Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Triple Dog Dare

Last night while shopping in GAP, I overheard Paul and Noah whispering angrily. I told Noah to fess up what was going on. His answer: "Paul is daring me to swallow one of the security tags so I'll beep every time I leave a store."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To Do List

I was cleaning out Noah's backpack tonight and came across his to-do list.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Noah-isms

Yesterday, I was a little worried my skirt was too tight for work. I asked Hannah her opinion. Noah chimed in and said, "It is a little. But your buns will stretch it out."

Today, I showed Noah his new shoes. He had asked for red and black ones, but I didn't have any luck finding those colors. I got him green and black ones that have glow-in-the-dark straps. He examined them carefully and put them on. I asked if he liked them. He said, "Well, they're a new release. I like that. They have excellent traction. Not much friction... but good traction. They don't FEEL awkward. I guess I just need to see if there was any false advertising about this whole glow-in-the-dark business." He then held his shoe up to a lamp, went into my closet, and shut the door. All I could hear was a whispered, "Niiiiiice." He likes the shoes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Valuables

Noah: "Did you throw away the Harry Potter merchandise catalog?"
Me: "No. It's on Ash's desk."
Noah: "Thank goodness. That book is my LIFE."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Options

Today in church, I kept Paul entertained by having him write a list of all of his career options. It is definitely worth the read. My favorites would have to be hobo, Las Vegas showman, priest, and Emperor. Here is the list, in order and exactly as written:

opthalmologist
astronaut
mission control
teacher
train engineer
electrician
commercial airline pilot
Navy
Marines
Army
Air Force
Coast Guard
teller
accountant
President/CEO
manager
truck driver
bus driver
Captain
Border Patrol
policeman
fireman
Admiral
General
rookie
Colonel (pronouced Ker-nel)
Corporal
Sergeant
surgeon
doctor
actor
cardiologist
cardio-thoracic surgeon
orthopedic surgeon
priest
coal miner
copper miner
gold miner
other mineral miner
zoologist
zookeeper
news reporter
talkshow host
President of the United States
congressman
House of Representatives
historian
U.S. Senator
Secretary of State
Vice President
Treasurer
Governor
architect
engineer
computer animator
inventor
vendor
waiter
veterinarian
hobo
marine biologist
author
illustrator
missionary
soldier
Las Vegas showman
musician
trumpeteer
preacher
professor
cowboy
rancher
farmer
career criminal
pirate
photographer
veteran
lawyer
judge
Emperor
construction worker
video game animator
director
producer
FBI Special Agent
SWAT Team Officer
therapist
comedian
artist
fighter pilot
translator
King
coach
cook
shepherd
shoe polisher at airport
sailor
detective
contractor
dictator

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Feline Woes of a Home Office

We have a cat named Mose (after Dwight Schrute's cousin on The Office). We've had Mose since he was six weeks old, and I can honestly tell you that something is wrong with this cat. He is not normal in any way. He's extremely loud, carries things around in his mouth, tortures dogs, sucks on people's earlobes, and is a practicing kleptomaniac. He collects random items from around the house, such as nail clippers, scotch tape, bandaids, spoons, pencils, underwear, business cards, and chapstick, and he hides them on the crow's nest of his cat tower. He darts out of hiding spots and attacks ankles whenever possible. He has a sick little sense of humor. Obviously this makes him one of our favorite pets.

As a bookkeeper who still has a few clients in addition to my regular job, my home office is very important to me. Mose has a bone to pick with my adding machine, so this is what I frequently come home to. Sigh.

Issues of Scale

We have a scale that is programmed with ID numbers for each user. Paul came out of my bathroom the other night and said, "Mom, I'm really sorry, but I accidentally weighed with Scott's ID number." I told him it was no big deal and not to worry about it. He replied, "Ok, but just make sure Scott knows that he did NOT lose 164.4 pounds."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ten Years With a Miracle


On an unusually serious note today, I'm celebrating ten years with my miracle baby, Paul Philip. Paul nearly died at birth of Group B strep pneumonia.

Today Paul is a thriving, brilliant 10 year old- a true "boy genius" who astounds those around him on a regular basis. He has a photographic memory and can recite anything from dates in history to distances in light years of objects in space to maps of the human anatomy. He rarely shows his teeth when he smiles- rather just a little smirk with lips pursed, and it makes me laugh every time he does it. I can't imagine life without my special miracle boy. If it weren't for Paul, the Pross Posse would definitely be missing a key element. The artwork below is by Scott. My favorite of his pieces by far.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Serious Stuff

This Halloween was a pretty good one.  Paul wanted to be an opthalmologist. While trick-or-treating, Paul's wait for candy on a neighbor's porch ended when another boy his age opened the door. The boy said seriously, "Hi Paul." Paul replied, "Hello Eduardo." Eduardo then handed Paul a piece of candy and closed the door. Scott asked, "I take it you know him? What was that all about?" Paul replied, "That's Eduardo. My archnemesis."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weebles Wobble, But They Don't Fall Down!

I bought a huge, basket-weave style vase yesterday at World Traders. When I got home and unloaded it, I naturally had to put one of the kids inside. Paul volunteered. We barely squeezed his arms into it, and since the top of the vase is narrow, it rested on his head (the bottom is open). After we got Paul all tucked inside, Noah noticed a GIANT RED COCKROACH on the outside of the vase. (Disclaimer: this had to have come from the store!!!) Paul heard about the roach discovery and started panicking. He was moving around like a Weeble, because his arms were pinned to his sides in the vase and he couldn't lift it off. I was screaming and trying to smack the roach with a shoe, because there was no WAY I was lifting that vase up in the air (off of Paul) so the roach could fall onto my head. In the end, we had Paul screaming inside a vase, me screaming and begging Paul to hold still, Noah screaming that the roach was going to get away, and me finally smacking the roach hard enough to kill it. I think Paul is permanently traumatized.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paul Philip, Memory Man

I let Paul come to "work" with me this afternoon, and he did this on his own, FROM MEMORY! I love raising the next Einstein! :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ROAM and Night Hawk

Last night, Noah wanted to play spies. He was Night Hawk, and I was ROAM (Rachel On A Mission). All evening long, I responded to his questions with "10-4," "Roger that," or "Over and Out." He told me about missions in jeopardy, double agents, fingerprints on doors, Russian spies, and proper spy gear. At bedtime, he said Night Hawk was signing out. I said, "Roger that." His response? "I find it a little strange that you're an adult and you like to play kids' games."

Tonight when I got home from work, Noah had a special surprise for me. It was my spy ID badge. He even drew a microchip and taped it inside so the ID will self destruct if it falls into the wrong hands.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random Cabinet Contents

I'm raising five boys. The REAL question here is, "Why WOULDN'T there be a machine gun and Doritos in the bathroom cabinet?"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ouch.

This morning Paul and Noah were in a big argument about something, and the insults started flying. Noah went out with a bang saying, "Well when you were born, you were so ugly that the doctor slapped MOM." Try keeping a straight face when scolding a second grader over that one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blonde Moments and Satanic Attire

I gave Hannah a "RED" shirt from Gap yesterday. She looked at the tag and said, "Hey, this shirt was made in the Demonic Republic."

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm Always In His Heart

This has been a rough week for me with federal examiners in my office. Today is my big exit interview, and Paul left this note for me before he went to school.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Prefer Barbasol.

Noah snuggled against my chest on the couch tonight, looked up at me with his big blue eyes, and said, "I love you so so SO much, Mommy. I love the way you smell. And I love how soft your skin is. And how smooth it is. You must shave your chest every day."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust.

Noah has a habit of destroying clothes. He is a disaster on two little feet in Sketchers light-up shoes. On Friday, he tried flying on the merry-go-round and ended up in the ER with a busted nose from face planting on the ground. Upon arriving at the hospital, he promptly car-doored a brand new BMW. Upon leaving, he told the doctor, "Well, I did get some pretty good air time at least."

Last year during American Idol, Noah thought Simon Cowell looked cool with his V neck shirts. He cut a long slit in the necks of most of his tshirts. Did I flip out? Not really. He just had to wear them until they were too small. Was I worried about what people would think? Not really. Anyone who knows Noah wouldn't even ask why. Today he came home with his shirt in the condition shown below. When questioned about it, he said, "I just fall a lot every time I wear this shirt." And before you wonder about the pic, he has his arms behind his back, and for whatever reason his skin looks like Edward Cullen's. I know.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Alaskan Winter

Paul is in an accelerated learning program. Last week he had to think about what he would need to survive a winter in Alaska. Click on pictures to enlarge. My favorite item by far is the "Polar Bear Skin Stretchy Pants." Another interesting item is "3 pairs of XL Soccer Socks: Wear All at Same Time." I also love the Hanes trademark in his explanation. Classic Paul.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creative Animal Creation

Noah: "I get to design my own desert animal for art."

Paul: "Well have you thought about adaptability to the desert environment? Lack of water? Heat? Predators?"

Noah: "This is supposed to be for FUN, Paul."

Paul: "Well have FUN designing your stupid animal that will die in less than one day of real desert life."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

That New Car Smell

Scott and I were reminiscing last night about our first vehicle together. We bought a brand new, 8 passenger Toyota Sienna right off of the lot about a year after we got married. It was loaded, and we were ecstatic to finally be able to cart our entire family around in one vehicle. Everyone talked about the new car smell but Noah. He was barely four at the time, and he insisted that the new van smelled like meat. For weeks he called it "The Meat Van," and he commented on the "meat smell" every time we got inside. Finally, on the road one evening, Scott lost his patience with the meat comments and said, "Do not EVER call this The Meat Van again. It does NOT smell like meat, Noah. It smells like a NEW CAR. End of discussion." The van was completely silent for a few moments, and then Noah quietly said, "Can I tell a knock knock joke?" Scott reluctantly sighed, "Yes, Noah."

Noah: "Knock knock.
Scott: "Who's there?"
Noah: "Meat."
Scott (after a long pause): "Meat who?"
Noah: "IT SMELLS LIKE MEAT IN THIS VAN!!!"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Worship With a Touch of Human Anatomy

Paul started getting a little fidgety during church this morning, so I decided to give him an "assignment." My question is written at the top of the page. His responses were quite... Paul. (You can click to enlarge.)

Necessary Precautions

As you may have noticed, Noah is in a bit of a ninja phase. I couldn't help but notice his weapon while he brushed his teeth this morning.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Wanted Something From the Urinary System.

As a quick reminder if you're one of the few people who haven't read every single post I've ever made from the very beginning (insert sarcasm), Paul Philip is nine years old and the genius of our family. I'm not just saying that- it's been tested. He loves studying blueprints, engine diagrams, maps of outer space, and the human body. Tonight, he lovingly gave me this drawing (you can click to enlarge). The drawing itself is hilarious, but the note is even better. Quite awhile back, I was in the hospital with a kidney infection. Apparently it made a strong impact on my Paul, because he obviously hasn't forgotten it. My favorite part is how he says I "wanted something from the urinary system." I'm not sure what he means by that, but I'm pretty sure it's the first time someone has ever said that about me. I also love that he signed his last name, just in case I forgot what I put on his birth certificate.
 

More Touching Moments Between Brothers

This morning, Paul was working on a poster about his family. He asked Noah, "What are your hobbies?" Noah replied, "Skating, playing video games, riding my bike, and eating pizza. OH. And being an assassin."

Fast forward about 30 minutes. Noah was drawing a dinosaur with glasses on. Paul said, "As if dinosaurs ever had glasses, Noah." Noah's response? "It's called artistic license, idiot."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sigh.

Hannah Rose is a bright and talented girl, but sometimes her blondeness makes me feel like a genetic failure. Tonight she told me that she probably wouldn't be up to going on the 7th grade field trip to Washington, D.C., because she "isn't ready to fly overseas."

Jabba the Cat

Anyone who has ever been to our house will remember one thing in particular: noise. Oops, I mean: Jabba. Jabba is the biggest cat I have ever seen, and that's pretty much what everyone else says too. He is 33.5 pounds, not too shy of the world record, and he is solid as a rock. Unassuming visitors will think he's all fur, but after one shocking stroke of his belly, they quickly realize the insanity of their mistake. Jabba walks like a panther, and his paws are huge.  His litter box is a concrete mixing pan from Home Depot. He is fed very expensive low fat food, but a lot of it is honestly his build.  Aside from his ginormity, Jabba is unique because of his personality. He has the disposition of a mastiff. He's laid back, fearless, friendly, nosy, and very, very funny. Jabba likes evening walks around the block in his red wagon. He likes sitting on his back in a vibrating infant bouncy seat. He likes to sleep flat on his back. If Jabba does this in the yard, we get a minimum of twenty vultures circling our house, because they think he is dead.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Now That's Service.

Scott noticed this sign at the movie theater concession area on Friday night. Apparently they offer services in the afterlife.

Animals that Begin With O

Last night, I gave all of the boys haircuts. We like to call it The Manson Family Supercuts. It never really goes smoothly, but there is no way I'm carting so many male spawn to a barber shop and paying $15 each when I can do it myself with some rope, tranquilizing darts, and dog clippers.

I've been doing this for nearly six years now, so we have it down to a science. I move the ottoman. I pull out the haircut stool. I get the clippers (no, they're not really dog clippers). The boys strip down to underwear so there isn't hair all over the laundry. One at a time, they step up to the stool and get buzzed. The older boys always like to give me specific instructions of how they'd like it, and I always agree and nod enthusiastically, but I use the same formula every time: number one on the sides faded up to a number four on top, and a zero around the edges.

Last night, everyone was tired, and the kids started acting antsy and whiny. Anyone who says that all children are precious has never heard our kids whining in unison. It makes you want to gouge out your eardrums with toothpicks and then huff Pledge until you pass out.

I decided it was time for a distraction. The following conversation ensued.

Me: "Ok guys, I've got a bag of M&Ms in the pantry. Whoever guesses the animal I'm thinking of wins it. Your only hint is that it starts with an "O" sound." (Note to reader: SHORT O, like the O in octopus.)

Hannah: "Ostrich."

Me: "Nope."

Micah: "Octopus."

Me: "Nope."

Ashton: "Ocelot."

Me: "No. But I'm impressed."

Noah: "Otter!"

Me: "Nope."

Paul: "ASS with an English accent!!!"

Me: "The answer was ox, but you win the prize for most creativity."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Napping Buddies


Does anyone remember the episode of Friends when Ross and Joey decide to be napping buddies because they sleep better when spooning on the couch? That's Noah and Helo. Anytime we have a family movie night or TV night, the two of them end up asleep on each other. Priceless.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Good Example of How Paul Thinks

Last night, Paul told me that our vacuum wasn't working. I told him not to worry about it and that Scott would deal with it. This morning, Scott came home from work to find the vacuum, a package holding a new belt, a screwdriver, and this instructional guide laying out for him. (Notice Paul even showed Scott which direction to turn the screwdriver.)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Curses

Noah: "AVADA KADAVRA!!!" (with a tinker toy pointed at Paul)

Paul: "THAT'S THE UNFORGIVABLE CURSE! You are SO going to Azkaban!!!"

Me: "Noah, no death curses allowed."

Noah: "But it's Harry Potter!"

Me: "I don't care. You don't curse your brother with death. End of discussion."

Detective Work

I got into the shower at 5:40am. First thing I noticed: the shower head setting was strong enough to propel the Titanic. I thought the jet power was going to peel the skin off of my back. Second thing I noticed: my shampoo did not smell like whispering acai berry. It smelled like Old Spice. Third: there was a P carved into my bar of soap. Four: there were Harry Potter spells written in the steam on the shower door. Five: there was a pair of dirty tighty whities on my bath rug. Thankfully I am a very skilled detective, although I'm fairly certain a chihuahua could have figured this out. Paul used my shower last night. For the last time.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Procreation

Me: "This is the 2nd time this week that you have kicked Noah there. Do you want him to be able to have kids someday?"

Paul: "He can't. He's male."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Task of Showering

I worked 16 hours straight yesterday with no lunch, so this morning I decided to sleep in a bit. When I got up to take my shower, I was interrupted at least ten times. Examples:

Hannah: "Mom, are you naked?"
Me: "What do you think, Hannah? I'm in the shower."
Hannah: "Well can you let me in?"
Me: "In the shower?"
Hannah (laughing): "No, I just want to use your brush."
Me: "You need to give me some privacy."
Hannah: "Well it's not like I've never seen boobs before."

Noah: "Mom? Paul's not letting me have a turn on the computer."
Me: "I'm in the shower, Noah. I can barely hear you."
Noah: "MOM? PAUL'S NOT LETTING ME HAVE A TURN ON THE COMPUTER."
Me: "Noah, please let me take a shower in peace."
Five minutes later... Noah: "Mom? Are you done yet?"
Me: "I asked you to leave me alone for a little while."
Noah: "I left you alone for like 20 minutes. You're just taking forever!"
Me: "Please go away."
Noah: "Ok, I'll just wait here by the door until I hear the water turn off."

Paul: "Mom? Can you initial my chore chart?" (yes, we do chore charts)
Me: "Paul, I'm in the shower."
Paul: "Well this marker is probably waterproof."
Me: "Is the paper?" (being sarcastic)
Paul: "It's laminated."
Me: "Paul, please leave me alone so I can finish showering."
Paul: "Are you shaving your legs? Because they felt spiky the other day when we were reading."
Me: "Thanks for letting me know."
Paul: "I was just worried."
Me: "Why?"
Paul: "Because your leg felt like a man."
Me: "The reason I don't have time to shave sometimes is because you guys always interrupt my showers."
Paul: "Well maybe you should just get an electric razor for outside the shower."
Me: "Maybe you should just stop telling me about my hairy legs."
Paul: "Just be sure to shave before we swim on Saturday."

Tober: "Rach? Can I go over to Chelsea's house early?"
Me: "Do you need me to drive you?"
Tober: "Yeah."
Me: "Well do you want me to drive you there dripping wet and naked?
Tober: "Uh... no."
Me: "Then please leave me alone while I'm in the shower."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

God vs Steak

Ashton during dinner tonight: "Steak is the best thing in the universe."
Paul: "No it's not, God is."
Noah: "But you can't eat God, and God isn't juicy and delicious."

It Grows Back

What do you do when your 7 year old asks you if he can shave his head and draw an arrow on it so he looks like The Last Airbender? Let him do it! Why not? It's summer, and you only get to be a kid once.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Boobs

Noah: "There's a bump on my chest. I walked into Paul's bike handle. Do you think it's a fracture?"

Me: "No, it's just a bump. It will go away."

Noah: "And you're sure I'm not growing a boob, right?"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Web Activity

Me: "You're not allowed to get on the internet without an adult there."

Noah: "But I only go to sites for kids, like Build Your Own Avatar."

Me: "Well sometimes people put bad things on the internet and try to make them look like kids' sites."

Noah: "Like what?"

Me: "Like you might click on Build Your Own Avatar and see someone's privates."

Noah: "So then it would be like Build Your Own Pants for the Wiener?"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chicken Bones

Noah: "If you put a chicken bone in a jar of vinegar for a few days, the acid will eat away the calcium and make the bone rubbery. You need calcium for hard bones."

Me: "What if I want rubbery bones so I can be more flexible?"

Noah: "You'd better find a BIG jar of vinegar."

Captain Underpants

Noah is reading the Captain Underpants books, so naturally he has to dress the part. He has been in this outfit (more or less- with nightly underwear changes) for over a week now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Persuasion By Paul

Click to enlarge- a must read for any chicken lover. Paul wrote this persuasive essay on his make-believe invention: ROBOCHICKEN.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chicken

Noah at dinner tonight: "This chicken tastes kind of weird."
Me: "What's weird about it?"
Noah: "My tastebuds are filled with undeliciousness."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Why It's All Worthwhile

Micah entered a Mother's Day essay contest this week. I just read his entry.

"My dad married my stepmom, Rachel, when I was ten. My dad then got custody of me and my brothers. I was in a bad place in my life before Rachel, but she turned my life around. She’s nice and really funny, and she made my dad happy again. When we got a new dog named Phoebe, the dog destroyed my favorite stuffed animal named Brother Bear that I’d had since I was a baby. Rachel told me that we would go to Build-a-Bear Workshop and make him new again. She took me there a week later and had Brother Bear’s remains put inside a new bear body, and then I got to pick out new clothes for him. Afterwards we went out for a dinner date. It was the best night. Rachel loves animals, so we have lots of pets. She plays violin in the Southern Arizona Symphony which means we get to go to her concerts. No matter what, she still makes time to spend with the family. We are raised amazingly because of her. We have six kids in one house since we’re a blended family, and Rachel handles it perfectly. The house is clean, and everyone is happy and feels loved. Thanks to Rachel, I clean my room, do my chores, and get reasonable grades. I never got on honor roll until Rachel encouraged me that I could do it. I have a reading and learning disability and she helps me work through it. She reads a lot of my school papers and helps me edit them, and she made me my own dictionary to help me spell. We go to a great church, and I belong to a youth group now. I’m happy that I have Rachel as my mom. I owe everything to her."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cats and Concrete Mixing Pans

Jabba is a 33 pound cat. He resembles a Zeppelin. When we first got him, we invested in the largest cat litter box we could find. It had a cover that held an air filter and an air freshener. Jabba was a very good boy about using his box, but unfortunately, he would *think* he was in his box when his butt was actually hanging out a good six inches and all of his waste was landing on the carpet. We finally had to buy a concrete mixing pan from Home Depot. It is hideous looking and takes two giant boxes of cat litter to fill up. I got the brilliant idea to hide the pan in the corner behind our sectional sofa in the living room. A couple of days later, we had guests over, and we kept hearing this LOUD grunting sound. To our horror, it was Jabba straining to poop. He was making the most eerily human sounds I've ever heard a cat make, and Scott and I had to try desperately to distract our company and keep straight faces. This is just one of many quirky Jabba stories, but for some reason, it stands out the most.

More Randomness

Here are a few tidbits from life in the last couple of weeks.

I was passing a guy on a two lane road when I hit a pothole and bit my tongue. I stuck it out in the rear view mirror to see if I was bleeding, and the guy thought I was sticking it out at him. He stuck HIS tongue out at me, and then he flipped me off.

I was reminiscing the other day with Scott about when we first moved into our new home. We watched it go up from an empty lot, and it was such an exciting experience. After we moved in, we really wanted to make a good impression on our new neighbors. One of the first weekends we lived here, I had a symphony rehearsal on Saturday morning. Scott had worked a 12 hour shift the night before, so he was sleeping. The kids were assigned various activities to keep them busy. The most important rule was to stay inside and stay quiet. When I pulled onto the street upon arriving home, I saw many of our neighbors outside working in their yards. I also saw Noah running around in our cul-de-sac wearing nothing but Batman underwear and full snorkeling gear.

Hannah got a haircut a few months back and has the ponytail saved to send to Locks of Love. We haven't had a chance to get it in the mail, so Scott has been putting it in random places to freak me out.

I got a promotion at work and now have a bigger time commitment in the office, so Scott has taken over our laundry department since he works mainly from home. He washed all of my lounge clothes the other day, like sweats and t-shirts. Then he tied knots in the legs of every pair of pants I own. I retaliated by sewing his jeans shut.

Paul drew a very detailed picture of train recently, and he labeled every single component. He even used pop-out diagrams for close ups of the engine parts. In one of those diagrams, he had three buttons, but only two were labeled. I told him, "Hey, you didn't label the middle button." He took the paper, drew an arrow to the mystery button, and wrote, "UNIDENTIFIED."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Commercials

You know that commercial for Modern Family where the two guys accidentally bump butts in the locker room? Apparently Paul thought that was funny, too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Animals

Last night the kids were talking about what animals they remind each other of. Noah asked me what animal he would be, and I said, "An otter. Because you're playful and funny." He stood thoughtfully for a long time and finally replied, "I was thinking more along the lines of vampire bat."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Costumes


The kids have been on spring break from school, and thank God it's almost over. The older two boys have been helping Scott dig a five-foot deep hole in the back yard which will someday be a very deluxe koi pond. The sad thing is that they have done all of this backbreaking work for only a candy bar and a soda each afternoon. They're happy with it, though! We keep tight tabs on sweets around here since we have two diabetics, so little things like candy and soda make major incentives when it comes to extra chores or good grades. The younger kids have been bike riding, blanket fort building, Lego city designing, and tearing up the house in a variety of ways. On Friday, they decided to play with their old Halloween costumes and other dress-up clothes. Noah said, "Whatever I pull out of this bag, I wear for life." He pulled out his Indiana Jones hat, and then said, "Well, looks like I am going to have a life of adventure."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Laundry

I found this post-it note on my 9 year old's laundry basket today.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Balloons

Paul tonight before bed: "NOAH POPPED MY BALLOON!"
Scott: "Paul, chill out. It was a 2 cent piece of rubber."
Paul: "Well that rubber meant the WORLD to me."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Presidential Sex

Check out Noah's "President for a Day" homework. No wonder his teacher looked at me funny.

Missing Glasses

There is NOTHING worse in this house than missing glasses. Well, maybe that time all eight of us got a stomach bug and only had two bathrooms, one of which had a nonfunctioning toilet that we were waiting on a replacement for. We literally all sat around and cried for two days with buckets and trashcans in our laps. Or that time one of the kids got headlice at a sleepover and we had to wash every fabric in the house and treat eight people with RID and nit combs.

Anyway... Paul and Noah were both born with an eye muscle misalignment. They are extremely farsighted and wear glasses that are as thick as coke bottle bottoms. Glasses are 1) completely necessary, 2) expensive, 3) easy to lose, and 4) breakable. Noah goes through an average of four pairs of glasses per year which is a remarkable improvement from the year he went through nine. Noah is on a first name basis with the entire staff at Costco Optical. Last night, I managed to climb in bed before the kids did. I was laying there reading when Noah came to kiss me goodnight. Our routine is "kiss, hug, eskimo kiss, butterfly kiss, fish kiss (with our cheeks sucked in and lips sticking out), big hug, little hug, and medium hug." Before he kissed me, I took off his glasses and laid them on my nightstand. We did our bedtime routine and off he went.

This morning, the glasses were nowhere to be found. They were RIGHT THERE, on my own nightstand, when I went to sleep. I cannot describe how exasperated I was, because I vividly remembered where we last put them. I pulled the nightstand away from the wall, searched the drawers, searched under my bed, searched through my covers (maybe I grabbed them in my sleep or something?), and shook my fist at the sky. Finally, I looked up at the cat tower by my window and saw Mose peering down at me looking, well, like Mose. And Mose is just such a bad cat. I got a chair and looked onto the highest perch which is a large, rimmed circle about 7 feet high. Sure enough, there were the glasses. Along with 3 of my hair accessories, a red straw, a Circle K receipt, a mini-bag of Hot Tamales, and my eyeliner pen that went missing months ago.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Knock Knock

This morning was sadly typical. On a typical morning when I telecommute, I wake the kids up at 6am, and then I try to sleep until 7:30am. That extra hour and a half of sleep means the world to me. The kids are old enough to eat a bowl of cereal, put on the clothes we laid out the night before, and get to the bus stop by 6:55am, right? Unfortunately, they cannot stay away from me. Not even for five minutes. Here is today's rundown.

1) KNOCK KNOCK. Hannah: "Mom, Noah is coughing SO bad this morning. It sounds like he is coughing his lung up." (I told her coughs are always worse in the morning when you first get up.)

2) KNOCK KNOCK. Paul: "Mom, someone left the cap off of the toothpaste and now it looks like cement." (I unplugged it for him.)

3) KNOCK KNOCK. Ashton: "Rach, I need your John Doe on my Friday folder." Me: "You mean my John Hancock? I'm pretty sure you don't want a dead guy on your Friday folder that no one can identify." (I signed it.)

4) KNOCK KNOCK. Noah: "Mommy, I think I just coughed up my lung." (I checked him for a fever, listened to his chest for wheezing, and told him he was fine.)

5) KNOCK KNOCK. Hannah: "Mom, my hair has this huge bump in it and it won't go down." (I sprayed it with leave-in conditioner.)

6) KNOCK KNOCK. Paul: "Mom, I can't find my glasses." Me: "They are on your face, Paul."

7) KNOCK KNOCK. Noah: "Is Bootstrap wearing a cake icing cone on his neck?" Me: "No, it's to keep him from licking his stitches." Noah: "So is there icing in the cone?"

8) KNOCK KNOCK. Hannah: "I have to get picked up early today because Naomi's sister has to be at school early." Me: "Ok." Hannah: "So I have to get picked up early, ok?" Me: "That's what I said." Hannah: "Ok. I'm leaving early today."

9) RING RING. Paul calls my cell phone from the home phone to tell me that he has radio broadcast club today after school.

10) KNOCK KNOCK. Ashton: "Can we open another box of cereal?" (I make them ask permission, otherwise we have about 11 boxes open and they all go stale.)

11) KNOCK KNOCK. Ashton: "Did you sign my field trip permission slip?" Me: "Yes, I signed that on Sunday, and I put it in your homework folder yesterday morning." Ashton: "Ok, where is my homework folder?"

12) RING RING. Hannah calls my cell phone from the home phone to complain that Paul is making obnoxious noises.

13) KNOCK KNOCK. Noah: "Mose keeps trying to get the bird." Me: "Where is he?" Noah: "The bird, or Mose?" Me: "MOSE, obviously, since the bird is in his cage." Noah: "He's laying on top of the birdcage." Me: "Just have Hannah grab him and put him in my room."

14) NO KNOCK- JUST BURSTING INTO MY ROOM. Hannah: "Mose is psychotic. He just jumped out of my arms and broke your red vase." (I vacuumed up the glass.)

15) KNOCK KNOCK. Noah (giggle giggle): "Helo (our boxer) has gas today." (I don't respond.)

16) KNOCK KNOCK. ME: "I give up."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Visiting Countries

Last night, we were talking about foreign countries. Noah asked me where I've visited. I said, "Germany, Austria, Italy, and Canada." He then said, "What about Ancient Peru?"

Micah was wearing a t-shirt yesterday that said, "fallen angel" in tattoo print. Ocktober said, "Hey, you're a fallen angel." I said, "Micah was never an angel. So he never fell. His shirt should just say "kid who stayed put."

Noah's class was assigned a report on the four seasons about a month ago. It is due tomorrow morning. We've had the instructions hanging on our fridge for weeks, but time has been limited, so we really didn't tackle it until this weekend. I am not a procrastinator, but we've also had science fair projects due and a billion other things I won't list. I feel like I have been sentenced to repeating elementary school, middle school, and high school. Anyway, poor Noah had to finish the report tonight, and when he realized how long it was going to take, he said, "First grade is going to be the death of me."

Lastly, I told the kids tonight not to give Bootstrap anything to eat tomorrow morning because he is getting neutered. Noah said, "What is neutered?" Paul said, "You know, when they chop off the fuzzy dice."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mercy Me

Paul has been getting into trouble lately for not turning in his homework. It is actually very unusual for him. Tonight, just as I was about to walk out the door for symphony rehearsal, he said, "Mom, do you know what mercy is?" I said, "Yes, but you tell me your definition." He said, "Mercy is when you don't turn in your homework again, but instead of grounding you from playing Webkins, your mom takes you to Dairy Queen."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Science Fairs


You know what the hardest part about having six kids is (besides cooking for eight, cleaning for eight, laundry for eight, shopping for eight, and noise)? Science fairs.  

Our kids start school in July since we have year round school here. Starting around August, we get these giant science fair packets for each child. Each packet has its own rundown of due dates for each component of the project: the big question, hypothesis, research, bibliography, experiment, materials, variables, results, graphs, conclusion, and display board. First off, honestly, how many BIG QUESTIONS do kids have that can be tested? My kids' big questions range from what boogers are made of to how the Holy Trinity works.

For five school years now, we have had the painful task of coming up with good science fair questions. We have had plants listen to classical music. We have had our cats eat those plants before the results were charted. We have had memory tests. Tests on which food makes tortoises gain weight faster. Tests on how much 8th graders know about the dangers of crystal meth. Tests on how much 6th graders know about the dangers of cigarette smoke. Tests on which type of leavening makes the fluffiest chocolate cake. Tests on how our sense of smell determines our ability to guess the correct flavor of a tic tac. Tests on how quickly beans grow if you read them different types of literature. Our cats ate the beans, too.

This year, Ashton tested which brand of diaper holds the most liquid. We started pouring in about 10mL at a time, but those things would NOT leak. Finally we started pouring in about 30mL at a time. They held 900mL in the end! On the DAY BEFORE Ashton's display board was due, he forgot the money to buy one from the school office. I drove the $4 over to him. He bought the board but then forgot to bring it home that afternoon. Unbelievable! We bought another one, finished it up, and turned it in yesterday. So ends the 2009-2010 science fair season.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Positive

Last night, we decided to have a family tournament on MarioKart (Wii). We just got the game system, so none of us were very good. When Micah and Ocktober were facing off, Micah kept running into walls. Noah started jeering and laughing every time Micah messed up. I could tell Micah was getting annoyed, so I said, "Noah, knock it off and keep your comments positive." Noah then said, "Ok. I am POSITIVE Micah is going to lose this game."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

American Idol

Last night we were all watching American Idol on the DVR when this guy sang "Saved By a Woman." After the song was over, Noah said, "Did he just say he was saved by a walnut?"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A typical morning

The alarm went off at 6am. Ashton came upstairs to tell me that his finger stick was 447 and he was throwing large ketones. I told him the usual- insulin, lots of water, eggs for breakfast, stay home until we can get it under control. One kid down, five to go.

Paul and Hannah got into a huge fight over the fact that Paul had not brushed his teeth. Hannah: "You didn't even brush them last night. Your friends are going to hate your breath. You have terrible hygiene." Paul: "I'm not going to brush them just because you told me to. And you don't even know what hygiene is. Just look at your hair."

Noah came into my room with broken glasses in his hand. I asked him if he can manage a day at school without them. He said, "Yes, I'll try, but my whole world will be fuzzy."

Paul asked me to sign a note from his teacher acknowledging that he had been disruptive in class yesterday. Noah said, "BUSTED." Paul then teased him about his broken glasses. Noah replied: "You keeping PUSHING ME and PUSHING ME, Paul. One of these days, I'm just going to POP."

Noah came running into my room about three minutes before the bus left. His four seasons report booklet (still blank, thankfully) was partially eaten. He was sobbing. I told him that we could get another one from his teacher. He asked me to "shoot her an email about it." The culprit, I believe, was a certain naughty bunny.

Hannah's ride pulled up. We yelled our goodbyes from different floors of the house, and she left. She then called me from her cell phone to tell me she had left.

I don't know how Tober and Micah made it to school, because I dozed back off and they were gone when I woke up.

Scott just got home from work and dropped Ashton off. His blood sugar is back to normal (or normal for Ashton, I should say). Total time getting all six kids to school: 4 hours, 11 minutes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ghosts of Christmases Past

Some family photos going back to the beginning, for your viewing enjoyment.




Random Bits of Randomness


Life in the "real" Brady Bunch is not so peaceful. Don't get me wrong... we do have this down to a science, and we run a pretty tight ship here. Despite our best efforts, however, chaos routinely wins. Here are just a few tidbits that you've missed out on since 2005.

Noah became obsessed with Nacho Libre for about a year. He was only 4. He saw the movie twice in the theater and memorized every line, accent included. I made him a Nacho costume for Halloween, and he wore it for many months. The cape lasted over a year.

Paul tried to turn off the ceiling fan using the string while it was running on full blast. He sliced the bridge of his nose open. The doctor stitched it up very quickly so we wouldn't miss the Harry Potter premier that night. The funny thing was that the trail of blood led from Paul's room, down the hall to his bathroom, and then across the house to the master bedroom where he quietly and calmly informed us he was bleeding (as blood literally spurt out onto the doorjamb). Our house looked like a pick axe murder had taken place. It was perfectly Paul to first examine his wound in the mirror before telling anyone.

Last Christmas, Scott dared Noah to sing "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" at his school musical. He offered him $5. A full month later, the kindergarteners got to the second verse of Jingle Bells, and Noah belted out the Batman version at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS. The whole audience could hear him. Afterwards, he yelled, "Where's my money, Scott?"

Paul came home crying and told us that a playmate had said he "sucks monkey balls." Scott's fatherly response: "Well, do you?"

I was just about to take a shower one morning and heard the dogs getting into the trash bins below my window.  I yanked the window blinds open to yell at the dogs and realized it was my new neighbor in his side yard making the noise. He saw me naked.

Ocktober drank out of Ashton's glass. When Ashton protested, Ocktober said, "Oh come on. We have the same genes." Ashton seriously replied, "No... you wear Tony Hawks, and mine are Levi's."

Paul and Noah got into a fight. Noah came crying to me that Paul hit him. Paul said, "I didn't hit him, Mom. I just pushed his face lightly."

Ocktober got bored in church and decided to see how much pressure a communion cup could take without breaking. He shot a stream of grape juice straight up into the air. Five minutes before, Micah had fumbled the bread plate and scattered hundreds of tiny pieces of bread all over the pew and floor.

Noah was waiting for Jabba to saunter in the patio door, and he said, "Come on, you fat bastard."

There is a hole in my kitchen ceiling, 10 feet high. We have no idea where it came from, and no one will admit guilt.

Baby Jesus went missing from our nativity scene this year. He was held in captivity for several days. Scott posted a "WDJG" (Where Did Jesus Go) sign until the oldest boys fessed up.

Our kids believe we hire a hidden camera company each year to monitor suspicious activity around our Christmas tree. We put an old computer microphone in one of the ceiling vents (pointed at the tree) and then print out a fake invoice. The kids think people sit in front of screens all day watching their activity around our Christmas tree to prevent snooping, so they put on skits and such. Last year they created a huge light saber battle for the computer microphone to watch, and they hoped for weeks it would show up on YouTube.

Paul hit his head at school. He went to the school nurse and asked her to check if his pupils were "equal and reactive."

Noah: "Would you please call me Commissioner Gordon for the next few days?" Me: "Sure, why?" Noah: "That is on a need-to-know basis."

Paul to Noah: "Our Lego house can only have 7 stairs." Noah replies: "I thought we were doing 17!" Paul (after a long sigh): "It was just a dream, Noah. It wasn't realistic."

Tober to Micah: "Did you hear me laughing on the bus? I couldn't stop." Noah butts in: "Maybe you're becoming the Joker." Micah: "Yeah, now you might start killing people in creative ways."

I noticed one night that Noah had put his favorite Bakugan inside a tiny Rubbermaid container on his dresser. I asked why, and he said, "It's the sleeping place of honor."

Me to Noah when he handed me an ibuprofen: "How did you get the pill out of the bottle?" Noah: "I just pressed the lid firmly and turned counter-clockwise."

Ashton to me: "Why did Dad buy all of those shovels?" Me: "To hide the bodies." Ashton: "Oh." (then back to normal business- no questions asked)

Noah to Scott: "Why do Micah and Hannah need so many shots for school?" Scott: "So they don't give anyone rabies." Micah: "I do NOT have herpes!!!"

Noah: "I have a hard time believing God made saltwater. He made it fresh, then people made it salty a long time ago." Ashton: "God DID make saltwater. He made the oceans." Noah: "Well how do we know the oceans were salty?" Ashton: "Just friggin read GENESIS, ok???"

I was kissing Noah goodnight and said "You'll always be my sweet baby boy." To which he replied: "Well, until I'm a senior citizen, and then you'll probably be dead."

I took Paul to work with me one morning. I introduced him to a coworker, and he said, "Isn't she the one who wants to throw you under the bus?"

Noah


Noah is the life of the party in The Brady Bunch. He is 7 years old and in first grade. Noah lives in his imagination, without breaking character, sometimes for days, weeks, or even months at a time. It all started when he was 9 months old and became attached to a ginormous rainbow clown afro wig. He wore it for months and would only take it off to sleep and bathe. So far in recent months, Noah has referred to himself as Indy, Bruce Wayne, Night Bat, Dark Wing, and Arrow Master. He will sign his school papers with these titles as well. Noah's outlook on life is very interesting and very hilarious. He has an amazing vocabulary and was reading at a solid fifth grade level in kindergarten. This makes for some really funny conversations. 

Paul


To describe Paul in a couple of paragraphs is pretty impossible. Paul, age 9, is scary intelligent.  He is intensely serious and sees the world in black and white. He has a hard time not correcting adults, and even his teacher admits that he is usually right. That makes parenting a serious challenge. Paul's favorite hobby is studying the human body and outer space. He also loves to study the Titanic, US Presidents, and world flags. His biggest fear is getting sucked into a black hole. His favorite thing to draw is human organs.  When Paul was 7, we took a family vacation to a lake. Brain eating amoebas were all over the news at the time, so I naturally took precautions by making my children wear nose plugs in the water. I explained the necessity of these precautions before we left. Unfortunately, Paul decided to use the topic for his turn giving the "morning report" in first grade. He stood in front of his classroom of 30 innocent children and said, "Today I am going to talk to you about the BRAIN EATING AMOEBA. While you are swimming, it will travel up your nose and LIQUIFY YOUR BRAIN WHILE YOU ARE STILL ALIVE." His teacher said that she could hear a pin drop and that she was certain no child would ever enter a swimming pool again. More on Paul later.

Ashton


Ashton, age 10, has got to be one of the easiest kids on the planet. He is, by nature, a sweetheart. He loves collecting Hotwheels, Bakugans, Webkins, and various little knick knacks. His worst fear, or so it seems, is getting into any kind of trouble. Therefore he does a pretty good job of staying in line without much direction needed. My favorite Ashton story (and perfect example of his personality) was when his grandpa, Scott's dad, was visiting here from Montana. He leaned down and said, "Ashton, may I ask why you are always such a good boy?" Ashton lowered his head and said, "Sorry."

Ashton does struggle with being a complete space cadet. I tell him to put his shoes on for school, and five minutes later he is wandering around the house with one sock on. I tell him to pick up his room, and ten minutes later, he asks me what I asked him to do. He embarrasses very easily and can go from giggling to sobbing without much warning. Ashton is also a type 1 juvenile diabetic which presents its own challenges, but he has a positive attitude about it and adapted to his diagnosis quite quickly thanks to years of watching his big brother deal with it. Despite Ashton's quiet nature, he is an incredible dancer. Never underestimate this kid... turn on some Lady Gaga and then wish you were as awesome as he is. 

Hannah Rose


In the village of drama queens, Hannah Rose stands alone. At age eleven, she believes she has undergone more trauma and stress than the average decorated war veteran. Although very bright and articulate, Hannah has inherited the mother of all blonde genes when it comes to simple common sense. An example: While filling out a quiz about herself recently, question #19 was "What famous person from history would you like to meet in person?" Hannah's answer: "Anne Frank." Question #20 was "What would you ask #19?" Hannah's answer: "Why aren't you friends with #20?" When questioned about her ridiculous answer, Hannah said, "Sorry, I just don't know what one number would ask another number."

Hannah, to her credit, is the only girl out of six children. She has a right to be dramatic at times. Having said that, she has it pretty good. No hand-me-downs, her own bedroom, her own bathroom, and sympathy from every person she ever meets.