Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It is 9:00 pm and we have already been to our New Year's party, rung in the New Year, launched fireworks, had a balloon drop, caught up with friends, driven home and put all four kids to bed. This is how you celebrate New Year's Eve when you have small kids and all of your friends have them too.

It is amazing how things change. Gone are the days of going out to celebrate. Gone are the days of having the party at our house because we are the only one with a child that needs to go to bed - so that way we could still enjoy the celebration until midnight with our friends. Gone are the days of ringing in the new year on East Coast time because most of our friends didn't have kids. Now we ring in the new year with some yet to be discovered island in the Atlantic! Yes the new year for us began at 7:00 pm CST on 12/31/07.

Thanks James and Tracey for a very, very fun evening. And thanks for sending the kids home with noisemakers - they made the ride home memorable!

May you all have a wonderful 2008!

PS. No, Rehm had not been sneaking adult beverages. He just can't say Happy New Year without looking goofy.

PPS. No, Eliza Claire does not normally walk around with a paci in her mouth. We have a only at nap or bedtime rule. But when it is an hour after her normal bedtime and there are loud, bright fireworks within 20 ft it seemed only fair.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas

We are having a wonderful holiday. We have spent lots of time with family and friends doing lots of fun outings and just hanging out at home. I promise to update everyone on it all but for now I just wanted to say Merry Christmas. Now I'm going back to enjoying my family for a few more days. I hope you get to do the same.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

What was THAT?

That was Charlotte's room after quiet time. At 3:00 I told her she could come out of quiet time when ever she was ready and had cleaned up the things on the floor (a few blankets and pillows). She informed me that she wanted to stay in her room a little longer. I of course was thrilled.

The twins were actually napping for the first time in a week or two, Rehm didn't have homework and was happily parked in front of the TV, I felt terrible and just wanted to sit down! I enjoyed an hour of surfing the web and watching TV. When the twins woke from their nap I was surprised to realize I had not heard anything out of Charlotte in the last hour. I should have known at that point that something was up. Silly me thought maybe she had actually fallen asleep on all the blankets she had arranged so carefully on the floor.

Charlotte came into the hallway and informed me that she had gotten out a little too much during quiet time and needed help picking up. I opened her door and was shocked by the sight that met me.

How had one little girl done all of this in one hour? What was she thinking? Where did it all come from? Does she have any clue how long this will take to clean up?

She had decided, for reasons I do not know, to empty several boxes of hand-me-downs and the box containing all her special mementos and pictures.

I surprised myself. I did not yell. I did not lay down in the floor and cry. I did not run screaming from the house. I calmly told her that this was unacceptable and I was disappointed. I told her I could not deal with her right this minute and closed the door. As I walked down the hall I heard her start crying. Apparently what I said was effective and she understood the gravity of the situation.

Now, several hours later. All of the mementos are back in the right box, all of the clothes are piled in boxes and sitting in the hallway. In my spare time this week (because I have nothing else to do) I will need to sort and fold them all. Before going to bed Charlotte cleaned up all of the blankets and pillows instead of having story time.

So you ask was it worth it? I'll let you know after I get all the hand-me-downs re-sorted, folded, and stored.


Monday, December 17, 2007


Last week Charlotte and I were putting away clean clothes in her room. She saw a pair of black tights in one of her drawers and the following conversation took place.

Charlotte (holding up the tights): Mommy! I want to wear my black tights. I haven't worn them yet this year!

Me: That is GREAT Charlotte! You're going to get to wear them soon, on Christmas Eve with your Christmas dress!

Charlotte: No Mommy! I CAN'T wear them on Christmas! I need to wear white tights on Christmas!

Me: Charlotte, white tights don't match your Christmas dress, they wouldn't look pretty. You need to wear your black ones. [Her dress is black with red bows embroidered on it and the shirt that goes under it is cream.]

Me thinking: Didn't she just say 30 seconds ago she wanted to wear black tights? Isn't that how this conversation started?

Charlotte (almost in tears): But Mommmmmmy! I wore black tights LAST year with my Christmas dress! I can't wear them again THIS year!

OK she is four! First of all I'm shocked she remembers what color her tights were last year. Second, she's four! How in the world can she know these things matter. Third, do they matter, it isn't like I'm asking her to wear the same Christmas dress two years in a row! They are tights for crying out loud.

I'm crossing my fingers that I have her convinced to wear the black tights. Though I do have a pair of cream ones just in case...

If these are the issues I'm dealing with at four, just think what my life will be like in ten years...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bandy Snatcher Catcher

Rehm came home a few weeks ago and announced he was making a Bandy Snatcher Catcher in QUEST (one of his classes at school). The conversation went something like this

Rehm: We are making Bandy Snatcher Catchers for QUEST!

Me: What is a Bandy Snatcher Catcher?

Rehm: Something to catch a Bandy Snatcher!

Me: What is a Bandy Snatcher?

Rehm: Something that catches a Bandy.

Me: What is a Bandy?

Rehm: I don't know!

OK so you don't know what a Bandy is, but you know it is caught by a Bandy Snatcher and you must build something to catch said Bandy Snatcher? Did I get that all? Yep that was the basic idea.

So the kids had a worksheet where they had to decide what a Bandy was and draw one. Then they had to do the same for a Bandy Snatcher. After that they had to devise a trap using exactly 17 items from a specific set of items (including a specific number of things like paper clips, straws, cups, paper plates and string). Any broken or lost items could not be replaced but broken items could still be used.

Rehm's Bandy had a bunch of different shaped heads, had wings and a stinger. He said it was a sea bee. The bandy snatcher looked basically the same but it could change shapes and colors (like a chameleon). He thought he should use a fake bandy to catch the bandy snatcher.

Today they presented their Bandy Snatcher Catchers. They had to describe how the Catcher worked and then read the book they had made about the Bandy Snatcher.

Here is Rehm's presentation and his book.

The book can be viewed here if you can't see the slide show.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Wind Blowing

Today Charlotte came into the room and said, "Mommy it would be OK if you called my the wind blowing name today." I had no idea what she was talking about and asked her what she said. She repeated, "I want you to call me the wind blowing name." I was stumped, what in the world had we played that had a wind blowing name in it? No I don't go around calling her my little fart muffin or anything so I just didn't know what she could possibly be talking about. Then she said something about the lady on the Christmas tree...Aha! She wanted me to call her Scarlett! I have several Hallmark ornaments from "Gone with the Wind" and she loves to look at all of them and admire Scarlett's pretty dresses. In her world "Wind Blowing" equals "Gone with the Wind."

Later at lunch she was looking at a kid cookbook. She announced that we needed to have Kid Cook Night more often because Mommy and Daddy Buffet was getting BORING! She didn't want to go to Mommy and Daddy Buffet anymore she wanted more variety and Kid Cook Night is much more better!

Ah, what will she think of next?

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I can now officially say I have been tent camping. I made it 34.5 years without having the experience. And well, while I'm sure I'll go again, I'm not sad it took me this long to go.

Michael, Rehm, Charlotte and I went with Rehm's Cub Scout pack. We went about 1.5 hours from our house to Canyon of the Eagles. We had to take two cars because I needed to come back today and Michael and the big kids are staying until Sunday morning. Last night driving down a winding 2 lane road in the dark in the middle of nowhere following Michael I was sure we were lost and crazy. When the road ended, luckily we were at the right place! In the process of finding our actual site we stumbled on the Lodge - I told Michael I would happily go back and stay there :)

We found the rest of the pack and picked a spot to pitch our tent. Everyone was headed to the Observatory so we sent Rehm off with another family and Charlotte, Michael and I started setting up camp. The first thing we discovered is we had forgotten the adult flash lights. Our only source of light were two kid flash lights - one a lion that roars and the other a zebra that giggles. Oh, and they turn off every two minutes.

About halfway through setting up the tent I mention to Michael that the lights on the van were dim. I went to start the van and yep, it wouldn't start! We had drained the battery! Luckily we had our other car and jumper cables. However neither one of us could find the latch for the hood. I had to get the owner's manual out and look it up, using a roaring flashlight whose batteries died in the process.

Back to setting up the tent. We got the first two poles done properly in no time but the second two just weren't doing what Michael remembered when he had set it up with our friend John (who we borrowed the tent from). Of course I asked where the directions were. Of course we had none. After a few more minutes of fiddling with it we figured it out and had the tent ready to go.

I looked around us at all the other tents and then looked back at ours and asked Michael where he was planning to sleep. It was tiny! He assured me we would all fit and it would be fine. I knew we wouldn't have to worry about staying warm as we were going to be very on top of each other.

From there things started smoothing out. We put the kids to bed and sat and talked to some of the other parents for a bit. When we went to bed it was well, comical. We were completely squished. I swear at points during the night Charlotte was taking up 1/3 of the tent. How can someone so small take up so much space?

When I left today Charlotte was in a tree and Rehm was off with his pack on a spy mission. At least I know they will sleep better tonight as everyone will have more room.

I'll definitely go camping again but only with a larger tent and an air mattress! Oh and a couple of flash lights that don't make any noise.

Here is a link to all the pictures if you can't see the slide show.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Don't Expect a Christmas Card from Us!

I had high hopes that I would actually get Christmas cards done this year. But alas it is already December and I still don't have anything that resembles a decent picture of my family! So now even if I get a decent picture soon, I still have to order them, get them in envelopes and mailed. Then they have to get to everyone...It starting to look like the Mahams will be sending Valentines Day cards again this year!

Here is a sample of my attempts at a Chirstmas card. Can someone tell my kids to stand/sit still for a minute or ask Santa to send me a digital SLR camera. Otherwise, I may never get a good picture of all of them together.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Today when I opened the girls door after nap time that tell tale smell met me, you know the one, that someone pooped! Eliza Claire had been babbling for about 30 minutes before I went to get them so I assumed she was the culprit.

I got her out of her bed and was talking to her telling her "you need to learn to say 'poop, mama, poop' so Mommy will know you have poop in your diaper and come change you!" She giggled and babbled back to me. Then I said, "Eliza Claire, can you say 'poop?'" to which Eliza Claire said, "Dada!" Again I said, "Eliza Claire can you say 'poop?'" Again Eliza Claire said "Dada!" with a big satisfied smile. I wonder what her father will think of that...

Once I got to her diaper I realized she wasn't the one with poop after all. So I guess she thought I was pretty dumb to be telling her she needed to let me know when she pooped when she hadn't actually pooped. She was probably thinking "Duh Mom, don't you think I know that all ready?"

Apparently it doesn't bother Ruby to sleep with a poopy diaper but it does bother Eliza Claire to try to sleep while smelling someone else's...I guess all that babbling was "hey, it is stinky in here, can you get me out now!"

Don't you just love reading about 'dada'?