Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hazel's point of view at the zoo

Go ahead. Tell 'em Hazel.

Hazel: Ohhh, we had a mighty fine time at the zoo the other day. Get a load of this. My mama didn't get any pictures of the animals that day, but she did get to witness a rather comical form of brotherly endearment:
...That kinda cracked everyone up.
And even though we didn't spot the tiger, which is my brother Luke's very favorite animal, we did see the giraffe and ostrich. Julia about dropped over with excitement at the site of those.
And my sister and I liked the playful sea otters the most. We watched them through the glass as they wrestled in the water together. They were at a perfect height for where we were sitting in our double stroller. (The stroller that we got to get out of a few times this trip. That was a treat.) Since I have a thing for water, I could have watched them all afternoon. That is, until I needed to eat. I like to eat, and drink from my sippy. Especially on daddy's lap. See, that's me on the right:
And that's my sister, Norah. She got really upset when Mama left her side just to take this picture:
She is the biggest Mama's girl. Honestly! My parents say none of us other children have played favorites, except Norah. But my Mama doesn't really mind it, unless she's trying to stir boiling macaroni noodles or clean up shattered RedHot spills.
Speaking of my Mama. Here she is. This is the only picture of her from our trip. Julia took it while Mama was trying to keep me from pushing the stroller into the fountain. She doesn't want you to click in on the picture. And when Mama says something, you obey.
These two make me laugh. And I laugh hard. I mean, just look at them. My brother Luke almost put his head in that there fountain behind them. My parents noticed just in time. He changed his mind really quickly.

And there you have it. A snippet of our day away. Now if you'll excuse me...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

please pass me another gigantic slice of chocolate cake

Life with lots of little people isn't a walk in the park everyday.

I'd sure like to think that rearing our 4 & 3 year olds, and 2 1 year olds is as easy as plowing through a gigantic piece of chocolate cake. But we all know the truth in that. And, you know I tend to keep it real with ya'll. Rememeber?

However, I'm all about bringing the sunshine here at 4under3. Even if it is a drizzling spring day.

So, for you my dear readers, fiest your eyes on our morning adventures. It didn't go as I would have planned it to. But, it just might take away the pain from that jar of tomatoes you just dropped on your right toe, or the drawing your toddler just created on your newly painted wall. It might just crack a few sunshiny rays through your curtains. Then you might be able to sigh and be reminded that, "It's okay, she had a really crappy morning too she dealt with some issues too."

It might.

It all started this morning--after arriving home from a trip to a superstore where my 3 year old flipped a lid after I told him he could not have another pair of Spiderman sandals, and as I was starting lunch--when Norah took off her skirt & diaper while playing in the garage. Most times that's no big deal. Unless she has a dirty diaper. Drats! She had a dirty diaper. So, while my noodles were boiling, and proceeding to stick to the bottom of the pot, I cleaned her up on the floor of the bathroom that's right off our kitchen.

Now, while Norah and I were in the bathroom, I smelled the most unusual smell. A smell that reminded me of Mr. Marvelous' spicy grilled wings. "Mmm," I thought. "That smells good. But why is it coming from my bathroom?" As I secured Norah's diaper tabs and put her skirt back on, I looked around. Nothing. That's when I turned to see that Hazel had taken a bottle of RedHot Wing Sauce from the pantry and dropped it on the kitchen floor, shattering it to bits. And if I didn't know any better, I would have thought that the wing sauce tried its darndest to maneuver itself across the floor on as much of our newly tiled grout lines as it could.

After scrubbing RedHot off of our floor, I scraped noodles off the bottom of the pot and proceeded to make homemade Mac-n-Cheese while the twins colored with markers at the island that I was working at.

Between the time it took me to scrape noodles and serve up plates, Norah had thrown a red crayon into my pot of macaroni, and colored semi circles on her sister's forehead.

Dear Lord! Please, pull the plug from this preposterousness!

Say that three times really fast. Say it. Say it!!!

Ahem. Noooo. I'm fine. Really.

In fact, all that's over. And, I feel better now. I do.

Do you?

Well then. Here. Have a chicken wing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

barefoot and blending

Have you ever felt the need to post a picture of what you're wearing just because you love the color so (so, so, so) much?

M'kay. Just curious.

Have you ever felt the need to post a picture of one of your kitchen appliances for the same reason?

Me either.

But, have you ever hung a gift from your MOPs group leader over your kitchen chair just so you can snap a picture of it's vibrant color, and then post it too?

I've heard of people doing that.

And I've heard of people posting pictures of their dish soap dispensing jar to show off it's lively yet sophisticated hue.

But, personally I choose to post about more current topics like Healthcare and Environmental Policies.

Friday, May 22, 2009

a ribbon wrapped, cellophane stunner.

So, I've cut down on pie eating.

And truthfully, I haven't even peeled back the tinfoil from the pie plate once in the last day and a half.

I credit my friend Resa for part of that. That girl! She did it to me again.

She sent me eye candy at it's finest. And you know how eye candy holds a dear place in my heart. I'm so glad she did. I consider this my distraction package:

These clips and magnets have been keeping my mind's eye off of that darn succulent Strawberry Rhubarb.

When I pulled out this ribbon wrapped, cellophane stunner, I gasped. Oh my Lord, I wanted to lick them, and then put them somewhere. But where? I didn't think that attaching them to my outfit, for an easy, creative pick me up would be appropriate.

I had an idea.

I took this old, grimey, how-in-the-world-did-this-thing-get-this-way cookie sheet:

Then, I ran to the bottom of the hill to our scrap store to get coordinating paper so I could slather it with Mod Podge and make it look like this:

That's when I placed a few things to feature on my new magnet board, grabbed a hammer and nail and hung it here: the laundry room that's right off my kitchen.
A perfect place to showcase new eye candy. Wouldn't you say?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I solemnly swear

[Right hand raised.]

I, Mama to 4underfeet, do solemnly swear to never try this recipe. Ever again.

I promise to go back to my old ways and proclaim homemade pie crusts completely overrated.

I sincerely and truly declare that I will move on from participating in the act of the finger-licking and double dipping of this pie filling. And, I do swear that I will leave this mouthwatering Strawberry Rhubarb pie, that's on my countertop, alone from now on.

I will, to the utmost of my power, refuse the temptation to ingest it. And, I accept that I've had an overabundance in the past 20 hours.

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to snacks of rutabagas and kumquats from now on. You have my word.

Should I break from my oath, you shall find me locked in the bathroom with crumbs on my face.

Monday, May 18, 2009

She "chalks" our world.

If you haven't noticed, 4under3's publishing company has slowed down a bit. At first, I liked to think it had something to do with our construction zone.* I imagined things would pick back up to posting every couple of days. But now I'm thinking otherwise.

*The zone that is nearly complete. All that is left is the tiling of the backsplash. I promise an extensive photo gallery right after the ribbon cutting ceremony. I promise. I'm sorry. Ok? I promise.

I don't know how it can be, but it seems as though nearly 2 year old twins have the capability to run in you two different directions at once. Last year at this time Norah & Hazel were barely moving. This year, at the end of the day, it's me who's barely moving.

It's so much fun though. The before-the-barely-moving part. And man do I think our 4underfeet are the cutest, sweetest, funniest children around.

Take today for an example.

We chalked. Like we always like to do.

And this snippet of Julia tracing Hazel makes me laugh. Not because of the bitty belly that's hanging out, or the memory of Hazel plopping her little body down on the driveway in hopes that Julia would notice and come over, but because of our spunky monkey's naked left foot. Would you believe me if I said I never even noticed that Hazel was missing a left shoe while we were outside? What kind of mom am I?

And this cracks me up too. What? You're not sure what exactly this is?

How about this? Does it look like my shadow flashing the peace sign? Tracing shadows is a favorite in Julia's world.

I'm telling ya, this girl can chalk.

To put it plainly, she chalks our world.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dirt & Dandelions

Our delightful little dude helped me dig in the backyard the other day.

After he decided to dig definite deformities in the neighbor's ditch, I directed him to drag his dad's shovel back to our deer loving dominion.

Darn near two minutes later, he delivered these to my side:

Donchaknow! A dandelion delivery! Are those flowers for me, dear little one?

What a dirty, drippy nosed, dande-lovin' darling he is!

(Some S, B & P fun, too!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


The other day, while struggling to pedal the 2 miles back to our car with a vomiting 1 year old and a wailing 4 year old, who had just crashed her bike and was left with 3 bloody "owies," enjoying a leisurely bike ride with our 4under3 along a creek path, we came upon a man.
He appeared to be of a grandpappy's age, and seemed to be enjoying the afternoon on the creek with his fishing pole.

As we neared him, Luke showed much enthusiasm for the man and his fishing pole, and I smiled with delight. I love teachable moments. I imagined this would be a great one.

Luke, as he pedals a bit faster: "Mommy! Look! That man has a pishin' pole. He's, um, pishin' for pish."

Me, as we continued to pedal closer to the man: "You're right, buddy. How about you say hi?"

Luke, his eyes still fixated on the fishing pole: "Wow! Mommy, look! He's throwin' that string in 'da water. Wow!"

By this point, we're feet from the man who looks even more endearing up close.

Me to the presumable grandpappy: "Hello. A pretty nice day to be out fishing."

The man, who disregards my comment but is smiling at Julia and Luke on their bikes: "Cute kids. I raised a kid like that. For 8 years."

I smiled and nodded attentively.

He continues: Then she slapped a restraining order on me just because I drink. Haven't seen him in 4 years."


Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me! Monday with Pigeon Poo.

Oh, how I've missed being a part of My Charming Kids' Not Me! Monday. And, Oh, how the absence has filled my keyboard with despair.

But 4under3 is back, and it's time to spill the beans in Not Me! fashion.

One night while staying at my parents' house, I definitely did not brush my teeth with a little, blue, light up, toothbrush--designated for our 4 year old:
because I was unable to locate my own. Even though we had been on the run for 7 days--because of this--I keep everything organized. And all of the time. Even when it comes to toiletries.

While the children and I were visiting a childhood friend, there is no way that I allowed Luke to jump in his birthday suit on her outdoor trampoline. After he slipped on pigeon poo in their barn, I simply stripped his soiled outfit, bathed him in their tub, and put on the extra outfit that I always pack for him. I always plan for 'pigeon poo' mishaps and I never travel without an extra outfit for each of our children. Not me!

I am not posting this picture of Norah and Hazel, attempting to slide down an indoor waterslide together, just because. There is a good Not Me! reason, and it has nothing to do with Hazel's facial expression that sends me in stitches.
The other day, as I was loading the children into our car--that was parked in my parents' driveway--a man pulled up behind us in a minivan. That's when I, without a doubt, did not kinda.freak.out as I looked down to see that I was still in a pair of pajama shorts and a nonmatching, old, and oversized t-shirt that used to be one of my younger brothers. I did not care that I happen to be sporting my dad's black cowboy boots--that I slipped on quick--that were certainly 10 sizes too big. Even though I had planned on changing into my "real" outfit after everyone was buckled in, I had no problem looking the way I did in front of that stranger. None.

And if that last Not Me! wasn't that big of a deal for you all, let me add that the pajama shorts that I was wearing were positively not advertising the legs that I haven't shaved since Costa Rica. They weren't!

Now, if you feel your keyboard is down in the dumps, head on over and join in the fun. Happy Not Me! Monday.