Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm a grandma?

Rachel (2 years) put a doll in her shirt and announced that she was pregnant. "Congratulations! When will the baby be born?" I inquired amiably.

Without batting an eye she yelled, "Get it out!"

"Yup, she knows what it's like," laughed Dominic.

"Hm, did I say that a lot during my pregnancy?" I mused.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Little kleptos

I haven't seen the cough drops in a couple of days. This afternoon I found the girls with handfuls of them. "Lisy, where did you find the cough drops?" I asked curiously.

"In my room!" she happily declared, dancing around the room.

"Why are they in your room?" I wondered.

"So no one will see me take them!" And she danced away.


When Benjamin was between 1 and 3, he was a very good pickpocket. He would come up to us and smile, babble, and even giggle sometimes. His expression would then turn serious, and he would run away. He usually took our chapstick, sometimes coins or a cell phone. He was very smooth. It took us awhile to catch on to what he was doing, because we couldn't believable that a toddler was capable of it. Even when we figured it out, he could still trick us - we wanted to believe he actually came over to play with us. Luckily Benjamin has grown out of this habit, but he still likes to be sneaky.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Picture day

Today is picture day. The boys had bed-hair like usual, except this morning I tried to tame the wild strands. Samuel, 2nd grade, was very good about it. Benjamin, 1st grade, kept messing up his hair right after I combed it.

I was getting very frustrated. "Benjamin! Just let me comb your hair and stop messing it up!"

"But I want spikey hair!" he demanded.

"Tell you what, if you leave your hair combed nicely today, I'll spike it tomorrow," I suggested.

"But then it will be too late!" he lamented. Well, I guess we'll just have to see how his picture turns out.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing the point

I'm trying to teach the children about modesty and privacy. The boys seem to be getting it. The girls? Well . . .

Getting dressed is a lengthy process for Lisy (4 years old), because she is so easily distracted. This morning she had put on her shirt and was playing with her underwear, almost putting it on a couple of times. The boys, having been dressed for awhile, came running into the room to play. Lisy freaked out. "Don't look at my underwear!" she screamed, as she hid the underwear behind her back. At this point I stepped in and helped her finish dressing so that she could go play. It was difficult keeping a straight face; I wanted to laugh! Perhaps I need to be a bit more specific about what others shouldn't see.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I enjoy listening to the kids play, especially when they don't know I can hear them.

Today I heard them hold an auction. "We'll start the bidding at a quillion dollars. Who will give me a quillion?" Samuel asked. I don't know how much that is, but I think it's out of my league.

When the auctions ended, Benjamin said, "Harry Potter, I'm your identical twin. I was born yesterday and grew up fast." Even with magic, how does that work exactly? And then, how on earth did they jump from auctions to Harry Potter?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lisy at Morro Bay

We ate lunch at Morro Bay before heading back home this weekend. While I brought Lisy to the bathroom, the boys were outside enjoying the sights. They found a HUGE brown beetle. The beetle was about four inches long.

Lisy came up to it, and tried to make a decision on her feelings towards it. She stood over it, pointing at it while stuttering:

"I.......I........I... HATE THAT!"

It started out calm, but quickly became a very emotionally charged statement, once she hit the "hate" part.

It really was hilarious - apparently she doesn't like large creepy crawlies.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Lisy's birthday

Here are my favorite Lisy quotes about her birthday.

We gave her a zhu zhu pet that looks a lot like our guinea pig, Thor. Samuel named the guinea pig after the super hero from The Avengers. When I asked Lisy what she wanted to name her zhu zhu, it only took her a second to say, "Sor, God of Sunder." Have I mentioned that she can't pronounce the 'th' sound?


All morning long Lisy has been asking, "Is it still my birthday?" She had a lot of fun yesterday. Since we'll go shopping later to use her gift card, I'm sure it will feel like it is still her birthday.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Samuel's day

Samuel usually follows instructions promptly. Today, however, we were constantly repeating ourselves to him. In frustration Dominic demanded, "How many times do I have to tell you?"

Without skipping a beat Samuel replied, "two." That response lightened the mood, and we all laughed.


After finishing our dinner of Chinese take-out, Samuel wanted me to read the fortune from his cookie (I'm not sure why he wanted me to read it - he's perfectly capable of reading it himself).

" 'At this moment, someone is thinking good thoughts of you,' " I read.

Gasp. "Is that you?" he asked excitedly.

"Yes," I said. How could I say, or think, otherwise?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lisy and the gazebo

Dominic put up our gazebo this evening. While he was working on it, Lisy told me that "Daddy is making a tent!"

Then the boys and I had to go inside to do chores, but Lisy stayed outside until Dominic finished. "Did you have fun being Daddy's big helper?" I asked her when she came back in.

"No, I was Daddy's little helper," she corrected.

Elisa playing under the half-constructed gazebo last summer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's not always their fault

Lisy dropped something down the drain, then I shoved it beyond reach while trying to retrieve it. "So anyway, I made a bad situation worse," I concluded my tale to Dominic.

"Isn't that what parenthood is?" he asked.

"It sure feels that way sometimes!" I said.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tailoring to your audience

Samuel doesn't like cheese. He avoids eating anything he thinks might have cheese in it. Benjamin, on the other hand, eats more food with cheese on it. One night last week, we had a cheesy broccoli side dish at dinner.

"Hey Benjamin," said Dominic as he set the table, "this broccoli has a cheesy sauce."

"Yay!" said Benjamin.

Then Dominic turned to Samuel. "Hey Samuel, the broccoli has a special sauce. You'll love it." Samuel just looked at him skeptically.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Watch out for the bedding!

Benjamin, while rolling around on the floor with his blanket, "Aah! I'm being eaten by my blanket!"

To which I calmly replied, "Then stop going to bed with carnivorous blankets."

This picture was actually taken last fall. Benjamin had fallen asleep like that, and he wouldn't wake up for dinner.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"But wait, there's more!"

We haven't had cable in a couple of years, but of course we got satellite to go with our new t.v. The children don't remember watching shows with commercials. So the other day Dominic and the kids were watching t.v. when an infomercial came on. Samuel got very excited about whatever was being advertised. He kept telling Dominic about all the amazing features. Then came the inevitable "but wait, there's more!" part. Sammy jumped up and excitedly said, "Dad! There's more!"

Dominic responded with, "Yes, they always say that."

Sammy, sadly, "They do? Oh."

What a sweet boy. Too bad Dad had to be the one to burst his bubble (though I'm secretly glad it wasn't me this time).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Lisy held up 3 fingers. "How many is this?" she asked.
"Three," I replied.
Lisy put down a finger. "How many is this?"
"Two," I answered.
Lisy put down another finger. "How many is this?"
"One," I said.
Lisy held up her fist. "What is this?"
"Zero." Of course.
"No. It's a rock," and then she started playing rock-paper-scissors.

This has nothing to do with anything, it just cracks me up.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Poisoned food

Benjamin did not want to eat his vegetables. He told me they were poisoned. Eventually he ate the cucumber.

"HA! You didn't die! It wasn't poisoned after all!" I exclaimed. Benjamin laughed so hard, he almost fell out of his seat.

When he finally choked down his tomato, he jumped up and down saying, "Mom! I didn't die! The tomato wasn't poisoned, either! Uuugh." And he fell down dead.This time, I was the one who laughed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exit is not Elisa

<--Lisy with a Jawa at the mall. The stormtroopers frightened her, but she liked the Jawas.

Background: We gave each of our children a name that begins with a different letter. They always learn "their letter" before the rest of the alphabet. Although Elisa prefers to be called Lisy, she knows that her letter is E.

Story: The other day I was shopping at several different stores with the kids. Lisy kept trying to go through the emergency exits or the doors labeled "This is not an Exit." The boys were very helpful in pulling her back from disaster every time.

And every time she came back, she complained, "but Mom! It's my letter!" referring to the E in Exit. She thought the doors were labeled "Elisa" just for her.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

She knows her colors?

Elisa: "Daddy, these shoes are brown."
Dad: "That's right. What color are your socks?"
Elisa: "Pink!"
Dad: "Yes. And what color is your shirt?"
Elisa: "Purple!"
Dad: "Very good. And what color is your pants?"
Elisa: "Spiderman!"
Dad: Laughs too hard to speak coherently.
(And yes, a picture of Spiderman is on her pants.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Miss Manners

Rachel at the San Diego Air and Space Museum, Dec. 2010

Rachel is the most polite toddler I have ever met. She started saying "yes" months before learning "no," though she has become quite proficient and loud with using it. She says "my turn" when she thinks someone has played with a toy long enough. She can say "please" without promptings, but not always. And she says "thank you" for everything: when I hand her a drink, when helping her get dressed, even while changing her diaper. She really does amaze me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Benjamin and Samuel are demonstrating how to play the new musical instrument they invented. In case you can't tell, that is a slinky strung up between 2 chairs.

I have learned that although a child may have excellent hearing, some things we say may not make sense. So the child's mind will come up with something that does make sense.

For example, I told the children the story of "Hansel and Gretel." Afterwards, Samuel kept asking me to tell him the story of "Han Solo and Gretel" again. Now that would make an interesting story.

We watched a tv show about high speed car chases. Benjamin called them "hyper car chases." Well, yeah, I imagine the driver is a bit hyper during the chase.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Memory concerns

The other day I was helping Rachel step up over the curb, when Benjamin remarked that he didn't know she could do that. I told him, "yes, she can step up when I help her."

I didn't think much about it until the next day. I was helping Rachel walk up the stairs, so I pointed it out to Benjamin.

"Wow!" he said. "I can't believe you remembered that. I said that yesterday!"

OK, so I know I have memory problems when I'm pregnant. I never thought I was that bad, though.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pining for Disneyland

"Oh Mom, I want to go back to where dreams come true." -Samuel

Samuel's maze at the Lego store in Downtown Disney. Although it was fun, he knew it wasn't really Disneyland.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The girls at my appointment

I unfortunately scheduled an appointment while Dominic was working, so I got to take the girls with me to the doctor's office. Luckily it was just a regular check-up. The girls really liked listening to the baby's heartbeat. After the doctor left the room, both Lisy and Rachel climbed up on the exam table, lay down and lifted up their shirts. They wanted me to "listen" to their babies, too. So I tickled their bellies. Now Rachel keeps telling me that she has a baby in her belly, too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good oral hygiene begins at a young age

This morning Rachel came knocking at my bedroom door with a handful of curly thread. Then I noticed the minty scent.

"Rachel, do you want me to floss your teeth?" I asked.

"Yeah!" she responded as she did her happy dance.

I'm glad she likes to floss her teeth; too bad it took the rest of the floss for just 16 little teeth.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lisy cracks us up

Lisy in front of the San Diego skyline.

"What do you say?" prompted Daddy.
"Excu- *BURP*" replied Lisy.
Oh, it was hard not to laugh out loud.


"Mom, I a ugly princess," Lisy stated one day.
"Oh? Do you want to be an ugly princess?" I asked.
"No," she replied matter-of-factly, but she did not elaborate.


During our Christmas vacation, the boys got in trouble more than once because they wouldn't lift up the toilet seat and would pee on it. After we came home, Lisy had an accident. She made it into the bathroom but no further. Lisy explained the situation to me, and with a big smile on her face, she ended by telling me, "but I didn't pee on the toilet seat!"


Right in the middle of singing "76 Trombones," Lisy made an explosion noise.
"Lisy, did you just blow-up the Music Man?" I asked in disbelief.
"Yes!" she happily answered.

Elisa is not exactly graceful. She falls down all the time. Dominic has joked that she would fall off the floor if it wasn't below her. She also runs into things, like walls and doors, a lot. We used to feel a little concerned for her safety, but she does this so often and usually just shakes it off, that it's much more comical to us.

The other night at dinner Lisy fell off the bench and Dominic stifled a laugh. She sat back on the bench and said, "Daddy laughs when I fall down!" She then proceeded to purposefully fall down through the rest of dinner.