Nate's finalization Nov. 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

The best laid plans ....

So Wednesday was my birthday. I hesitated to post this, as I did not want to sound self-aggrandizing. But something funny happened. Scott took the day off, so I had a lovely sleep-in. When I finally dragged myself out of bed, Scott made me yummy french toast... My favorite! I was in no hurry to do anything, so I was still lounging in my pajamas when my sister called me to tell me happy birthday. We chatted for a few minutes, then my doorbell rang. My sister said "Oh, go ahead and answer the door, I'll wait". I looked down at my disheveled pajamas, and had already caught a glimpse of what I looked like in the mirror. I had smeared mascara from the day before around my eyes, had yet to brush my teeth, and had a lovely "flock of seagulls" hairdo. so I said "I'm not answering the door!".
Scott was home, and on his way to answer the door, but LeAnn didn't realize this. Here is how the conversation commenced:
LeAnn: Oh, no, go ahead and answer the door
me: No, S...
LeAnn: Lisette, you have to answer the door
me: I....
me: LeANN! Scott is answering the door!
LeAnn: Oh. Okay. I didn't realize he was home. Tell him it's not a mistake.
me: tell him what is not a mistake?
LeAnn: Just tell him before he sends them away. Just say it's not a mistake.
Me: (I'm in the other room, scott can hear me, but not see me) Scott, LeAnn says it's not a mistake, if that means anything.
Scott: Okay. (nothing else, just Okay)
Me: so what's the deal?
LeAnn: Well, I didn't get you a birthday present sent, so I ordered pizza to be delivered to your house for lunch. Then I realized I'd better call at the time it was supposed to be delivered so you wouldn't send the delivery person away thinking it was a mistake. (that sounds like something I'd do)
me: OH!! How sweet, thank you! (then Scott walks around the corner)
Me to Scott: Where's the pizza?
Scott: What pizza?
me: the pizza that was just delivered?
Scott: That wasn't pizza, it was the bug guy.

I just started laughing. LeAnn outed herself for no reason. The pizza guy didn't come for another 10 minutes, but at least we knew not to send him away. Maybe this is one of those "you had to be there" moments, but it was really funny. What are the chances that the bug guy comes at the same time the surprise pizza guy is supposed to come? And what in the world was Scott thinking when I told him it wasn't a mistake? And he just answered Okay. Like this is some sort of ongoing cryptic conversation we always have.

Oh, well. The pizza came, we all had a good laugh, and the rest of the day was lovely.
Scott had my sister-in-law come over to watch the Munchkins (thanks, Misty!) and took me to see the new Star Trek movie, which I had been wanting to see since it came out. I am a big Star Trek fan. Yes, I even have one "StarCon" under my belt. My sister Lisa and I went one year in Colorado and got to see Patrick Stewart speak. Good stuff. No, we didn't dress up. I like Star Trek, but it does not consume my life. Well, not for the most part anyway.
After the movie, we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. My all time favorite is Macaroni Grill (Mmmmm..... Penne Rustica.....), but Cheesecake Factory is much closer, I'd only been once, and it was really good. So now I've been twice. Excellent food both times. And of course cheesecake to bring home. So delicious. Maybe I'll have a birthday again next week. It would almost be worth prematurely aging. Youth is overrated anyway.

And because posts without pics are not nearly as fun, here are a few of the munchkins

I love catching candid moments like these. Luke with his arm around Dylan, and little N on the right. His adoption stuff is moving along, and hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of his sweet little face soon.

Luke and Landon in their Jedi poses
Guess who has discovered he can empty the cupboards?
Landon has enjoyed putting puzzles together recently. He was pretty pleased with himself over this 300 piece puzzle that he had very little help on. Scott and I both helped a little, but just because it was fun to be there with him, not because he needed the help.

Monday, June 1, 2009

color coding my kids - pros and cons

I color code my kids. It started as a way to keep track of whose plate was still on the table, whose towel was on the floor, etc. The nice part is, the kids love it. They take it pretty seriously. So here are their colors:

Landon - Green

Luke - Blue

N- Orange

Dylan - Red

A - Pink

Stix - Yellow

Now, the babies don't really need a color yet, but I didn't want to leave them out either. Their colors are mostly used for my own organizational purposes.

When a child comes to our house, I eventually make them a "snuggle" with their color scheme. A snuggle is a small blankie, about 18" x 24" with fringed edges. I'll admit right now that I have had A and Stix's material for quite some time, and have failed to come up with the finished product yet. Bad, bad mommy. But the general idea is to give them something that is just theirs, that they can snuggle up with in bed.

The also each have a small basket in their color for school papers and such. That goes on a marked Cubby in our bookshelf. They each have 3 marked cubbies for their stuff, the bottom cubby for their shoes, the middle for their backpack, and the top for their basket.

Each child has their own laundry basket (even the babes). Thanks to the makers of "Duck Tape", I can get tape in all their colors. I put their color tape around the handles of the basket. When I do laundry and sort clothes, each child's clothes go into their basket and the big kids all put away their own. They "fold" as well. I'm not picky about how well it is folded, as long as their drawers all close when they are done.

Each child has a bath towel, hand towel, wash rag, bath pouf, and tooth brush in their color. We hang the hand towels and bath poufs with 3M hooks (love those things!). That way, when Luke goes to wipe off his just-washed-but-somehow-still-dirty hands on the towel, he only gets his own towel dirty, and not the community towel. I used to use paper towels, thanks to the idea from my sister LeAnn. But the kiddos were extremely wasteful, and I'm cheap. Plus, I had a 10th grade Biology teacher who drilled conservation into our heads- Thanks Mr. Strube! While I'm certainly no tree hugger, I do try not to be wasteful, and going through 3 rolls of paper towels a week was a bit much.

We also have plates (both divided and flat), cups, and bowls in each color. The kids dishes are in a low cupboard so they can reach their own. They may use one cup a day. We do a lot of dishes (and laundry) around here, so that helps cut down a bit. They are responsible for setting and cleaning up their own dishes.

One of the main "cons" is my tendency to go overboard with this whole color scheme thing. We were at Wal-Mart and they had cute flip flops and boat shoes in all the right colors. I didn't buy any, but man did I want to. It is a good thing we are poor, or I would definitely take color scheming to an unhealthy level. Such as, when we were recently at Ikea, they had lap blankets on sale in all the right colors. Now, we have 3419 blankets in this house and at least half of those are lap blankets. We live in Arizona. But guess what we came home from Ikea with? Cute new blankets that were entirely unnecessary. They do look cute all snuggled up with them on movie night, though. Another con is passing on the color mania to my children. Now they think they get to buy everything they see in their color. I hear constant rings of "Look, mom, can we buy this? it's my color" while we're at the store. They also think that EVERYTHING at home in their color belongs to them. N thinks the orange power screwdriver is his, Landon is convinced he can use the green sharpie whenever he wants... Why doesn't Luke want anything to do with the blue broom, though?

One of the major "pros" was entirely unforeseen. When little mr. N joined our family, he'd spent quite a bit of time in his short 3 years being bounced around. Having a color that is "his" has helped him feel at home here, I think. No one takes their color as seriously as he does. He LOVES orange. He wears orange as often as possible. He loves knowing that he doesn't have to share his orange plates, orange towel, and orange blanket with anyone. He is the only one that has formed an attachment to his snuggle. He loves that thing and carries it all around the house.

And While I'm on the subject, I owe a big thanks to my sister LeAnn who has been on the lookout for me. She just sent us a lovely package in the mail with orange, pink AND yellow divided plates. Yay!

As for me, I have a plastic filing tray marked with each kiddos color, a small expanding file folder for each child marked with their color (so convenient to grab on the way out the door and know you have the right kids shot record), storage bucket, and various other thing like that to help me keep organized. Maybe one of these days I'll actually FEEL organized. for now, our house is somewhere in the vicinity of slightly organized chaos.

Luke the Belly Popper

Spread the Word to End the Word