Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tonight's Bash in the Bath

Alternately titled: Let's not forget a mug of Chamomile Citrus.

Alternately titled: It's about time to rumble in the bronx bath.

Alternately titled: The more flicka, the betta.

Alternately titled: Which Lush Bath Bomb shall I drop tonight: Avobath, Honey Bee, or Big Blue?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Date Night and Vacation Destination

You see, it's been 5 months since my SIL and niece--hubs' sister and her 4 year old--shacked up with us in our basement. That sure does make it easy to have date night any time we choose. We just put the little people to bed between 7-7:30 and go on our merry way. Usually our merry way consists of a movie with a restaurant to follow. Last night it was surprise take out Chinese from daddy and a late showing of 7 Pounds.

We arrived 30 minutes early last night and were the first to choose our seats. No, hubs doesn't have those really cool self tinting glasses, like it appears in this snapshot. And yes, my hair wrap is the bottom strip of my polkadotty Gap maternity shirt that I snipped off yesterday. How did you guys guess?

And, before the movie started, while I munched on two favorite movie theatre snacks and snuggled with Mr. Marvelous--across the arm rest--we talked about going here:

This is what I unwrapped on Christmas morning confirming my guess to Sneaky Santa's riddle. The riddle he's had planned for the last 3 months.

I sure am eating my words after talking like this.

Friday, December 26, 2008

[sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas]

On the day after Christmas my true love said to me,

Ju-lia's not so bad,

Norah and Hazel...really loved the paper,
We sure took a lot of the girls,

Our house looks like...a major disaster,
It will just have to...stay like this for awhile,


When are you going to blog about your special treat?

*I didn't say it was a perfect rendition of the song.

(Soon! I promise. Just as soon as I sit for a minute, snap my sugar high children back into shape, and finish picking up hidden, leftover scraps of Christmas paper. I'll tell you all about how Santa came to our house, presented me with the last letter that had a 7 day schedule of everyone who signed up to watch our children at our home--in March--while Mr. Marvelous takes this lucky lady to a far off--warm--place. Then I'll tell you about how I figured it out, how he confirmed I was correct, and...well, where we are going.)

As for now, have any of you figured it out?

What do these letters spell: RATIOCCSA

Besides you, Suzanne! Good guess! And smart thinking...emailing your idea as not to spoil the fun. As for the rest of you, consider the comment area open as of now...for your best guess.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sneaky Santa Revealed

Last night after putting away tubes of Christmas paper, scotch tape and my pair of scissors--that I will never forget to stow high on the shelf again--I decided to turn on my computer monitor to check my email before bed.

To my surprise I found this:
Sneaky Mr. Marvelous!

To think all this time he really didn't mean it when he said, "Who has this kind of time to spend putting a riddle of this sorts together?"

I should have known!

But this is all that I know. That it is indeed my husband behind the curtain. Kripes! He won't spill one more bean about it. "You'll just have to wait, my dear." he says.

"But honey! These letters make no sense. And who sent all those letters?" I pleaded.

"It will be so much more fun for you, if you wait. My dear." he promised.

So I will.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

last minute changes

There have been some "last minute changes" here at 4[children in]under3[years]. First, I'll tell you about our morning.

This morning, I tweeted about needing to swing through our closest superstore for odds-n-ends. After loading our cart with a mega box of size 3 diapers for Norah and Hazel's day wear, size 4 diapers for their nighttime wear, size 5 diaper for Luke's day wear, and size 5 "Nighttime" for his nighttime wear--and yes, I do think about how much we contribute to our local landfills--I realized that being in the store with 4 children much longer would Just. Not. Work. Christmas grocery items would just have to wait until after they were tightly tucked in bed, and I was alone. Therefore, I grabbed a mega box of wipes and we headed to the checkout line. "Who wants to go to [friend/acquaintance/relative's]* house?" I asked. Julia and Luke cheered with excitement. So, last minute, as we left the parking lot, I phone said person to confirm they were home, and started on our 50 minute drive out of town that would end up being a wonderfully joyous time.

*I'm leaving out said person's name because of a privacy issue. It deals with a Christmas surprise issue...that would be a spoiled issue if said person's name was, well, said.

Then, yesterday's naptime decided that last minute it would usher forth more than just a rested 4-year-old. Take a gander at these:

So, last minute, we decided to schedule an emergency haircut. It's at 5 this afternoon.

Then, last night I found a letter from my Sneaky Santa. I tore into it finding my next letter:

And last minute, before I headed out with a friend to get a last minute Christmas present, I decided to flip through the mail one more time and found this:

Two letters in one day!

With one more minute--before naps are over--I'll recap the accumulated letters so far.

What's it spell? Anyone? Someone? I'm terrible at Scrabble!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me! Monday..for I was not embarrassed.

UPDATE: Ok. Psych! The version I was talking about is not from Shaun Groves but Russ Lee. I promise this time. And, I got another letter from the Sneaky Santa. We'll talk more later.

UPDATE: My favorite Christmas song this year--that I spoke of below--now has an artist!! Hip, Hip Horray! My ipod is welcoming Shaun Groves' version of O Come all Ye Faithful as we speak.

It's Monday again, and that means our favorite crockpot BBQ for supper, 18 month appointments for the twins, and hopefully riddle #5 from the Sneaky Santa (Did you read what Andi said last post?) it's Not Me! Monday!

I have not had a difficult time leaving this present--that I made for Julia--alone in the Christmas cupboard. And, I do not think it's the cutest thing I've seen since felted bunnies:

And, the reason I haven't wrapped it yet is not because I love looking at it, that I [heart] crafted clipboards in pinks, greens, and blues, or because its ribbon combination is like eye candy for me. No! I just haven't gotten around to it. For pete's sake you guys, it's Tinkerbell. Only 4 year olds--and maybe 5 year olds...quite possibly 6 year olds too--love Tinkerbell. Not mamas!

And because I promised....
...the other morning--while our 4 and 2 year old were constructing atop the lego table in the livingroom, the twins were eating whole wheat banana pancakes in their highchairs, and I was cleaning up the kitchen--my very favorite Christmas song for this year came on the radio.

(I've searched high and low for the male artist who sings this wonderfully harmonious version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful with no luck at all.)

I cranked the volume and phoned a friend--one who had been trying to help me figure out the artist--so that she could turn it on her radio too. I only got her voicemail so I hung up and continued to dance around the kitchen belting my very best stage voice into the pancake flipper while the twins watched with wide eyes.

Just then I was startled with an, "Excuse me, Hello!" Mid-chorus, I did not spin around to find the carpet guy--seemingly amused--witnessing my mini concert as he stood in our front entryway. He did not have the widest smile painted across his face. He did not apologize--as if he was caught without paying--chuckling, "Sorry, your kids let me in." And, I certainly didn't quickly lay the flipper down as I started in with my explanation of why I was doing what I was doing. Na-ah! Nope! I don't get easily embarrassed over things like that. (Ok, but I really don't. But this time I did. I mean I didn't.)

Now this is not the end, but yet the beginning. For more embarrassing moments that never happened, click on over to My Charming Kids. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Riddle #4: With some Puppy Chow

As I sit here munching on Puppy Chow--it's what I made after the children were tucked in bed the night Mr. Marvelous was out getting reaquainted with Black Diamonds--my brain is getting quite the workout. I'm mulling over these 4 anonymously signed, Sneaky Santa letters that have arrived in my mailbox over the past week.

First, I thought I pinned the tail on our friend Gregg. Then, a college hallmate of mine my freshman year, Resa. Then, I imagined it was a bloggy friend of mine, Alicia. And lastly, I had reason to believe it was MckMama, an older and wiser alum from my alma mater. That was until she texted me to clear up my erroronous presumption.

But, now! Even if I do think it is my MIL. What are the letters, "R,A,O" and now "I" supposed to be spelling?

Check this cute card out:

On the inside, "Hope Santa brings all your favorite things" is typed. And on the front, my name and address are typed also. There's no handwriting to dicifer this time around.

And, do you remember how the first 2 envelopes were postmarked in St. Paul and then the Upper P&DC? This one was postmarked in my very own town. Something smells a little fishy here. Is my husband in on this?

So, if I'm spelling something, I now think it is RADIO. Will there be a clue on the radio? Will I forever be held in suspense? And, will I be the one to eat the entire tub of Puppy Chow today?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Riddle #3: Tony the Tiger Style

UPDATED: I just found another riddle in the stack of mail--that came 4 hours late due to our blizzard (poor dear mailman)--that Mr. Marvelous brought in. I'll post it soon. But, I have to say, I think I've been wrong about each person I guessed so far. I think I might have my finger on it now though. But as to WHAT it is, still no clue!

Top 10 reasons why today (as in Friday since I'm posting this at midnight) was Grrrrreat:

#10: I watched Luke play oh-so-nicely with my friend's 4-year-old during our morning playdate. With his hockey helmet in the backwards position and an occasional lion roar booming from his mouth, he worked his kindest friend voice the entire morning. Atta boy, Lukers!

#9: We got our snowsuit groove on after naps. And, despite Norah's refusal to enjoy the freshly fallen snow, help build a snow fort, and laugh with the others on a crazy fast sled ride, we had a festive, great time.

#8: Not one of the twins dirtied the bath water during group tub time tonight. If you know what I mean. Yesterday morning, Hazel did so, and she was very disturbed by the whole situation. Very!

#7: I apparently made the carpet guy--who was at our door at a bright and early 8:20 this morning--chuckle as I greeted him with my surprised, "Oh! Hello!" (More on that one in the next Not Me! Monday post.)

#6: I finished the cutest, girliest, craftyist, 4-year-old'ish, Tinkerbell'ish Christmas gift for Julia tonight while a friend crafted next to me in my scrap room.

#5: I found broken pieces of glass in our garbage disposal, sink drain, and on our countertop today. And, I haven't heard one peep from anyone about anything breaking. Hmm? Oh, wait. That shouldn't make this list.

#4: I got this in the mail tonight: while trying to pull Norah around in the sled to prove that Minnesota winters are something she'll eventually find herself yearning for.

And, no! I have no idea what this means. In fact, this Sneaky Santa actually asked inside the card, after wishing me a Merry Christmas, "Have you guessed yet?" Let see, have I guessed who and what this is all about with the letters "R, A, and O?" Not even the teensiest, weensiest bit. Am I totally loving that someone is playing a favorite game of mine on me? Completely, entirely and absolutely! Except I really wish I had some sort of lead here. Am I spelling something? Oh, and the postmark stamp is not readable. I wonder where this one came from?

Dear Sneaky Santa, could you answer a few of these questions please? Because as of now, I'm thinking "A" and "O" might imply that this girl is running this sneaky show.

#3, #2, and #1: Mr. Marvelous just arrived home from a trip to the slopes with a friend. Ahh. Now I can go to bed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Riddle #2: Sneaky Santa

Remember when I said that I love suprises, but don't love easy solves?

Well, I'll admit. When my Sneaky Santa--that's what I'm calling him/her, "Sneaky"--sent Riddle #1 (you can catch up in my previous post), it was postmarked in St. Paul. That's not too far from here! And, right away I pictured the one person I was sure must have concocted this mystery. Gregg! Oh!! How nice of him, I thought. Then, I assumed it was: Game O-ver Mystery Man.

However, I most certainly didn't assume correctly. This Santa took sneaky to a whole new level.

Let me explain. Today my riddle's envelope was postmarked in the UPSTATE P&DC...way the heck up and over from us. (Like, hours and hours and hou...well, you get the picture.) Hmmm. Either this Santa has been making some practice routes in preparation for Christmas Eve or there are a few of his elves wrapped up in this conundrum.

Now, feast your eyes on this folks:

...just a plain banana yellow sheet of paper and the letter "A" circled in the word March.

So, let's wrap our brain around the clues so far.

  • letters "R" and "A"
  • yellow paper
  • "precious thing"
  • "more valuable than your most wanted thing"
  • "what's left after the fog"

  • So far, FaithHopeLove said ring. Ehlan thinks rest. And, if I had to choose one from Sarah's list I'd pick rainbows. (It does have the two letters, and yellow is in a rainbow.) But, what about Bora Bora, y'all? Yellow sun, precious sleep with Mr. Marvelous in huts over the ocean? Yes? No? Gosh, I thought it was a shot in the dark, but maybe I'm on to something here.

    I will leave you with this one last thing. The handwriting on the envelope today is very, VERY familar. So familiar that I'm feeling a very strong pull towards one of two people. It's long and flowylike. No longer do I think it is Gregg, but possibly my friend Resa. She's nowhere near either of the previous post offices, but then again, I never thought we'd have 4 children in 2 1/2 years, now did I!?

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Riddle #1: Stunts like these

    UPDATED: I just ran in from the mailbox. (And actually, I had a handful of Christmas cards that were freshly licked, saw the mailman at my neighbors box, and dashed out to catch him. But missed him by a few yards. I felt like a dork standing in the middle of the road watching him drive away.) Guess what came!!!!! Another letter from my Secret Santa. And believe me when I say, "They ARE GOOD!" More to come.

    Yesterday and today have been some doozies.

    I'll tell you this though, amidst the constant drum of the washer and dryer and the race through boxes of diapers, I'm enjoying every minute of the snuggle time with little Ms. Norah. She's barely made a peep over the last 24 hours, just lays in my arms with her head on my shoulder. Droopy eyes and all. But, I'm pretty sure Hazel and I are on our way back down the mountain of mucky tummies. Likewise, if Norah keeps up her appetite like she has, I'm thinking she'll be tiptop by tomorrow morning. But my SIL (Mr. Marvelous' sister who lives in our basement) she came home around lunch time today dragging her tail. Poor thing.

    And if you ask Julia and Luke, they've heard me say to myself numerous times "I'm so glad this is going on now, and not next week, or the next week."

    Oh! And, last night they also heard me squeeeeeeal with excitment. You want to know why? Do you? Ok. But do you really? Alright, alright. I'll tell you.

    Look at this:

    This came in the mail, unreturnaddressed. Do you all know that I.LOVE.THIS.KIND.OF.STUFF?? Obviously someone knows that. But who could it be?

    At first I thought it was my dad. He's so like that. Sneaky, tricky, and artful when it comes to stunts like this sort. But Mr. Marvelous pointed out that the cutout "R" appears to be from a Rice Krispie box. And my father does not eat Rice Krispies. It's a good thing too--that it's not from him, not that he doesn't eat Rice Krispies--because while I love surprises/riddles/stunts like these, I dislike an easy solve. Then I thought it was t h a i t r a i t. She has my address, and is always making efforts to better people's day. But I just. Don't. Know.

    So have at it folks. What do you think this is all about? Something that has an "R" in it? More valuable than my most wanted thing? Hmmm. I've been thinking about it all day and I've no clue.

    Well, I mean, I have lots of clues. I just need help putting them together.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Not Me! Monday

    UPDATED: Because of a recent incident that didn't happen to us this morning, I've added a Not Me! scenario at the end of this post.

    I could think of 43 things that didn't happen to me in the last day and a half.

    I'm sure of it.

    But, to save you time to hop over to My Charming Kids and read all the other things that would never happen to a chick like me, I'll give you just 2.

    On Saturday, Mr. Marvelous and I were short our oldest child and thought we'd load our 2 year old and 1 year olds in the car and run to the mall to Christmas shop. As we excitedly began searching for a spot to park, one of the twins did not let out a loud burp followed by her entire breakfast. Not even twice! Nope. Then--after a quick 3 minute trip home--as I was leaning across little Hazel to unbuckle and remove her entire carseat--with her still strapped into it--she did not repeat the process of burp-and-release-breakfast right across my arm. No way! That would be gross.

    And last night, after all Mr. Marvelous' Tuesday Morning Bible Study friends and their families left our house, I did not walk into Julia's room to find these two:

    jumping on her bed. Not me! We run a tight ship here! Our children know the Furniture rules and follow them wonderfully. Furthermore, they had not stripped down to bare nakedness leaving their panties and diaper on the floor near the door while flailing about in their birthday suits. Never. [huff] I wouldn't even know what that looks like.

    Ya catch my drift? Not me!

    And, hot off the press! After we arrived home from our morning business today, I unloaded Hazel first knowing she had blown through her diaper and up her back, therefore needing a change before I removed the 3 remaining children. After returning to the car for her siblings, Luke did not yell, "Mommy, No-wah no peel good!" as she was apparently trying to outdo her twin sister's vomit session right then and there. Nope. Which means we most certainly didn't just infest many, many children--between our party last night, and the grocer's Stay-n-Play this morning (I'm so sorry!!) with this nasty bug that isn't floating around our house. I do not blame it on the McDonald's Playland Germ City that we visited last Thursday. I did not have to go through the entire car seat clean up ditty as I did just a few days before. I will not have to call my friend--who was planning on watching the twins while Mr. Marvelous, Luke, and I go to Julia's rescheduled and very first EVER Christmas Concert at preschool--to tell her that we won't be needing her since one of us will be staying home with our little Norah. And as a result, I did not set up the pack-n-play in our bedroom for Hazel, so that for the VERY FIRST TIME they would sleep apart from eachother allowing for uninterrupted naps for the both of them.



    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    A ba-rilliant idea, my dear!

    Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to Florida we go.

    That's right folks, I said we. Some strings have been pulled, we've assigned caretakers to each of our three youngest children while we're away, and Mr. Marvelous, Julia and I are making the 25 hour drive to the sunny peninsula of the year round heat wave. And if I remember right, swimsuits and phat white sunglasses are a requirement to pass over their border. [Check. Check.] But then again, I've only been there once--during a "Chemistry" trip my junior year of high school--and that was a few...11...years ago. (ELEVEN years ago?) But hold on there a sec. We're not departing our beautifully snow laden parts until New Years day, let's hold off on sending your souvenir requests just yet.

    So fess up. Which of you thought my hubby would pull through with the ba-rilliant idea of bringing me along for the roadtrip? (Because you're pretty smart cookies.) Isn't Mr. Marvelous truly that! Marvelous. And I attribute that--partly--to his upbringing with his mom and sister. He definitely aims to please the Venus mind in me. And, I'm betting Luke won't fall far from the tree, being in a house full of girls. I'm sure his wife will thank his sisters.

    Speaking of his sisters:

    Here's one of them. Hazel wanted the spotlight for a minute. She's feeling fine now, and appreciates all her concerned readers.

    Now if you'll excuse me, Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to pack I go.

    (Ok, maybe I'll go have leftover Chicken Vegetable soup for supper, wait for Julia to get home from Disney on Ice with her Grandmother, prep for the Christmas party that we're hosting tomorrow after church, put Hazel's freshly washed carseat back together, enjoy Christmas, and wait for New Years. With a lot more inbetween.)

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    the following email from Mr. Marvelous

    Preface: We live in Minnesota!

    Did you know that the last time I vacationed somewhere warm was on our honeymoon?

    And, oh, that was fabulous!

    Mr. Marvelous and I enjoyed 8 days/7 nights on the sultry island of Cozumel. I'd go back to our resort in a heartbeat. And I've let that be known to my wonderful husband--of 5 years--many times since we waved goodbye to the schools of tuna, mopeds and helmets, and 24 hour sunshine. (Ok, fine. But it felt like the sun was always out.)

    And, last year when my darling dude accompanied his father and brother to sunny Florida, I happily obliged since I knew it would be a great bonding time for them all. he promised we'd go together this year.

    Now, might I have you read the following email that I received from Mr. Marvelous just yesterday? At first I found it completely bizarre. Now I think of it as entirely comical.

    Subject: Set aside see the full picture.

    Think about the positives and the negatives of Julia and I driving the BMW convertible [mmhmm, I can see where this is going] to Florida sometime in Jan. It would be 2 days of driving and 2 days in Florida.

    - Julia and dad time
    - Julia gets to see the ocean
    [She watches Nemo. She's fine.]
    - Julia gets to fly in an airplane [I love airplanes, I really do.]
    - You have my Titan while the Yukon is being repaired [Thank you Target lot.]
    - Julia gets to travel to Florida
    - Time with my bro, as he would also be a driver

    - away from the fam for 4-5 days
    - umm….
    [Yea, you already know my answer.]
    - Tiff doesn’t go this time and Julia goes before you [Bingo.]

    Your Babes

    Let's just say, it didn't take me long to see the "big picture." What picture do you see?

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    remember that gigantic piece of chocolate cake?

    I have chicken thawing on our bedroom window sill. I taught Luke what a Wet Willy was before naps. I ate Christmas cookies for lunch. All morning, I climbed up blowup house steps holding Norah and Hazel together in my arms. Then, I slid down the slides with them on my lap, which is apparently against the rules. I have keifer curdling on my countertop. I'm 10 days behind on our family Christmas card, in comparison to last year. I took up knitting on Monday night. I'm finding that it's a bit harder then I imagined. If my mom or MIL offered to watch the children overnight, I'd round up Mr. Marvelous--and all our ski stuff--and head to the mountain miniature ski hills 'bout an hour north of us.

    And, we tried this again:

    and did some of this:
    ...and it turned out exceptionally magnificent.

    (I told you life with lots of little people is one gigantic piece of chocolate cake.)

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    the twins' sleeping arrangement slumber party

    When I said before that the girls have different sleeping arrangements, I most definitely didn't mean we moved them to a double bed already, like we plan on doing some time in the future. While I think that continuing to allow them to sleep together--until they request differently--is what they would prefer, 17 months is a bit too early. Don't you think?

    But 2 years old is creeping up on us. That's when Julia crawled out of her bed for the first time and woke me at my bedside. I was so excited for us to take off the siderail of her crib and transition. Luke crawled out at a fresh 16 months--just 2 weeks after the girls were born--so it was on with a crib tent. I didn't want any escapees while I was dilusionally tired with newborn twins. Isn't it funny how things change after your first?

    So, back to Norah and Hazel's new sleeping arrangements. And actually, this is quite old news. It's been about a month since we moved Luke's crib together with Julia's old crib/Norah and Hazel's crib to make one big bed. I was certain they wanted a bigger bed. I thought it might roomy things up for them and give them both more space to move and breath.

    But night after night, when I check on them before I hit the hay, they continually prove me wrong as they're smooshed together to one side of their bed.

    At least now there's enough room for me to jump their siderail, snuggle up nose to nose with them, and cuddle for a minute.

    Monday, December 8, 2008

    What did we do? And Not Me! Monday

    It was a fun, jampacked weekend. If I do say so myself.

    But don't take my word for it. Just ask these two who joined in the adventures with me:

    That's the duo that I caught myself blowing mucho kisses at--through the rearview--while barreling up the highway to the big city for an overnight sleepover at my brother and SIL's. But before we arrived at their slippery, six degree doorstep--2 hours from ours--we made some other stops. So in true Not Me! fashion, I'll fill you in on a little of what we didn't dip our toes in. (Toes covered with thick socks and snow boots, that is.)

    Hang on to your Viking hat, these horns are ready and rearin'.

    While enjoying our morning playdate with friends Nicole and MckMama (Where "Karen" works, but wasn't that day.), I did not look at their two sweet little girls and wish my little Norah and Hazel were along too. Not once! For goodness sakes, I had two children along with already. That was plenty. And Norah and Hazel were home with their daddy wrestling and reading books, so everyone was getting good quality time in. And I knew this, so it didn't feel weird--at all--that I was having fun with only half of my squad.

    Our next stop was my good friend Michelle's house. It was her daughter's 4th birthday party. And believe me, when we walked in and I saw her fabulously decorated cupcake birthday decor--trees of felted cupcake ornaments, carefully constructed cupcake shirts as party favors, and pink and brown ribbons and bows galore--I did not foam at my craft loving mouth. I just enjoyed it all like everyone else, not once drawing up blueprints in my mind of exactly how I would attempt to recreate it all when I returned home. Come on! Nope.

    And, after my SIL and I enjoyed our night out at the Christmas concert, we stopped at a Caribou for coffee by the fake fireplace. While standing in front of the cashier, trying to decide what to order, I did not apologize for my indecision justifying it with, "I'm sorry, it's just that I'm a Starbucks girl at heart but I'm trying to broaden my horizons."

    Now, if you want to play along in Not Me! Monday, go on over and join in. It's rejuvinating! Oh, and while you're over there, check out the REBEL FOR A CAUSE RAFFLE-WAY. The Mckfamily is raising support for three wonderful ministries. Try for a chance at winning a Canon SLR plus TONS of other great prizes. But hurry. It ends soon!

    Friday, December 5, 2008

    Just keepin' it real with ya'll.

    ( that when I'm 50, I don't brag to some new mom of 4under3 that my days with lots of little ones was one gigantic piece of chocolate cake!)

    Yesterday afternoon was supposed to be great memory making at its finest.

    And I think it was!

    I'm pretty sure each and every one of our four had a marvelous time on our trip to the corner/edge of our neighbor's yard/50 feet past our driveway and back.

    I'm quite certain that Hazel was telling Norah just "how much fun it is to ride" in the sled she was in. And it's a good thing that Norah didn't notice the mitten clips I fastened to her. It's like they didn't seem to mind the weather. Or being bundled. Not one bit.

    If only Mr. Marvelous was able to join us. He was at work about 15 minutes away. However, he might have heard all our laughing and caroling. I'm sure all the neighbors did.

    I know the little girls wanted to stay outside a bit longer, but I figured we've got all winter for outdoor fun. So we cut our snow play short...

    ...and snuggled on the front rug. I still in my coat/snowpants/boots/neckwarmer.

    We'd probably do it again this afternoon. But I sure don't want to wear out the excitement of it all, ya know. Like I said, we've got all winter.


    Wednesday, December 3, 2008

    Wordless Wednesday

    Alternately titled: New growth within a hibernative season.

    Alternately titled: Paperwhites! Where have you been all my life?

    Alternately titled: Even a non-green thumb can make these things grow.

    Alternately titled: Here comes the do-do. Here comes the sun.

    Alternately titled: A little ditty, about Jack and Diane. Two American kids growing up in the heartland. (Oh, wait. That's not right. Sorry, wrong post.)

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    I come to you with morning breath

    I practiced Lounging Complacency today. Otherwise known as the stay home, relax, and be fine with it exercise.

    I admit it. "Hi, my name is Tiffany and I am a Go-go-aholic."

    I've acknowledged that I have difficulty implementing the stillness proponent during the wake hours of our days--and I wish I didn't feel like we had to go somewhere every day--so last night I decided that this very Tuesday would be different.

    We were to be still. In our home. Together.

    So today was a pajama party for us all. Well, not all. Norah and Hazel woke up soaked to the bone, so they had breakfast in clean t-shirts, then went straight upstairs for a "splish splash," then into clean outfits. And I changed into lounging clothes from my real pajamas. But Julia and Luke sported their Cinderella and Basketball jammies through and through.

    And somehow this whole thing was super invigorating. And refreshing. Like a breath of Starbucks' whole bean Breakfast Blend. Ahh.

    I know that most days we all clean up nicely, like this little guy does:
    ..which makes today's all day pajama party--filled with morning breath--seem just fine.

    Monday, December 1, 2008

    Not Me! Monday

    I know. I'm late.

    Golly, some Not Me! members were writing about what they didn't do over 12 hours ago. Go check them out at MckMama's blog carnival. It's a hoot! And I'll be honest, time got away from me so I wasn't going to post today and it didn't even bother me. Not one bit!

    But, the little ones are napping and I've put one load of laundry in today so my day is feeling pretty accomplished. Here it goes.

    The other day when a friend asked me, "Are you tired this morning? You look a little sleepy." I most certainly didn't tell a little fib and agree with her that I was most definitely bushed. It didn't matter that I got 8 hours of sleep the night before and was feeling foot loose and fancy free that morning--until that moment--apparently I looked tired so I figured I'd give an explanation for my weary eyes.

    And yesterday when this little girl:

    begged me to repaint her fingernails--the ones that were painted by me the night before--because her "gloves rubbed off some of the polish" I did not tell her that partially rubbed off polish is the "in" thing these days so that I could get out of another fingernail fume session. I'm not sure if she believed me, being that my nails are never chipped and always polished up nice.

    Then today after serving up seconds on Julia and Luke's lunch plates, then putting away all our lunch fixins, I did not bribe them to "be finished already" when they asked for even more food. The bribe had nothing to do with "whoever is finished, clear your spots, wash your face, and I'll give you an Oreo cookie for dessert."

    And there you have it. Truthfulness revealed.

    Now what is it that you haven't done lately?

    Saturday, November 29, 2008

    Make Your Own Napkin Rings

    We've been discussing "Christmas lists," pretend playing with baby Jesus and the nativity scene beneath our tree, and giving our Christmas cds a run for their money, as they've been filling the house with Christmas cheer for quite some time now.

    And, I understand that most people decorate for Christmas sometime after Thanksgiving day. But I'll be honest, we've had our tree up and this table decorated for Christmas for nearly 2 weeks now.

    Pretty cute, right? That's what I thought each time I walked by our dining room table that's set for six. But it seemed as though something was missing. Until today.

    Ahh! Much better. Napkins dressed with a napkin ring. I found a similar idea over at Charlotte's and thought it was a grand idea. Here's how it's done.
    First, gather paper towel or toilet paper tubes, flatten a little, and cut to your desired size. Then, glue a coordinating paper and ribbon around the tube. Embellish with a button, and wala! Napkin Rings at their easiest.
    Now this little crew has plenty to cuddle up with while they're waiting for the three wise men.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    If you were a fly on our windshield

    If you were a fly on our windshield on the way to Thanksgiving today, this is what you would've seen. Well, this and a floor full of things meant to pacify those two dollies in red. They're tricky little buggers, that's for sure. One day sippy cups, mascara tubes, straws and books do the trick. Other days it's to the floor they fall.

    And then when there seems to be nothing left to try and I'm really desperate to soothe the disheartened ones, I flip down that dvd screen you see up there--the one that we've never, ever, not once put to use, maybe now is the time--and narrarate a fingerplay of the scene in Nemo when Dory goes dillusional because Martin is following her. You know the one.

    The little ones love it. For two seconds.

    Then it's back to tugging at their straps in hopes of breaking free.


    But, Mr. Marvelous said it perfect this morning--on our way to his aunt's on his mom's side of the family--"There's this funny thing about being a parent. Even when you think you are entirely beyond annoyed with something, after it's all over you completely forget about it."

    And it's true. Even though I about pulled each hair out of my head during our time in the car today--which by the way is growing back in rather nicely now--just thinking about those two little muchkins makes me want to go crawl in bed with them.

    Which is very possible these days. In fact, I have crawled in bed with them a few times now. More on their new sleeping arrangement is forthcoming.

    three four cheers for...

    Meet the hat that I fashioned for Mr. Marvelous to wear to a big game that he and his buddies took a road trip to see.

    And meet the little tough guy who now claims it.

    Any guesses as to who our 4under3 cheer for?

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    globbing on a pretty shade of pink

    After I published my last post I remembered that I had this picture.

    One afternoon--just a year and a half ago--after Mr. Marvelous had returned home from work, Julia modeled her brand new skirt for her daddy then slipped away into our room to paint her fingernails by herself. While we were making supper in the kitchen, she was globbing on a pretty shade of pink polish being careful not to dribble a drop on her clothing or our white duvet.

    There was a huge "thanks" that went out to the Bible that was sitting on my nightstand that day. Julia decided it would work nicely as a flat surface in which to perform her painting activity on.

    And it did.

    It caught every trickle and slop of spilled paint leaving no fabric permanently polished pink.


    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Violet Light #11

    It was after I had been running around the house this morning changing diapers, refilling sippy cups for our morning outing, wiping the counters, and vacuuming crumbs that I remember asking Julia to "Please go potty, and get your coat and shoes on. We're ready to bounce." And that's when she obliged with the most polite, easygoing, "Ok, my favorite Mommy," that I have ever heard come out of her mouth.

    And as I stood there watching her polish off the last swallows from the glass of water she was holding, I thought, "Wo, wo, wo, she's really got the importance of talking in a respectful manner down pat here. Now that I think about it, she has responded in the most angelic way for at least the last 20 minutes.

    While I continued to pat myself on the back while rolling compliment after compliment through my head of the wonderful parenting I felt Mr. Marvelous and I were exhibiting, my eyes landed on her fingernails. Then her fingers. Then the front of her dress.


    It seems as though her little get together with Revlon's Violet Light #11--behind the couch in the loft--left her feeling a bit guilty. Thus, the explanation for all the, "Sure, Mama!" "I'd love to Mama!" And the "I'll do anything which pleases you, for thou art the most magnificient Mama for always."
    Ok, so she didn't say that last one.

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    For your quick 4under3 fix...

    • You were right about my twitter. Mr. Marvelous did gift me an early present. And, yes, they are some sassy, wool lined boots. But, what I didn't tell you is that I was in fact doing the shopping solo and happened to call him to tell him the details of my newest favorite pair. That's when he in turn replied with, "Hon, how about you get them today." Woot Woot! So, really, I am the one who bought my Christmas present early. But only with the go-ahead from the true gifter.
    • Tonight I allowed Julia to wear her new Snow White dressup glass slippers to bed.
    • We made Gingerbread cookies Friday afternoon, and then again tonight. We all decided that this is the start of a 4under3 tradition.
    • Before our church service started this morning, we arrived in our row--second from the front--Mr. Marvelous stood up to talk to a friend, and I set Norah and Hazel down so I could dig out my chapstick from the bottom of my purse. (The same kind of chapstick that the Gift Giving Elf sent Alex when I drew her name last week.) And out of the corners of my eyes, I saw all 5 children--our 4 year old niece included--disappear out of sight. At that moment, I wasn't a bit bothered by it, and continued to take my time applying my Burt's Bees. However, 3 other church members must have noticed, because when I turned around, one anxiously announced that I had lost my children, while the others waited for my response. "Oh, thanks. They are quick ones. I just thought if I waited long enough, someone else might round them up for me." was my joking remark. They seemed pleasantly humored by my comment. Then off I went.
    • I gave in this afternoon during a trip to Walmart. I bought Julia something that I promised Mr. Marvelous I would not let her wear outside of our home. While Julia and I were there last week, she found an incredibly gaudy, pink, Sleeping Beauty hoodie that had a big plastic picture of the snoozing princess on the front. And if that doesn't scream, "NOT ON MY CHILD!" the plastic princess flashes when you move. Ah. But last week, Julia looked me in the eyes and told me it was the "only thing" she wants for Christmas. And she hasn't forgotten about it. So, I gave in while the children were home napping with daddy today, and bought it to put under the tree.


    • Wouldn't it be saWEET if the winner of MckMama's Small Fryday contest received their very own playdate with her and her four Charming Kids. I'd love to win that. Oh, wait! We've already got a playdate down on the calendar. Yipee. (Don't hate me because I'm beaut get to hold Stellan.)


    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Can I sit on the ballerina's lap instead of Santa's?

    Halfway through the play that the Children's Dance Theatre put on this morning, Julia turned around and whispered quietly in my ear. "I love this Mommy!"

    And I did too.

    I was out on a special morning date with my firstborn, she was sitting on my lap holding my hands, I was breathing in her sweet 4 year old smell alongside one of her pigtails and we were watching The Polar Express together in an auditorium filled with children.

    "Thank you for bringing me," she whispered again, with a honey-of-a-smile.

    Ah. I could have melted. I mean, I know I melted. And, I'm sure I've said that 3 year olds are the most fun--and I bet before that I declared twos to be the best--but I take it back. The fours are so fantastic!

    It's a good thing that I decided to make this to keep track of all these wonderful memories:

    It's the memory journal I made for her. Soon, "Julia" will adorn the front in the most perfect font. It's here where I started writing her letters about my thoughts, perspectives, and feelings of a day in the life of Julia's Mommy.

    Before naps are over, I'm going to write about the mini-sermon she gave in the car on the way home. And how she much rather preferred hugging one of the little ballerinas that was dressed in a white tutu...over Santa Claus.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Wild Turkey Wednesday

    Alternately titled: You thought my tweet was an exaggeration.
    Alternately titled: Would my sheriff neighbor notice if I went on a turkey hunt within city limits?
    Alternately titled: Do people actually eat wild turkey?
    Alternately titled: I wonder if they're friends with these guys?

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Favorite Post-S

    I almost twittered to you all after I [s]napped Luke into his carseat and proceeded to crawl into the truck this evening. We were off to little man's [s]wim lessons in 30 degree weather. The tweet would have went something like this.

    "Why in the world did we pick November to start our 6 week stint of wet heads in freezing weather? Couldn't we have put our already fish-like son in gymnastics--or something--and gained just as much bonding time with him as we worked on his flexibility? I mean, flexibility! That would have at least helped him to reach his feet and put his socks on more effectively. And I'm pretty certain we both would leave the gym with dry hair."

    But, all of that most definitely wouldn't have fit on that tiny little screen that Twitter gives us. So, the long-winded one that I am just kept those thoughts to my [s]hivering [s]elf.

    However, on the flipside, Luke and I had great toddler conversation on our way to the swimming pool, I was so proud of my energetic [s]uper [s]wimmer while we were there, and I was reminded of how much I really do love watching his [s]mile appear when he asks, "Mommy, you swim wit me in dat pool?" and I assure him I will. So it ended up being a [s]pecial night with my little guy once again.

    And rightfully so, as tonight's activities came to a close, I had [s]wimming and [s]hivering--along with Julia's plea to God to drop the right amount of [s]now tonight that would allow her to [s]ki tomorrow morning--on my mind. This gave rise to yet another Favorite Post-[S]. Right behind B and P.

    So, [s]it back and enjoy the [s]how.

    I'm [s]ure there's a favorite of yours [s]tuck in here [s]omewhere.

    We'll start with [s]nowbunnies...especially this one from last year:
    And, [s]now! [S]now that's made into [s]nowmen, [s]now that falls as [s]nowflakes, and [s]now that's piled [s]ix feet tall along the [s]ides of our driveway. I love [s]now!

    And [s]wimming laps...especially when I've got a full hour entirely reserved for me and my goggles.

    And [s]ewing, and [s]ailboats...which Mr. Marvelous reassures me we'll never own. For, I guess, the [s]tress of moving it down the river doesn't [s]ound enjoyable to him.

    I love [s]tars...especially the ones I can see from the roof outside my old bedroom window on my parent's farm. I used to lay a blanket out on clear nights and try and imagine how big the [s]olar [s]ystem really is.

    [S]kiing with Mr. Marvelous is a very favorite of mine. We've made week long [s]ki trips--the week after Christmas--an annual thing, and I look forward to it each year.

    Then there's [s]nail mail, [s]crapbooking, [s]unshine through my bedroom window, [s]nuggling with our [s]ixteen month olds, [s]inging loudly in the car, [s]teamy hot [s]howers, [s]urprises, and p[s]alms 139.


    Oh, yea, and hitting the [s]ack early.

    [S]o long now.

    [S]ee ya.

    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    THE FINAL UNVEILING: because he was daydreaming of me during class


    The following photos are snippets of the painting that hangs above the fireplace in our bedroom. It was designed, created, and given to me by Mr. Marvelous on Christmas 6 years ago. We had been engaged for 9 months and were to be married the following May. It goes without saying that my husband-to-be did a great job hitting it right on the nose in the melt your fiance's heart department. (Which he was a pro at--by that point--since we had been dating for 6 years prior.)

    He told me that he designed the rough draft on a notebook during a college ed class, as he was thinking about his lovely wife-to-be. Ahem.

    Then being the ambitious, get 'er done now type that he is, he went a hunting for the frame, special paints and brushes, and got right to work. Upon finishing, he named his creation "EMBRACE," tried his best job at wrapping it, then handed it to me--that Christmas Eve--with the look of anticipation spread across his face. Can you tell what he created atop this canvas?

    With a husband that is sweet as pie, it's easy to brag on him. Which is what this post is all about. Now, don't get me wrong. We have our moments. The moments when the eldest child comes out in the both of us, meeting eachother head to head. But, with 11 years under our belts it seems we're better able to read eachother's minds and "plan accordingly." I wonder what 50 years will feel like?

    So, without further ado...allow me to present all it's geometric splendor...and black and white, straight lined glory...

    EMBRACE by Mr. Marvelous.