Cereal with Iron(y)

This morning I was asked what is for dinner.
(I should mention that earlier in the week I asked each child what they wanted for dinner this week,  E chose nachos, J chose fried shrimp, O chose pumpkin pancakes and breakfast stuff, R chose shrimp scampi and little A chose cereal)  Tonight is little A’s choice.  Which brings us back to the question I was asked as E stood in the kitchen this morning before school.
What is for dinner.
I looked up at her and said Cereal.
She instantly took on the face of an annoyed middle school girl (she has this look quite practice!) I asked “what?” she did not want cereal for dinner, she wanted “real food” (I am using quote marks because she said it in a tone that implied that cereal is not food)

Now for the IRON(Y)
I know you will enjoy this!
At least once a week she looks at the ‘real food’ I have prepared for dinner, and says in a middle school girl tone, “can I have cereal?”
Did you see it?  When I make ‘real food’ she asks for cereal, but when I decide that cereal is an actual family meal, she wants “REAL FOOD”
So for now, she is annoyed with me for making cereal for dinner, when I could have made “real food” that she would not eat but ask for cereal instead.

Go hug your kids and enjoy what ever ‘real food’ you choose to have for dinner
jen

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The First Day

Happy First Day of School my children. I pray that you are kind, to others, I pray that you are the one that people know they can trust, I pray that you speak to the lonely and that you include those left out. I pray that you know more of Jesus this year. That you will grow and learn and that you apply the things you learn. The world measures your success but God measures your heart. This year I pray your heart grows.

Go hug your kids, time moves too fast for this mama!
jen

Splash Zone

You know those fountains at the outdoor malls?
They have the lovely ledge for sitting on, or running around…
Have you ever noticed the little warning?Please do not touch or stand on the fountain walls.
They could also add…
or run around.
I was too far away to even notice the sign, and little A went from jumping off ledges, planters, and cement stools, to running around this  fountain wall.

To FALLING into the fountain.She FELL IN THE FOUNTAIN and all I could do was laugh.  It is not too cold here in the southern state we are in, as you can see we are not wearing jackets just jeans and long sleeves. Thankfully R was with us to rescue her.  The look of shock on her face was so funny.

Lucky for her Gymboree had a great sale and I had a bag with a few summer outfits for her.  We went to  dry off and put on a new shorts set.

I wish we had been quicker with cameras to get a picture of her in the water.

What about you?  Have you ever fallen into a water feature at a mall?  Was the water cold?
Go hug your kids they need your love!
jen

The Bad Banana

Today, like any other day I threw things into lunch boxes and we rushed out the door.  Although if I am being honest, which I am, I only made little A’s lunch, 2 left early with their dad (if they want to go early they must pack their own lunch) and R had already made his lunch.  I packed a little container of Mac-n-cheese, so she could eat it cold, a pack of fruit snacks, a banana, a cookie, and a thermos of water.

11:00 I am shopping in Publix (Where shopping really is a pleasure) and my phone rings, I am actually startled because my Publix is a giant dead zone for cell phone service.  I answer it, the school nurse was on the line,  A threw up at lunch.  I beg her off on her dad, I was half way through the store, and really we do stomach bugs a lot so I was not worried about her and knowing my schedule for the next few days I really wanted to finish grocery shopping.  I picked her up 20 minutes later.

12:45 the school calls AGAIN E is now in the clinic and not feeling well.  She says it is her stomach, and she wants to come home.  I call Keith because the littles are now resting.  E comes home and goes right up to bed.

1:30 little A comes down from her room, can she watch some TV.  I asked her how her tummy felt.  “fine”  I asked her what made it hurt? “my banana”  I asked why? “the 2 big black spots were too yucky.

Here is what happened

A: My banana had 2 big black spots on it
M: why didn’t you just throw it away
A: I couldn’t
M: why (thinking they were supposed to be in their seats still)
A: blink blink blink (she has VERY BIG BLINKS)
A: ok
M: but why didn’t’ you throw it out?
A: because it was too mush and I needed a napkin
M: why didn’t you get a napkin
A: because it was too mush
(circles we talk in circles)
A: when I tried to pick it up the throw ups just came
M: where baby?
A: on my lunch box and the table
M: oh dear
A: blink blink blink
M: how did your banana turn so black at school? it was yellow when I put it in your lunch box
A: well, maybe because I put it around my back a few times. (showing me like a basketball warm-up drill) Than I dropped it 2 times.  BUT not at the same time,
M: oh, blink blink
M: ok well maybe next time you just eat your banana and not throw it around you back?
A: oh good idea mommy
A: now can I go watch netflix?

This people, this is why sometimes I don’t make any sense when I talk to adults, because my mind is still trying to process the bad banana and throwing up.

Go hug your kids, and tell someone you love them, time is just too short, I was reminded of this by the lady at the grocery store who said she wished she had a sweet little one to visit with while she shopped.  And told me how very lucky I am.  I agreed with her, PS was quick to charm her.   I love old people in the grocery store who say nice things to my children!  Although I have never had anyone make a mean comment to us ever.

jen

I Blinked for my Picture

Hey A, what was the best thing about your day?

Well, I smiled like THIS…  for my 2nd grade picture.  I’m pretty sure I blinked but they said I didn’t.
(shrugging her shoulders)
Ehh, we’ll just see who was right when my picture comes back.

Dinner time, conversation and confusion.

Little A – Hey Mom, remember that time that they stuck a thing up my nose and touched my brain?
Mom – What?
A – Remember that stick thing
M – No?  I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.
A – Remember that time I was 3 and you took me to the doctor and they stuck a stick up my nose, and then they said you should give me a milk shake?
R –  looking at me mirroring the confused face I had.

M- oh!  that time in kindergarten that you were so very sick, (so very sick) they did a flu test, and you fell asleep before we left, when we got in the car, then holding your C-F-A milkshake in your hand, only to come home and sleep more.  (she was so very sick for 6 weeks, it was scary, and not the flu)
R – I never got a milk shake when I had the flu test…

What was your best thing about today?
Little A – PE, we had to run laps in the gym because it rained during Mile Monday.  We had to run laps, in the gym, the first 2 laps were all good (with a thumbs up) but during the 3rd lap I fell, but I did not get a floor burn.  After that we did this thing where you push up with your head.  (showing us on the dining room floor, it was actually a sit-up) and then we broke into 2 teams.  It was fun but not as fun as throwing things out of the trash can.
Mom –  WHAT?
Little A – you know that grumpy guy who throws trash.
Mom –  No, go back, were you throwing actual trash?
Little A – no mom, we were only preTENding!  I was the trash can, not the ACTUAL trash can, and KC and I were throwing out the balls they threw at us.

While walking through the school parking lot there was a SUV next to my van, it had a very large amount of bird poop on the window.  PS looked at it, asking me what it was, I said poop.  She gave the most disgusted face and asked “who does that?”  I answered her, not people honey, birds.  Birds poop on cars.  She declared that disgusting.  And was annoyed by birds in general for the next five minutes.

Go hug your kids, and listen to their stories, they always have something surprising to say!
jen

 

Empty Cereal Boxes, and Who Puts Them Away?

Does this happen at your house or only mine?
Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine, she was getting ready to leave on a field trip, and was commenting on how all she packed for lunch was a yogurt, because her people in her house had finished off the bread, but no one mentioned it to her.  So lunch for a field trip was yogurt…  I laughed with her telling her she was not alone.  We laughed about sips of milk left in cartons and juice bottles with only drips, left in the refrigerator for someone else to put into the recycling bin.  She said they cleaned the pantry and had about 20 boxes of cereal with enough for a small bowl left in the bottom.  Her question was “Who does that?”  I laughed in agreement.
She left for her field trip, I returned home to clean up before the satellite repair guy showed up.  I was putting away the lunch mess, and noticed the APPLE JACKS box on the table.  When I picked it up the box felt very light, almost too light…  I pulled the bag out.And this is what I found, an almost empty bag inside the box.  I texted the picture to my friend, with the words…  “My house is the same as yours.”

Earlier when I went to the pantry to put away the peanut butter, I noticed an OXO container about half full of APPLE JACKS already in there…  Yet we had an open box on the table with only a small amount in it.  I went to the pantry and took out an OXO container to put that left over cereal in, but as was pulling it out I noticed another box of APPLE JACKS that looked open.Sure enough it was already opened…  So I sent this picture to my friend. “My people are awesome!”

Upon further inspection I found THIS.Also FROSTED FLAKES

I organized the cereals and finished cleaning up the lunch mess (jelly smeared on the counter) and went about cleaning the house while I waited for the satellite repair guy. 4 hours later, just as the estimated time was ending he showed up.  (Exactly as expected)

I even forgot about the almost empty cereal boxes, until night-time,
I wanted a glass of chocolate milk. I went to pour myself a tall glass of cold milk, only to get this much out of the carton.  I texted this to to my friend, “Nah, I’m not that thirsty for milk. Just a little sip please.”  All she did was laugh back at me.

For real.

We have a chalk board wall to list things on that they use up.  Right now it has razor refills, ginger ale, shaving cream, garbage bags, cookies, and deodorant, in many different hand writings. I guess some think ‘if I don’t finish it I don’t have to put it on the wall or walk all the way outside to the recycle bin to throw out the carton or box’

So are we alone?  Does this happen at your house too?  Will it ever end?  I know why it happens, they are children, and just don’t think about it, but tell me they out grow it?  Neither my friend or myself remember doing it as a child…  (I guess we should ask our mothers to be sure)

Go hug your kids, they need your love, and check the milk carton before you head out to the grocery store.
jen

Why My Kitchen is a Mess (or any other room to be exact)

Most of you who have been following for a while, know that we have remodeled most of the house, room by room we have ripped off popcorn ceiling tiles, torn out bathrooms, fallen through the hallway ceiling, added on, pushed out, gone back to the front again, and freshly tiled the fire-place…  I have a list of what needs to be done next.  Lucky Keith.

When we added the back half of the house we were told we had 10 years to get the siding changed out on the house to match the addition.  Well, we were given the occupancy of residency about 3 weeks before little A was born, she is now 7 (seven and a half to be almost exact)  We officially have 2 and a half years left.

We flew O home for the Easter weekend.  She had days off, but we needed a way to convince Keith to fly her home when she only has 3 weeks left at the university.  We had days off and she is a great worker with Keith, the weather is not roasting hot yet, and the sun is just far enough south that most of the job would be in the shade.  But mostly because it was not going to be a billion degrees that weekend.  We flew her down to work, and to spend time with her.  But work.  Friday they worked pulling off plastic siding, pulling out rodent nests, and showering in termite fras, they finished the first floor outside before we went to the Good Friday Service at church.  Saturday early until late they worked, the fireplace with the bees hive (empty) had to be removed, half way into the 2nd floor they had to quit, and finally on Sunday night they came to a stopping point.  The next few weeks are slammed as school ends so they will not be able to work for a good long while.

Monday somehow got away from me.  I had lots of stops and starts, we were out of toilet paper.  Sunday night we started running the 1 roll we had left from bathroom to bathroom…  A trip to target was unavoidable.  Hours later and blown budget we came home to lunch, when the phone calls started E had been feeling badly and needed to come home, we had already tried the tricks and nothing was helping.  J has had some breathing issues, allergies, topped with debris and termite fras (poop) raining down on him while he helped work on the north side of the house, he just could not stop coughing and needed to come home.  Once home O and I sat around watching C.O.P.S. (she gets a sick thrill when bad guys get the taser) we had planned on watching a movie, but with runs to school and no napping from PS we gave up.  School ended and we ALL went to Sam’s club.  In and Out and Under budget it was a win…   Dinner, homework, baths and bed.

Which leads to today.  I went to Bible Study and O stayed home doing homework.  When she first arrived we took lunch to 2 of the school kids, so today we took lunch to the other 2, she was going to be leaving Tuesday night for the last few weeks of the University, it had to be done today.  After lunches we came home, and after lunches I tried to clean up, I really did. I did not know it would not happen…  Because the kitchen is on the north wall where the construction is happening, and Keith was replacing 2 windows in the dining room, and 2 in the kitchen everything from that area had to be moved to the island counter, which was already a mess, now became a huge mess.  I had dirty dishes, and dirty dishes, dirty counter dirty floor,even dirty drawers, and everything piled together.  I had 1 clean counter where all meal prep had happened, the last few days.  I tried to get things taken care of, PS did not take a nap, I needed to run to get stuff for dinner in the car, and time was not on my side, washing another counter top and a few big dishes we left for the airport.

Tonight after we returned home the house stayed messy.  PS fell on the brick walkway as she raced into the house, I carried her in and set her on the table, chasing little A to the shower E took over caring for PS.  She scraped her knee scratching the skin off leaving a little blood mixed with the dirt, it is red, and sore, E brought her a freezie pack and a blanket.  While A was taking a shower I flipped over the laundry, went into my bath room and found more rodent droppings (more on that in another post) and began pulling laundry to throw in another load before I crashed for the night.   PS cried for me, I went to check on her,  E came back in to her rescue to draw pictures for her.  PS cried about the vacuum that is in the kitchen, (it was not even plugged in) I dumped in the laundry load and went to wash little A’s hair soaking myself in the process, changing into pajamas.  PS was content with E’s care, little A was done with the water, washer machine was humming along, I thought I could sneak in a few dishes while little A was getting ready for bed, E was with PS, I washed 3 pans before soaking myself, changing pajamas again, little A brought me her homework (a money worksheet) I sent her to the table and tried to wash another pot.  I forgot about little A sitting at the table, PS came out to the kitchen dragging her clean blanket on my dirty floor, crying about her knee.  E picked her up and had her nose knocked in the process.  Her nose hurt, PS’s knee hurt, and Little A needed to get her homework done.  PS settled into the chair next to me and began to chant Miss Mary Mack all dressed in black with silver buttons…  while I sat at the table to help little A add money.  E began unloading the dishwasher and dropped a glass in the dishwasher and on the floor.  I stopped listening to Miss Mary Mack, and the number of pennies it takes to make a quarter to carry E out of the kitchen and began sweeping/picking up glass.  Little A wanted to show me her math paper, I finished counting pennies to make a quarter, signed an assignment tablet, supplied ice water for little A, sent her upstairs.  I carried PS to my bed to wait for me, where she burst into tears asking where I was going (she {we} are suffering from separation anxiety…) E came down needing water, I had to make it since I only got some of the glass cleaned up.  Thirty minutes later everyone is in bed, no one is crying, pajamas and prayers, water and kisses…  That is why my kitchen, and my house are messy.

My life is filled with starts and stops.  Some days more stops than starts.  But that is okay, I am just where I need to be.  Well right now I am sitting in bed snuggling with the poor baby and her skinned knee.  But in all honesty I want the kitchen to be cleaned, but it can wait.  I choose my people over the kitchen, I choose my people over the broken glass {which I need to clean up soon}  I choose the stops because I choose my children.  One day I will follow a load of laundry from the basket to the dresser, I will follow the dishes from the cupboard, to the table, to the dish washer and back to the cupboard.  But not today, or tomorrow or any time soon.  I am going to stop when Number 1 child calls, I am going to stop when O has a color question, an art question, I am going to stop when R needs some human conversation after spending hours doing homework.  I choose to stop when J wants to visit, I am going to stop when E wants to be with me,  I am going to listen to little A read or count pennies, I am going to carry the baby and do hand slap games because I choose to stop.  I want to stop, and sometimes I needed to be reminded that stops are more important than starts. When I see my kitchen, the construction dust in my dining room, and the dirty floors it is easy to be overwhelmed and discontent.  I need to be reminded that I live in the stops right now.

Living in the stops, go hug your kids and tell someone you love them
jen