Thursday, January 29, 2009

Now you see it. Now you don't.

If it's out of sight, it's out of mind. Right?

Take food for example. For Norah & Hazel--but mostly Norah--if they've been enjoying an afternoon snack in their highchairs for a half hour already, and they look as though they're about to burst, we quickly stow away all animal crackers, clementines, raisens, and grapefruit segments so that food slowly shifts out of mind. And it works.

Or, take chapstick. Again, if Norah & Hazel have spotted a couple tubes of this lovely lip hydrant, you allow them both to practice putting it on by themselves, give them a few minutes to relish the time of holding it in their own little hands, then you quickly pry it from their tiny fingers, stick it in your back pocket without them noticing, and try to entice them with a Eric Carle book hoping they completely forget about it since it's out of sight. ask nicely, "Please give mommy the chapstick," in which they both obey, place it in your hand, and you put it back in the drawer, hoping that by keeping it out of sight, it will stay out of their two little minds.

Or, how about all this stuff that's under the desk in my craft room:

Looking at it tends to stir up an undistinguishable restlessness that usually leads me to scrubbing the toilet, munching on a bag of Reese's Pieces, or vacuuming pretty little lines into my carpet.

Little did I know, all I had to do was this:

..and put all that stuff out of sight. And pleasantly out of mind.

I'm not saying that it helped--in the least bit--with the Reese's problem.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One Word Wednesday




[These photographs feature Ms. Norah Kae, and her sledding sidekick sister Julia.]

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Not Me! Monday with Jose and Joe

No way, Jose! It's Monday already?

Oh, I love to love to love being honest with myself, and the rest of MckMama's Not Me! Monday world. It's fun and venturesome all wrapped up in one. Mmm! Like one of those Cherry Truffles I keep tweeting about. One part playful cherry, one part devious chocolate. (Ok. Fine. Many parts devious chocolate.)

So, here we go, Joe!

I did not hesitate a bit before posting this most recent video of my narration that was intended to show a normal afternoon during which I get the twins up from naps. After reviewing it, it did not seem as though my voice had a similar resemblance to that of a clamorous pigeon. And, I did not wonder if my IRL friends would agree? And even if you now envision me to be the clamorous pigeon type, I would never think to film another video of me talking in my rollicking dove voice instead. There'd be no need to set you all straight on the matter. Na ah! Nope.

And while in church this morning--as we were preparing to listen to our pastor's message--I did not spill my Caramel Macchiato on Mr. Marvelous' khaki pants. And if I did--which I didn't--it would have certainly been caused by sheer misfortune, and not the lackadaisical hold I had on my new red and cream pinched felted flower coffee sleeve that: I'm completely in love with, I was gazing at with googly ingenious design eyes, and I want to lick because it's so pretty. No! I told you. Coffee sleeves like these do nothing for me. Nothing.

And after the following conversation with our 2 year old son, I did not want to have 10 of him, 2 years apart, for the next 20 years, just so that I'd always have a piece of the adorable--and sometimes completely misunderstandable--little language that he's got going on right now.


"Yes, Lukers?" I squatted down to his little boy level and looked him straight in the eyes.

"Mommy, ader me obver in Lauren teeder dust an shoes ader meet. An me olding Lauren's shoes obver wen. Right?"

"Hmm. Let's see." I paused to think, and tried to process what in the world just came out of that cute little mouth of his. Then, I followed with, "What did you just say, honey?"

Obviously, I was the one who he thought was not paying attention. And with an irritated tone he said to me,

"Ah. Mommy! I just toad you."

Oh, Ok! Then yes. Yep. Go right ahead buddy!"

End of questionable conversation.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Very routine. But not today. But definitely tomorrow.

Today has been everything but routine. Which is abnormal for this household, but it was an exhilarating blast, to say the least.

We're the schedule type that has planned around morning and afternoon naps for the past 4 years. Even the thought of skipping or shortening naptime stresses me right out. I found early on--with our firstborn, now 4 year old--that naptime energized both parties most definitely. Then, the next three hooligans followed suit.

But this morning! Ho, ho! This morning after breakfast, Mr. Marvelous and I loaded our 4under3 into the truck--the one that's finally fixed and back home with us--and made like dauntless unflinching bandits as we headed for the big city. The Boat Show was our destination and a time frame and expectation for naps and complete pyramid meals was not part of its design. Believe me, it took mental brain power on my part to convince myself that throwing our daily schedule out the window for a day would not wreak havoc on our children. And, what do you know!! It didn't.

As we walked around shiny watercrafts, we nibbled on pretzel rods and left trails of dropped popcorn. We smiled kindly at the passerbyers who couldn't help but chuckle at our crew, and agreed with the folks that occasionally stopped to comment about our tiny team. "Oh, yes, we are a busy bunch!" I'd say.

After pushing lunch back 2 1/2 hours from its regular time, and lollygagging our way back home, we had no intentions for a required rejuvination period for our little people. After all, it was a nonroutine day.

But tomorrow you can scratch flyin' by our pants. We'll be right back on track. Around 3:30'ish, I'll be walking down this hallway as I finish rounding up napping children.

(The following video was supposed to be an example of a normal day getting the little girls up from their nap. Can you see all that they were doing to entertain themselves as they waited for me? (I woke Luke Batman up first, and he came along to help.) Keep in mind, what you don't see in this video is how I was scoping out the scene nervously after I entered. I was praying that the odor I was smelling was not due to something that was spread all over the little girls' crib. Thankfully everything was contained. Thankfully. And, after watching this video the second time, I noticed two things that cracked me up, that I didn't notice when I first shot it. Do you see them?)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Alternately titled: Candidate for the cutest 4 year old niece--ever!

Alternately titled: For which it's 16 degrees out this morning--56 degrees warmer than last week--so break out the summer swimsuit pictures.

Alternately titled: Queen to the perfectly spiral curled hair.

Alternately titled: (Fill in the blank.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I knew that old Starbucks apron would be put to good use.

Remember this little ditty?

..the one that Gina found at 23Hearts and insisted that I have. To me, it's like Strawberry Sour Punch Straws bottled up in fabric. Or it's like the sound of classical music and baby giggles captured in thread. That's how much I [heart] this coffee sleeve. I think that's why I sometimes slip it around my water glass during the day, too.

Well, today--as it kept my velvety Caramel Macchiato warm--it inspired me to create comrades for it to commune with.

So I did.

Not Me! Monday in the big city

Not Me!

It kind of reminds me of the phrase I hear when I ask one of our 4under3 participants--mostly the oldest two, since you know, the youngest two really don't talk yet--something like:

"Excuse me. Who did this?" Not Me! Or, "Does anyone know what happened here?" Not Me!

Well, slap me silly because I know these new sheets of adorable scrapbooking paper--that I just bought, hadn't gotten out of the bag yet, and was planning on using this week--didn't shred themselves into pieces.

But we all say it. And so here I go.

Saturday night, as we waited for our friends to meet us at the swanky restaurant that I tweeted about, Mr. Marvelous and I did not belly up to the bar and laugh about how we just pranked our friends into thinking that the reservations they had booked for us weeks ago were nowhere to be found in said super packed restaurant.

And, after we dined on grouper, steaks, asparagus, and famous hashbrowns we did not take a walk through the park to the NHL arena where we'd eventually scream our little lungs out. I did not stop to strike a pose with my friend Abby, imagining we were big city girls just livin' the life. (Doesn't she look sweet! And, would you believe me if I told you that she and her husband have 9 children?)

No. I wouldn't believe me either. No really. Don't believe me.

Then, as Abs and I walked to our seats for the first time--our hubbies lost us in the bathroom line and ended up in their seats before us--we did not giggle at the sight of these two snuggle bunnies who did a wonderful job exhibiting both endearment, and roaring manly qualities simultaneously throughout the game.

And when the scoreboard said we lost at the end of the game, being the dedicated, encouraging fans that we are, we did not jump up and hustle back through a Sleepless in Seattle'ish type park to the said swanky restaurant for the dessert reservations we had. You know, the desserts of pies and ice creams that did not taste like heaven in our mouths.
Nope. Nosiree!

So, belly up Not Me'ers. Let's hear all about your favorite Not Me! Then, head over to MckMama's--the Ringmaster--to read some more.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mark My Words

UPDATE: It's at the end of this post.


Here's the scoop!

It appears that many of you have questions swirling around in your head for the cast of 4under3. My poor inbox overfloweth! And gosh, I'm feeling quite famous! But, since it's been hard to answer them all personally I thought I'd post a coffee shop'ish type read today. To set all your minds at ease.

Brittany tagged me over at 4littlemen & twins to do a No Rules Meme. So I thought: The children are napping, and it's not laundry day, so why not share some random details with you all?

Here we go:

If there was such a thing as a Potty Training Nanny--specifically for almost 3 year old boys--I'd hire her in a second. No price would be too high.

I am energized by the smell and tastes of grapefruit and chamomile. (Teas, handwash, foot scrubs, lotion, wedges with sugar sprinkled on.) Call it a sensory carnival for me!

It's really hard for me to talk on the phone during the day. If I know I can't give my 100% full attention to the caller, I'll pass it through. But, if it's an important call that I've been expecting, I'll duck into the nearest room and lock myself in.

Even though I LOVE winter, the snowier the better, I have not been enjoying our subzero spell thus far. (We've had like 2.3 days so far to actually play in the snow, which is where all the fun is at.) However, there have been two things that have helped keep my spirits high in our snowy season: my moss LaFonda jacket and my furry boots. I've totally been crushin' on them ever since Mr. Marvelous gifted them to me for Christmas.

I don't care to watch TV--there's maybe an occasional viewing of The Unit with Mr. Marvelous--until The Bachelor and American Idol come around. And, mark my words, the American Idol contestant Kacey, from Minneapolis, will make it as one of the top 12 finalists.

When I look at/think about/touch/hear the voice of Mr. Marvelous, I'm nearly sent to the moon with passion. Even during one of our few-and-far-between spats, I wonder how he can still intoxicate me with his darn sweetness.

And now, if you are still interested, here is the recipe for the Beer Bread & the Loaded Baked Potato Soup. Remember, an overdose of bacon, cheddar, and chives.

Don't. Forget!

UPDATE: Now, to those I tag. Would the following please come on down! You're the next contestants on this No Rules Meme.

The Henrys

Thursday, January 15, 2009

it throws you into a funk

As it turns out, it's a bitter arctic tundra here.

And because of it, all our school systems announced last night that they'd be closed today. In addition, the MOPs group that I'm a part of canceled today's meeting too. Not that either of those really pertain to us today, being that our eldest is a newly 4-year-old who only attends preschool two mornings a week, and we're without our truck that has been in the shop since Monday fixing these. And it will stay put there for yet another full week. (Remember when that happened? Grr.)

So, this morning we dined on a batch of Banana pancakes, then a batch of Chocolate Chip pancakes. Then, we snacked from this beautiful, well-crafted, 4-sided inscribed jar (Thanks Kelly!):

All the while, carrying this coffee--sleeved with style--around with me everywhere I went (Thanks Gina):

We played with Daddy when he came home for a meeting with the cable guy:

(R: Hazel, L: Norah)
Then, we laughed about how much Hazel is a daddy's girl, and how I wished that it was Bring Your Youngest Daughter To Work Day. (Explanation: whenever Daddy is around, but then has to leave, it always throws this littlest sister--by 2 minutes--into a funk.)

What is it that throws you into a funk?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pregnant with Fishing Poles

Yes, I realize that it's been an entire week since I last pushed publish here at 4under3's imaginative outlet. But thanks for the polite reminder.

And, no, I didn't devise a sick and wrong plan to withhold bits and pieces of our life in hopes of sending each one of you dedicated bloggy friends into a whirlwind of trepidation, wondering where in the world I was.

I didn't drown in the stockpot of my newest favorite Loaded Baked Potato soup, along side a piping hot loaf of Beer bread that: I [heart], is way too easy to make, and is excessively too good to be true. (Although there's some truth to that last one.)

No, I didn't take up a late New Year's resolution to end all my time in the blogosphere. I don't do resolutions. But if I did, it might sound something like: Eat More Baked Potato Soup topped with an overdose of bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar, and chives.

And--to set things straight, for Julia's preschool teacher, Sunday school teacher, and all--I have not been away from my computer because of being stricken with morning sickness.

We have no new bun in our oven!

While Mr. Marvelous and I encourage creative thinking within the little minds of this house, we're working on teaching our eldest how to start made up stories with, "Once upon a time..." That way, "Once upon a mommy was pregnant, and Once upon a time...I caught a whale with my princess fishing pole in Florida," makes much more sense. Wouldn't you agree?

And no--tongue in cheek--there was no disagreement here on the homefront about how we spend our extra time. It had nothing to do with ESPN, blogging, or tv. And, I didn't try and get my point across--here on the homefront--for an entire week, by withholding posts. (Gosh, this is starting to sound like a Not Me! post, now isn't it?)

It's just that nothing very stirring, attention-grabbing, or post worthy happened all week.

Bit of fun, people. Bit of fun.

But, we're back.

And, to start you back guessing, tonight this will definitely be used:

Any guesses as to what it is?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Welcoming Home Committee: Blood, Bumps, and Boo Boos

I get the impression that the portion of our 4under3* that were left behind last week--while Mr. Marvelous, our eldest, and I frolicked fancily along the warm abnormally warm coast--have put their heads together and agreed on displaying a rather normal busy day here at the homestead, instead of easing us back into reality.

*4 [children in] Under 3 [years].

I'll have you know that throughout the entire vacation, the only one opportunity for me to even consider placing a grimace upon my face was when Mr. Marvelous informed me that he had dropped my bottle of Aveda Phomollient and busted up the cap.

Minuscule. Right?

Otherwise, the mental break was superb. There was not one thought to Grrrr, or Rrrrr, or shout in my pillow, "Please tell me you all are kidding!" (Ok, I've never done that last one. But, don't think that having many little people around wouldn't push a person to it.)

And, even supposing that we've compressed a split lip for the little man of the house and iced a goose egg well positioned on the back of a little girl's head--all before lunch today--it's good to be home with my babies.

Even though yesterday's temp in Naples--before we boarded our plane--read 83 degrees, and even though it was the second warmest place to be yesterday, in all of America (Second to Orlando checking in at 1 degree warmer.), and even though it proved to be warmer then even the tropical islands of Cozumel and Montego Bay, Jamaica, it really wasn't necessary to stay one more day in it and do this:

Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So long Floridians!

Hi everyone! It's me. Julia. There's been a lot of firsts for me these past few days. The first time flying solo on a big vacation with my parents (Which was fun, but--I'll have you know--I've asked about my little brother and sisters alot while I've been away, and told mom and dad that next time I want them to come along too.), the first time seeing the ocean, and soon the first time flying in a big airplane. I'm so excited! (Did you know that I liked airplanes so much when I was little, that Pink Airplanes was my 2nd birthday party theme? Yep.)

But now it's time to snap back into reality and kiss all of that vacation stuff goodbye.

Soon I'll rejoin the rest of my family in really, really, reeeally cold weather. That's when walking along the beach will simply be a distant memory tucked away in the filing cabinets of my 4 year old brain.

So long Floridians! You've been good to us. Now, we're outta here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Twittered Pictures

Mr. Marvelous would like a moment on the mic. He's hoping that you all remember that even though the Vikings lost, they're still number one in our hearts.

Poor guy. To be so emotionally attached like that.

I--on the other hand--hope you all enjoyed my tweets at 'cha today. I'm serious when I say that I send them hoping you'll all take them like I'm telling each and everyone of you to your faces. (Only with a few less words, and a more mellow dramatic tone.)

And here. How about I slip a few pictures on your screen to bring even more life to my tweetering. Do any of these pictures look pairable to today's tweets?

Tweet ya later. Tomorrow is our last day to blow kisses to this fabulous sun and wiggle sand between our toes. We'll see what we find to pack in before we pack our bags.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not Me! Monday while on Vacation

You'd think that while being surrounded by weather that's a whoppin' 94 degrees warmer than home--which also happens to be 29 hours and 1770 miles away from home--there'd be no room for embarrassing, silly, or shameful episodes.

And there hasn't been. Riiight.

Yesterday morning while hubs, my MIL and I were waiting on the lanai for breakfast to be served, Julia was concentrating on taming her excitement about walking to the pool to swim. As she patiently paced the floor, she apparently couldn't hold her exuberance in any longer. That's when she did not run full bore into one of the closed sliding glass panel doors separating the living room from the lanai. She did not look as though she was a fly smacking a moving car window. She did not bounce back on her bottom on the tiled floors. And she definitely did not turn into a sobbing mess because of her miscalculation of closed spotless glass doors to open spotless glass doors. Not her! And it--for sure--did not take everything in us to keep a straight face from the comical sight she made.

And, I did not--upon ordering the King Crab Legs at a private beach club the other night while out with my in-laws and friends of theirs--break into a sweat wondering how in the world I was supposed to eat said crab legs when the waiter presented me with them. I'm a cultured girl, and definitely not sheltered in the seafood department. I know things like this. And really, as I sat back quietly, secretively scoping out how the others were digging out their crab meat with their mini crab fork, I agreed that they were doing it correctly. Just as I thought it was to be done.

I know what you're thinking. She sure has got it together. Now, I'd love to hear how well you have it together.

And, in case you want to check out others who indeed have it together, hop on over to My Charming Kids and join in the fun.

A Slow Fade Day!

It's been a slow fade day!

Being treated to lunch on the member deck of The Mediterra Beach Club, then playing in the sun for the rest of the day.

Now that's called Coastal Therapy!

A slow da-aaay!

Blues and greens in many shades.

Now that's called Ocean Artwork!

A slow day!

Palm trees swaying, sea gull chasing, shell hunt racing.

Now, that's called Beach front playing.

A slow day...

...on the Bay!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Soaking it up


You don't know how exciting it is to be back online, with my tweeters, commenters, and bloggy buddies relaxing with Mr. Marvelous and Juj in Naples, FL. My FIL & his wife were so excited to see us drive in, and boy-oh-boy are they fabulous entertainers.

I'm going to make this quick so I can rejoin them out on the lanai. (I had no idea what that was until this afternoon when we arrived.)

Tonight we enjoyed dinner on the beach at the La Playa Beach Club. Here is Julia shelling along the ocean for the first time.


Can't a blogger have a minute alone on the computer?

They're calling. I gotta go.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

28 hour road trip

Ahh! The crashing waves.

If I squeeze my eyes closed real tight--and ignore the sound of my PC running at my feet--I can hear them. And it won't be long now, before I revisit the home of the Year Round Heat Wave for some relaxation and rejuvination. Although our life rearing our 4 children--all born to us in under 3 years--is pretty much a gigantic piece of chocolate cake, we're ready for a little change of scenery for a few days.

Naples, FL here we come!

Hubs and I decided that the weather is fair enough here in Icicleville to head out tonight--as opposed to tomorrow morning--and guide the smallest car I've ever laid legs in down 20 some hours of road. Wish us luck. Please pray for our safe travel. It's not like me to get nervous, but you know, we'll have one of our most precious pieces of cargo stowed--in a fancy popcan on wheels--with us, and three others waiting at home. Phew! It's funny how the birth of your children changes your dare factor in life.

With that being said, here are a few of our target points along our road trip. How many of you have been/know someone/live near any of these?

Madison, WI
Champaign, IL
Nashville, TN
Birmingham, AL
Montgomery, AL
Tallahassee, FL
Tampa, FL
or Naples, FL

I'm bringing the camera and I hope to take some random, meaningless photos to show you all, all the while tweeting about our excursions there and back. And, I'm sure the drive will go fast, being that I'll be bringing along that scarf I started knitting and really need to get moving on have our 4 year old's new Leapster to play with.

Ta ta for now.

Oh, and one more thing. Toddler slippers! They were toddler slippers sewn and packaged for some friends' little girls.