Monday, November 27, 2006

Miscommunication #2

It turns out that miscommunication doesn't just happen as adults at home. . .it seems to begin in the school years:

"Thanksgiving" by Hatfield
Grade 2
"Non-Fi" [meaning non-fiction]

Chapter 1
Pilgrims and the Mayflower
The Pilgrims drank beer because the water was not safe for them to drink. Their [sp] were two ships called the Mayflower and the Speed well. Boys under seven had to wear dresses. The Speed well had a leak. All the people on the Speed well had to go on the Mayflower.

Chapter 2
Squant and the Indians
Squanto sang songs and the Pilgrims didn't know what it was. Squanto was a slave twice with other Indians. Indians have no underwere [sp] in that time. Squanto taught the Pilgrims lots of stuff. Squanto got to know the Pilgrims and the Pilgrims got to know Squanto and the Indians. Squanto knew the Pilgrims were Christians. Squanto knew how to speak English.

Chapter 3
Harvest Festival
The woman and the children did most of the cooking. The people could eat as much as they wanted too [sp]. The children had to serve the people. Squanto brought ninety Indians. The Indians brought five deer."

We are perhaps wondering if our Catholic school has not updated their history books since Vatican 2. But no matter, we still think our daughter is brilliant. While the other less-gifted children wrote measly 4 sentence essays, Miss Hatfield wrote a Multi-Chapter Essay! However, maybe we should consider homeschooling after all. . .

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Our good friend Josh came over this afternoon to graciously take The Five Frozen Chamorro Christmas 2006 Photo, and so Cliff decided to fry up some lumpia for him. After the "photo shoot" and departure of our esteemed guest, the following conversation ensued:

Cliff: Should I get rid of the frying oil or keep it?
Sarah: Get rid of it.
Cliff: Really?
Sarah: Yes, get rid of it.
Cliff: Okay, I'll get rid of it.

A few hours later, Sarah fixes Atticus a snack and seats him at the table. Atticus asks for something to drink, and Sarah, seeing the two-liter 7-Up bottle on the counter, offers him that. Atticus, who rarely gets soda in this house, happily accepts. Sarah pours him a drink and goes back to planning the weekly menu.

Atticus: BLECH!! This 7-Up tastes bad!
Sarah: Oh, it must be flat.
Cliff, walking by, looking panicked: Did you say 7-Up?
Sarah: Yes, it must be flat.
Atticus: UGH! UGH! UGH! This tastes really really bad!
Sarah, closely examining the bottle.
Cliff: Oh my god! Did you pour him the oil?
Sarah, realizing that it's not 7-Up in the two-liter bottle but used vegetable oil: Oh my God, I gave him oil!
Atticus: Am I going to die?
Cliff: Quick! Give him Ginger Ale! You gave your son oil to drink!
Sarah, pouring the Ginger Ale: I told you to get rid of it! Why did you save it?
Atticus, looking horrified at the cup: Is this really Ginger Ale?
Sarah: Yes, honey, drink it up! Drink it up! Why didn't you get rid of it?
Cliff: I did get rid of it. I just didn't throw it out.
Atticus: My mom gave me oil to drink? Ack!

Parents of the Year! Right here!

Adventures in Babysitting. . .err. .. Parenting

As some of you already know, one of my greatest pet peeves in life is when a married couple refers to the husband as "babysitting" the kids when they are alone with them, as if watching the children is just a momentary chore and not something they should be held accountable for. They're parents, it's called parenting! And before I get flamed for being sexist, I would still feel the same if the reverse were true (although not once in my parenting years have I come across anyone who refers to a mom as "babysitting," even if she is the primary breadwinner and the hubby stays home with the tots). Thud! (Okay, yes, that's just me, jumping off my soapbox).

So while I was out having an adventure in shopping, Cliff was home having an adventure in parenting all of his own. When a women comes home and the first words out of her husband's mouth are, "I didn't want to call you and tell you this while you were gone cause I didn't want to ruin you're shopping trip, BUT. . ." You know that something good is NOT going to follow.

Poor Cliff! Apparently, he had all the kids in the rec room, and Paloma managed to get her hands on one of the many markers that reside in that room. Typically, no big deal. Well, this one had the cap off. And within a matter of a minute, Paloma's face, hands and mouth were a shocking shade of blue. And then she started vomiting.

Cliff hauled keister upstairs in a big hurry and called Poison Control. The good news is that the marker was nontoxic and wouldn't cause any harm. The bad news is that it's nasty stuff which disagrees with little tummies and causes a lot of throw-up. The folks at PC were very nice and even called back 20 minutes later to make sure that everything was under control.

I'm very proud of my husband for keeping a cool head and making the right decision on who to call. I felt badly about how worried he was about my reaction, but as a mother, I more than anyone know how quickly kids can get into things. Like on Wednesday when Paloma managed to crawl from the couch onto the end table, where she then stood and danced on her precarious perch, all while I was vacuuming under the rug. . .in the same room! Or the time Atticus crawled up the toilet and took a belly flop off the toilet tank--at 12 months--in a flash---while I was drying my hair not more than 2 feet away. Accidents happen to the best of parents. What matters is how we react.

So Cliff is leaving this evening for "Up Nort'", needing to start his morning at a doctor's office in the far reaches of the U.P. Normally he doesn't like leaving home on the weekened, but this weekend I insisted that he go. After a weekend of solo "parenting" he deserves a bit of R&R, with nary a marker in view.

Adventures in Shopping

So here I sit on a Sunday afternoon, trying to put together the week's menu. Paloma is napping, Atticus is resting, Hatfield's at a playdate and Cliff is working. I should be running to the store to do my grocery shopping, but dare I say it? I hate to say it! I am all shopped out!

Yes, I was one of those insane, crazy women who went out shopping in the wee hours of Friday morning with two of my girlfriends. We met at Kohl's before their 5 am opening. My girlfriends were gunning for the $40 portable DVD players, and truth be told, we were a little shocked to discover that neither of them made the evening news, with their airdives and all (but being good Christian women, we made sure they handed out DVDs to all the women they dove over!)

We shopped so hard that we filled Debbie's minivan to the point where one of us needed to ride on the roof's kayak rack (not really--Melanie came in and saved the day with her minivan. Don't knock the minivan!). I so wanted a picture of the back of that van, but again, no batteries because we hadn't been to Target yet!

At Target we had a train table, an air hockey table, two kid's media chairs and a whole lottta toys loaded in ONE cart to the point where we looked like we were pushing the Grinch's sleigh after he loaded all the Whoo's presents on it and was headed back to Whooville.

That day of shopping didn't end until 2 pm. A second wind came over me that evening, so I bundled Hatfield up and off we went to hit some more stores. Saturday morning I awoke early to find that my hair was perfectly in place, which is very unusual. I decided that this was a sign from God that I should continue my shopping, so I did!

But now I am all shopped out. The thought of the grocery store is highly unappealing at this moment. But not more unappealing than sending Mr. Cliff out to the grocery store for me, where somehow the list that I wrote "apples, milk and eggs" magically translated into "Cheetos, Koolaid and ice cream." So the list is done, and off I go, to battle the lines and chaos once again.

Those Darn Batteries

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to All!

Our apologies for no holiday post. . .we hosted Thanksgiving here at our home and we were busy little bees from early morning to late night! We had a lovely holiday celebrated with the kids' Uncle Adam, Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Kevin, along with Sarah's friend Randi, her husband Ross and their boys Hunter and Lincoln. Randi's family just relocated here from Milwaukee days earlier, and we loved having them join us for a fun holiday!

Thanksgiving provided some unseasonably warm weather here, and the kids spent most of the day playing outside! I would have some great pictures of it for you, but my darn camera batteries went ka-pooey on me without barely a photo notice :( Never again!

We'll have more photos to come in the days ahead. . .so stay posted!
The Five Frozen Chamorros

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Glamour Girl

Paloma delights in our Fun Fur scarves. Our little girl is 15 months old today!

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Way with Words

I am of the personal opinion that one of the very best parts of being a parent to children between the ages of two and four is one's first-hand exposure to their creative use of the English language.

When Hatfield was four, I took her to see the musical Beauty and the Beast. She was captivated by it, sitting on the edge of her seat, her mouth wide open in awe; I was captivated by watching her and missed the first 20 minutes of the musical. We came home and from there on out, she proudly told people that she and her mom went to see "Judy and the Beast, Alive on Stage." For years, Hattie called worms "Slimeys" and proclaimed any gold object as "Peanut Butter." She outgrew that stage way too quickly, and now the girl has a command of the English language far superior to many adults: "Actually, Mom, I believe that finding a solution to the problem which would benefit everyone is our best option."

While we mourn the loss of Hatfield's kid-isms, we are now constantly delighted by Atticus's. Here are some of his most recent ones:

"Hatfield! I helped clean your room with mom! I picked up all the ponytails!" (meaning My Little Pony toys).

"Mom, I need TWO pumpkin suckers to have my superhero powers. Two for my powers," (ahhh, what power would that be? HyperBoy?)

"Oh no, the gooses broke our pumpkins." (Some rotten kids, during a nighttime prank, took apart my pumpkin luminaries and scattered them about the frontyard. Atticus is somehow under the impression that a flock of Canadian Geese did this. Don't ask us how.)

"Mom! Did you know that God is a Cowboy? And he has teeth!" (He sings a song in school which calls God a cowboy. We're not quite certain where the teeth come in.)

"Ernie broke my heart. And my mouth." (Upon discovering that Ernie ate his vampire-wax lips.)

"I'm going to the man store with my dad!" (A trip to Home Depot!)

Meet Peter Potter

What do you get when Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) and Harry Potter collide?

You're lookin' at him!

Monday, November 06, 2006

How Does God Sound?

Here in an excerpt from my dinnertime conversation with Atticus:

Atticus: How does a baby get in your belly?
Mommy: God puts it there.
Atticus: Does he cut your belly?
Mommy: No, it's a miracle.
Atticus: What's a miracle?
Sarah: Cliff, what's a miracle?
Cliff: What's a miracle?
Atticus: What's a miracle?
Sarah: We're a family of genuises, I tell you!
Cliff: A miracle is God.
Atticus: Mrs. Johnson says God is a cowboy.
Atticus, changing subject: What does God sound?
Sarah, thinking that he means, What does God say, answers: He says that he loves all the children of the world.
Atticus, in disbelief at my obvious cluelessness: NOOOO, how does God sound? [In a low gravelly voice] Does he sound like this?
Sarah, laughing too hard to answer.
Atticus, now in a high falsetto voice: Does he sound like this? [In a spooky voice] Or this?
Atticus: So does God cut your belly open?
Sarah: We need to learn how to block the Discovery Health Channel.
Cliff: Amen to that.
Atticus: What does Amen mean?

Family News

Well, the past few weeks have been a blur and so my postings have subsided a bit. . . Hatfield thought it would be a great idea for me to post a Family Update about everyone, and I think she's right! So here goes. . .

Hatfield's Public Service Announcement

Miss Hatfield would like to remind everyone that last month was National Fire Safety and Prevention Awareness month. As such, we took the opportunity to check all of the smoke detectors in our home and install some additional ones. We also installed carbon monoxide detectors on every floor. Hatfield and Cliff worked diligently on a fire escape plan, and hopefully the second floor window ladder that we ordered will arrive soon. When I was little, the fire department would hand out shiny silver reflective "+" signs to place in windows where people slept; we found it interesting that this practice is no longer employed.

In other Hattie news, she has a social calendar which puts her parent's to great shame. . .a party here, a playdate there, yet another party, and another. . .she has adjusted well to her new school here in GB and has made many new friends. Now I just need to finesse my carpool-coordinating skills!

The JabberJaw
Our Atticus loves to talk. And talk. And talk. He talks to us, his toys, himself, the walls, etc. Sometimes my ears kind of hurt by 2 in the afternoon from all the listening! :) Fortunately, he says such crazy and funny stuff that the listening is quite amusing. His newest thing is to tell Hatfield, when we are dropping her off at school, "Have a good day, Hattie. Remember, no fighting." While I think the comment is a riot, he always manages to thoroughly insult his sister with that one.

While I have yet to be successful keeping him quiet at home, he is able to handle himself quite well at preschool. Every morning the school gathers in the gymnasium for "Devotions." The children say the American flag pledge, the Christian flag pledge (who knew?), the school prayer, and "happy birthday" if it is is required. Every month a different class has the responsibilities of carrying in the flags, and that task is split among the students. Atticus had his turn this past month. I was so proud of how solemnly he carried the American flag, and how straight and tall he stood while holding it. I could see the quandry in his little head when he was supposed to hold his hands together in prayer, but yet knew that he shouldn't take his hands off the flag. And yes, he is wearing his "work" (aka necktie) in the photo.

Teething Stinks
Little Paloma is nearly 15 months old and still has only cut her two bottom teeth. She is now in the very drawn out, painful process of cutting 6 more teeth at once. . . the four top and two more bottom. The poor kid is an ooly drooly mess and bites on everything she can get her hands on or her mouth around (siblings included!). I'm hoping that one of these mornings the teeth will just all be there, but I think that's asking too much.

While we wait, Paloma continues to have a small vocabulary explosion. . "hello" "peek-a-boo" "at-ta" (Atticus) "hat-ta" (Hatfield) "ba-be" (baby) "eye" are all words she has tried out in the past week or so. "Uh-oh" continues to be her favorite word, and she certainly knows how to use it. Ernie the beagle thinks that "uh-oh" is Paloma's way of calling him, because he knows that food will typically follow. Like this morning at breakfast: Paloma: "Uh oh" dropping pancake onto the floor. "Uh-oh!" another pancake bite. Over and over. And oh yes, at Ernie's Friday afternoon vet checkup, the vet proclaimed him to be "fat."

And Last but Not Least. . Ernie
Ernie continues to be our noisy yet lazy, food scrounging beagle. He has been showing increased tolerance of the dark and cold weather due to the oppossum that has taken up residence under our deck. The little rodent ventures out into the yard every night and Ernie runs around, barking like mad. The other night he cornered the thing in our vegetable garden and just ran circles around him, barking, while the creature hissed and growled at him. The neighbors think we have a late-night 3-ringed circus in our backyard, and they're not too far off.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Tips from the Harried Homemaker

Here are some post-Halloween tips for my dear readers:

1. Never, ever put 2 pumpkins' worth of raw pumpkin seeds down your garbage disposal. Those slimy little buggers will give your disposal a loooonggg workout which may result in smoke and a vulgar burning smell.

2. Hard to believe, but a child-size set of rubber dracula fangs, if placed in one's dryer, can scar at least 86% of a laundry load. Meaning, if you have 22 articles of clothing in your laundry, 19 of them will come out besmudgeoned by melted neon green plastic fang ooze.

Happy Home-making!
Your Friend,
Sarah "Trying to Save Her Readers One Bloody Mishap at a Time" the Harried Homemaker