Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Joy of Family

The other day, this is what my morning looked like.  All my babies snuggled in our queen size bed. Yes, I had to crawl out from under a few of them to get to my camera but it was snuggle heaven. 
 It makes my heart happy to see how they care for and love each other. 

This morning I had the 3 amigos to help me make pancakes.  They ate about half of what I was taking out of the pan so by the time I was done cooking they were full.  But it sure saved us some mess and syrup. This picture cracks me up... Marinn sitting on the pancake warmer with her feet on the cutting board I'm pretty sure this is not up to code with the health department but she had a great time.  Shaw's job was occasionally opening the lid to the warmer so I could throw a pancake in.  Taurin was the one who let me know when to flip the pancakes and just look cute. 

Raising 4 kids ages 5 and under can sure be challenging at times but just getting to know them and having the opportunity to impact their lives is totally worth it.  They have so much love, wisdom, and excitement for life to share if we just take the time to pay attention. 

Here are just a few moments in the last few weeks that were memorable...

1.     Taking all the kids to the grocery store... well 3 different grocery stores to get some deals with some coupons.  At the first store Marinn and Taurin stood at the end of the line with bags in hand ready to do some serious bagging.  They kept shaking open the bags looking all crazy like line backers, as if they were going to charge our cashier at any minute.  I asked her to please pass them anything they couldn't break so they could bag it.  She looked over at their eager faces and posed a challenge.  She said, "Are you ready? Because this is gonna happen fast!"  This was the wrong thing to tell Marinn, my super competitive child.  She got that "look" in her eye and gave her bag another fierce shake.  The cashier started scanning crazy fast and flinging the items toward Marinn and Taurin.  They were bagging like pros! Groceries were flying into the bags and they were running to the cart to toss them in around Blaize and Shaw (who was constantly trying to escape his safety belt).  It was a site to see and I couldn't help but wish I had put more groceries in the cart just to wear them out.  As I left the store with my cart half full of groceries, half full of children I realized that I could have gotten frustrated with their over eagerness to help.  I was proud of myself for letting them be a part of the process and a valuable asset.  I think we all want that, to feel like we are needed and have something to offer even if it might be small.  

2.     At the grocery store once again, with my pro-baggers at my side.  In the checkout line I decided to hold Shaw so he wouldn't attempt an escape during check out.  We enjoyed pressing our pretend buttons while the cashier rung up my things.  Then all of a sudden I feel something extremely hot on my side right where I am holding Shaw,  I assume he is peeing, but am surprised at how hot it is even through his diaper.  I shrug it off as I watch Marinn and Taurin convince the bagger that they are fully capable of hauling the gallons of milk to the cart.  That was hilarious watching a 3 and 5 year old practically move a grown man out of the way so they could carry the milk.  He was totally impressed.  Then, I set Shaw down for a minute just to pay and all of a sudden my side where there was heat now feels cool? Ut oh?!  Somehow, with Shaw in a fresh diaper fully secured to his body the pee has snuck past multiple barriers including his pants to soak a nice large circle on my shirt.  What's a girl to do in this situation?  There isn't many options, but I know that our perception is our reality and they way we think of things often effects our emotional response.   I thought to myself,  I am wearing my work out attire and who's to say that's not just a result of an intense workout?  So as I walk out of the store with my head held high I think, no need to be embarrassed this could easily just be sweat.  

3.     On Monday's we have a play date at the park.  As I was getting the kids ready to leave the house for our play date, Andrew asks if Shaw is wearing a diaper.  I think to myself about the last time I saw him which was moments before and I recall him being in a diaper.  We head to park and everyone is having a great time until Piper and Taurin notify me that Shaw has pooped.  They are very insistent and vocal about me taking care of it immediately.  I walk over to get him and realize that there is a very serious situation going on.... I discover that Shaw had somehow taken off his diaper before leaving the house and has now pooped freely in his shorts.  I take him into the bathroom to clean him up... pretty much a bath.  Now, I will be honest I thought of just placing him inside the toilet and flushing a few times but how could I have posted that blog entry without some serious criticism?  I take off his shorts that pretty much fell off by the time we made it to the bathroom and I place him in the sink.  Well, lucky us it's one of those faucets that you press down and it gives you about 5 seconds of water.  And this one was the kind that shoots out water at the speed of light in very small streams.  Needless to say there was water and who knows what else blasting and flying all over the place, but we somehow got Shaw fully refreshed.  I had left the new diaper and shorts in the van so I wrapped Shaw in a large paper towel skirt and we walked over to get in some fresh clothes.  The the fellow play date moms gave us a cheer for his awesome skirt as we came out.  He finished up playing and had a great time, no embarrassment or shame.  Such a great example of how sometimes life just happens and we have to take care of business.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Frankencrispy Treat & His Bride

I decided to make some fun treats for a Halloween party on Saturday... 
The hosts of the party are going to be Frankenstein and His Bride so I thought I'd stick with their theme and make some Rice Crispy Treats Frankenstein style! 

I did your basic recipe and added some green food coloring. 
I formed them into a large cookie sheet and then cut them into the desired size.  

 Then I shaped one sheet into rectangle-ish shapes. 
(This is the green you get when you forget to mix the food coloring in until you are already stirring them up.)

And the other batch into long rectangle-ish shapes. They were easily molded even 15 to 20 minutes after I had poured them into the pans. 
(This is the green you get when you add the coloring in the marsh mellows before you start mixing.)

After the shapes had set for a bit I melted some dark chocolate on a double boiler and half dipped, half painted on the "hair".  

The chocolate was taking a long time to set and so I proceeded very carefully adding all the details.  
-For Frankencrispy's hair, eyebrows and mouth I used the chocolate.  
-For the eyes and stitching your basic out of the can frosting with some food coloring.  
-For the bolts I cut miniature marshmellows in half and secured them with some frosting.  

-For his lovely Bride I used the chocolate for her hair and eyelashes.
-For her eyes, mouth, stitching, and hair highlights I used frosting. 
(For applying the frosting I used a sandwich bag with a small hole cut in the corner.)

Wha La!  The happy couple : )

I love how these turned out and the kids and Andrew said they tasted great! 
I can't wait to give one a try on Saturday.