over with her foot and kick her. Now they are both in forward-facing car seats and Lisy has stopped kicking her sister.

Today Elisa fell asleep in her car seat. I heard a strange thumping noise coming from behind me. When I looked back to investigate, I started laughing. Rachel had taken off her shoe and was using it to hit the sleeping Lisy in the head!

Lisy didn't wake up until we got home, and Rachel was pleased as punch until I took away her shoe.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Children and pregnancy

I enjoy listening to my children's comments about my current pregnancy.


I tend to get a bit emotional when I'm pregnant. One day Samuel bore the brunt of my needless anger. I apologized profusely, then I explained that pregnancy hormones make me a little crazy. I also told him that it would be alright if he told me to go take a nap, which he does sometimes. About a week after that first incident, I started ranting and raving during dinner (Dominic was at work - he is good at helping me calm down). I stopped myself, then apologized to the children (I apologize a lot when I'm pregnant). Samuel looked at me and said, "lt's ok, Mom. It's because of all those hormones."

He says he has sympathetic memory loss.

Samuel was lamenting to Dominic, "I want to eat ramen noodles, but Mom's pregnant, and they make her nauseous."

This morning Samuel asked why boys can't have babies. So I told him it's because boys don't have the right parts, only girls do. He was very sad. Dominic said that the ability to stand up to pee makes up for it.


Before I made the announcement to the kids, Benjamin, who is fairly observant for a 5-year-old, asked if I was sick. Yes: morning sickness, the 9-month flu.

When Benjamin found out that the baby could hear because the ears had developed, he immediately started growling at my belly. "I want the baby to come out growling," he said. The annoying part is when he growls at my belly in public. He thinks it's hilarious.

I get clumsy and drop things a lot when I'm pregnant. The other day I dropped the pot of spaghetti sauce, and it splashed all over the kitchen. I made the boys help me clean it up. Benjamin was very happy to help. When I commented on his good attitude, he said he didn't mind, because he's a boy. Wait, what? Then he explained that because he is a boy, he won't ever get pregnant and drop things all the time, so he doesn't mind helping me now.


She's happy and excited, though I'm not sure how much she understands. However, if someone asks, then she tells them, "Mommy has a baby in her belly." I guess she understands enough.


Rachel wants to be like her big siblings, and so she growls at me, too. She doesn't fully understand the concept of growling at the baby in my belly, because she growls where she can reach - at my legs.

I get pregnancy-related headaches. One morning Rachel heard me say "Ow," as I held my head. A couple of hours later, she came up to me and said, "ow." "What's wrong, honey? Where does it hurt?" She climbed into my lap and pointed at my head, then she gave me a hug.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ladies' man, part 2

Samuel likes Natalia, the girl who sits next to him in class. He told me the other day how she is so pretty that he can't think straight and that sometimes he has a hard time concentrating on his work. Then he showed me that day's assignment - he had colored it red so Natalia would like it.

I didn't realize that kind of behavior started so young.

And then there is Benjamin. First of all, Benjamin is always lamenting about how he doesn't know who to marry. "That's OK," I assure him, "you probably won't meet her for another 10 - 20 years." Then he calms down. He doesn't usually talk about individual girls, though.

Today he came home from school talking about how much fun he had in gym class. They were playing tag, and he was the tagger. He had fun because he kept tagging the same 2 girls. Why did he keep tagging those girls?

"Oh Mom, they are both as beautiful as each other." Then he gave me a happy, smug smile.

Oh boy. Not him, too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ladies' man

The boys ride the bus to and from school. Benjamin, a kindergartener, has to sit in the front seat. Samuel usually sits with him. Samuel has a few friends on the bus, including Rebecca from church and Kenia from school, but the girls don't know each other.

As they were getting on the bus one morning, Benjamin saw Kenia and told Samuel that he could go sit with her instead of him.

"I started going over to sit with Kenia, but then Rebecca caught my eye," Samuel said with a twinkle in his eye and a smile, "so I sat with her instead."

I fear the time he is 16 and not just 6.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The onion

There is a town nearby that has a lot of onion farms. It is now harvest season. As we drove through the onion fields the other day, we saw quite a few onions by the side of the road, having obviously fallen off the trucks. Dominic commented that we could collect all those onions and fill up a bag.

Then from the back seat Lisy said, "I need an onion."

"Oh? What would you do with an onion?" asked Dominic.

In her sweet little voice she replied, "I will pick it up, and I will eat it, and it will be yucky (said in a disgusted voice), and I will throw it away!" she ended happily.

Dominic drives through those same fields on his commute, so when he could, he pulled over and picked one up for her. She was thrilled when she saw her onion. It was just what she wanted. I sliced off a piece and gave some to her, Rachel and Benjamin to try. Poor kids, they started out so eager as they each took a bite and then were so grossed out.

"She was right," noted Dominic."She knew exactly what would happen."

However, Lisy did not want to throw away her onion. I put it in a plastic bag for her, and she carried it around for the rest of the day.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Imagination can only go so far

Dominic's eyewitness report:

Lisy carefully spread out her blanket on the hardwood living room floor. She stood on the edge of her blanket, stretched her arms out to her sides, jumped, and belly-flopped onto the middle of her blanket. She groaned, stood up, shook herself off, and went off to play something else. What was that all about? he wondered.

When I came back, Dominic told me the whole story. Lisy heard his account and got very excited. She jumped up and down, and proudly proclaimed, "I flyed like a bird!"

Ohhh, of course. Why didn't we realize that?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On a school night, too

Llama Grandma came to visit for a couple of weeks. On her last night here, which was a Tuesday, we decided to go out to the movies. We saw The Last Airbender in 3D. Going home we told the kids that it was very late for a school night and they had to go straight to bed.

Samuel said in awe, "I can't believe they let us in."

"What do you mean?" we asked.

"They actually let us into the movie theater on a school night!"

Aaah, the innocence of youth. I hope it's a long time before he finds out the truth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bus stop

While Grandma was visiting, she picked up the boys from the bus stop so that I could take naps (thank you!).

The second time she met them, Benjamin said, "Well, this is strange. I'm not used to this."

"What do you mean? She does this all the time!" Samuel commented.

Two children with opposite reactions to the exact same experiences. That pretty much sums up the differences in their personalities, too.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Humpty Dumpty

. . . sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.

"How sad," I said, "that they couldn't put him back together."

"That's because they didn't have any tape, or band-aids," replied Benjamin.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lisy Outside

Elisa has been playing outside all day, and I just poked my head out to check on her. She happily pronounced that "I have my lawn chair under my bum."

That's a good place for it.


Thursday, August 26, 2010


Lisy at the tide pools in June.

Elisa just cracks me up sometimes. To begin with, at least once a day she begs me to take a picture of her. She won't be doing anything interesting, just sitting on the couch watching t.v. I don't want a ton of random pictures, but I will let her jump into a picture I'm about to take.

When it's time to get out of her car seat, she asks to "buckle me out." It makes sense, since we buckle her in.

Along a similar line, she slept late the other day. I told her that she slept in. "No," she said, "I slept out."

Yesterday Lisy pulled the dish drainer out from under the sink. She then started strumming it like a guitar and singing "Iron Man." Only 3 and already a rocker.

This morning Lisy pointed a gun and proclaimed in her toughest voice, "I a p'incess."
Dominic needed to clarify her statement. "You're a princess?"
"With a gun," she continued in her tough voice.
She may be all girl, but her brothers have been a big influence on her imagination.

Lisy, the ballerina princess, napping on the stairs.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Parenting fail, gaming win

For those of you not involved in the gaming world, StarCraft II just came out last week. StarCraft is an exciting real-time strategy game from Blizzard Entertainment, and it's sequel was highly anticipated for a decade. Dominic bought StarCraft II the day it came out. He has played it in all his free time (fortunately he still goes to work and does his homework). The children love watching the game.

A couple of days ago Samuel asked if he could play StarCraft II. Dominic thought sure, why not? Let's see how it goes.

Samuel played the game. He grasped the basic concepts: he knew the controls to use, the sequence of events and basically what to do. He said he learned from watching Dad. Well, he lost spectacularly. The computer thoroughly tromped him. Dominic was sure Samuel would feel discouraged and not want to play again. Quite the opposite happened. Samuel was excited just to play. Instead of feeling discouraged at his loss, he was thrilled to get as far as he did. Not only that, but now he's eager to play again.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Fair Conversation

We take our children to the county or state fair every summer. Yes, it's always hot. And yes, it's maddening when our kids act like quails. Overall we enjoy the fair and think it's a good experience for them, so we keep going.

While we were enjoying the county fair experience yesterday, we were passing through the cow pens when Samuel said that we need a cow.

"Oh really? What would we do with a cow?" I asked, thinking of how we have no room for barnyard animals.

"It's simple," he said. "Feed it, then butcher it."

Dominic commented, "I think we've lived in Idaho too long."

When we asked Samuel if he even knew what "butcher" means, he answered correctly. "Kill it and prepare it to eat for food. I want a cow drumstick."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Future member of P.E.T.A.?

Our children learned about minks and how they are used to make fur coats. They were horrified, to say the least. Benjamin said there should be Battle Minks to protect the others, so no one can turn them into coats. He was a Battle Mink for the rest of the evening.

Can you imagine this little guy in armor? It would be so adorable that no one would take him seriously.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Unusual comfort object

Here is Rachel with a typical comfort object, a blankie.

Not long ago Rachel saw me leave the room, and she started crying and reaching past the baby gate - her usual routine. Although she couldn't follow after me, she picked up my shoe and hugged it. She even showed Daddy her Mommy's shoe. When I came back, she was no longer crying, just carrying my old, dirty, smelly, shoe around with her.

I thought that was a one-time deal. But alas, she continues to carry my shoe (or sandal) around the house. It's actually pretty funny, unless I'm going somewhere and can only find one shoe.

On the other hand, Rachel enjoys playing with all shoes. She carries them around and tries to put them on (with little success). She especially likes swinging shoes by their laces or chewing on the velcro. However, my shoe is the only one she snuggles with.

Hey, look! I found pictures of Rachel chewing on Dominic's
sandals during our camping trip. Too bad you can't hear her giggling through the photos - she was very happy and proud of herself.

P.S. Check out the new poll in honor of Rachel. I put it up for a long time, so hopefully we'll get a lot of responses.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lightsaber vs. Princess

It is always interesting watching Benjamin (almost 5) and Lisy (3) try to play together. He is such a boy, and she is such a girl that sometimes I wonder why they even try.

This morning Lisy was happily playing in her princess world. Benjamin came along with his lightsaber and started fighting with her.

Benjamin made a slashing motion across her head.
Benjamin: "Now you're dead."
Lisy: "But I don't want to be dead!"
Benjamin: "You're not dead. Your head grew back, so you're undead - an undead princess."
Lisy: "I don't want to be a undead princess!"
So Benjamin tickled her until she laughed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Visual impact of food

I don't buy candy very often, but recently I had a craving for a Kit Kat. So I bought some for myself and the kids to share. Lisy started eating her piece, then stopped suddenly. I asked her what was wrong.

"I can't eat letters," she said. So I told her that it's still chocolate and that it won't change the way it tastes. She finally ate the rest of her Kit Kat.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fashion opinion

"I think this shirt is too small for you. See? It doesn't fit quite right," I said.

"But it's pink," Lisy replied. And the matter was settled.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I love you this much!

Samuel: "Mom, I love you. Even your nose. And boogers. Hahaha!"
Me: ???
Samuel: "I just wanted to make myself laugh."
Me: Uh-huh

Sunday, June 27, 2010

ornery starts young

Rachel just turned 1 in May. She has developed her own unique sense of humor. She also likes to pester people. Here are some examples.

One day her pants were a little long, and she kept stepping on the hem and accidentally pulling them down. Dominic came in the room, saw her showing some diaper and said, "Rachel, your pants are falling down." Whereupon Rachel reached down and pulled her pants all the way down to her ankles, then laughed.

When she isn't wearing a hair clip, I constantly move her bangs out of her face. She has been known to immediately reach up and push all her hair back in front of her eyes, or to shake her head back and forth, accomplishing the same goal.

Rachel has become very possessive of my lap. If she sees anyone sitting on my lap, she throws a fit. It doesn't matter if she just got down or is playing happily across the room. She makes a beeline for me, says "aah" in a mad way or crys until her face turns red, and then tries to shove her big brother or big sister out of the way.

Benjamin was trying to pour himself a drink. Rachel repeatedly hit the top of the pitcher, smacked the cup out of the way a few times, and hit Benjamin's hand. "Hey!" Benjamin exclaimed in exasperation. Rachel ran off laughing.

I put my laptop down to help Lisy in the bathroom. When I came back, it was off. "Did Rachel turn off my computer?" I asked Dominic. Rachel came over and emphatically shook her head no, finally laughing at me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Nose Pose

This morning while I was out, Dominic taught our children some basic yoga poses. They were excited to show me what they learned. So excited, in fact, that they started making up new poses. Although they had more to show me, these are the ones that made sense.

Benjamin with an alpaca and her cria
The Nose Pose - he plugged his nose
The Fall Down Pose - from a standing position, he fell straight down
The Couch Pose - he flopped onto the couch

Samuel feeding the cria, Gypsy Girl
The Hair Pose - he held his hair out to the sides
The Pillow Pose - he sat on a pillow and tried to scoot forward
The Tickle Pose - he tickled his own tummy and then fell to the floor

Rose and her cria, Brooklyn Rose.

The alpaca pictures do make sense. Dominic's yoga instructors breed alpacas, and then give educational tours to children. We even got to see them shear an alpaca while we were there.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"To die, to sleep..."

Elisa and Samuel were quietly playing together, while Benjamin kept charging in and wrecking what they were working on.

Me: "Benjamin, you seem to have a lot of energy. What can you do to use up all that energy?"
Benjamin: "I can die."
Me: "Does dying use up energy?"
Benjamin: "Yes. Look at this."

He then proceeded to die in various ways around the living room. Some of them were very theatrical, and they were all noisy. Afterwards, he was able to quietly play with his siblings without destroying their work. I guess he really knew what was best for himself.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Breakfast Conversations

This morning we had a typical breakfast. It was so funny that I kept thinking we should have been recording it somehow. And this is how.

Dominic heard the cat meowing at the door and told Benjamin to let her in. He complied while complaining, "But I don't want my milk to get soggy."

One of Lisy's birthday presents was a baking set with an oven mitt. Samuel was playing with it, and Lisy was trying to get it back. Benjamin took her side and said, "Hey, that's Lisy's oven mint!"

Lisy spilled some milk, like usual, and this time she tried picking it up with her fingers to put it back in her cereal bowl.

Lisy has a singing birthday card that goes something like, "Every girl can beee a princess..." and she plays it all the time. Dominic sang along but altered the words slightly: "Every girl can beee an aardvark." We all laughed. Then Samuel sang his unique version: "Every girl can beee a princess, if she eats an aardvark." Dominic was so proud of him.

And finally, as we were clearing off the table, I noticed a spot on Benjamin's t-shirt. "What's that on your shirt? You just put it on. It can't be dirty already."
Benjamin: "Well, it happened when I wiped up my spilled milk."
Me, trying to clarify the situation: "You used your shirt to wipe up the table?"
Benjamin: "Heheh, yeah."

I love our family meal times.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lisy sayings

Lisy is such a girl, but she also has older brothers. She is so used to hearing her brothers talk about Batman that she has a hard time adjusting to new superheroes. One day the boys were playing Spiderman, and Lisy kept calling him Spiderbatman. They could not convince her to take out bat.

She recently received hand-me-down Batman pajamas. When Dominic saw her playing by herself, he asked her what she was doing. Lisy has a high-pitched voice, and yet in her lowest voice possible, she glowered and replied, "I'm Batman." No matter how much we correct her, she is not Bat Girl.

Lisy enjoys the t.v. show Ben Ten (check out the wikipedia link, or you might not understand this paragraph.) Whenever I wear my watch, she constantly hits it and tells me that I'm different aliens. One day she got a hold of her brother's omnitrix, and she would hit it, make all the appropriate sound effects, and pretend to be the various aliens. She was pretty good, too. Even if I couldn't understand what she was saying, I could still determine the correct alien by the way she talked.

All the kids have a favorite Beatles' song. Benjamin prefers "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Samuel and Lisy both really like "Yellow Submarine." I think it's adorable when Lisy goes around singing, "we aw yive in a yeyow submawine!"

If the cat goes somewhere it isn't supposed to be, Lisy likes to helpfully shoo the cat away with, "Soo! Soo!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm a little teapot

First verse:
I'm a little teapot short and stout
Here is my handle (put a hand on your hip)
and here is my spout (stick out your other hand)
When I get all steamed up, hear me shout
Tip me over (lean over at the waist)
and pour me out!

Second verse:
I'm a little teapot short and stout
Here is my handle (put a hand on your hip)
and here is my ... (put other hand on other hip, then look down in surprise)
Oops, I'm a little sugar bowl!

Benjamin's verse this afternoon:
I'm a little sugar bowl short and stout
Here is my handle (put hand on hip)
and here is my other handle (he stuck out his other hand)
Oops, I'm a little teapot!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I can explain ...

The kids were downstairs first this morning, as usual. When Dominic and I came down, we heard the cat meowing at the door to come inside. Dominic let her in.

Samuel said defensively, "I told Benjamin to let her in, but he didn't even get up." He constantly delegates things to his servants, also known as his younger siblings.

Benjamin piped up, "I did get up! I got myself a granola bar." Well, since you put it that way, I guess there was no harm done.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


This morning I overheard the kids playing:

"It was Grandma! She's evil," said Samuel.

"That would explain what happened to poor Grandpa!" said Benjamin.

I never did find out what they were playing. More importantly, what happened to "poor Grandpa?"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Did she think she was helping?

Lisy was sad. She came over and sat next to me and cried. At almost 3-years-old, Lisy cries about a lot of things.

Rachel was nearby. She picked up a toy and held it over Lisy's head. I gently moved the toy away so that if it fell, it wouldn't land on Lisy. We did this several more times. Rachel holding up the toy, and me gently swatting it away.

After a while Lisy felt better and stopped fussing. While I was distracted and talking to Lisy, Rachel snuck in one more attempt, this time succeeding. She dropped the hard plastic toy directly on Lisy's head. Luckily Lisy felt better and barely noticed. Rachel, happy with her successful drop, turned away.

If only Rachel could talk. I want to know what she thought she was doing, and why she did it. Unfortunately no one can explain the mind of a baby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The force is strong with us

During meals, our kids will sometimes reach out their hands and make a fist. The person across the table from them will act as if they are choking. The force choke is common in every household, isn't it?

This evening the children took it a step further. They would wave their hands in an attempt to do the Jedi mind trick. Then Dominic got in on the action. When someone would start the Jedi mind trick, he would do the force choke in their direction, and they would abruptly stop talking and make choking noises.

At one point Samuel looked at me, waved his hand, and said, "you want to give me more potatoes."

To which I replied, "I'm your mom. Jedi mind tricks don't work on me."

Dominic waved his hand at Samuel. "You want to ask politely."

Samuel, laughing almost too much to speak intelligibly, sheepishly asked, "Mom, can I please have more?"

"Sure. Just remember that we're older, more experienced, and stronger in the force," I answered.

There was definitely more laughing than eating going on here tonight.

Rachel, back in January.

Monday, May 3, 2010

an order of meat with a side of meat

For dinner we had hamburgers and hot dogs. There were enough hot dogs for everyone to have one, but not two. Benjamin quickly ate up his hot dog and wanted more.

Dominic said, "You can have a hamburger. What do you want on it?"

"Half a hot dog," Benjamin instantly replied.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Blow darts

Yesterday morning we drove around looking at yard sales and listening to NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" We heard a funny story about an elderly woman who was arrested for shooting blow darts at people walking past her house. When asked why she did it, she said she liked to hear people say "Ow!"

Thus began a very silly game of all the boys (including my husband) pretending to blow darts at each other and lots of "ow's" abounding. At one point Samuel kept "shooting" darts at Benjamin, who was getting very frustrated. In a commanding voice Dominic yelled back, "Let Benjamin shoot darts at you!"

I started laughing hysterically. Dominic just looked at me and sighed, "Oh, that's gonna go on the blog."


Oh, it gets better. Today on the way home from church the boys started "shooting" darts again, which made Rachel laugh. The "shooting" didn't last long, and Rachel began to fuss. Ever the helpful dad, Dominic called out, "You need to start shooting darts at Rachel again to make her laugh!" They did, and she did :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beautiful World

Elisa has a healthy self-esteem. After I brush her hair, she says that her hair is beautiful. After I brush her teeth, she says her teeth are beautiful. And of course when she wears beautiful dresses, she is a beautiful princess.

Recently, we were looking at the newspaper together. I pointed out an ad for a mother/daughter look-a-like contest. "Do we look alike?" I asked. She turned to me and solemnly stated, "I'm cute." Yes, yes you are, but you didn't really answer the question, I thought.

The other day I noticed that she was staring at her hand. When I asked her what she was doing, she replied, "My hand is boo'ful." Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where even your hand is so beautiful that you can't help but stare at it? I hope she always sees herself that way.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stinky Feet Pete

My son is strange. OK, so we all know that, but this is yet another example of how strange he can be.

Tonight Benjamin plugged his nose while I helped him brush his teeth. When I asked why, he told me that my breath stinks. I do not feel offended. After all he is 4 and a half, and children his age are blunt. Then he and Samuel started pestering their dad by smelling his dirty, end-of-the-day-just-took-off-shoes feet! Alright, I admit it: I ate onions today. But is dirty sock odor really more pleasant than onion breath? To make it worse, they kept laughing (but that might have been due to Dominic's annoyed reaction).

Dom: Yes, yes it is. Onion breath is worse than smelly socks.

Speaking of smelly feet, Benjamin can have really foul smelling feet at the end of the day, and he's been like that since he started wearing shoes. Dominic first called him Stinky Feet Pete about 2 years ago. Benjamin thought it was hilarious! He loved to go around telling people, even complete strangers, that his name was Stinky Feet Pete. The boys have now named one of their clone trooper commanders Stinky Feet Pete.

Yes, he is wearing socks with his sandals. He insists on it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Child's Prayer

As my children begin to say their own prayers, I've learned never to know what to expect.

Lisy: "Dear Heavenly Father, Amen." Sammy used to pray like this, too. It took a bit of coaching, but he did learn to put something in the middle, as will Lisy.

Benjamin: Often prays for the food to not be poisoned. I make it; I know I don't mix poisonous substances into dinner, yet he says that every time.

Samuel: Likes to pray for our house to never burn down or get struck by lightning. This is very important to him. He even asks for a blessing of fire safety on our future houses, too.

Last night, Samuel asked that we get to church before the opening prayer (I'm happy if we get there before the Sacrament song). And wouldn't you know it? We were all ready an hour early! So we drove around looking at landscaping to get ideas for our yard, and we arrived at church before the prelude music started. Thank you, Samuel.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

salt and band-aids

I am currently wearing a Transformer band-aid. Why? Well, there are two stories here.

1) My mom used to complain about us kids licking the salt shaker. How odd, I thought. I never licked the salt shaker, and I never saw anyone else licking it, either. Where did she come up with such a crazy idea? As we were clearing off the dinner table last night, Lisy came up to me and happily proclaimed, "I lick the salt!" Eww. So perhaps Mom had a valid reason for thinking it was one of us. Sadly, I cut my finger on the edge of the shaker lid while washing it. Our current band-aid choices are neon colors or Transformers.

2) When Samuel was about 2 years old, he needed a band-aid. I gave him the choice of either the superhero or plain ones. He surprised me by choosing the plain band-aids. But when I put it on him, he started crying. It took me a little while, but eventually I realized he wanted a plane, as in airplane, band-aid. I felt so bad for him - he thought I lied to him. Now we only get decorated band-aids. We'll probably never buy plain band-aids again, unless we find some with planes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Parents say the darndest things

I was just sitting here, next to MaryRuth, after telling Benjamin not to "shoot" his sister with his sword.

I turned to MaryRuth and said "He can't just stab people with his sword, he has to shoot them."

I then realized how funny that sounded, especially since he's still killing people, is stabbing to death that much better? We knew our prohibition of guns would never really work, but it's amusing to see what they turn into guns sometimes.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Girl on a mission

The children are all outside playing right now. Lisy just came in, picked up one of my shoes, and started heading back outside.

I stopped her. "Lisy, what are you doing with my shoe?"

"I have to kill a spliler (Lisy talk for spider)," she responded and purposely marched out.

I heard a small commotion and one of the boys saying something about killing a bug. Then Lisy came back in, put my shoe away, and went back out to play.

Several things struck me as interesting. First, she saw a bug outside and felt the need to kill it. Well of course there was a bug outside - that's where bugs live. I'm surprised she didn't see more of them. Why kill it? She certainly wasn't scared of it. We've tried to teach our children not to kill any life unless necessary; I guess she isn't old enough to get it. Next, she felt it necessary to use one of my shoes, as if they are the official bug killing weapons. Finally, for a person who gets distracted at the drop of a hat (we call her our little quail), she had amazing focus to finish her self-appointed task. She even put the shoe back where it belongs!

It was so amusing and unexpected that I wanted to share it.

Dom - OK, spliler isn't going to be a real tag, but I thought it'd be funny. We'll keep an ear out for spliler related stories.

*Update: Now when Dominic needs to kill a spider, he uses my shoes, calling them the "official spider killing tool."

Monday, April 5, 2010

choices and consequences

A few years ago, when Samuel was about 3 and Benjamin about 1, I was refereeing a fight between them and told them that it was not okay to hit each other (something I continue to remind them about to this day). I gave Samuel a choice and the resultant consequence: don't hit again, and if you do, you have to go to your room. Samuel took a moment to think about it. Then quick as lightening he hit Benjamin and ran into his bedroom. I guess sometimes it's just worth it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

healthy competition

Background: The boys have a Superman car. When they shake it, it makes revving noises, says "faster, more powerful" in a dramatic voice, and then speeds off for a few feet.

So I have this new work-out program: EA Active on the Wii gaming system. I usually exercise once Samuel is at school, and Benjamin likes to exercise with me. Samuel likes to join me during his days off, but he and Benjamin have to take turns.

Supposedly we work together to achieve the set goals, but the boys try to "beat" me. The other day Samuel was the lucky one to exercise with me first. Benjamin kept saying, "Mommy, go faster, more powerful." When it was his turn and the timer started, Benjamin pleaded, "Mommy, don't go faster, more powerful!" Uh huh. I guess he's just a fair-weather fan.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sunny days

As the weather warms up and the sun shines more, I keep sending the kids outside to play and always say, "It's a beautiful day. Go out and enjoy it."

The other day after I told Benjamin to go outside, he had to go to the bathroom. When he eventually came out, he asked, "Mom, is it still beautiful outside?" When I answered in the affirmative, he happily ran out to play.

The weather was very nice again the next day. We were going somewhere as a family, and I was upstairs getting ready while Dominic ushered the children out to the car. He told me that as they went outside, each one exclaimed, "What a beautiful day!"

It reminds me of growing up in Maryland and my mom would say, "This is a California day," every time the sun was out and the humidity was low. I always thought, "Yeah, right, how can any place always be perfect?" Then I moved to California during the dry season and discovered that she was right!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

on the phone

Tonight when I was talking to Dominic on the phone, Lisy wanted to talk, too. As soon as I handed her the phone, she said, "Shh! I'm on the phone." I hadn't said a word. Most of her side of the conversation was incoherent. Then right in the middle of her babbling, she told Dominic "I'm talking to Daddy on the phone! My phone in the playroom," followed by more babbling. I thought I would die of the Cutes.

I am glad she let me take the phone back. When Samuel was little, he would get the phone and run away from me, then babble on and on while I tried to find him and pry the phone out of his hands.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Checkout line

I have heard parents complain about inappropriate magazine covers at the grocery store checkout stands, but I never thought much about them. A recent cover showed a celebrity mom wearing a bikini and holding her baby, who was just in a diaper, with a headline about her post-baby diet and exercise plan. I saw the picture and thought she must've had surgery. Samuel saw the picture and said, "Look Mom, that mom and baby are both naked." I didn't want him to think checkstands showed nude pictures, so I replied, "Well no, she's wearing a swimming suit and the baby's in a diaper." He looked again and said matter-of-factly, "No. They're naked." Perhaps I should be a bit more concerned.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

As if she understands

Rachel is 9 months old. She screams a lot (happy, sad, tired, etc.), and sometimes I call her Screech Owl. Although she can feed herself finger foods, I still prefer to feed her for some meals.

At dinner I was alternating between feeding her and myself. At one point I stopped to talk to Samuel. Rachel thought I took too long to get back to her and screeched in that loud, glass-shattering pitch she has. I turned back to see a very annoyed baby and said, "Now that was completely unnecessary. A simple 'more please' would suffice."

Dominic started laughing, and I realized how inappropriate my statement was to my audience.

Rachel showing off her first tooth. It took almost a month, but she finally has another tooth now.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

WHAT kind of lights?!

Background: When Benjamin was born, he developed jaundice and had to stay in the hospital an extra day under bilirubin lights.

This afternoon I was telling the kids about when Dominic and I met, dated and married. (They love to hear our story.)

I ended it with: "And 2 years later, Sammy was born!" Samuel smiled really big.

Then Benjamin piped up, "and then I was born and put under the booby lights!"

I tried to correct him, but bilirubin was difficult for him to say.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Potty training angst

So Lisy had to go potty the other day; however, she had already made a mess in her pull-ups. I couldn't get there immediately. By the time I arrived, well, remember that scene in "Daddy Day Care" when Eddie Murphy's character was looking aghast at the bathroom and the kid said, "I missed" as he came out? Yeah, something like that.

I was wiping everything down with Lysol disinfecting wipes when I noticed that Lisy had tried to clean herself up. "Oh, I see you already wiped," I commented.

And in her sweetest, proudest voice she said, "Your welcome," and I looked up into her happy, smiling face.


Although the boys have been potty trained for awhile, I always make them go to the bathroom before we go on any where farther than 20 minutes away. Sometimes they adamantly tell me that they do not need to go. But I insist. "Just try to go. You might surprise yourself."

And sometimes they come back and excitedly proclaim, "Mommy! I surprised myself!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a child's definition

"I'm in pain. It's like hurt but worse." -Benjamin, who fell off the swing set and was in pain.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"helping" with the laundry

I've started getting the boys to help more with the laundry. I had just told them to switch the clothes from the washing machine into the dryer, when Rachel woke up from her nap. I went to get her and came back to this:

Monday, February 22, 2010

helpful children

Me: "Argh! I'm getting really annoyed with this song in my head!"

Benjamin: Reaches toward me, grabs air, and makes a tossing motion behind him. "There you go, Mom. I took it out of your head."

Me: "Thank you. That is very sweet."

Samuel: Runs into the room, singing the dreaded song nice and loud. "Ha! Now it's in your head again!"


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

No Quotes?

Our little ones are funny each and every day, and wouldn't you believe it - but the day I actually want to post something, I can't remember anything to mention? Well, here is a run-down of what our kids' lives entail right now:

Rachel: Being cute and responsive. She cocks her head and smiles when you talk to her. She is also crawling around everywhere.

Elisa: She will tell you a story and just know that you understand every word! (of course, even a parent who loves and tries to understand her gets maybe 30% at times). She is so sweet, and makes her sister laugh in the car.

Benjamin: Doesn't pretend to die all the time, but instead wants you to guess which superhero he is at that moment. Half the time, I think he does it just to get ideas about who he can pretend to be.

Samuel: He's working so hard to learn everything at school. He's a great big brother, though he hurt Lisy today in the store (knocked her down onto the cart and gave her a goose-egg on the forehead). He got in a lot of trouble, and was very sad and embarrassed for hurting her. At least it was an accident - but he barely talked till we got home.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Me pretty

The other day, Lisy was in the bathroom with me while I was washing my face. She got into my lotion and spread it on her cheeks. Then she beamed up at me and declared, "me pwetty!" She is very self-assured and confident in her looks and style, as evidenced by this outfit:

And here is a great example of how she likes to wear her pajamas backwards. Even though her clothes were all twisted, she insisted she wanted them that way and that they were comfortable.


Monday, January 25, 2010

A career is born

Samuel's first tooth came loose last week. He has been playing with it of course, and it's just gotten looser. Tonight Benjamin was annoyed with Samuel's tooth, so he reached in and yanked it out! Dominic asked Benjamin if he would like to be a dentist one day. He said, "yes!" Now he's going around saying he will be a dentist when he grows up.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Forest is so Dark

I was pointing out a squirrel on a tree to one of my little clients, when he told me that he couldn't see the tree because all of the branches were in the way. I chuckled to myself and made a comment about not being able to see the forest for the trees. His ears perked up and he replied, "Oh, because it is dark in the forest, you can't see the trees or the sky or anything. You can't even see if there's a bear behind you." I talked to him a little more about this dark forest, though I didn't try to explain the quote to him. It was not quite the explanation I've come to believe for that quote, but amusing nonetheless, so you can't see the forest for the trees, because it's dark, and there're bears in it.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

hair care

Shortly after giving Elisa her first haircut, I styled and hairsprayed her hair. I think my hairspray smells good compared to others out there.

Her reaction? "Eww."

She doesn't mind it so much anymore.


Monday, January 18, 2010


When Samuel was a toddler and we still called him Sammy, he lost something important. Dominic started looking around the house, and Sammy wanted to help. He energetically ran from room to room, poking his head in to say, "In heyah? No heyah," all the way down the hall. (At 6 years old, he still can't say "r.")


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Just a spoonful of sugar ...

"... helps medicine go up!" according to Lisy. We recently watched "Mary Poppins," and the boys are constantly singing "medicine go down" over and over and over. Lisy, on the other hand, happily insists on her own version.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Mexican Manicotti

Recently one of my lil Mexican clients said that he had "Italian Enchiladas" for dinner. He said that they were really good and asked if I had ever had them. I scrunched my eyebrows together, trying to figure out what he was talking about, and said "probably not." Then, with a burst of inspiration, I asked if "Italian Enchiladas" used tortilla or pasta. Pasta of course. Ahhh - so it was big pasta with cheese in it? Yes. That's called Manicotti. It's good, with all that white cheese in it. I smiled and said, Yes, Italian Enchiladas are good.


Saying it like it is

This afternoon the kids and I were frosting cookies. The kids didn't make a mess, though they did eat quite a bit of frosting. By the time we finished, the kids were bouncing off the walls and were very noisy. I thought out loud, "what is going on with you guys today?"

In a matter-of-fact tone, Samuel said, "It's because we're kids, and we just ate a lot of sugar, Mom."


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

best friends?

After school Samuel told me about the mean things his friend, Ryan, kept saying to him. "He doesn't sound much like a friend," I commented.

"Yeah," he sighed, "but he's a really good racer. Sometimes he beats me. Sometimes I beat him. And sometimes we tie." Hmm, so that's what makes a friend.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eat my sock


"Eat. My. Sock," Lisy slowly repeated for me.

So I turned around in the car and saw that Lisy had taken off her shoes and had managed to get her foot up on Rachel's carseat, practically in her face. Rachel thought it was funny and tried to bite Lisy's foot - she couldn't quite reach it, and everyone laughed.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Et tu?

Lisy was growling loudly in church to make Samuel laugh. Dominic sternly whispered to her to stop, whereupon she giggled at him and kept growling.

He looked up at me and said, "Ever feel like your authority is slipping?" All the time, Dear.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Silly Luke

My son was twirling around, making explosion sounds. "Benjamin, you're silly!"

"No, I'm Luke Skywalker." and he then returned to his twirling and spitting.