I haven't been able to get on here for a couple days....no time....must.....go....take...nap.....or else I am gonna be one of those pathetic people that only makes it awake until 11:47pm tonight and then falls asleep. (That has happened to me before.....twice actually. Once I was pregnant though, so I get a pass on that one. The other time...well, I am just a big dork I guess).
Anyways....we had to go van shopping ALL DAY yesterday.....we were, however, successful!! Woo Hoo! We ended up with a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country. I will blog (including pics :)) the whole story later. But, right now I am going to go study the back of my eyelids. Or at least try really hard to...
Monday, December 31, 2007
I haven't been able to get on here for a couple days....no time....must.....go....take...nap.....or else I am gonna be one of those pathetic people that only makes it awake until 11:47pm tonight and then falls asleep. (That has happened to me before.....twice actually. Once I was pregnant though, so I get a pass on that one. The other time...well, I am just a big dork I guess).
Posted by Valarie at 4:34 PM
Friday, December 28, 2007
I have, in the last couple of years, had many, many people ask me why in the world I would want to have so many children (I still say 4 is a "normal" sized family). "The world is such a horrible place to raise children these days."...."Children are sooo expensive." "Having more than 2 is just way too frustrating for me." Ok, that is fine. That is your prerogative and wanting a whole slew is mine. Well, today I was sitting in my family room, folding some laundry, and heard this LOUD scream come from the toy room. I hopped up and ran (as fast as my chubby little legs could carry me) into the room and found this....... (WARNING: Video contains decent amount of screaming.....adjust your volume accordingly :) )
That is my niece who will be one next week. She absolutely loves her cousin Kyle. Obviously she thinks he is the funniest thing on the planet. He would build up a small tower of blocks, knock it over and scream at the same time and she would laugh so hard she could barely breathe.
So, for all of those who are reading this that have asked me (or anyone else for that matter) WHY I have a herd of small children, that video is the answer.
And just FYI.....Devyn actually laughed harder after I had made the little video...in fact, she laughed so hard she actually spit up a little. It was oddly adorable. :)
Posted by Valarie at 3:55 PM
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I have a van. It's a minivan really. It is big and shiny and blue and we have a love/hate relationship.
I can remember when I would talk about how I would never be the kind of mom to drive a minivan. Those moms were old and frumpy. They were soooo uncool!! That was back when I only had a couple of kiddos and we all fit comfortably into a car. Then, when I was pregnant and about to pop with number 3, I went for a test drive in a cute, blue minivan and I fell in love instantly. I no longer cared about being "hip." I wanted large sliding doors that allowed me to strap my children in without breaking my back and 15 cup holders for all the juice boxes and a HUGE interior to try and hide all of the crackers and cereal that would be thrown and crushed on the floor (seriously, I think we could probably sponsor and feed ten starving children for a year with the amount of food we have crushed on the floor of that van right now....).
However, I got to that point in my life where being "uncool" was just fine and dandy with me. I have grown fond of being unhip. It is feasible. It is definable and it is oh so comfortable.
So, this love hate relationship between my van and me just took a turn for the worse. When I was driving home from the store two days ago the air quit working. I know, this wouldn't really be much of a problem for most of you currently, but it is still hot here during the day and the last thing I need is 4 sweaty, whiny kids in the back of my van stinkin' up the place every time I need to go anywhere.
So, we took our little minivan in to "the car doctor" today and the news is not good, of course. Is there ever good news when you have to take your car in?? (Things I would rather do than have to take my car into the shop: have a root canal, go in for semi-annual gynecology visits, jump naked into a pool of thumbtacks......ok, so that last one is a little bit dramatic...but you get my point.) The van will be expensive to fix. More money than is worth putting into it at this point.
I told one of my friends this and she got all excited and was like "Well, at least now you don't have to drive a minivan around anymore! You should go look at SUVs." I gasped. I couldn't believe it. I will NOT be a traitor!! No, thanks. I will stick with a boring, uncool, "stuck-in-a-family-way" minivan, thank you very much. (I read an article once about how minivans scream "I am stuck in this boring family life and don't know how to escape it." I don't remember exactly what it said.....or where I read it.. or who wrote it. It must have been a really great article. :P)
I have started looking at vans online now....trying to decide which kind we should start to look at. I made sure the blinds were closed tight so my poor, dying, shiny blue van outside couldn't see. I think it would hurt her feelings and she may revolt and spit her oil out all over the driveway or quit blowing out her nice, cold air to help cool us down on a hot....oh wait...she already did that, huh? Anyways.....
So it looks like we have a couple long days of van hunting ahead of us. And yes, it will for sure be a MINIVAN that we buy. I will be driving one of these abominable vehicles around until I die and someone pries the keys out of my cold, dead hand.
DISCLAIMER: In case you didn't sense the sarcasm in this post...I LOVE minivans and I don't think they are uncool or ugly. I think they have come a long way and are actually pretty easy on the eyes these days. Although, maybe that is because my eyesight is not what it used to be.....anyhoo......
Posted by Valarie at 7:55 PM
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I threw together this montage of pics from Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. We had a great time and we were so glad to have my sisters and my niece here to open presents with us. I would love to write more, but I have to go clean my house (that now looks like a tornado has ripped through it).....or, maybe I'll just go to bed. Yeah, that sounds like a much better plan.
P.S. Kyle picked the song to go with the pics. It is his "favorite Christmas song ever, forever."
Posted by Valarie at 8:51 PM
Monday, December 24, 2007
We have a tradition in our family on Christmas Eve. We all get a new pair of pajamas, we put them on and then drive around and look at Christmas lights.
We were all excited to watch Alaina open hers this year, since this is her very first Christmas. She is (obviously) still way too young to understand the whole concept of a gift....
I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!!
Posted by Valarie at 8:56 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Today was one crazy day. I had to run around and finish up all my last minute Christmas shopping. I didn't really have anything in particular I wanted to get, but I love a great deal and I knew the stores would have lots of 'em today.
For some reason, my brain wasn't working right this morning. I was talking to my husband and came up with the bright idea to take EVERYONE....all 4 children....out shopping with us. Why would I do this? Today of all days! I knew the stores would be crowded. I knew it would be the kind of day where you have to wait in line to even walk down the aisle in the stores. I knew that my boys would knock over displays during their constant fist fights and that I would have to listen to my daughter complain that it was "boring" and about how we had been in the store for "like a thousand million hours." I KNEW it would be horrible. But I found the words coming out of my mouth like word vomit.... "Why don't we get everyone up and ready and spend the day out shopping together?"
As we were walking down one of the aisles of a store I happened to glance over and see a magazine that had Jamie Lynn Spears on the cover. I know you all (at least those of you who don't live under a rock:) ) have heard about this 16 year old child who has recently announced to the entire world that she is 3 months pregnant. It makes my heart hurt. I know that there are many young women in the world who find themselves in the same situation. It would be so hard to be in that situation if you lived a "normal" life. I can't even imagine what the paparazzi are going to do to this poor child. But that is a whole other post.
So anyways...back on track. So, my daughter, who is 7, began to get ancy. She didn't want to be in Kohls anymore. She wanted to go to a toy store. She began to cry. Her cries became louder. I tried to comfort her. She started to throw a fit. Normally, I would then begin the "You are way too old to be throwing a fit in public" lecture, but today I found myself enjoying her fit. Yeah, didn't see that coming, did ya? I grabbed her and hugged her. I bent down and gave her a great big kiss on her forehead.
I have never been so happy to have my little girl act like a LITTLE GIRL. I am so glad she hasn't decided to grow up yet. Time is going by so quickly and I know it won't be long until she is 16 and having to make some difficult decisions and I pray that she will be able to make good decisions. I know that I often find myself saying things like "You are 7 years old and 7 year olds don't act like that" or "don't act like a baby unless you want to be treated like a baby." I forget, probably because she is my oldest, that she is ONLY 7 and it's normal for a 7 year old to act like a child because a 7 year old still is a child.
Sometimes I wish I had a pause button........But since that is out of the question, I think I will try a little harder to really enjoy her childhood....temper tantrums and all.
Here are a few random pics of my beautiful Mikaily...I love you....you will always be my little princess.
Posted by Valarie at 9:24 PM
Friday, December 21, 2007
Posted by Valarie at 7:53 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
We went and watched Kyle's Christmas play tonight and I have to say, in my completely bias opinion, my child is so adorable. He did such a great job. They were in a HUGE community center and they didn't have any microphones for them (although, they managed to have them for the older children.....). He used his BIG voice just like we had been practicing and there was no mention of standing when peeing!! Woo Hoo!!!
Here he is with a couple of his co-conspirators...er, I mean classmates. They all looked so cute in their white shirts. Little boys always look so funny in button up shirts with collars when you tuck them into their pants. I am not exactly sure why. Maybe because they look a little "Erkle-like." I dunno. I always say Kyle looks "adorkable" when he is dressed up and looking all handsome with his hair brushed all nice and neat.
They had them all sit up front in the "Reserved" section together. They were supposed to sit in these seats until the end of the program (which was an hour) and then the Pre-K kids were supposed to go up for the finale with all the older children (The kids in the school are grades Pre-K - 7th grade). The teachers had them go sit in their chairs 30 minutes BEFORE the show started. Any guesses as to how long they lasted in the chairs......? Anyone...anyone...?? No, alrighty. Well, they were very first on the program and as soon as they were done the teacher sent Kyle (along with 4 other boys) back to sit with us. They skipped the finale. This was not surprising to me. I was pleasantly surprised when they made it to the start of the show.....how sad is that??
Here he is up on stage saying his "Hi! I'm "L," I stand for the Lord Jesus" line. Ummmm, I worked so hard on getting him to use that BIG voice of his I guess I forgot to tell him I also wanted to be able to see his big head. But.....how cute is he...?? Even headless he is just so stinkin' cute! The play was great. Ok, well it was good. Alright, it was a kid play. So it was hardly bearable. They did serve an ENTIRE meal afterwards with fish and chicken and beef and salad and rolls and lasagna and TONS of Greek food (most of which I didn't eat because I had NO idea what it was). And there were the most AMAZING cupcakes you have ever tasted....made by yours truly, of course (HEY! What kinda woman would I be if I didn't toot my own horn every once in awhile..heehee). I bet I came out of there at least 5 pounds fatter....and it was totally worth it!!And of course, what kinda night would it be if something didn't get spilled down someones nice, white shirt. This happened to be the juice from a cherry that Kyle bit into and then promptly spit out when he realized it wasn't an "ice cream" cherry. All I have to say is, Thank Heaven for bleach pens. :)
Posted by Valarie at 9:22 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Hmmmm, not a whole lot to write about today. I was just skimming through some other blogs. Good gravy people are boring!! Not any of you, of course. :)
Does anyone know where I can get some spiced gumdrops? I ended up having to sign up to bring gumdrops to my son's class party. Now I can't seem to find them anywhere. Dang gumdrops! I don't have anything against gumdrops, they just wouldn't have been my first choice. When I went to drop Kyle off at school I noticed they had the sign up sheet hanging. WooHoo! I love doing these things. Only, when I got up to the sheet I noticed the sign up Nazi had gotten there first!! My eyes skimmed down the list and all I saw was Tori....Tori...Tori....Tori...Tori....Tori...over and over. Why? I don't understand why people do that? Do they not realize that there are 14 kids in the class and 14 things to sign up for...??? Someones mommy didn't teach them how to share!! So anyways...I am in the market for some spiced gumdrops.
I have a new best friend. Last night I went to Wal-Mart to do my grocery shopping. It. Was. CROWDED!!! When I got in line there were 7 people in front of me. The women that was standing in the line beside me had a little boy. He was waving at me so I waved back and said "hi." I asked her how old he was. She said he was 17 months. We made small talk, since we had plenty of time....(33 minutes to be precise...that's how long I was in the stinkin' line!) We talked about the weather and Christmas presents and about how much we hated standing in lines. She asked if I had any children and I told her I had 4. Her response (exactly) was "Oh wow! You don't look old enough to have 4 children!" She is my new best friend.
I was looking out the window this morning and noticed a strange car driving VERY slowly around our cul-de-sac. I stood there and watched to see what they were doing. They would drive and pause at the driveway at the end of each house. Hmmmm....What in the world were they doing? They pulled up to the end of my driveway. I could see two men chatting in the front seat. They backed up a little to where my mailbox was and the passenger window rolled down. Ummmm, are they stealing my mail? Be my guest. You're not gonna get anything but bills and maybe a Christmas card or two. The passenger taped a small, rectangular card to my mailbox. I watched as they drove around the court and then up the street....stopping at two other houses and placing the same little white paper on the mailboxes. I waited for them to go out of sight and then went out to see what it was. It was a business card....for a full maintenance lawn service.....specializing in re-mulching and clean-ups. Uhhhhhhh, should I be offended?!?! :)
Posted by Valarie at 8:09 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Today, I almost became a widow. Now, before you go getting all worried and panicked for me, read on.....
Let me give you a little background first. We go to church each week. My husband teaches one of the youth classes there. So, last week he comes to me and tells me that they are going to be leaving 15 minutes early the following week (that would be today) to go somewhere for some "training" (I put that in quotes because usually "training" means sitting on a couch, zoning out for, oh, about 45 minutes, and then eating some cookies) after church this week. He told me he had talked to someone else and he had a ride to the training and back home after, so we wouldn't have to worry about taking two cars or blah blah blah blah....I said it was fine. No big deal.
So, as we are getting dressed and ready for church today my children are being HORRIBLE. In fact, I think horrible is an understatement. They were being whatever is 2 steps up from horrible. They continued on the whole time we were at church. I was happy when it was time for me to send them off to their classes and be able to enjoy some time away from them while someone else dealt with their horribleness. One of the reasons I drag them off to church each week is because I actually get some ALONE time (Oh, and plus they get to learn about God and how to be non-horrible of course).
But anyways...Skip ahead to church ending. I gather up my little horribles (with the help of my wonderful sister, Tracy) and begin herding them towards the exit. *GASP!!!* I don't have keys!! My husband had driven here. I searched my FABULOUS red bag to see if my hubby had dropped the keys in without my knowledge. Nope, no such luck. He was gone. Off to "training" with the keys to my freaking van in his freaking pocket!! I need to call him! No, that won't work...he doesn't bring his phone to church. I didn't know where he was. He never told me. I didn't know exactly when he would be home. HE NEVER TOLD ME! All I knew is that I was standing in the hallway with a hungry baby and three screaming banshees that claimed to be my children with no freaking keys!
Luckily I have one of the most amazing sisters in the world and she drove out to my house, got the extra set of keys, and then drove out to the church to bring them to me (I say one of the most amazing and not THE most amazing because my other sister, Tracy, is as equally amazing because she volunteered to stay and wait with me to help me tame my wild beasts).
We ended up having to wait for an hour. It's a good thing I am no rookie mom and had a few things in my bag to keep them occupied for at least a chunk of that time. (See!!! Sometimes it comes in handy to carry a bag of marshmallows with you everywhere you go! If you don't understand that...just click HERE and it will all make sense)
I spent a good chunk of that hour coming up with ways to repay my husband for his "mishap." Hence, "Today, I almost became a widow." We actually ended up pulling up into the driveway the same time he was being dropped off. He was oblivious. He had no idea he had left us stranded. He was genuinely apologetic. DANG IT! Why's he gotta be so darn cute?? I gave him a short, but firm, guilt trip.......and then I made dinner. *big sigh*
Posted by Valarie at 8:23 PM
Friday, December 14, 2007
When I saw the theme for the week I new right away what I wanted to post photos of. (Sorry they aren't the best quality...they were taken 7 years ago with a crappy camera and scanned in) When my first daughter was born she came 2 months early. Yup, she was a trouble maker from the very beginning. She was VERY small. She weighed a whopping 3lbs. 3oz. Her arm was no bigger around than my middle finger and her feet were just a tad longer than my husband's big toe.
You could hold her in your arms forever and your arms never got tired.
She was the smallest baby I had ever seen. I remember the first time I held her. Everyone talks about how they are afraid they are going to "break the baby," and I remember thinking it was a real possibility when I held this little featherweight in my arms.
Posted by Valarie at 7:50 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Kyle has a cute little speaking part in his pre-school's Christmas program coming up next week. We have been practicing a lot at home. He was assigned 2 letters of the alphabet and had to come up with something that started with that letter that pertained to Christmas. Today, as I was making dinner, I heard Kyle, Mikaily and Evan in the toy room....
Kyle: "Hi! I'm "K." I stand for the Kings. My name is "L." I stand for the Lord Jesus."
Mikaily: "Hi! I'm "K." I stand for kangaroo. Hi! I'm "L." I stand for the Lord Jesus."
Evan: "Hi! I'm Evan! I stand when I pee."
Posted by Valarie at 7:34 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Why is it that every time I go into my kitchen there is a cabinet door standing wide open? For some odd reason, my husband can't manage to close the cabinet doors.....or the dishwasher or the drawers. Really. Is it so hard to raise your arm and *flip* your wrist? I am pretty sure the door does the rest of the work. I believe it takes, oh, I'd say about half a second. I tend to be a pretty cool, up to date gal (OK, the fact that I just called myself a "gal" may say otherwise, huh?). Did I miss the memo? Will the dishes automatically fly into the proper place if I leave the dishwasher standing open? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say, "That would be a negative!"
When I became a homemaker there were many things that I knew were in the job description. Sleepless nights, thousands of poopy diapers, endless laundry, chaotic mornings and hectic afternoons. I knew I would be cleaning piles of dirty dishes and catching puke in buckets (and, on a few lucky occasions, in my hands!!), patching up scraped knees and elbows, cleaning windows and sweeping floors. I was ok with this. I still am, at least most days, ok with this....because it was in my job description.
However, closing doors and drawers after a grown man....... THIS IS NOT IN MY JOB DESCRIPTION!! It was not and still is not.
*sigh* At least I know this guys gets it. I have a feeling this wasn't in his job description either....
Posted by Valarie at 6:17 PM
Monday, December 10, 2007
A few of you inquired as to how the headband making was going. Well, here it is. In all it's headband glory. Move over, Martha Stewart, there's a new super woman in town! Ok, well maybe it's not perfect, but it is finished and I didn't even throw anything across the room in the process!! Woo Hoo!
The color ended up matching prettymuch perfectly. Am I good, or what?? I think it took me longer to pick the stinkin' ribbon than to actually sew the headband.
In fact, it went so well I might even try to make another one. :) Probably....Maybe....we'll see.
Posted by Valarie at 10:27 AM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I went over to Joann ETC today. I am trying to make a couple of little headbands for my baby. Notice I used the word TRYING. I cannot sew. I know, picking out some ribbon and attaching a small piece of elastic isn't exactly what most people would call sewing, but to me, it's all the same. And I suck at it all!!
So, I had to run over and pick out some pretty ribbon. I am trying to make a headband to match her cute little green Christmas dress. I was standing there in the ribbon aisle, checking out all the green ribbon they had. There was light green, dark green, shiny green, silky green, striped green, green with polka dots, green lace. Good gravy! Who'd a thought picking out some ribbon would be so exhausting?!
I had decided to bring Alaina with me so I could hold the ribbon up to her head and see how it would look against the color of her hair, but had I thought to actually bring the dress (or at least the bloomers) with me to match the colors and make sure the ribbon would match the DRESS and not just the baby....? Neh, I'm not that smart.
So as I am standing there, holding about 17 different kinds of ribbon, I felt someone standing behind me, peering over my shoulder.
"Awww, what an adorable baby. She has the most beautiful eyes. How old is she?"
I began to answer, "She is 6 months," as I turned around to see who the stranger was complimenting my child. I looked at her face. She looked very familiar to me. She was short. She was petite....VERY petite. She had really blond hair, pulled back into a tight ponytail. Did she go to my church? Had I seen her at my child's school? I had been at Target a lot lately, maybe she worked there...That could be. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me!! Lizzie Spalding!! It was Crystal Hunt, the girl who plays Lizzie Spalding on Guiding Light (a daytime Soap)and she was in Sydney White (a movie that recently came out).
I had to keep myself from gasping and saying "Oh my gosh! You are Lizzie!! You have done some really bad things in your life, little missy!!" I played it cool. She stood there and we talked for a while. I never let on that I knew who she was. In retrospect, I wish I had. It was obvious no one else there had recognized her and although I am sure celebs don't like it when people mob them, I am sure it is nice to be recognized and know that people are watching their work.
I should have asked her for an autograph. It would have been great to have kept it for Alaina and told her the story of when the actress stopped me in the store to tell me how cute she was. Why is it that sometimes our brains just quit working completely?? I am generally a pretty intelligent woman. I blame it on trying to shop for sewing items. I was using way too much of my brain power trying not to go crazy picking out the ribbon that by the time Lizzie came along I had nothing left.
Plus, I found myself, yet AGAIN, wondering why I hadn't put my camera in my bag! UGH! I had had it in there for the last week and yesterday took it out to snap some photos of my children. Maybe I need to just buy myself a second camera to keep in my bag. *double sigh* Oh well.
Posted by Valarie at 4:17 PM
Friday, December 7, 2007
I went to Disney a few years back and they have a small petting farm you can find (free of charge) if you know where to go. We saw this peacock there that had some seriously LONG tail feathers. He was beautiful.
Here he was showing off for the ladies.
Posted by Valarie at 7:00 PM
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Evan went in for his sleep study last night. He has sleep apnea. My wonderful husband volunteered to take him. OK, so I am using the word "volunteered" loosely. I had to do a decent amount of begging and a small amount of crying to convince him, but nevertheless he did it. He called me at one point to tell me that Evan had been perfect and that he was about ready to fall asleep. I was relieved that things had gone well, but found myself a little annoyed.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am glad that he did so well. But why is it that I take him to the dentist to get a simple teeth cleaning and he acts like Armageddon has begun, and his dad takes him to the hospital where they do this to him....
and he is "perfect." Seriously? I mean, come on. Are you kidding me?? Jason said they had to scrub the little spots on his head and stick all this gunk and tape all over him and NOT ONE TEAR??? I know. I am a horrible person for saying these things. But...I have been dragging kids to doctors and therapists and dentists and trying to stay calm while they throw conniptions and I convince Jason to do it this one time and nothing?!?! That figures. *sigh* I will never be able to play the sympathy card now.
So anyways....Evan did great and we just have to sit around and wait for the results now. I seem to have passed down a rather annoying gene to my baby boy. If you look at the picture close enough you can see where he is having an allergic reaction to the tape they used all over him. He's all red and puffy and his skin is all dried out.
It is getting better now. They told us it should go away in a day or two. If it doesn't, I am making Jason take him to the pediatrician!!
Posted by Valarie at 3:40 PM
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
My children normally don't mind going to the dentist. For some reason, last week when I took my oldest 3, they all decided they didn't want to be there and all simultaneously (just to make life fun for me!!) threw fits in the middle of the dentist's office.
I intentionally take them to a pediatric dentist for just this reason. So, why is it when I was prying my 3 year old's fingers off of the chair leg, they looked at me like I was crazy...?? You can't convince me my child is the first to ever throw a fit in your office. YES! This is what a child looks like when they are misbehaving! Take a picture. It'll last longer. They just stood there like morons whispering to each other. I wanted to take the little sprayer thingy and spray them in their smug faces with it. But I didn't.
So anyways...I told my 7 year old she had no choice and was getting in the stupid chair. She climbed in and cried the whole time. Boo Hoo. I'm the meanest mom in the world. You'll thank me someday when you still have all your teeth!! The boys refused, so we rescheduled. Mikaily got to spend the night at Aunt Tracy's house since she had let the dentist look at her. The boys did not. So, when the boys went back for their make-up appointments, they were perfect angels.
Kyle got to go spend the night at Aunt Tracy's this past weekend. They always have tons of fun. They get to eat yummy food and watch lots of movies and she plays all kids of cool games with them. She is nice. Not like Mommy.
Kyle wanted to take his dinosaur movies over. He loves to watch this show on the Discovery channel called Prehistoric Park. Tracy bought him the DVD for his birthday and he wanted to take it with him. She told me a cute little discussion that she had had with him while they were watching. It went something like this....
Kyle: "Ohhh, we should be careful. This next part is terrifying!"
Tracy: "Terrifying...? That's a funny word for you. I've never heard you say that before." She chuckled a little.
Kyle: "Yeah, well, just keep watching. You'll see. It's terrifying."
So, Tracy kept watching. The scene that was on was a T-Rex (or 2 or more...?) chasing down and eating a smaller dinosaur (Don't worry, none of this show is graphic. No blood, no guts, nothing like that).
Tracy: "Is this the part that you think is terrifying?" She asked because, although it didn't seem intense or frightening to her, she thought maybe a young child's imagination would make it an intense scene.
Kyle: "Yeah, can't you see? That T-Rex is tearing the other dinosaur apart. They are tearing it. So it's "tear"ifying."
Posted by Valarie at 9:16 PM
Sunday, December 2, 2007
My sisters and I decided to drive over to Orlando yesterday to experience firsthand the bliss they call IKEA. None of us had ever been before and what an adventure it was! For those of you who don't know much about the store, here is a little background. IKEA began in a small farming village in Sweden 6 decades ago and has now taken up residency in 34 countries. This particular store we went to is more than 309,000 sq. ft. and has anything and everything you could ever need, want, or dream of having for your home....and then some.
There is a playroom where you can drop your children off while you shop. I peaked in the window to see what it was like and I have to tell you, I wanted to go jump in and play!
Oh, and if you work up an appetite while doing all your shopping, no problem! Just stop by the restaurant right inside the store and grab a refreshing drink and a bite to eat!
We were IKEA rookies, so we had gone out to lunch beforehand. But, I hear the Swedish meatballs are amazing! They also have a Swede Shop where you can buy all sorts of yummy Swedish goodies.
One of my favorite things about the children's section of the store was that there weren't really any shelves. Most things were hanging from the ceiling in colorful displays. It was kind of like shopping with a kid in a candy store. We walked into the children's area and immediately the "OOhhhh, look at that!!" and the "Oh my gosh! That is so cute! Go over there!" started.
The thing I found most amusing about the store was something I came across in the bathroom. Hehe...did I get your attention with that one?? IKEA is all about being environmental friendly. So, when you go in to use the restroom there is a little sign on the back of the toilet that says "Toilets are specially designed to save water. Please push handle up for liquid waste (less water) and down for solid waste (more water)." I laughed. The funniest part was that then, I couldn't help but listen to the flushing toilets and had to refrain from looking at the lady that came out of the stall that had obviously (from the sound of things)pushed the handle down and saying "I know what you did in there!!" I figured she wouldn't see the humor in it though. So, as usual, I just chuckled at myself and went on shopping.
It was fun and we got lots of great stuff. After we were done shopping we decided to go over to Disney and play their miniature golf course. I will be blogging about that in the next day or two. But I will tell you I don't think any of us have a pro (or even amateur) golf career in our future.
Posted by Valarie at 3:27 PM
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
To those who haven't yet...if you scroll to the bottom of my page you can click on the button (the one with the little globe on it) to put your location on my guestmap so I can see where everyone is from. I know it is hard to get in the exact right spot if someone is already near to where you are...but just get as close as you can. :)
Posted by Valarie at 10:15 AM
Christmas lights make me happy. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy. They make me want to sing. There is something so captivating about a house lit up all glowing and bright on a beautiful December night. (Man, there I go all rhymie rhymie again!) My family has a tradition where, on Christmas Eve, we all get a new pair of pajamas, put them on and then drive around looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights in the area. It is so much fun to see how different the homes are decorated. Some are so beautiful I could stare for hours.
However, others miss the mark....
We discovered, after spending our first Christmas in Florida last year, that people here tend to overdo it a little when it comes to Christmas lights. Ok, they overdo it A LOT!! Most people in Florida are transplants here from somewhere further north. I decided that some people simply overcompensate for the fact that it doesn't FEEL like Christmas here because it is still so warm out.
Sing along with me...*clears throat*.."Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And since we've no place to go...LET IT SNOW. LET IT SNOW. LET IT SNOW!" (*bows* Thank you. Thank you very much.) In Florida, the weather outside in December is polar opposite of frightful and if we lit any sort of fire in our fireplace, we would be sweating our buns off.
In the mile that it takes me to drive to get out of my neighborhood I think I pass about 15 glowing reindeer, an 8 foot long gleaming train, 2 smiling snowmen all ablaze, a luminous mama bear with cub (both are wearing Santa hats), a flashing snowman, and about 5 swirling Christmas trees made out of tubes with lights shoved through them. Don't get me wrong. I think there are many beautiful decorations one could put in their yard. In fact, I kind of like the glowing polar bears down the street. However.......everything in moderation.
But, on the upside, I don't have to hear my children complain about being afraid of the dark when I put them to bed for the next month, because with all the Christmas lights on in the neighborhood, there is no such thing as dark.
Posted by Valarie at 8:07 AM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
My boys belong in a wrestling ring. They are constantly fighting. They fight over toys. They fight over food. They fight over who said what and who was looking at whom. They fight over everything. Today, I had to break up a fight that was ignited by a commercial for a small, toy castle . Kyle says it was grey. Evan says it was blue. They actually came to blows because of this. This is what my day is like.....
While making breakfast... "Boys, stop arguing!"
Loading them in the car... "Boys, stop yelling and get in your seats!"
Driving in the car to Kyle's school..."BOYS!!! Keep your hands to yourselves!!"
Driving back home after I pick Kyle up..."You guys! Knock it off!"
Me making lunch for them...."Kyle, stop smacking your brother in the forehead!"
Me while they are eating lunch..."Evan!!! Stop throwing food at Kyle!"
I spend the rest of the day running from room to room pulling the two of them off of each other and shouting things like...
"We don't bite!"
"Get your finger out of his eye!!"
"Get off him!"
"Put down the toy and step away slowly!"
I have told some of you before that I do not believe these are ordinary toddler on toddler fist fights. They are vicious! They draw blood. I actually have to get in between them and physically separate them and let them have time to cool off before they can be back together (which will then last about, oh, 40 minutes before the next fist fight....and that is a generous estimate). It's not like I let them get away with it. They are punished when they fight. But, for whatever reason, they can't seem to figure out that fighting is BAD and not something that mommy will tolerate! I can't imagine what I am going to do when they are 14 and 16 and are having these fights. I guess I need to start practicing my "duck and cover" maneuver.
So anyways, the other day they got into it and Evan ended up with a bloody nose. His father's way of helping out......shove some toilet paper up there! So, here he is in all his "toilet paper shoved up the nose" glory.
Posted by Valarie at 12:49 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I was reading another blog about the funny things our children say. It reminded me of something funny my little Kyle said last year. He was not quite to his 4th birthday at the time.
We go to church. Our children go to their classes each Sunday and are taught many lessons....including those about The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Most of the time, if asked a question about what they have learned, the answer is "I dunno." So, sometimes we wonder if they are actually listening to ANYTHING that is being taught.
Well, last year my dad went to Colorado to visit my oldest brother and his family. My dad and my brother went out hiking in the mountains early one morning to try and get some photos (both of them are amazing photographers!!). When my dad came back home, he was showing some of the pictures he took to Kyle. They came across a few photos of a mountain goat that they had happened upon on their hike.
Kyle looked at the pictures for a few seconds, and then looking up with his big, beautiful, blue eyes asked, "Mama, is this the holy goat?"
Posted by Valarie at 12:55 PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Those who know me well know that I don't swear. Ever. I have been married to my husband for almost 9 years and he has heard me say a swear word one time. And immediately after, I yelled at him and told him he was a bad influence and told him he was no longer allowed to swear in front of me. (To this day he still gets a good tongue-lashing when he lets a word slip). When someone asks me, why don't you swear? I always just say "because." I don't really have a reason. I just don't. Well, from now on, I have a good reason......Did you know that swearing in public is against the law? No? I didn't either. That is, until last night.
My night started out no different than any other. I had to go to the grocery store. I had been putting it off because I knew the store would be packed with Christmas shoppers. Much to my surprise, when I pulled into the parking lot, it was relatively empty.
At one point I found myself standing alone in the cereal aisle....not another person in sight. I was worried for a second that I had been sucked into another dimension. An empty Walmart aisle is unheard of! Little did I know this was the calm before the storm.
So, I was meandering through the aisles, and dare I say....enjoying it...a little. I started up the juice aisle and saw there was a young man....we'll call him Roy... in an electric wheelchair/cart thingy coming towards me. He was the only other person in the aisle. He was maybe 22. I wondered for a second as to why Roy was in the wheelchair. As I strolled closer I noticed he had one foot that was bare. It was swollen and black and blue. I noticed he was talking on his cell phone as I walked past him and he was complaining about some sort of verbal altercation he had just had with another shopper....who we will call Larry.
All of a sudden, Larry comes running around the end of the aisle (along with about 6 of his closest friends)towards where I am standing beside Roy. Larry is irate. He is screaming. "Who you talking about %$#@&!?" Roy hops up...and when I say "hops" I mean, literally, he hopped...on one leg...and starts screaming back. I couldn't have been more than two steps away when I heard a loud CRASH and turned around to see Larry throwing Roy into the shelf of crackers. Small boxes of goldfish crackers went flying everywhere.
I picked up my pace and ran out of the end of the aisle and turned to see what was happening. The two GROWN men then proceeded to beat on each other.
At this point in the story I have to interject. So, if you were a man......in an electric cart....with only one good foot....and you felt like picking a fight, would you pick a fight with a robust-looking man accompanied by a small posse? NO..? Yeah, me either. So anyhoo...
Roy was screaming out expletives. Swear words, curse words, racial slurs, every four letter word you can think of....you name it, he said it...and then some! Most of these words were not appropriate for my adult ears to hear...let alone the little ears that were unfortunate enough to be within earshot.....which was at least half the store. Roy had a great set of lungs, if ya know what I mean.
I expected, at any point, to hear them come over the loudspeaker and say "Attention Walmart shoppers, will the morons that are fight in aisle 7 please leave the freakin' store!!" That's what I would have done if I was the Walmart manager.
Along with Larry's posse was his son. He was maybe 10 years old. He was yelling "Daddy! Stop! Please! Stop!" It was heartbreaking! So after about 20 seconds another shopper.....a big, burly guy, stepped in and tried to break them up. It ended up taking him and 4 other Walmart employees 2 security guys and 2 guys from the meat department)to pull them apart and separate them.
I just walked into the next aisle and went on with my shopping. Contemplating why, certain men, were willing to throw punches over the dumbest things. So, I had made my way up to the frozen food section when I saw a Walmart security guy, the big, burly peacemaker guy and a sheriff, walk into view. The burly guy pointed to me. Oh crap. I had a feeling my ice cream was going to be melted before I could get it home....
So, I had to go talk to the police and tell them what I had seen. When I stepped outside there were SIX police cars with their lights all flashing. At this point, I was really wishing I HAD been sucked into another dimension in the cereal aisle.
Larry was arrested for throwing the first punch and Roy was arrested for....can you guess it?? ..........Using profanity in public!
So, the next time you are in the produce section at the supermarket and you grab an apple and a whole bunch more fall on the floor, choose the words you shout out carefully!! :)
P.S. I now know I am a true blogger (as if there was nay doubt before). The entire time I was watching the fight and staring at the flashing lights in the parking lot I was so bummed because I kept thinking...."Dang! I wish I could have brought my camera. This story would be so much better when I blog about it if it had pictures to go with it!"
Posted by Valarie at 2:59 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
Today, I have had an ongoing conversation with Kyle about what he wants to ask Santa to bring him for Christmas.
"A horse" he said.
"Yes. I want a horse that can run really, really fast."
"Well, I don't think we have enough room here for a horse. Plus, a horse costs a lot of money."
"It's ok. Horses like to live outside. We can keep him out there. (he points to our lanai)
"Well, first of all, I don't think the screen is strong enough to hold in a horse and second, I don't think he would have nearly enough room to run. Especially if you want a fast horse. Don't you think a fast horse would need room to run?"
He laughed at me and threw his head back like I was crazy. "Mom! He wouldn't run in there. I would take him for a walk."
This seemed logical to him. Now, normally I wouldn't mess with the list of things that my children want to ask Santa for. That is their decision. However, I didn't want Kyle to spend the next month thinking he had a chance at getting a horse on Christmas morning and be crushed when he woke up and....(shocker!) no horse. So we spent all morning off and on discussing why it was an impossibility for him to own a horse. By the time we went to get Mikaily off the bus he had finally dropped the conversation.
When we go out to the bus stop we stand right beside a small chunk of a nature preserve. So, there are pretty big tress and thick undergrowth. Evan started asking me what kind of animals lived in there. Monkeys? Tigers? Lions? I told him no, to all of the above. Kyle then asked what kind of meat eaters lived in there. I told him probably some alligators and there was always the possibility of a Florida panther being in there.
"Do alligators live in Ohio?" he asked.
"What about panthers? Do they live in Ohio?"
"Nope. No panthers either."
"What kind of meat eaters live in Ohio?"
"There are bears in Ohio."
"Ohhhh, bears are big, aren't they?"
"Yes, some bears are big. Some bears are small, too."
"What if a bear came and knocked on the door?"
"Ummm, well I think if a bear knocked on the door I wouldn't open it."
"But what if the bear ripped open a hole in the door and ate Alaina and Devyn. That would make me so sad because I would miss them."
I laughed a little at this absurd thought process, but played along.
"Yes, I think I would be really sad too."
"And then Jill wouldn't have any baby. And she would cry at her house and everyone at our house would cry too."
"I don't think you need to worry about that buddy. No bear is going to get Alaina or Devyn. Ok?"
"Can a bear run really fast?"
"Yeah, I think bears can run pretty fast when they want to."
"Do you think a bear can run faster than a horse?"
"Well, if I had to guess...? I would say a horse could probably go a little faster than a bear."
"So, if we had a horse, then I could jump on the horse and grab the babies and run away from the bear and he couldn't get them. So I think we need to tell Santa about the horse."
Hmmmmmmm, I think I smell a sales career in this kids future!
Posted by Valarie at 2:43 PM
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I got this from my sister Jill in an email and found it amusing. The following is 4 questions and then a bonus question. The email stated that you had to read the question and answer the first thing that popped into your head. You aren't allowed to spend time to try and double check your answer.
I will say that I tend to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent person, it's a good thing the score from this little quiz here didn't determine whether or not I got into college. :)
You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?
Answer: If you answered that you are in first place, then you are absolutely WRONG!! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, then you are second place! (did ya get it right?? I didn't.....)
If you overtake the last person in the race, then you are...?
Answer: Not in the race to begin with!! If you answered last than you are wrong AGAIN. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST person in a race? (I missed this one, too. hehe)
This one is Very tricky arithmetic!
Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Just try it.
Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10 . What is the total?
Answer: Did you get 5000?? I did when I tried it!! And guess what?? I was freaking wrong AGAIN!! The answer is actually 4100. You can check it with a calculator if you need to.
Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana 2. Nene 3. Nini 4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?
Answer: Did you guess NuNu? Well, it's MARY!! (I actually got this one right!! Yeah!! 25% is better than nothing, I guess!)
A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is made. Next, a blind man comes into the shop and wants to buy a pair of sunglasses; how does HE indicate what he wants?
Answer: He just has to open his mouth and ask... (I got this one too. In my opinion the bonus was the easiest out of them all!!)
So.....how did you do???
Posted by Valarie at 7:46 PM
Saturday, November 24, 2007
As many of you read HERE (that's a link even though you can't tell) my children are very protective of their baby sister. Well, yesterday my family finally saw Ratatouille for the first time. It was actually a pretty cute movie.
Last night, right after we had put Kyle to bed, we heard him calling
"Daddy! Daaaaaaddy!! Will Ratatouille come and get me while I am asleep tonight??" Haha. We found this amusing. We explained to him that it was a movie and that we had no rats in the house and he would be fine. (I neglected to tell him that it was, indeed, very possible for rats to come into the house. I didn't want to freak myself out too much either!)
So then, this morning the kids were all in the family room doing Bella Dancerella (A dancing "game" of sorts. And YES, even my boys do it. Kyle is actually pretty excellent at it!) and I was in the kitchen making breakfast. I looked up and saw Kyle frantically grabbing the pieces of cardboard that had come out of my box of beautiful pans that I had acquired yesterday (seriously, these pans are sooooo amazing!). Evan was standing over by Alaina and had our little pair of yellow binoculars out. I watched for a minute to see exactly what the two of them were doing. Kyle would grab a piece of cardboard and run it over and set it up near Alaina, who was sitting in her bumbo seat (Yes, I know they were recalled. Don't worry, it's been taken care of!). I think he actually broke a sweat running all over like a little mad man. Eventually he had an entire wall set up around her.
Evan sat there beside her peering through the little yellow binoculars. Finally, I asked "Hey you cute little psychos. What in the world are you doing??"
Kyle's reply was priceless. "I don't want any Ratatouilles to come bite her tiny toes off, so I gave her a wall to keep him away." And then Evan added "Yeah, and I'm watching so I can yell if he comes here. Because I am a big boy" (He is in the "OBSESSED with proving to everyone that I am a big boy" phase right now).
Ok, well, I guess that makes perfect sense to me. Alaina sure did seem to be enjoying herself, so I went about my business and let them keep on keepin' on.
It is nice to know that they love her and want to take care of her...well, at least in between their assassination attempts, that is.
Posted by Valarie at 9:38 PM
Friday, November 23, 2007
(2 posts in one day!! Does that count for one of the days that I missed?? :))
Here is my photo for this week. The theme is Hot. I figured none of my other photos fit this theme quite as well as this picture that I have of Old Faithful. Yellowstone is such an amazing place and I hope to be able to get there again sometime soon.
Posted by Valarie at 10:18 PM
Bummer! I guess the whole NaBloPoMo thing didn't work out so well for me. Oh well, life goes on! :) That's why I didn't "officially" jump on the bandwagon to begin with.
We are doing fine here. We have had a crazy couple of days. Crazy. Today that word took on a whole new meaning for me. I have mentioned, quite a few times, my love for shopping. I have to admit that I absolutely love Black Friday. It is one of my favorite days of the year.
I am sure that some of you find it insane to get up at the butt crack of dawn, stand in a massive line, fight the crowd to get into the store, fight the crowd to find the item you are looking for that somehow has managed to be put on a display in the isle on the opposite side of the store than normal, to then stand in a massive line again to spend lots of money on things that, not only do your children not need, but will only make your home more cluttered than it already is. Well, you are right. It is insane. And I absolutely LOVE it!! There is something very exciting to me about searching through the ads to find the great deals and then getting up LONG before the rooster crows to get some shopping done!
It started last night when my sister, Tracy, and I spread ourselves and about 354 pages of ads out across my family room floor and started putting together our game plan. The game plan is a VERY important part of the day after Thanksgiving shopping. We flipped and sorted and circled everything in the ads that we could conceivably want to try to get. We decided what stores we wanted to hit and in what order we needed to go to them. She spent the night at my house so we didn't waste precious time trying to pick each other up or meet up somewhere. We said our good nights and headed to bed.
We decided that Kohl's would be our first stop. There was a set of pans that I wanted to get from there....when we got to the store I snapped a quick photo of the clock...
Yup, that's AM! We wanted to be there right when the doors opened. (I wanted the pans, but wouldn't have been heartbroken if I didn't get them, otherwise we would have been in line MUCH earlier than that) While in the store I saw a mom pushing a double stroller with two small, sleeping children in it. Now, that is some shopping devotion! I think she probably gets the award for the craziest shopper of the day. :)When it comes to shopping, Tracy and I are pros. We were in and out of Kohl's and back in the car (headed to get in line at Toys'R'Us) by 4:15.
As we were getting out of the car and heading to the line that was forming at TOYS'R'US I noticed that there was a lone cart sitting in the cart corral by where we were parked. SCORE!!! For those of you that have braved these crowds before you know that unless you get to the store REALLY, REALLY, REALLY early there is a slim chance that there will be a cart left by the time you get to the entrance of the store. We snagged the cart and headed for the line.
I love listening to and talking to the other crazies that are in line at 4:30 in the morning. There was an older man that was in line, alone, standing right behind me. He kept peering over my shoulder as to say ""Hey! I'm lonely. Can I join in your conversation??" So, I stepped off to the side a little and he started talking to us. He was obviously a rookie shopper. How do I know this? Well, at one point in the conversation he said "Do you think they will open the doors early since there are so many people here already?" Awww, cute, huh? My reply was "Ummm, no way. Those people inside are not looking forward to what is about to hit them. They're gonna keep us out here as long as possible." At least we are in Florida so it was nice and warm outside, even that early. I was in a t-shirt. :)Just FYI, this is what a line looks like at 4:30 in the morning....
We each had a list of things we wanted to try to find from this store. So, when the line was moving forward and we got to the door we stuck our hands together and yelled "BREAK!" and took off in separate directions. I was so glad I had the cart. I ended up with everything from my list (a total of 9 items) but they were all big and I still had to carry one of them while trying to push the cart through the sea of people. I do have to say that TOYS'R'US was not very organized. It is too long of a story to try and write here, but let's just say it involved a "wall" of large, boxed TVs that was most likely a fire hazard, a useless employee and a scary line dictator.
We were in and out of TOYS'R'US and back in the car and headed over to get in yet another line at Target by 5:20. I avoided getting a cart there. Getting through the toy section at Target is a lot like being in a mosh pit. If you aren't good at dodging flying elbows, it isn't the place for you. I can't tell you how many people ram the back of your ankles with their cart trying to shove and push their way to whatever toy they are trying to get their hands on. It's a friggin' TOY people!! (Of course, that is easy for me to say because I got everything I wanted from Target too!!!)
By 6:12 we were back in the car. That has to be a record!! From there we headed to Staples. My sister wanted to try and get a navigation system for her car. We knew it would be a long shot because we weren't there at 6 when they opened. We walked into the store and had to push our way through a line that had started forming at the photo center and had already "snaked" back and froth across the store 3 times. We found a man that was working back in the technology section.
"Do you have any of these left??" Tracy asked as she pointed to the picture in the ad.
"You see that big, long line that is forming at the photo center?" he said. "Good luck to you!" and he flashed a smile and walked away. We left.
Skip ahead to......
By the time it was just after 8 we had gone to 6 different stores and had eaten breakfast. We were crashing pretty hard by now. I had been shopping for longer than I had slept the night before! So, we decided to head home.
There is just something about this day. I love the hustle and bustle of the crowds and hearing the Christmas music playing in the stores (up until this day it is just annoyingly early to hear any sort of Christmas music!) and getting some amazing deals and talking to new people and I get some sort of rush out of fighting the crowds and coming out victorious. So, to all you fellow crazies out there:
I hope you had a fun filled day of long lines, great deals and hopefully no black eyes or broken bones!
Posted by Valarie at 7:20 PM