Thursday, June 30, 2011


When we were little my mom would take us to the neighborhood pool every day of summer. We had swim lessons for the first hour we were there and then we stayed and played all day until we came home for a very late lunch. There was a fence between where the mothers could watch their kids in the lessons and the pool. My brothers would cling to the fence with fingers and toes at 3 yrs old screaming and crying that they did not want to go into the water. My mom would sit stoically shaking her head and say, "Take them into the pool." The other moms sitting around her sometimes seemed shocked at her heartless manner. I am sure they were the mothers of 1 or 2. My mom, mother of eight, and non-swimmer herself, was determined that each of her children would not only become watersafe by age 4, but able to save her drowning self by age 6. I admit, I used to watch my screaming brothers and feel awful for them. I am sure I begged my mother to go save them from the torturous situation she was idly watching with a seemingly cold heartless disposition.

Yesterday, I was that cold heartless mother. My 5 year old has had a water fear for the last couple years. Not just a reluctance to put his head under, or fear of jumping in. No, he would cling to me and shake when we neared water he could not stand in while I was holding him.  This summer, I was done with it. I felt my own mother entering into my skin, I swear, as I drug my 5 yr old into the pool. It began like this: I set up swim lessons with a cute young girl, and I tried to enstill upon her that my 5 yr old was going to need some force, but that he COULD do it (I knew this because one rare day I somehow managed to get him to dog paddle halfway across a lap lane at the Y! There was bribery involved. I knew he had it in him) I proceeded to watch the instructor gently teach him to blow bubbles, float on his back cradled in her arms, and kick while holding onto the side of the pool. The lesson ended and I knew this was going to be a long series of lessons ending with him so proud to put his head under, and I would be no closer to  having a watersafe child.

Back to me being the cold heartless ingenious mother. Yes, I said ingenious, just a bit of foreshadowing. So, we are at the pool playing and I pick up my 5yr old and pull him into the water with me. I throw him towards the side of the pool over and over until he is dog paddling on his own about 6 feet from me to the side. Then I tell him it is time for the watersafe test. A test where he jumps into water above his head, and swims himself back to the side of the pool and climbs out. To say I was met with resistance would be the understatement of the year. He clung to a pool chair at the side of the pool, He sat in the chair and held on. He was amidst sunbathing mothers, crying and clinging to a chair. I grabbed him around the waste, kept my face super calm, and said, "buddy, you can do this." I pulled him AND the chair into the pool. The surrounding mothers were beginning to stare. I flashed to my mother staring through that fence shaking her head. Ben was crying loudly. I said, "Buddy, you can do this and as soon as you do I am going to buy you a slushy, new goggles and any item you want from the dollar store." Weeping, he clung to me as I walked us into the seven feet water. And he says, "I am afraid I am going to drown!" I said, "I would never let that happen to you." Treading water I threw him to the side. He made it fine. I said "climb out and jump in towards me and swim to the side and climb out." He is crying standing on the side of the pool. I reach my hand out and he runs for the poolside chair. I jump out of the pool and grab him and pull him back to the side. I hold his hand and he jumps in, I let go and he swims to the side. Again. I hold his hand and he jumps in, I let go and he swims to the side. Then, I say, "on your own, you can do this." He jumps in on his own and he swims to the side. He is beaming. I say, "Again!" He climbs out, jumps in on his own and swims to the side. We do this at least 2 more times! He says, "I am watersafe now!!!" He is ecstatic. beaming. He can't wait to show his daddy and his instructor.

Later, that day, he says to me, "Mom, remember when I used to be scared of the water?" I am thinking, "Ya, an hour ago." But I say, "Ya, man you are such a big boy now, so great at swimming. Can't wait for you to show everyone." And the true test of success, he bravely showed his swim instructor today. And he has not even mentioned the dollar store or the goggles. However I am so proud of him, that I will be coming through on both.

4 down. 1 to go, Mom.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Lap

I wake my daughter every morning for 8am swim team practice. They do laps continually using kickboards to practice their kicking and practice doing breast stroke, backstroke and freestyle. They do dolphin kicks back and forth. By the end of it she is tired and ready to chill out. She is not a fast swimmer...yet. This is her first year on the swim team, and frankly she does not have a big competitive instinct. That is ok with me, as long as it is ok with her. But I feel eventually she will notice that others are swimming faster. It would be good for her to realize that this is a race and that she is supposed to be trying to go quickly. I gently explain this. She is not offended. So we go to a swim meet this week and she is scheduled to swim one lap. Literally one lap. Daddy is meeting at the pool after work, I have snacks packed, and we have navigated the super crowded parking lot. She sets up her spot on the concrete near her friends. They visit, have snacks and drinks, and wait. Eventually the moms who are in charge of making sure the girls get in the right races begin to line them up. They stand in line for over half an hour. Daddy and I have been standing on the sidelines of the pool for over an hour. Finally her race is announced. We head to the finishing end of the pool to cheer her on. The horn sounds and our daughter is the last to take off. She begins her freestyle swim, but for some reason is stroking each arm, then floating on her belly and kicking a little, then stroking each arm, then floating on her belly and kicking a little. She finally makes it across the pool. She hops out beaming. "Ok, mom what are we doing now? Wanna go to the mall?"

I have decided to look at swim team as much less of a competitive sport for my daughter and much more as good daily exercise. (And yes, we did use our extra time because of just having one race, to head to the mall.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

My place in the family------------

Just received an email from Jack, (10). He is in Costa Rica with my inlaws. They are having a blast adventuring through the rainforest, the ocean, alligator swamps, volcanoes, the beach and more! Mostly I have  been communicating with my mother in law about how the trip is going, but today I received an email from my own son. He expressed how much fun he as having and then went on to say that he hopes I am "keeping it fun at home for the kids without him." He obviously really knows his place in this family as the fun seeker, the funny guy and the entertainer. Cracks me up that he is worried that we may be bored here with him gone - truth is, he is a bit correct. While the house has been quite peaceful, and a lot quieter this past week, we have also been just a little off without our thrill-finder around. Ben is not quite as rambunctious and crazy. Charlie keeps jumping and climbing on me...a pastime reserved mostly for Jack. Scotty, a child who has sworn to wanting more alone time, keeps asking to have people over to hang out with. Elaina has no one to keep her in line. We will be quite happy to  have our Jack home on Wednesday.

Part of me loves how each child takes a "spot" a "job" in the family on as their own. Jack has obviously taken on the funny guy, fun-man, making everyone laugh and taking the little ones on piggy back rides. Scotty has stolen the brainy position, always telling us facts about what we are doing or experiencing. Elaina has easily taken on the girl spot, which no one had even tried to fill. Ben has so gently become the peacemaker, the one who always goes along with the majority, the one who just finds a way for everyone to get a long. And Charlie - there is no mistaking - has taken on the CRAZY man, always trying to surprise us with his  naughty antics, laughing the whole way.

I am glad they all have found their spot if it helps them feel comfortable to have a "job' in the family. But another part of me worries that they won't reach into other parts of themselves and try something that while may not be their first "job," could be something else they are quite good at also. For instance, Jack, is a smart kid. But since Scotty has "claimed" that position, Jack often does not even try, feeling like he could never be as good at being the brain as his brother anyway. Elaina having literally fallen into her position as the girl has such a laid back disposition because of not having to really try to be anything, because she is already special by just being the girl, makes her lazy. I adore this sweet darling, but she is downright lazy. She does not have to try to impress because she is already impressive by being different from all of her siblings by just being a girl. This is not to say that she does not have many strengths. She is amazing with animals, makes friends so easily, loves to please, and has a fabulous long term memory. These things will be great for her in her life, but her more hidden strengths that she does not give much time to like reading and learning to play piano and swimming - all of which she is good at - she rarely gives her all, because she gets enough attention by just being the sweet, cute, loveable girl. I would be lying if I said I worried about Ben at all - honestly, that kid has found a way to be well-rounded, the right amount peaceful, the right amount ambitious... Now Charlie is another story. Holy cow, I just hope he doesn't get expelled from preschool. His determination to be noticed in this family, to take his place as the CRAZY man has some negative results. He is just 3, so I am assuming that the fact that he:
-spurted a mouthful of lemonade all over my friend and laughed his head off
-went up to a random group of 9 yr old girls in a coffee shop and started hitting them in their heads (they laughed - wish they would have hit him  back and taught him a lesson)
-was found this morning with a spoon in the icecream container just "having his breakfast"
-pees his pants just so he can take another shower
-somehow ends up in our bed almost every night
and more, is going to wane a bit on its own. I am just hoping that he learns that there are more productive, safer, less naughty ways to get attention in this family of 7.

Bottom line - as much as I worry and wish to help my kids always be at their best, and always feel loved and always feel their place in our family, I don't think I have a ton of control over it. Our place in the family does shape who we are. I guess as the mom, just being aware of this can help a little at keeping the kids from getting toooooo into their position in the family as the CRAZY one or the Brainy one and at helping the others explore those possibilities for themselves. So, sending a prayer out to help me help my kids not get toooo terribly stuck in their "rolls" but instead to feel free to try new ideas, new experiences and be brave enough to branch out a little as they become who they are going to  be.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fish guts

There are some things that come up in motherhood that one should be aware of...or actually, no, one should NOT be aware of these things, or maybe no one would venture into this chaos of motherhood. Yesterday I spent 20 minutes detangling fishing lines, baited hooks with huge squirmy night crawlers, grabbed fish with my own hand, ripped stuck hooks from fish gills, tramped through poison ivy, and more. I found myself wiping my worm gut hands on my shorts and grabbing daddy longlegs out of my trunk with my fingers and tossing them onto the ground.

Deep down, I am a bug-o-phobe. Terminix knows me by my first name.  However, it seems that often life can force you to overcome your fears, your insecurities and your struggles, just by doing what life does...continue on. A Firefly flew into the house the other day - I couldn't let it live here, I couldn't kill it in front of the kids, I had to grab it and throw it outside. I could not refuse to bait a hook yesterday. I told the kids I would take them fishing. My husband was at work. My uncle (whom's pond we were at) was away. I had to bait the hook. Then it dawned on me that the kids may actually CATCH a fish. I was going to have to do something with the fish. I toyed with the idea of leaving the fish on the end of the fishing pole as new bait for a bigger fish, and then leaving the bigger fish on the end of the pole as new bait for an even bigger fish, but looking at that Dora the Explorer 18 inch fishing pole, I was pretty certain that the little blue gill I was staring at was about as much as that little pole could hold anyway - so my genius plan was ruined. I had to grab the fish. First try - flip flopping and moss spewing, mud-flying adventure. 2nd try was a firmer grip, and by the 10th fish caught I was dehooking and slinging those fish back in the pond like a pro.

Life moving on is not only a useful truth in fishing and debugging one's home. So many issues, insecurities and struggles are made to be gotten over just by necessity of having children, and those children needing their mom to keep moving on. I used to be quite OCD. I washed my hands a ton. I checked, rechecked and rechecked light switches. I stared at the stove and oven controls for endless minutes before heading up to bed at night. When I left the house, I would sometimes return after having gone 2 blocks, because "I may have left my curling iron on." These may not seem like big issues, but when trying to arrive places on time and trying to get everyone out the door as a mother, they are HUGE. Eventually one has to trust herself that she can do things, that she DID turn off the lights, that if she did not wash her hands that very second germs would not kill her. Five kids later I am soooo much more concerned with the more immediate issues; finding everyone's shoes, getting the kids in the car with no one going out into the street, making it to a 5 yr old friend's birthday party on time, making it to their first soccer game to see them play, making it out the door for dinner with my husband. The light switches, the excessive handwashing and the checking the iron 20 times are not at the top of my priority list any longer.

Perhaps that is why when my husband and I arrived home last evening from a nice long much needed date - I found my hair straightener still turned on in my master bathroom. The good news is this: the house did not burn down because of it. Once one makes it through a few absent hand washes, or lights being left on and realizes that life moves on anyway, and all are well...then one can obsess a little less. Thankful to  my kids for helping me overcome some fears, and just keep moving on. (however I was pretty bugged by the hair straightener when I found it on - I would hate to slip over into the 'absent-minded" realm.)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Worms and Fireflies

I took the kids to St. Louis Mills mall the other day and we had a lot of fun. The day of fun cost us $178. Yesterday my kids spent a lot of the day at the neighbor's having an absolute blast catching worms and fireflies. The cost was $0. This is the summer fun I am going to try to experience more of in the upcoming weeks. When my older kids were toddlers, my husband was in school and we lived in a little flat and had the most fun each day walking the parks and feeding the ducks, or walking the mall and throwing pennies into the fountain - and spending $2.10 for lunch at Bread co by getting just 2 bagels and one cream cheese and ice water. It is weird how when we have the money to do more expensive activities, we spend that money, and have a lot of fun, but when we don't, we don't spend that money and we still have a lot of fun. And at the duck pond, there are no kiosks full of candy or pillowpets for my kids to beg at, and there are no claw machines to throw money away at. I would rather toss the pennies or even a nickel now and then into the fountains and be able to get a whole entire wish, than $1 for a chance at another piece of crap that I have to find a place for in my home. I can spare the glass jar for the fireflies and worms every day. And I can spare the extra water to rid them of their dirty muddy wormy hands at night. This summer challenge = more fun, more mud, less $. (and with $ saved I will be taking an ultimate couples spa and golf retreat weekend with my husband)

Also I do  not want to forget:
-When Charlie was catching worms yesterday, he carried a worm around for like an hour. Soon, he had two short worms.
-Ben is awesome, because he keeps his big brothers from being boring video game hounds by asking them throughout the day to , "play legos" or "play super heroes" or "play in the sand" or "cook lunch together." And the big brothers don't say "no." Ben is very convincing : )
-Charlie (3) just said to his big bother Scotty, "Now, BACK OFF!" and he has also been saying that things, "gross me out."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I couldn't blog this yesterday because I was too upset. Here's the thing: I realize that hair grows back. I think that my kids' are cute no matter how their hair is cut (short, long, whatever). I don't normally let little things bother me. We have been through many bouts of stitches etc. (read Krazy Glue blog entry from May 2010). I am seasoned in the "getting over it" stuff. However, what I am not seasoned at, and what I was not ready for apparently, was the passing of time, the letting go of the idea that I have a baby, the growing up of my little 3 yr old.

 "Who is in the bathroom?" I asked as I knocked on the door. "Nobody." came Charlie my 3 yr old's voice. I opened the door to find Charlie sitting on the floor with huge scissors chopping away at his long, fine, brown with blond streaked, beautiful, flowing, toddler, hair. I took the scissors. I walked into my bedroom. I didn't stop crying for 10 minutes. When I composed myself, I took him to Fantastic Sams where I sat him in the seat and then hid behind the book shelf in the waiting room where I could not watch as they stripped my three year old of all evidence of babyhood. When I had composed myself enough to join the hairdresser on the other side of the bookshelf, I saw a big boy. I did not see my Charlie!

I have been trying to recognize him since yesterday at 10am, but he still surprises me with his new look every time he walks into the room. He is enjoying spiking his hair up to match his big brothers. Oh, how the time does pass, even when we try our  hardest to slow it down. It is a reminder that we are not in control. I guess that's the hardest part.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer fun

What a fabulous day with the kids. A spur of the moment invite from my brother and sis in law to join them on a hike turned into the perfect summer day. When I try to PLAN the perfect summer day for my family, I usually have all these high expectations of both myself and my children and the fun we will have, and I overdo the whole thing. But the joy experienced by my kids just jumping into the creek, hiking down the banks of the creek and generally just goofing around that came this weekend was a surprise gift.

Jack, my kiddo who is known as "the instigator" in the Villhard household, gets a bad rap for all the instigating he does around here. But there is a positive spin on him being an instigator. On this hike, Jack instigated the idea that we all hike along the bank of the creek. Jack instigated the challenging venture through the brush to get to the creek. Jack instigated not only hiking along the creek, but swimming in the creek. Jack instigated a splash contest that invited all the kids to jump form the high banks of the creek down into the deeper water. All of jack's instigating created the most fun day. All of Jack's instigating brought the shy ones out of their shells, the tough ones to their knees, and the nervous ones a bout of courage. Thank you to Jack - the world's most influential instigator : )

Scotty, my kiddo known as "the brain with legs" around the Villhard household, gets a bad rap now and then around our house for sharing detailed facts with us all constantly. But there is a positive spin on him being a know it all. On this hike, Scotty taught us a few things about nature that we all enjoyed learning. He knew that certain snakes would not be poisonous, and more. Thank you to Scotty for enhancing our nature experience!

Elaina, my kiddo known as "the nature girl" around the Villhard household, gets a bad rap around our house for never wearing shoes, bringing bugs in the house, and having no interest in video games with the boys. But there is a positive spin on her loving nature more than her pink bedroom. Elaina was all over this trip! She led her little girl cousin through muck and mud, over rocks, across logs, and through cold creek waters. Did Elaina shy from jumping off the banks of the creek? No WAY! Thank you to Elaina for sharing her nature love with the rest of us!

Ben, my kiddo known as "the quiet peacemaker" around the Villhard household, gets a bad rap now and then for being too scared to join in, or not tough enough to handle the big boy fun. There was no place for a scaredy cat on this little adventure. Ben bucked up and showed his courage. Good job Ben! Thank you to Ben for joining right in!

Charlie, my kiddo known as "the lunatic" around the Villhard household lately, gets a bad rap often for frankly acting insane! But there is a positive spin to all this insanity. Along with insanity comes a healthy dose of fun, bravery and energy. Charlie scoffed at the idea to walk the easier way with mom and aunt and baby. Charlie was in it for the long haul. And was snoozing in daddy's arms before we made it back to the car. Thank you to Charlie for sharing your energy with the rest of us for as long as you could!

Also I never want to forget:
-The look Jack's face when he first jumped into the chilly water from the high bank; Thank goodness I have a photo!
-Elaina's squeal when she realized the fun was to continue as we all went back to our house with our cousins and had a hotdog roast over a fire, s'mores, and a big sleepover!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Would You Rather...

If you have never player Would You Rather with your children, then frankly you are missing out on a phenomenon, an ingenious parental tactic to learn more about your children, to connect with your children, have fun with your children, and to become closer to your children.

I sit down to a one on one or sometimes a one on 2 dinner with my kiddos. Perhaps the kid has just finished a ballgame, or perhaps they were running errands with you and so you decided to grab a bite together. I always look forward and seek out these moments just to get a little extra one on one with my kids. It is fun. But usually as we decide what to order, settle in to drinking our drinks, and begin to try some small talk, the conversation is sort of lost and I sometimes have a hard time deciding what to say to stimulate a good parent/kid conversation. The game Would You Rather has not only filled this void, but has enhanced my relationship with my kids!

It begins like this; Jack looks at me and says, "Mom, would you rather jump out of an airplane in only your underwear and a parachute, or eat a huge pile of spiders?" I have to answer, then I usually see what his answer would be, and then I get to ask him a question. Somehow last night's turned into a game of Truth also. Last night I discovered these things about my son, Jack, during a bout of Would You Rather and a game of Truth:

Jack is nervous about asking a girl out on a date some day
Jack would rather jump out of a plane than give a speech in his underwear
Jack would rather skydive than cliff dive
Jack would rather be in a jungle infested with hungry bears than surf in shark infested waters
Jack would rather sing with a back up band where the drummer had no sense of timing whatsoever than sing a solo at his school in his boxers
Jack would rather be sodden with a very hairy stinky body than have boogers encrusted on his face for all time
Jack would rather sit next to a very smelly man on an airplane than sit next to a chimpanzee picking bugs from his head
Jack would rather get lemon juice in his eye than smash his finger in a door
Jack thinks of all of his siblings as his best friends
Jack thinks his mom is pretty

Be still my heart.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Who Won?

It is so nice when your kids hit a point where they are actually becoming decent at the sport they are playing, so you don't have to sit on your hands and hold your mouth shut so that you don't correct them the entire time. Last night at Jack's baseball game he played short stop, catcher and a little 2nd base. He was proficient at each position, making us especially proud while playing catcher, as he catches most of the pitches and throws them very well back to the pitcher so that the pitcher is not running all over the diamond trying to get the ball back for the next pitch. I sat in the stands thinking, wow, Jack can really stay focused when he is interested in what he is trying to focus on. We creamed the other team about 25 to 1. I felt bad for them, they just kept walking our batters in. Finally the other team put in a very slow but accurate pitcher and our team began to take batting practice against them, and ran around the bases continually as they had base-hits, doubles and more. Finally the game ends. I see Jack walk up to my husband, the assistant coach, and he says, "Dad, who won?" ARGH!!!!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I was wondering how much the St Peter Festival was going to cost us. I knew it would be a lot. That's fine. Money for the school. What I did not factor in was the $100 for the fish tank and accessories that I had to purchase for our 4 carnival fish that we brought home from the festival. We went to PetCo where a woman made me feel like an absolutely terrible person for even considering keeping the carnival fish in the huge 5 gallon tank I was buying. A pond was apparently the only humane thing to do. No, actually she began her tirade when I mentioned the fish being from the carnival..she said, "We actually really frown on the whole carnival fish situation. Those carnival games are going downhill, and they won't be handing out fish much longer. Our store is very against it." Well that is just fabulous lady. Are you also against depressing all of my children right here in your store as they stare at you with smiles that just turned to complete sadness for the loss of their big plan to finally have some fish???!!! We weren't putting in a pond for these fish. And I wasn't going to depress my kids after all their excitement for these fish. So I spent the majority of my morning setting  up a 5 gallon aquarium complete with blue rocks, a plant, a Sponge Bob and a Sponge Bob pineapple house. Assembled the filter, and dumped in the fish with a little prayer and  promise to my kids that when they die, we can go to the store to get some new fish that will live longer. We believe in fish heaven. When they die, they will be in a slightly better spot than our Sponge Bob aquarium anyway.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A few questions

Do super-models let their kids climb on them?
-Charlie was climbing up onto my head while I was watching a sitcom. He was literally planting his knee on my boob and his foot on my shoulder and then kneeing me in the face with his other knee, and sitting on my head, and then kicking me in the face with his foot. He was cracking up as he climbed and having such a lovely time. As I was taking the abuse at the expense of my son's happiness I began to wonder...Do super-models let their kids climb on them? I mean, they would get all bruised up as I do, and as a photographer who has done many post photography touch-ups, I know I like it better when there are less blemishes to fix. So, it got me wondering. I am not sure I could give up wrestling with my kiddos for a modeling career. Fortunately, no one has approached me and forced me to make that excruciatingly difficult decision. ; )

Am I the only one that smells that?
-There was a smell randomly emanating from around the trash cans in the kitchen. It smelled chemical. We searched the area. We emptied, cleaned out, hosed down, bleached and scoured the cans. We put new scented bags in the cans. Still smelled it. Today while cleaning out Jack's locker in the mudroom, I found in his backpack a very old lunch. There was a moldy piece of unrecognizable fruit in it (size and previously the shape of an orange). There was the smell. The mudroom is no where near the trash cans...There must have been a moldy orange somewhere!!! So glad Jack's laziness about cleaning up after himself helped to solve this mystery.

How many kids does it take to clean up a back porch?
-I asked them a zillion times to clean it up. The back porch  had dirty clothing, shoes, toys, bubble apparatus, leaves, branches, baseball bases, dishes and more all over it. The boys came inside saying that they were finished after having taken the shop vac, sponges, brooms and soap outside. I went to check on their work. I saw dirty clothing, shoes, toys, bubble apparatus, leaves, branches, baseball bases, dishes and more. When I mentioned that they HAD DONE NOTHING!!!! Their response was something like, "oh, I didn't know you wanted us to clean that part up." I do not actually understand them at all.

How much cash can we spend at our School Festival?
-Tonight we are headed to St. Peterfest. Food. Rides. Games. 5 kids. I will report on the damage to our wallet later. Suffice it to say, Our pastor loves us.

Why is there a folded shirt in the dirty laundry?
-Right in the middle of a rant about the kids not understanding how much I do for them, and a few threats about them leaving their room "looking like this ever again..." I am sorting laundry and I come across a folded long-sleeved shirt. 1.It is summer. 2.It was quite clean. 3.It was FOLDED.  Want to see me go bizerk? Put folded laundry in the clothes hamper.

Did our yorkie really just eat a squirrel???
-As if the 5 kids, their lack of decency, neatness etc...weren't enough for me to clean up after...I walk outside to the sound of screaming from my children to find our family dog not just smelling, not, chomping down on some sort of rodent, either a squirrel or a chipmunk!!!! Gagging ensued from not just me, but my poor friend on the other end of the phone line with whom I had been chatting. When I started gagging on the line and explained why, she could barely contain her own insides I am sure! Call me evil, or call me a genius, but I made that dog stay outside for the next 36 hours at least, and then took him straight from the back yard to the groomer. If our dog was going to barf up chipmunk parts, it was NOT going to be on my rug.

Good times.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Day of Summer

Up at 7am for swim team at 8am. Kids making their beds, and getting dressed. But then what?.......

Well, that was an interesting day...So Charlie threw a huge fit about leaving the pool from swimming, and continued to scream until he fell asleep, which totally ruined his bedtime last evening, which ruined my husband and I's anniversary "grab a bite together and a drink" plans. I need to get this whole summer thing under control. A plan is needed. As much as I would like to be a "fly by the seat of my pants" gal, I think I may need to amend that to a "plan very well, and pretend to be a fly by the seat of my pants" gal. I will need reinforcements to bribe Charlie from the swimming pool each day. I will need interesting movies in the car to keep him awake on the way home from the pool, so that he goes to bed earlier. I will need a list. A good list of things for the kids to do so that I do not have to hear the words "i am bored" since that throws me into a mad crazy fit. So, here goes:

Summer daily or bi-daily or whatever list:

Swim practice - every morning
Chores - make bed, straighten toys, put clothes away after swim practice
Religion- little daily devotion with mom
yoga - evenings before bed?
math - practice on my Ipad for jack and elaina, and work with their tutor.
Read - in the afternoons for 45 minutes
music practice - an hour a day while I make dinner and/or when they first get up
cooking - help mom make dinner
walk dog - hmmmmm....when we go get snowcones, and send elaina up and down our street after swim practice
draw - alternate with yoga before bed

Art Museum
History Museum
Baseball and bowling Hall of Fame
Powder Valley
Magic House
Free Summer Movie series at the Theater
Botanical Gardens
Science Center
City Museum
Soulard Farmers Market
Cardinals Baseball game
Sky Zone in Chesterfiield
Castlewood hiking and beach

Other things that MUST happen this summer:

-Jack must assemble his Lego spaceship he got in March for his birthday.
-Scotty must do his Potato chip Science experiment thing.
-Elaina must do the scrapbook craft pack that she got for her birthday last year!
-Ben must learn to swim.
-Charlie must go along for the ride and become super smart and cultured by just being there.

Also I do not want to forget:
- Yesterday Scotty said: " I am not very good with putting together peoples' faces and names. I remember one time in 2nd grade when I didn't recognize Nina (his best friend) because she usually wore her hair in a red ribbon, and that day it was our first communion and she had her hair down, and I looked all over for her, but I couldn't find her, and then I realized that she just had her hair down, and she was right there." He cracks me up.

-Charlie picked up a piece of paper today with a tiny bit of writing on it and he began to pretend to read it, "This says, Charlie is a big  boy and has a birthday, and likes Jack..."

-Yesterday Charlie told me this: "I want to go with Daddy." and I said, "Daddy already left." and Charlie said, "That is ok, I am very fast. I can run after him and catch onto his bumper, and hit the button and open the back door and climb over the seats and sit right by daddy." We  better keep the doors locked when Pete leaves for work in the mornings!