Friday, April 21, 2006

SPF: Brought to us by the letters L, E, M

This week the lovely Kristine wants to see our initials:


Lulu's lashes


Easter eggs


the letter M-n-Ps (constructed at lunch yesterday by the Critter, age 3)

Did you play?

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Let's do the numbers... chronological order.

14 spots Mimi the cat horked up ORANGE Meow Mix on my WHITE carpet
7 separate rooms affected by the Meow Mix
3 stories of my house that need steam cleaning as a result of the Meow Mix
8 gallons of water sloshed on my bathroom vanity during a water fight between boys
3 loads of laundry
2 boys with no nap
1 pair of soiled Elmo undies
4 volunteers recruited for All Church Retreat events
12 ounces of lemonade spilled down the front of my clothes last night at church
75 people witnessing the spilling
15 minutes elapsing between the spilling and my preschool board position interview
12 minutes we spent in the Ladies Room while the Critter did his business
5 minutes I had to eat dinner
3 children in bed late at 8:45
1 glass of port
10 the hour I started sneezing uncontrollably

Today has to be better.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mirror, Mirror...

I realize that everyone believes their baby to be the most beautiful. But really, can you argue with me? Go on, try. I dare you.

I read this post and could completely see myself in a few years. To borrow Chris's term, let's talk about an aspect of "boyness". (And yes, I too, believe it is a word; Wikipedia, take note.) It's something I struggle with more and more lately: knowing how rough is too rough, what is the dividing line between boys roughhousing and beating each other up?

In my family it was just me and my brother, and he wasn't the physical type, so I have zero frame of reference. Daddy McAustin has 2 brothers, but they were 4 & 6 years older, and weren't really contemporaries. I don't want my boys to grow up with memories of me as that woman who was always screeching "Stop that!" and "That's too rough!". I do however, want them to make it into adulthood without permanent emotional or physical scars wrought by their supposed loved one. Don't get me wrong, they aren't really violent with one another, and it's never done in a spirit of meanness, but they do play rough together.

Our rule currently is that if someone says "stop", "no", or is obviously NOT having fun anymore, then the play is over. (You know, when they make that wailing sound, and tears are streaming down their face? That usually means the situation has lost its joy for them, and they would like you to quit doing whatever it is you're doing that's making them feel that way.)

I am noticing, however, that as they get older, it is usually me who gets uncomfortable with the situation and make them stop. And them? They are still having a ball and would happily continue without my intervention....until the laughter turns to tears, which it inevitably does.

And so, to go with the theme I've got going here, I present you with the boys' latest version of the little game we here at Casa McAustin like to refer to as "E.R.: The Dress Rehearsal":

...and again here...

The object of the game (apparently) is to see just how fast you can roll/spin/turn/stop abruptly before the hitchhiker flies off, sailing across the deck to land with a sickening thump in a teary heap. Bonus points for blood.

So my question is this: what's your 'line' for rough play?

(How's the font looking on your screen? Too small? Did you know that if you Hit CTRL + mouse wheel it changes the font size on most any web page? Coooool!)

(DOH! Except of course, on MINE!)

Easter Recap

Here's the condensed version:

We dyed the eggs on Saturday....

... such pretty colors....

Little Bit asks "Are they ready yet?"


The finished product, ready for the Easter Bunny to hide.

On Sunday morning we were ALL ready to go and in the car by 7:30 and at church 10 minutes later, a new collective personal best for the family McAustin. After the service we headed to brunch....and had to wait until the place opened. The boys devoured their pancakes and fruit, and walked out wearing most of the syrup.

Next up: Easter baskets and the egg hunt.

The baskets had all sorts of wonderful stuff in them: markers, stickers, chocolate covered pretzels, stuffed animals, kazoos, racecars, and a few pieces of candy.

The Bunny made some good choices!

The boys check out Lulu's basket.

The great egg 90 degree heat.

"I found one!"

"Here's another one!"

The Easter Bunny brought finger paint.

Part of the aftermath...

We hope everyone had as much fun as we did.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"ph-thump, ph-thump, ph-thump, crrunchtk!!"

What was that?


THAT would be me. fallingassoverteakettletotheverybottomofthestairs.
Taking down the vacuum with me, because I knocked it over with my head.

My first thought was of the 4 (yes 4!) children in my den. (I have an extra two-year-old today while her mother resolves nanny issues.More on her later.) What will the EMS people do with them when they load me into the ambulance? Who will feed the baby? They better remember to get extra shorts, shoes, and Elmo undies for the Critter, because to NOT have backup is guaranteeing problems.

As I lay there whimpering and taking stock in all the parts that hurt to see if I could still move them, I heard a small voice ask "Are you OK, Mama?"

Uh, yeah, I think so.

I thought I might have broken my right thumb, and I have some righteous rug burn all down my left leg, but I can walk without limping now, and I think I'll live.

Back to the extra kid. So we're up in my bedroom and I was brushing my hair. Happy Girl comes in and wants me to brush her hair. This is one of the things I'm looking forward to with Lulu: playing beauty shop.

I get out the brush, a few hair bands, and go after it. I gave her two pigtails over her ears. Very cute. While I was doing this the boys come into the bathroom and ask what we're doing, and I say "I'm giving Happy Girl pigtails", wherein they both insists that they need them too. Only they don't say "pigtails" but rather "cocktails." As in "I need 2 cocktails!" Now these boys have short hair, so a regular hair band won't work on them. I dug around in the hair accessory drawer and found some of those baby clips from several years ago (you know the ones shaped like butterflies that you'd wear like a headband? yea, like those, but not butterflies) and give them both "cocktails". This sends them into fits of ecstasy, yelling "We've got cocktails! We've got cocktails!"

My body hurts. I wish I had some cocktails right about now....but the real kind.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Take One!

Well, crap.
As you can see, I've been messing around with my template. I lost all my links, even though I used a test....Obviously this will be an ongoing project, stay tuned for 'take 2'.

In other breaking news, we have to have a 'take 2' for the annual bluebonnet picture. Found the perfect spot, actually ironed the kids' clothes (I know! Me, iron!), got all the proper equipment loaded, made it to the site, got everyone arranged,......

and Little Bit started crying.....

and the Critter started picking his nose...

and Lulu was only interested in trying to snag a pretty flower to put in her mouth.

Even though I knew it wasn't going to get any better, I just kept clicking away, and 78 shots later, still had nothing remotely usable. I'm just glad I wasn't paying someone else to take the picture. But I did get one winner, albeit of a different sort:
The one frame! That has everyone! Engaged in their inappropriate photograph behaviour!
At the same time!

I know you're all jealous of my mad photograpy skillz. Stay tuned for another go at it, hopefully a more successful one.

As I vacuumed our bedroom this morning, I had to take note of the nastiness that comes out of our carpet. I vacuum somewhere every day, but since I started going bald, I do so even more often in our bedroom and bathroom. I had just emptied out the cannister yesterday: it's the kind made of clear plastic you can see into, and after just one vacuuming it was half full again with the most disgusting mix of, of.........all the lovely stuff we've been walking on, and my kids have been rolling around in, etc. It's kind of like a car wreck: I can't NOT look, even though it gives me the willies.

I just got all the kids' winter clothes boxed up and stored...whew! Having sets of both winter and spring/summer stuff in multiple sizes for all three kids crowding the closets was driving me crazy. Now maybe that twitch will subside...

As I was putting the boxes in the attic I thought about what a huge job it's going to be to sell all the kids' stuff when the time comes for that. I've always used empty diaper boxes to store their clothes in: I always have several, they're free, sturdy, of a uniform size, and there's no mistaking what's inside. With 3 kids, the stack has now grown to about 30.

Too much to picture on Friday, egg hunt Saturday, house guests Saturday night, Daddy McAustin's birthday on Sunday, my handbell choir plays Sunday, church retreat meeting Sunday afternoon.....

I'll be some point.