Monday, October 31, 2011

Favorite Halloween Flashbacks

This was my favorite "couple" costume from the past.  We were feeling so groovy!

On this halloween as a little girl, I was dressed as a ballerina.  I was a very sporty "tomboy" as a child, but I also had a girly side.  This was my favorite costume as a child.

This was our first halloween with a child of our own.  Holidays always have a different feel after you have children. Tucker went as a lion on his first halloween.

 We went to a costume party where the theme was "80's style".  Tucker's mullet was the highlight of all costumes.

These costumes were my favorite ever.  The boys were all so proud of these pirate costumes.  They looked adorable.  They were at such fun ages.  And Bradley is the one who made them!

I hope you make fun memories today......Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The "No Broken Bones" Record Is Over

   Last Monday, I mentioned  bragged to a friend of mine that we had never had a broken bone at our house.  I was saying how remarkable it was that with three boys, as active as mine are, that it is some sort of incredible miracle that no one has ever broken a bone.  The boys play every sport offered.  In the afternoons, they play on the trampoline every day.  They hike in the woods.  Play tag, or even tackle, football.  They wrestle and rough house.  And until now, we have had the bragging rights of never breaking a bone.

  The "no broken bones" streak is now officially over.

  Yesterday afternoon, the boys and two of their friends, were playing football on the trampoline.  Anybody with any sense would realize that allowing five boys on the trampoline together with a football is not a smart idea.  It's a recipe for disaster.  But, I am not known for my "over protectiveness".  I pretty much just let them play and hope for the best.  This theory has worked pretty well in the past, but yesterday....not so much.

  Sawyer came in from outside.  He was crying.  I basically ignored it for a little while.  I was washing dishes.  A kid coming in crying from the trampoline is very common.  It typically amounts to nothing.  Most of the time the tears are out of anger because someone isn't playing fair.

  This time it was a bit different.  The tears didn't stop.  I asked what was wrong and Sawyer told me that he had hurt his finger.  I took a look at it and saw that it was already swelling.  I got him a cold rag to hold on it, but touching it made him wince with pain. 

  I hoped that the finger was just jammed and that the immediate pain would go away soon and he would be up off the couch playing with his friends.

  This did not happen.

  The rest of the crew of boys stayed outside playing and Sawyer didn't go join them.  That's how I knew for sure that he was really hurt.  He would never give up the chance to play football with other dudes unless the situation was dire.

The finger swelled more and started turning a lovely shade of purple.

I started putting ice on his finger and giving him some ibuprofen to help with the swelling.  The ibuprofen helped enough that Sawyer tried to go back outside and play. this decision didn't work out well.  He came right back in asking for ice to be put back on it.

I was still holding on to the possibility that it was just badly jammed and not broken.  I continued with ice treatments for the rest of the night hoping that it would look remarkably better by morning.

It did not look better by morning.

So.....we ended up here....

At Urgent Care.

The doctor tooks some x-rays and said he thought he saw a crack in one of the views, but he needed another view to be sure.  So we got yet another x-ray. 

This one was conclusive. There was a definite break.

The break is at the growth plate of his pinky finger and it would have to be put into a cast.  The doctor and nurse made a splint out of bandages and plaster.  The wrapping is intended to help stabalize the finger until we can go get his real cast tomorrow.

I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation of spending yet another day at the doctors office tomorrow.  I can hardly contain my excitement.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rise and Shine

  My Mom used to say this to us when we were growing up and it was time for us to get up and get going.  She also said, "Up and at 'em!".  Although, I don't usually use either of these terms when I wake up the boys, I am happy that they do them both.

  I am beside myself with pride that the boys would voluntarily rise out of the bed on a Saturday morning at 6:45 to shine like this......

I have decided that my Mom was imparting such wisdom on me each morning when she woke me up. 

Each day, if we all could just simply Rise and Shine, we would make our little world so much brighter.  Shine at work.  Shine at exercise.  Shine as a Mom.  Shine in music.  Shine by saying something kind.  Shine by helping someone in need.  Shine by setting a good example.  Just shine.

I am thankful that on this day, my boys chose to rise and shine.

Dearest Reader,
  I made it all the way to #9 on Top Mommy Blogs because of your awesome votes.  In the last few days, I have dropped down to #11.  BooHoo.  Please click the banner below to push me back into he Top 10.

 Thank you, kindly.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Frightful Report Card

Today was report card day at my kids schools.  I usually keep a pretty good check on the boys grades, so I rarely have any surprises.  I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary today.  I have high expectations for the boys in school and don't really cut them much slack.  But only because they are totally capable of high grades.  So far, between all the boys, they have been given a total of 47 report cards.  The lowest grade ever on any of their report cards was a 95.  We try to keep the grades 97 or higher. 
I am certain that many of you reading this right now are thinking negative thoughts about me.  That I am too strict.  Too unrealisitic.  Too mean.  Maybe you are right.  But hopefully, I am right and the boys will grow up with high expectations for themselves, too.

So, today was the big report card day.
Tucker's high school day ends a few minutes before the elementary school where I teach.  At the end of the day today, I was walking my class to the bus still fully in teacher mode, when Tucker approached. 

With a solemn face, he handed me this report card.

I glanced at it and immediately saw the B in reading glaring back at me. 
My mothering instinct kicked in and I fell out of teacher mode in an instant and went full into Mom mode.

"You got a B!!!  What happened here!"

My mood was instantly knocked down from Friday afternoon elatation to bad grade sourpus.  I couldn't believe this happened and I didn't see it coming.  No warning at all.  The only grades that he had reported to me were perfect 100's in Reading.

Tucker knows me so well.
He knew I would take the bait and freak out.
A smile slid across his face as he turned to the second page of his report card.

The teacher had made a teensy mistake.  His grade was actually a 100 instead of an 85.  And he enjoyed every second of making me sweat over it.

That was not nice of him.

How dare he play a joke on me.  The little twirp.
My blood pressure returned to normal and the panic stricken look on my face went away.
My demeaner changed immediately back to the happy teacher who was putting her kids on the bus on a Friday afternoon.

To top off the happiness.....
The little boys brought home good report cards, too.

The frightful report card may be the scariest thing I will see this whole Halloween weekend.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Urgent Text Message

  Tucker's first basketball game of the season was tonight.  He was instructed to wear khaki pants, a dress shirt and tie, and to stay after school with the team.  The team looked so handsome all dressed up.  I think the coach's theory must have been to intimidate the opponent with our good looks. 

In the end the theory didn't pan out because we got beat, but still....the boys looked very respectable.

   So anyway....the team was staying together, all dressed up, after school.  They would ride the bus together as a team to the game.  The opponent would await them after about a 40 minute drive.  The game was scheduled to begin at 5 pm.   

  Immediately after school, I received an urgent text message from Tucker.  The message said,

"Bring me some food.  Please.  We aren't getting anything to eat.  I need food."

A young teenage boy has some priorities that surpass all others.  Food is very high on the list.  I have a feeling, that I will be getting many, many more requests for food over the next few years.  I have this sneaking suspicion that our grocery bill is about to go way up. 

The bill will likely go up in the homes of all these boys, too.

I am fairly certain that my boys will soon cause us some degree of financial strain because of groceries.
It's inevitable.
With three boys.  All of which are active.  All involved in sports. 
Genetics suggests that perhaps they may end teensy.
They are all very lean right now, but they were all born weighing in the 10 pound range.
The man of the house is 6 ft. 4in and I am 5 ft 7 in.
And both Bradley and I are.....what's the description?  Big boned?

I think the urgent request for food today is just a glimmer of what is to come.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trick-Or-Treating Isn't Always Such A Treat

I really don't want to sound like a Negative Nellie, but Trick-Or-Treating is my least favorite holiday tradition of any kind. 

Don't get me wrong, I like Halloween ok.  I like all the fun Fall displays.  I love to see little ones dressed in costumes.  I enjoy hay rides, costume parties, caramel apples, pumpkin carving, scarecrows and silly scary stories. 
 I like all of it.  Except trick-or-treating.

Trick-or-treating has always seemed like such a major hassle. 
An annoyance.
There has never really been any fun involved whatsoever.

Sawyer was majorly annoyed by the whole dressing up bit at this age. 
He was not digging the frog getup.
He never once put the head on.
Therefore, he looked more like Hulk gone angry than a cute little frog.

One of the most major annoyances with trick-or-treating is that costumes do not fit in car seats.
This poofy dinosaur costume that Carter was wearing this year absolutely would not buckle while he was wearing it.
Therefore, it had to be removed when we got back in the car.
Perhaps this is not so annoying if you live in a big city where you just walk around town, but here in this small town, you must drive to every house you go to.

The boys never really seemed to like it either.  This photo was taken before we even started driving all around the town to see all the Grannys.  They were all already irritated.

Not feeling it.
He also never wore these Mickey ears.
He pretty much pitched a fit for two hours while we drove around pretending to be thrilled that we were trick-or-treating.

See the mummy up there in this photo?
The wrappings stayed on for exactly one house.
Then he was just a kid in a white under armour shirt and white sweat pants.
and he was not happy about it.

I am sure you are thinking, why do we even do it then?

Because, we love all our grandmothers enough that it just seems worth it when we walk in and they talk about how cute they all look.

Plus, it's getting easier each year.
The kids can buckle their own seat belts now.
Their costumes are much less cumbersome.
They don't whine and complain.
Trick-or-treating isn't interrupting nap time or bed time anymore.
And they actually like the candy.

Just when trick-or-treating becomes more of a treat, they begin to outgrown it altogether.
Now that's a mean trick!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Look Back At Kid Shows

  Yesterday while Tucker and I were held captive in the waiting room of the pediatrician's office, we were mindlessly watching whatever cartoons were on the television.  After a while, Tucker started poking fun at some of the preschoolish shows.  I reminded him that he was little once and at one time he loved watching some of those shows. 

   I reminded Tucker how much he loved to watch the show on Disney channel that no longer comes on TV.  It was called "Stanley" and Tucker adored that show. 

No surprise that it was a show about animals.  Even as I type this, Tucker is watching a show about predators and prey on Animal Planet.
 On the show, Stanley was able to jump into his "Great Big Book of Everything".  If Stanley needed to learn about a certain animal, he would simply turn to that page in his book and jump in. 
While Tucker and I were recalling this, Tucker admitted that one day when he was little, he and his friend, Morgan, actually tried this manuever. Tucker had his own "Great Big Book of Everything" that he got for Christmas. Tucker said that he and Morgan put his book on the bed and tried to jump in.  He told me that their plan didn't end very well.

Stanley was such a great show.  The 'Littles' of the house never got to enjoy it because it was soon replaced by other shows.

Sawyer preferred "The Wiggles" over all other shows. 

  This has to have been one of the most annoying TV phases the boys went through.  I was not a huge fan of "The Wiggles", but Sawyer thought they were rock stars.  I even scored tickets to a real live Wiggles concert for him.  I know you are jealous. 

 Murray was Sawyer's favorite.  It was the guitar that gave him the edge.

Carter seemed to watch the least amount of kid shows.  Most likely because his brothers were past the kid show age and they took control of the remote most often.

Carter did  love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse when he got to choose a show for himself.

Most likely because of this moment.....

These shows have all been replaced by more "growny" shows.  Favorites in the house today are anything on Animal Planet, Wipeout, America's Funniest Videos, Hot Shot, Swamp Brothers, and anything related to football or other sports.

And just in case you are dying to know....

My favorite kid shows were....

Rainbow Bright
And Strawberry Shortcake 

Classic gems right there.

What are the shows your kids love the most?
What was your favorite show as a child?

Ruthless Killers With Guns

This is the face of a vicious killer....

So is this.....

And this one, too.....

They are a triple threat.

 They possess stealth beyond belief.

Able to sneak up on their target totally unnoticed.

Firing with precision....

 Their weapon is fierce.

Their bullets are many.

They choose victims that are unable to flee or defend themselves.

They are heartless when they have a gun in their hands.

They shoot until their enemy can no longer withstand the multiple hits.

Their target falls helplessly to the ground.

The lawn is littered with the trophies of the marksmen's recent victories.

They are ruthless killers.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Just Another Manic Monday...Whoa oh..Wish It Were Sunday

  Yesterday was lovely.  Oh, so lovely.  It was Sunday. We slept a little later than normal. Went for a jog.  Went to church.  Had friends over.  Played football.  Grilled out.  Enjoyed every moment of it.

  Each new day holds the possibility of something new.  So the possibility was always there to wake up to a totally different kind of day. And it was definitely different on this manic Monday.  Much less happiness and joy.  Much greater frustration and annoyance.

  We woke up this morning and started getting dressed for "Cowboy and Cowgirl Day" at school.  Sawyer came to my bedroom and reported that his boots were now too small.  I dug and dug in the cabinet of things that the boys have outgrown and found a pair of old boots of Tucker's that would fit.  After the unscheduled digging time, we were officially now behind schedule.

  I finished getting ready when I realized I hadn't heard from Carter.  I went to his room and he was still standing there with his cowboy jeans unbuttoned, no shoes, and shirt undone.  He was crying saying, "I can't do it!"  His jeans wouldn't button because they were also too little. (The crying should have been my big clue that his day would go sour from this point forward, but I am no Sherlock Holmes.)  I searched through his closet and found some other jeans that would both fit and qualify as "Cowboy Jeans".

  We were now officially late.

  As we were finally loading the car, Tucker reported to me that his thumb really, really hurt.  He had hurt it yesterday playing on the trampoline. He told me it hurt several times yesterday, but I kept brushing him off saying, "Oh, you are all right."  I realize that my lack of compassion may cancel out any votes for "Mother of the Year".  This morning, he said, "I'm really serious.  My thumb hurts."  So, I thought I might ought to humor him and at least look at it.  I grabbed his hand just before we loaded the car for school and......*gasp* was really, really swollen...and kind of purple.  Nice.

  I quickly weighed my options.  Was it a sprain?  Should I ignore it? Could it be broken? Is it too late to call a substitute before school.  I couldn't carry him to the doctor tomorrow because it is our big "50th Day of School Celebration" in Kindergarten.  My Mom couldn't carry him because she was already at the Dr. with my Dad.  Bradley was at work.  

So... we piled into the car without a plan.  Heading to school.  Late.

 When Tucker tried to pull the seat belt to buckle it, he winced and let out a groan.  His thumb would definitely have to be checked by a doctor.  I made it to school and started immediately laying pages and plans out for a substitute.  I called and got one......score!...just before our class said the "Pledge of Allegiance".  A substitute was on the way.

  After the substitute arrived at 8:30, I left the elementary school and went to the High School to sign Tucker out of school.  We left campus and the car followed the familiar path to the pediatrician's office.  We arrived and signed in at 9:20.  Our regular doctor wasn't there, which meant we would have to see the back-up doctor.  Major negative points here.  If I had known that the back-up doctor was the only one there, we would've gone somewhere else .....anywhere else.

  After sitting in the same chair in the waiting room for THREE HOURS, we finally got called back.  I did not say 3 hours to be dramatic or to stretch the truth.  It was literally..... three....stinkin....hours.  I was ready to stab tongue depressers into my eyes to end the agony.  And that was just to get called back.  We still had to wait for the doctor in the exam room and wait for an x-ray.

  During my agonizing wait, I got a text.  From Carter's teacher. 

  Carter wasn't feeling well.  Didn't eat his lunch.  Has a headache.  And his face hurts.  He needed to be checked out of school.  Carter had been telling me that his throat hurt....and now that I think of it....he also had a runny nose.  He probably had a sinus infection.  He also needed to be seen by a doctor.

Ok, now what's my plan?  I can't leave the doctor's office.  Again, my Mom isn't available.  Bradley is at work.  I made the call to my Mom-in-Law.  Thank heavens! She was available and went to pick him up.
Carter's symptoms were described to the back-up doctor and I explained to her that the school called while I was waiting and couldn't go get him. Knowing that I had been waiting for 4 hours by this point, the doctor had mercy on me and wrote a prescription for Carter.
 We were leaving the doctors' office with the diagnosis of a sprain with inflammation and swelling.  Tucker was fitted with a brace and told to wear it until Thursday, which meant he would have to miss his basketball practice, but that was better than a break.  We would take it.

By 1:30, we were famished and irritated that we had spent our whole day at the doctor's office.  We had just enough time to go pick up Carter and his prescription and get back to get Sawyer from school.  I got back home at around 3:30....the same time I would've gotten home if I had worked.  I feel like I wasted a perfectly good day.

 I gave Carter his dose of antibiotics to try to clear up his sinus infection that was causing his headache and throat and sinus pain.  It made him gag and vomit. 

Of course it did.

The day isn't over yet, but I am hoping that what is left of my day can be salvaged.  I am hoping that the evening will take a turn for the better.

And tomorrow always holds the possibility of something new. Something better. Of course, it also holds the possiblity of something worse than today.  Yikes.

It was just another manic Monday...
whoa ah o....
I wish it were Sunday....
whoa ah o...
'Cause that's my fun day.....
whoa ah o...

Oh, sorry. Am I really singing a Cyndi Lauper song out loud?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Boys' Most Favorite Way to Spend an Afternoon

If we asked the boys how they wanted to spend their Sunday afternoon, this is the way they would chose to spend it.....
 Playing a football game in our "Redneck Sports Complex".

This section of pasture in front of our house gets lots and lots of playing time.  We play baseball here.  We have used it for soccer.  The boys practice throwing javelin on this field.  We have run races and jumped hurdles, but their favorite is playing football.  And we could still put cattle back here if the need arises.  It's a very versatile piece of property.

  We invited these friends over for an afternoon of football and grilling.  Our friends, The Timmermans, have 4 boys and we have 3.  The ages of the boys span from 3 years to 12 years.  A couple of them have matched up together as "best friends".  They get along very well.  So, the boys knew that The Timmerman's coming over for football would be the highlight of their week.  The boys have known they were coming over for a couple of days.  They have been beside themselves with anticipation.

  They even went so far as to draw out plays for our family to run to assure a big victory over our friends.

Unfortunately for the boys, I didn't agree to a "pregame practice" so that we could practice our plays.  I told them that we would just have to wing it.  I didn't want to admit to them that I didn't understand any of the plays they had drawn up.  My plan was basically to avoid falling down and try to keep from peeing on myself. 

Our family beat the snot out of the Timmerman family...77 to 56....suckers!  Oh, sorry....I mean....whose keeping score, right? After the game, we let the boys prepare their own shish kebobs.  While the food was on the grill, the boys took off to the trampoline and the adults got to enjoy some grown-up friend time.

 The boys so enjoyed their evening playing football in a pasture.  I don't think we could've spent any amount of money on any other fancy entertainment and them like it any better.  Kids are happiest when they just get to play.  And if you play with them, it's just an added bonus.  It was our most favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon.