Friday, April 30, 2010

Honesty is an Appreciated Policy

I drive an older minivan. It has dings, dents, rust, scratches, some disturbing splattered brown gunk across the interior ceiling (is it called a ceiling in a van? Heck if I know), and Cheerios permanently embedded into all floor and seat crevices. The gas gauge doesn't work, the cd player never has since my 2 year old Atticus shoved nickels into it, and there's a strange, unidentifiable blue gunk on the floor between the driver seat and passenger seat that we've never been able to remove.

But the van is paid for. So all of the above stuff really doesn't matter.

Lately my van has been sputtering. Sometimes, when going uphill on a freeway, it has been sputtering, slowing down and flashing the "Service Engine SOON" light. We don't know when and where it will happen, but hey, that's why we call my van the "Ad-Venture" (it's a Chevy Venture)--you never know what you're gonna get when you take it out and about.

Last week, I made an appointment for the Ad-Venture to be inspected this morning.

Which, of course, means that yesterday, my van completely died. In the driveway. Ugh.

We managed to jump it, and it sputtered it's way to the mechanics last night, with the Mister at the wheel (and me following behind it, safely ensconced in the reliable car that the Mister's employer so kindly bestows upon him.)

All this morning I had kind of a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. Because I was pretty sure we'd be looking at a big bill, or we'd be told to just suck up and purchase a new vehicle.

Which would not be cool. Because at the moment, we only have enough money saved up to buy a replacement vehicle that would probably be of the same quality/caliber of my current vehicle.

However, there is a Mechanic God somewhere out there and all I can say is, It pays to have an honest mechanic.

6 years ago we had a similar problem while living in Milwaukee. We did not know an honest mechanic, and the good folks at the Chevy dealership rocked us nearly $1500 replacing all of the fuel injectors.

Today, our HONEST mechanic told us that he only needs to flush them out. And an electrical cord or something was loose/frayed and needed replacement. And we needed a new spark plug or something.

To a tune of $180. Because he said, and I quote, "Why replace something big when a small maintenance task will fix it just fine?"

I Heart My Mechanic. Because he lives and breathes the ideal, "Honesty is the Best Policy."

Now, if I can only get a couple of my children to live by the same policy. . .

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Conquering Fear

Hatfield has her piano recital this upcoming Saturday.

In addition to playing her pieces, Hatfield needs to introduce herself and her piano selections.

She is upset and terrified and has pretty much been crying ever since she found this out this afternoon.

I notice that as she gets older, creeping towards her teen years, she becomes more and more uncomfortable with speaking or reading allowed (in front of non-family). We find that with each passing year, she becomes shyer and less sure of herself in front of others.

I asked her if she is afraid when she dances in front of others, because in these competitions, she is dancing in front of hundreds of people. She explained she is not since she can't see the audience, and she is with her dance team and not alone.

I pointed out that she has played in numerous piano recitals and competitions, so maybe there's something that she does in those situations that could help her. Yet in those situations, she explained, she is so focused on the piano and playing her piece that she can't see or even register that the audience is there.

So her fear is quite specific to speaking in front of others. While I hate seeing my girl in such dismay, I truly believe she must do this and work through her fears.

Does anyone have any been there, done that advice that we could pass along to our girl?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unnatural Food-Like Substances

Hatfield, Atticus, Paloma and myself returned home late last night after a long weekend away in Chicago for a large dance competition.

We left the Mister, Miles and Keenan to hold down the fort and care for the family menagerie. The house was immaculate (as it can get, given that we're a family of seven), the ironing was finished and the fridge and pantry were stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks.

I returned to an immaculate house, an empty laundry room, and a fridge and pantry still stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks, along with a nearly empty box of this:



and several boxes of this:



Oh, Michael Pollan,

Where did we go wrong?!?!?!?

Detoxification shall commence immediately.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

20 Questions

My boy Atticus asks me questions all the livelong day. Every day. Without fail.

I've always said that I should jot down some of the questions he asks me. So I did. I've even categorized them for you.

Questions That Made Me Feel Really Stupid because I Didn't Know the Answer

1. Can a jackhammer smash a diamond?
2. Do all jewels come from volcanoes?
3. How do they know that infinity is the biggest number?
4. Where do cinnamon sticks come from?
5. How do they make a laser ray?
6. Did the silent "e" ever make noise?

Deep Thoughts from our Resident Wax Philosopher

7. If a car and a motorcycle crashed, who would win?
8. Would you rather have a Persian soldier cut off an ear or whip you?
9. Why is it rude to ask how much something costs?
10. How did people know if their bones were broken before they had doctors and cameras?
11. What were you scared of when you were a little girl, Mom?

Say What?

12. Do people die if they get their eye shot out by a bow and arrow?
13. Do you know many Oompa Loompa's there are?
14. Do people throw away old houses?
15. Do Egyptians still talk the same?
16. Do people who speak German write human?
17. Would you rather be a Storm Trooper or a Clone Trooper?
18. Guess who I was on Star Wars Lego Wii Game? It begins with a "B!"
19. Is it easy to make bread?

Despite ALL the questions he asks ALL day long, Paloma earned the coveted #20 spot when she asked me this question when I picked her up from school today:

20. Mom, can Elijah sleep over? Please please please? He's my best friend and I might even marry him so please please please can he sleep over?

Funny, but it was the ONLY question I knew the right answer to right away:

No.
And you are SO being homeschooled, little girl.
Starting tomorrow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Boy

Here is the video clip from Atticus' violin recital over the weekend.



Check out his new glasses. He picked out the ones that are just like his Dad's. And now he looks even more like his Dad, if that's even possible.

(Sorry I'm You-Tube-Challenged and the video is sideways.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

3-Ring Circus, 5FC Style

Although,
we change it from 3-Ring


to 3-Wheel.

We call our act:

The Amazing Sarah
with
Keenan and Paloma

her
Daring
Dueling
Divas!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Intervention

Dear Mister,

I love you. I love how you prefer to purchase your evening and weekend clothing at Goodwill. I love how you are a good steward towards our budget and the environment, devoutly not buying into the ever-wasteful, always changing fashion industry.

However, you really must stop bringing home Bon Jovi jeans.
Really.
Truly.
Stop.

The icy blue ones made me cringe. The faded black ones made me shudder. And the white ones you brought home? I nearly scheduled an exorcism for those. All colors aside, these jeans are wrong on many, many levels.

As frugal as we are, it does our budget no good when you buy jeans, only to have me donate them back to Goodwill when you are gone on week-long trips for work.

This is a sick, twisted cycle. It needs to stop. Please, babe, for the love of all things holy, leave the jeans at Goodwill. Where they belong.

Love,
Your Adoring Wife

School Daze

Last week, I was thrilled to find this in my mailbox:



The new Sonlight catalog. Not quite as exciting as the actual Box Day, but it's pretty darn close. I feel like a giddy child getting the Sears Toy Catalog.

Sonlight's tagline is "The Way You Wish You'd Been Taught" and they're darn right. I am right here, learning as much as my kids, sadly realizing just how much I didn't learn in my years of public and parochial schooling. And I was an A/B student, too. Scary. Yet I am so thankful that I'm learning it now because we are never too old to learn.

Our overall attitude towards homeschool/traditional school is "child by child, year by year," meaning that we take each child and assess what best serves their needs each year.

Next year, we will homeschool 6th grade for Hatfield and 2nd grade for Atticus. But for Keenan and Miles, homeschool is not the best option for them.

I am not equipped to handle their special educational needs at this time. As one language specialist explained to me, our boys are in trickier ELL territory because neither was fully fluent in Kreyol (neither boy knew their colors or numbers in Kreyol, for example.) Keenan has larger speech therapy/ELL than Miles, but Miles still has substantial needs as well. And I'm beginning to suspect that both boys could benefit from some OT, in terms of sensory issues.

So, we enrolled Keenan and Miles in an all-day kindergarten program next year at a "community" public elementary school in our area. By "community" it means that anyone from our district can enroll without the School Choice program.

The school is a non-traditional school. Each child has an ILP/IEP, and the school has many in-house paraprofessionals. The classrooms are large, and they try to keep students in the room as much as possible, with the paraprofessionals coming to them instead of vice-versa.

The past two weeks I have had to go to a series of interviews with teachers there, to discuss each boy with the teachers, so they can begin their learning plans and special needs assessments. I've been very impressed with their positive attitudes and serving nature. I think the boys will thrive there next year, and I look forward to the start of the new year.

In the middle of all the school talk and decisions lies our dear little Po, and what to do with her. This year, she is in 4-K with the boys. She loves it, and she loves being with her brothers (most of the time) in school. She is bright, active, articulate and mature--she could totally handle Kindergarten work. It would be very easy to keep in her school with the boys through kindy or first grade, and then pull all three of them out to homeschool.

But, Paloma is little. I mean, little little. She just hit 32 pounds at 4 1/2. I have two girlfriends with daughters born in Aug of 2006 (Po is Aug of 2005), and Paloma wears their hand-me-downs. The thought of her being in this HUGE school building makes me feel all knotted up inside.

In the end, we decided to keep Po home and have her do, in her own words, "homework." Paloma is a young 5, and even if we did not homeschool, there is no way I would enroll her as the youngest child in her class. While she could handle the kids and work next year, I worry about the 4th/5th grade years when girl begin to make those large physical/emotional/maturity leaps. It's hard being the girl who is far behind the curve on that one. And, I really don't want to be sending my baby off to college as a 17 year old.

Truth be told, I'm excited but a little nervous to homeschool my "Pona." She is more headstrong than the 4 other children put together. Yet we both made it through the first 3 years of her strong-willed existence together, so I have great hopes that we can make it through kindergarten, too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Robins Welcome Here

I spent the majority of my weekend outside, in the gardens, kids both helping me and playing around me, happy as a lark.

Last year my gardens became infiltrated with the nasty Wild Carrot Root. Lovely name for a nasty, vile weed which will take over a garden in two years flat if you aren't careful.

Most websites and blogs tell you to Round Up the snot out of those suckers, but No Way, Jose. I refuse to use any sort of pesticide in my garden or my yard.

Pardon my French, but that shit will kill ya. As every poor Spring Green or Lawn Pro sales rep who has ever had the misfortune of gracing my doorstep has been told. Last year one tried to argue with me, telling me that the new improvements to their formula make it their "greenest" product ever.

"Do you tell people not to let their kids and dogs on the lawn after application?"

Proudly, he said, "No, we don't. They can completely step on the lawn after application, although we don't recommend it as it can remove the product from the areas they step on."

Semantics, schmantics. "Well, my kids don't just step on the grass. They roll, tumble, wrestle and lie down on it. Would you let your kids do that after you apply this product?"

Silence. Thought so. Brain washing is their specialty, and we Americans buy it hook, line and sinker. I know because I'm only one of two houses on our block who does not use these lawn services.

Seriously, folks, though, all that shit will kill you. Or if not you, maybe your kids, or grandkids. Breast cancer, birth defects, lymphomas, neuroblastomas, miscarriages, brain cancer. The list goes on and on.

Not educated about it? Learn more here.

Back to the Wild Carrot Root, last Spring I first noticed it, and took the time to yank every one of those nasty suckers I saw pop up, going through the garden, square inch by square inch, covering about 70% of it until Miles came home. After that, we were so busy reveling in our new son that I didn't step foot in my garden until a few weeks ago.

Going through the garden the past two weekends, I could see how my diligence last year paid off. The areas I went through prior to Miles' homecoming were nearly free of this pest. The areas I didn't get to, quite infiltrated.

Does pulling it up require more work than Round Up? You bet. But a little exercise never killed anyone.

And all the earthworms happily wriggling around in my yard were thanking me for it. As pesticides obliterate 90% of ground worms. Dude, we need those groundworms. Wanna know why? Read here.

This morning I walked about my yard, coffee in hand, gazing at all the Spring which had sprung. Robins were everywhere in my yard, happily pulling up big fat earthworms for breakfast.

Looking about, I noticed no birds feasting on any of my neighbors' pesticide-laden "showcase" lawns. Because there's no food there for these dear creatures.

I don't know about you, but I'll take the robins.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Cheese Stands Alone

Nearly 8 months have passed since we became a family of seven, and how does one even begin to summarize such a life-changing experience?

Our two new little guys are night and day different. Looks, personality, temperament, strengths, weaknesses: everything. One of our boys has attached beautifully in a relatively seamless process. We've hit our rough spots with him-- he's gone through his grieving and testing rounds, his learning how he fits into our family and his acceptance of that. He was quite attached emotionally to a caregiver at the orphanage, and I think that allowed for an ease into attachment with me as his Manmi.

Our other little man--not so much. So much of everything has been a struggle for him. While quite jolly and charming to outsiders (and to us for a long while), as he grows more comfortable and familiar with his surroundings, the more we see the effects of trauma on his little soul.

This little guy stopped emotionally growing at 15 months of age, or about the time he was relinquished to the orphanage. Always a wallflower, he never found anyone to attach to emotionally. What we thought were oppositional or defiant behaviors never really were such; instead so much of what we were seeing was just a very hurt, lost little boy who was at 15 months old emotionally.

While learning that absolutely broke my heart for him, it also was a HUGE step forward for all of us. We then were so much better equipped to handle his difficult behaviors. We took all focus off of disciplining and consequences and put all focus on building attachment and emotional growth.

One area though where we find ourselves facing challenges involves sibling relationships.

Our attached little man fits in beautifully with his siblings. He absolutely adores Hatfield, looks up to Atticus and is kind to Paloma. At school he has friends and he seems to "get" social systems.

But for our other little man, we are struggling. The kids are struggling with him.

We work hard at keeping an open dialogue with Hatfield and Atticus about this brother. We explained about emotional growth, and told them that really, even though he is a BIG kid, he is just like a one and a half year old inside. We talked about friends of ours who have an adorable 1 1/2 year old, and what that child is like.

Yet what they might begin to grasp intellectually is very difficult to put into play practically. Right now, none of our kids really wants anything to do with him. And on a basic level, I truly can't blame them. This is a child who, when he gets angry at them (for reasons that no one can understand), he'll pee in their closets, or hide their clothing, or break their toys. They are tired of watching him treat others poorly, and they certainly don't trust him.

I asked the therapist if we should demand our other children to be nice to him no matter what. Or if we should allow them to show him their hurt, anger and frustration at being treated so poorly. She felt that as long as the other children weren't hurting him, it would be okay for him to know how the others felt, as they was a natural social consequence.

We are trying to teach this little guy how to treat others. In many ways, just like we did with our children when they were one and a half.

I see a lot of positive progress. Before, when he would become angry with the others, and act out towards them, he would just get angrier. The cycle would continue to spiral downwards, lasting for days and sucking the life and joy out of nearly everyone in our home.

Now, we are starting to see a conscientiousness build within him. Instead of staying angry, he'll feel sad that he hurt or upset the other child. He'll let me hold him and he'll cry on my shoulder while I rub his back. He is beginning to work at showing the others that he can be nice and is willing to try to make amends.

The challenge is to get the others to accept him for who he is and where he is. To develop a sense of compassion for how far behind he is and how far he has come in such a short amount of time. But for a child, it is hard to see a big, loud, active 5 year old boy on the outside, and remember how hurt and scared and little he is on the inside.

We still have our 'moments,' many moments actually, but a lot of peace has been restored to our home. I feel a lot of hope restored in regards to my own struggling son, and I feel so much more equipped to parent him in a healing way. We see our little guy growing and ever so slowly, healing. We are moving forward, and things are starting to develop into their own new 'normal.'

And I feel pretty good about that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The All-You-Can-Eat Enchilada Plate that Wasn't

Tonight the Mister and I had a Date Night. We went to a local Mexican restaurant.

I ordered the Fish (grouper--yes!) Tacos, and the Mister ordered the All You Can Eat Enchilada Dinner.

For the record, I am opposed to going to any type of Buffet or All-You-Can-Eat place for dinner on a Date Night (for the family, ALL for it, because growing boys can eat their weight and not feel full). But for this Date Night, I didn't say anything because the restaurant is tiny and in a quaint, artsy neighborhood (meaning, not a person under 21 in sight), and because they make a mean margarita and I've been known to knock back a margarita or two on occasion.

Ever since we started Insanity, the Mister has been quite faithful to the eating plan. And his stomach shrunk a size or two, but he didn't realize that until tonight.

The first plate brought out beans, rice and two enchiladas each the size of an adult chihuahua. Historically, two enchiladas of any proportion is nada for my man who has his picture up on the wall at our local Prime Quarter---two pictures, in fact---for eating some ungodly-sized slab of cow carcass.

But for Mr. Insanity, he was beginning to feel full. "Another round?" the waitress asked expectantly. The Mister glanced at me. I ignored him and took a swig of margarita.

"Bring it on!" he cheered himself on, since I was otherwise occupied.

The second equally large plate arrived. Four bites into the first enchilada, I think he groaned. "I'll have to get a to-go box like yours," he said, nodding in my direction.

"Are you kidding?" I screeched. "You can't ask for a To Go Box at an All-You-Can-Eat meal. That's tacky!"

Seriously, I'm not the only one who thinks that, right?

So the Mister finished his plate.

(Note to the Mister: I didn't say you had to finish your plate; I just said you couldn't ask for a To Go box!).

When we left, I noticed little beads of sweat on his nose, and a definite waddle in his walk.

We went to the video store to rent a movie. At one point, he was groaning and on his knees. I think he was about to roll around in the aisle, before I (gently) gave him a little "love kick" in the ass and told him to get up.

"I'm so ashamed," he said, turning green. "I couldn't even get to a third plate. I need to turn in my Man Card."

I so wanted to retort, "You turned your Man Card in when you ordered a blended Passion Fruit Margarita, Pretty Boy," but I didn't.

Because the Mister was in physical pain. And I'm a compassionate wife like that (eyes rolling.)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Jill would be very proud

Dear Mister,

Remember how sad you were this morning, when you found out that your Chicago buddy wouldn't be hosting a UFC watching event at his West Loop condo tomorrow? You felt so sad and empty, and you slouched out to your car with a sad little dejected walk.

I love you, my dear man. I hate seeing you so sad and empty. So I took it upon myself to re-fill your heart and your weekend.

Here is our staircase landing, as it looks right now:




Never underestimate the Seductive Lure of a Pry Bar with the Invigorating Power of Spring Fever.

Blast from the Past


The Mister, second from the left, circa 1990-1991 ish.

Sadly, most of the guys in this photo are passing it around Facebook because they think that this is proof that they were 1) really cool in high school and 2) really hot.

Which just goes to show that senility can set in even at the young age of 38.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fighting Back

We live in crazy aggressive times. The levels and types of bullying out there is nuts--NUTS! Last week we were waiting in the changing area at dance class, listening to a very pretty and popular girl and her mom talk about the bullying culture at their school.

My stomach grew into a knot listening to it. Hatfield's eyes grew big and she became very, very quiet.

This school is in the "best" school district in our area, and the median socio-economic level of the students is quite "high."

I was glad to see the mother and daughter so open and frank in their discussion on this problem. But as this mother pointed out several times, so many parents aren't even aware of it, and teachers are tired of dealing with it.

* * * * * * * *

Yesterday, as I picked up my kids at school, I overheard a conversation between a Mom and her maybe 9ish year old son.

The child was visibly upset. "Remember," the mom said, "If ----- bothers you today again during practice, just walk away again. The teacher will come and help you and take care of the bully. This won't go on forever."

It took everything I had to bite my tongue from saying, "Are you crazy?!? Of course it's gonna go on forever! You got a scared, little kid there and bullies sense that. And you can't count on others to always be there!"

So very often our kids are taught, Mom and Dad will take care of that for you. Or, the teachers are there to make sure you are safe. But the thing is, we Moms and Dads can't be there all the time. And we can't expect our teachers to either. Giving our children a sense that some vague "authority" will be there to protect them or to step in and help them is actually hurting our children.

Both incidents still upset me when I think about it.

* * * * * * * * *

When the Mister and I were first married, I was very vocal about my desire for my children to always remain pacifists and to "walk away" from confrontations.

The Mister was all, "you need to open your eyes, girl." Very patiently and very lovingly, he shared with me story, after story, after story, after story of the times in school when he was picked on, hurt and bullied.

All because he was a skinny, scrawny, smart brown kid.

The Mister grew up being taught to fight back. And so were his cousins. By the time he was in middle school, the actually bullying attempts were growing fewer and farther in between, because everyone knew that he wasn't an 'easy target.' While he was small and scrappy, he'd put up a fight. And even if the bully knew he could beat up the Mister, they also knew that if you picked a fight with him, you were picking a fight with his 8 cousins as well.

* * * * * * * * *

We have always taught our daughter to "fight back" any boy/man for any possible sexual attack. We've always taught her not to take any guff from any boy, and with that training and several years on co-ed soccer teams, Hattie is pretty unflappable for now, but we still work with her on it as she is approaching her teen years.

While it's pretty acceptable for girls to fight within those parameters, I think as a society, sometimes we feel the only "civilized" thing is to teach our sons restraint, to turn the other cheek, to walk away.

I once thought so too. But the Mister's stories stayed with me. And then I had my own perfect, little, brown boy, and I realized that a big difference exists between "bullying" another child and "defending" one's self. And man, I can't stand the thought of him being an "easy target."

* * * * * * * * * * *

Twice now, Atticus has been in situations where he had to defend himself. Both times it involved bigger, older child. One time, Atticus was being choked by a boy underneath our kitchen table (I was in the other room, visiting with the moms.) He couldn't talk and no one could hear them over all the racket in the house. So he bit the child's fingers to get him to stop.

The other time, an older, bigger child was holding Atticus' hands down at his side and pushing him back, so he couldn't play in a game with the kids. No parents were around, and Hatfield's request to this child (who was younger than her) to "stop" were ignored. Atticus eventually managed to free his hands and pushed the child away from him. The child, in turn, gave Atticus a bloody nose.

* * * * * * * * *

In both incidents, the other parents involved were very upset that their children were injured. I can't blame them, because I get very upset too when my children are hurt. And I get very upset when my children are bullied.

Interestingly enough, in both incidents, Atticus was vilified. When you are a parent of a bi-racial child, it's very easy to go to 'race' as the first possible reason. But I don't think that was it, in this case.

After a lot of thought, I think it is because he apologized for his actions. The other children never did. I can't help but think that because he took responsibility and apologized for his actions, the blame shifted away from the aggressor and towards the defender.

Not that this point really adds to anything; I just find it interesting.

* * * * * * * * *

So there you have it, living proof that the Mister was able to successfully get me to switch teams from the "Walk away, my boy," to the "You better believe that my kid's gonna fight back if yours is gonna bully him."

We have this good-hearted little contest, the Mister and I, as to who can get the other to change first. His goal being the aforementioned success, and mine, turning him into a vegetarian.

Don't worry, Mister. I may come in second, but succeed I shall. We will be a meat-scorning, veggie-munching, bully ass kicking bunch. Just you wait and see.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

It's consistent if nothing else

This is just too "Are you serious?!?" not to share.

As some of you now, Mr. Keenan's adoption process was riddled with errors. Riddled.

At the beginning of our process, we had confusion with his name. With his birthdate. Confusion as to which child he really was.

During the process we had misspellings on judicial papers. When we got the decree, they got his new adopted name wrong.

His first passport was misspelled. The second passport was misplaced. The third passport had the wrong picture. (The fourth was the charm.)

His birth relative was displaced in a hurricane. More errors were found on his paperwork. A visa was rescinded for a photo error.

We finally get our boy home--HOME! Hallejulah!

2 weeks later, Keenan's Permanent Resident Card arrives. With Miles' photo on it.

Last month, we had their Adoption Finalized in our state, and the state issues our little guys Wisconsin birth certificates.

Today they arrived in the mail. I did a happy dance. Finally! It was here! We were on our way to Social Security Numbers and Certificates of Citizenship.

Keenan's date of birth is wrong. W-R-O-N-G. I'm looking at the paperwork we filled out, the paperwork that the judge signed and the courts submitted to the state. I have NO IDEA how they assigned it the date that they did.

Tomorrow, I shall begin making the calls necessary to straighten out this little matter.

Tonight, I am savoring a glass of Merlot, toasting my beautiful son and the complete MIRACLE that it took to get him here.

Monday, April 05, 2010

April's Mantra: Lighten Up

To find the back story on why each month has a mantra, read Here.

Last month's mantra was Aim Higher.
It was a great mantra to kick off Spring,
especially after a long
and trying
and claustophobic
winter.

But off with the old, and on with the new,
and April's mantra is:
Lighten Up.

Honestly, this mantra could not come at a better time.

Why?
Because I have:
5 active children,
1 traveling husband,
a senile beagle who barks (constantly) at the wind,
a messy house
and I am in perimenopause
(yeah, I got a great set of genes for that one. . .not!)

I could totally use a good dose of
Lightening Up

To kick off turning over this new leaf, I took all the kids to Dairy Queen right before dinner (I had a Buster Bar---yummy!), and then we played at the park.

Tonight, the Mister is going to make margaritas (on a Monday) and we are going to watch a funny movie.

And then this Thursday, my sister and I are going for a Pedicure. I have only had one pedicure in my entire life (and that was 4 children ago!), and I am sooooo looking forward to this.

Alas, while I don't think I'll finish out the month with a cleaner house, I think I can totally get used to this Mantra regardless.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hatfield's Week In Review

We played in the front yard in our tent.

Me

Miles

Paloma

Keenan

Wanda

Trixie

Ernie relaxed on the couch.


Mom went out to dinner and left us home with Dad.
While Dad was cooking us French Toast for supper,
we jumped off the toybox and chairs in the basement.
Because Mom wasn't home.

Atticus

Miles
Miles always makes crazy faces while he gears up

for his big jumps

Keenan


Paloma

Me
Miles is really good at taking pictures of people jumping



Ernie relaxed on the couch some more.

It's kind of his thing.