Sunday, September 25, 2016

That Awkward Moment

That awkward moment when...



Will turns 11 and Zach blows out the birthday candles for him, stomping sacred cows. (Will was gracious about it)






You try semi-successfully to french-braid Elise's hair...



...and she schools you, instead.





(more mother-daughter pampering)






And your baaaaaby who came home from the NICU a year ago can pretty much walk all by himself now, and you're kind of sad about it.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Georgenado









Georgie turned one, and a few weeks ago, Zachy turned three. The entire celebration was as follows: we paused a recording of Sharknado 4 to sing and give George the ceremonial single cupcake after dinner.

I can't even keep up with all of these fall birthdays, and we've still got Will's and Joe's to come.

In the middle of it all we celebrated 10 years (!!!) of marriage.





Monday, August 29, 2016

Some Anthropology Definitions, By Will B.

Extinked (adj.)--when an organism no longer exists to stink up the earth

Fartifact (n.)--a man-made, fossilized fart (see also: fossil; artifact)

Homo erectus (n.)--[definition redacted by Mom]

--

"Oh! There's my friend Lawnmower Guy." -Zach, watching the gardener through the window

--

Comprehensive List of Georgie's Words So Far:
Dada
Mama
Gog (a label he applies to everything)
Bahl (ball)
Bahbah (bottle)

Friday, August 5, 2016

We Blinked...

...and James turned twelve.





Fun Fact: Pokemon is cool again. And I have street cred with my sons because I remember the '90's and have the high talent required to sing the Jigglypuff song.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Maybe We're Amazed

"It's amazing!" -Zach, re: the ending of Green Eggs and Ham


Zach's first day of swim lessons, in which he mostly refused to participate

"You know what? Shut up." -Zach, at the dinner table tonight


Georgie in repose, since his little legs don't reach the pedals yet

Summer vacation is quickly coming to a close--the kids go back to school in two weeks. We're perennially amazed by the speed of summer. And the most amazing part about any of it lately is how weird it is to have a threenager in the house again [Zach will be three soon]. One minute he's sweet as can be, and the next he's saying his favorite phrase ("shut up").

At least it's not technically a swear word.



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tuanis (Pura Vida)

Some pictures of Malpais & surrounding areas, Costa Rica.


On the ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula


View from the house (front yard)


The kids on the beachfront bench


Me, Zach, and Will, in a rare moment of not being eaten by mosquitoes


Joe and the bigs at the "secret beach" aka Banana Beach


All in all, I was pretty ready to go home. It was a hard trip!


Walking to a restaurant for dinner, via the beach


View of the house from the road


Actual gecko inside the lantern. Not a decoration, as I'd mistakenly thought.


Wild horses would randomly pass through our beachfront.


James drinking from a coconut (split open w/ a machete by the caretaker, Vicente).



Friday, May 20, 2016

End of an Era

Things are changing rapidly in our household.

This is the second-biggest understatement of the year next to Hillary's "Trump is unqualified...".

The bigs have outgrown their little carpool, because the boys are too cool for the girls now that puberty/absolute disgust for the opposite sex is starting.

And George has learned to soldier crawl.

He's now unstoppable.


We've outgrown a bunch of baby stuff and are getting rid of it (cue sobbing). You can't tell from this, but Georgie's legs hang way off the end of the swing now.



You know it's time to stop using the infant swing when you buckle in your LO and he does this:

"Oh Hai Mom"


And speaking of stopping-using-things, it might even be safe to get rid of Joe's team towel from '99.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

George of the Jungle

"Which game was it?" -Will, in response to a parental cautionary tale about someone actually dying of video game addiction

"Why is it so f***ing windy?" -Zach, innocently, on a windy evening

"Hey Georgie, you're my best friend." -Zach


George's baby portrait, looking exactly like Zach's at 6 months.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Memes for Moms of Boys

Some More Quotes--

"I probably have an idea." -Zach, when he wants to say something

"White weddings give me gas." -James, listening to Billy Idol in the car

"We don't have time for this!" -Zach, fighting his nap


And some Memes for Moms of Boys-











Monday, March 7, 2016

SoCal Baby Names

I live in a part of the country where "mother of five" is a pejorative to be said only while slamming on the brakes to avoid an accident on the 405. People don't tend to have big litters of kids around these parts, because if you are not a hardcore cheapskate like me you may find yourself spending a metric ton of money to house, feed, and raise them here.

So in Southern California, apparently even more so than in other parts of the U.S., each and every name you pick for your baby has got to really count--real people name their kids real aspirational things like Banjo Minnow (boy) and Babe-raham Lincoln (girl).



I might be exaggerating about Lil' Banjo and Baberaham, but please bear with me as I suggest some...

***(Parody) Southern California-Inspired Names For Your Baby (You Won't Find On Nameberry)***

SoCal Real estate themed twins: Net Equity (boy) and Mello Roos (girl)

Hollywood names, taken one step further: Harlot; Schwarzenegger; Stefani; Blanket Statement; Bowie & Queen (twins)

Place names for those who have never been to SoCal: Elsinore; Hemet; Chulavista; Salton

For surfer babies: Aggro; Charger; Gidget



Monday, February 22, 2016

James From State Farm

So, we're still not over the never-ending stomach virus from Hell.

But.

We got to go to Family Rollout Day at Daddy's work on Saturday. Which means we got to expose a bunch of other unsuspecting folks to the virus from Hell hang out with real, live spaceships. It was cool.


Here it is, your aerospace-themed Christmas card picture.


Zach with a weird rash on his face.

We weren't actually sure we were even going to make it to the event, since Zachy had been sick and we the parental units were dragging @ss from cleaning up diarrhea and not sleeping. But we went. And the kids promptly resumed puking Sunday night/Monday morning, as if they'd barely missed a beat.

So...if you were there and we got you sick, I'm very sorry.

It's super exciting to get a picture of our whole family in which everybody's looking, and James is almost smiling a real smile rather than looking annoyed and almost-teenaged. Everybody was dressed REAL nice, too. Like, jeans and polo shirts and dresses. This is no small deal, because for some reason our eldest suffers from the irrational belief system that 1) pants are never necessary in Southern California and 2) wearing khakis or bluejeans makes him look like Jake From State Farm.

You know who I'm talking about.



Anyway, someday he may eventually recover from the embarrassment.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Never-Ending Stomach Virus From Hellll: Part V, The Remix

We've been battling a stomach virus in our household since approximately Jan 31st.

Because you care, the highlights went like this*.

Day 1. Elise commences barfing
Day 2. Zach has diarrhea over the hills and e'erywhere. Plague of locusts arrives.
Day 3. James and Will compete to barf into the upstairs toilet; James "wins", Will barfs on Joe's folded laundry.
Days 4-5. Joe experiences all of the above & stays home from work so he can rest up for when Kyle** is in town
Days 6-???. My stomach hurts and I get diarrhea, Joe goes out of town, and I poop into my polka-dotted Wal-Mart leggings on the way home from Elise's school flamenco show. (She was dressed as a real flamenco dancer and wanted to show me the moves she'd worked so hard to learn and I just couldn't miss it.)
Day 10. We think it's over!
Day Whatever. Zach is barfing again.
Day 14. Zach is barfing again in his bed. It looks like cat barf.

To add an extra juicy layer of Make It Stop, George is refusing to sleep more than a few hours at a time.

I am afraid to even type this for fear of jinxing him but GEORGE HASN'T HAD IT YET. I'm not sure how that's possible since I've had it and I'm breastfeeding (albeit minimally at this point), and it's probably too early in the course of the illness for those wonderful breastmilk antibodies.

*I know this belongs on 'STFU, Parents' but I don't care.
**Kyle is Joe's epic bromance

And. And! This was supposed to be my very-much-needed weekend off. I know this to be true, because my phone actually reminded me of said scheduled "weekend off" on Saturday, riiiight as I was trying to walk out of my house w/ packed duffle bag in hand, and just as Zach started puking again.

Meryl knows. We were gonna go to the spa [wipes away tears]. Meryl, if you're reading this, I'd like to request a re-do.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Heart Beating

George is sleeping on the bed next to me right now, and he is so beautiful. The pictures, they don't do justice to how beautiful he is.




Some more, for posterity and general double-rainbowing:



Let the record show that GT loves pureed pears; hates peas.




Let the record also show that Will gives very good DorkFace when he tries. #Dorkface, as he'd remark.




Let it show that James is outgrowing all his pants much too quickly,




that we let our two-year-old wear his sister's clothes on special occasions,




and that *this* took place (Big Tom holding GT in the NICU) only a few short months ago.









Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dizzyland

"Dad, I have a question. Do you know Buzz Lightyear? Do you know Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? I want to go to Dizzyland, Dad. I want to drive the elephant." -Zach, asserting his nostalgia for our first visit to Disney (and especially the Dumbo ride)

"What's the point? When I grow up I want to be a dirty hobo!" -James, indignant over having to study for a math test

"That's not funny." -James, a few minutes later, when I showed him Chris Farley's "Livin' in a Van Down By the River" thing on YouTube

"I want to live in a van, down by the river." -Will

"What's 'rollin' doobies'? -Elise

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars: The Name Nerd Awakens

So I saw the new Star Wars movie with the big kids last night. It was my second time (first was date night w/ the husband last Thursday night). And I could not wait to get home and search feverishly for a Kylo Ren Tantrum meme generator (so far I haven't found a good one, especially in gif form). Instead I made a Sad Stormtrooper.



Hashtag nerdy and obsessed with Nameberry.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Even More Celeb Babies Renamed

Maxima "Max" Maxine Eliana "Maxie" Zuckerberg

Saint Moral West, brother to North True

Marlowe Marlena Monroe, sister to Grey Rose Audrey

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Year's End

"I scienced the heck out of it." -James, stealing a line from The Martian when I asked him how his recent digestive system test went (He got a 94%)

"Hit me, Joanne!" -Zach, asking our beloved nanny to gently pat him on the back as he fell asleep at naptime

"Eh...muchachos..." -Zach, expressing annoyance at another kid at preschool

"Finally!" -Elise, relieved at no longer having to share a room with Zach

--

George has started to sleep more at night, so we've moved his crib to the "book nook" part of upstairs and let Zach reclaim his (their) room. It's the end of an era. As of yesterday I'm not camping out in there in the big-boy bed, next to the crib of an itty-bitty baby anymore. But the developmental leap (and big sleep milestone for our family) hasn't yet translated into more sleep for me, since I have to try harder to listen for George's grunts and other night noises from the relative comfort of my real bed. This is so as not to disturb Joe, who somehow manages to sleep lightly as the rest of us snore on in a blackness that is "darker'n a black steer's tuchus on a moonless prairie night". George did pretty well last night, though--he went from 10:30 or 11-ish p.m. to 4:30 a.m. and then went down again until 6:30.

(Sigh). They grow up so fast.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

More Zach-Talk

"No. Swear words. I wanna use swear words!" -Zach, when Will gently corrected him ('gosh-darnit, Zach')

"Dad, will you sing "Hatty-Birthday-To-You?" -Zach

"Hannaburger" [hamburger] -Zach

"I wanna see the wopter-copter [helicopter]." -Zach

Thursday, October 29, 2015

And Speaking of God

I went to a parent-teacher conference for Zach the other day, at his religiously-affiliated preschool. The conference was immensely gratifying, almost as much so as Elise's (in which her teacher reportedly said she wished she had a classroomful of Elises and compared her to J.K. Rowling! *Cough, cough,* genius daughter!).

Zach's teacher says he is doing wonderfully, talking up a proverbial storm, and generally getting along great. This is especially nice because I haven't even been the one responsible for bringing him to his school, packing his little lunch, or doing the majority of the Zach-upbringing, in months--except for schlepping him around to his siblings' after-school activities, and immersing him in the requisite swearing-while-driving.

Thank goodness for family, community support, and good help when a new baby is born.

So we're (Zach n' I) driving home from the conference and have the following exchange:

Zach: (singing, making preschool-sanctioned hand gestures) Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Give a little clap, clap, clap! Open, shut them. Open, shut them. Fold them just like that!

(bows head in prayer) God is great, God is good; let us thank Him for our food. A-MEN!

Me: Oh, you're praying before you eat your sandwich, just like you do in school.

Zach: Yeah!

Zach: Hey Mom.

Me: What.

Zach: (Shouting at top of lungs) G-D DAMMIT!



In retrospect, Zach's teacher seemed to be laughing about something and looking at me out of the corner of her eyes during the conference.

It's back to the Swear Jar for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

This.

This article is awesome:

http://www.kveller.com/i-am-a-feminist-mother-who-stayed-at-home/