Friday, July 31, 2015

Five on Friday: Kids, Your Parents Are Totally Immature

We didn't even have any children with us and these are the pictures we came home from Amsterdam with?

The first three are from the Rijksmuseum, which loosely translated means something like, "if you're totally immature you'll find plenty to giggle at in here" museum.

1. World's first whoopie cushion. (Not really. But come on! Doesn't it look like one?)

2. A piece from a chess set

3. The "Womb Tomb" (Artist "Ferdi wanted to create a playful and liberating 'environment' . . . The vulva-like opening forms the entrance to the sheltered interior. It is simultaneously a cosy tomb and a womb.")

4. Okay this one wasn't even my idea. But I did participate.

5. Made me chuckle every time

There you have it kids, CULTURE, straight from Europe. I hope this broadens your horizons a bit.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five On Friday: Day in The Life

I'm away with my husband this week  (without the children!) so I'm writing this in advance (I can be so organized sometimes. Sometimes.) Here's a pic-heavy glimpse into a typical day in my summertime life:

1. I'm practicing benign neglect. They will find ways to entertain themselves when ignored encouraged to. God bless the child that can entertain herself:

2. This boy loves his dog something fierce (and the feeling is mutual):

3. Summer means going outside to pick food:

4. Which makes the cooking more inspired:

5. Sometimes we come home and there's a squirrel stuck in the window. Because our house.

Stay tuned next week for pictures from the "Parents Gone Wild: Amsterdam With No Children" edition of Five on Friday!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Five on Friday: 1500 Miles in a Car With Five Kids: How Did We Do It?

I know. Everyone else has a DVD player in the car but we don't. And not all five of the kids have an iSomething to play on so what did we do to pass the time?

1. Refuse to hand out snacks or anything else for at least one hour into any given ride. This forced them to come up with things like an imaginary restaurant ("Want soda, rafadi, soda or colorful drink?" And we still don't know what rafadi is.)

2. Pen and paper. There was a lot of doodling. My favorite was when 5-year-old A dictated to her 13-year-old brother G to draw "a princess on a bed, with a king and a dragon. And she's vomiting." That was funny enough to overhear but then I saw the finished product plus G's interpretation of why the princess was vomiting. These kids kill me.

3. Mad libs (got two new ones in the free box at the library!) and some homemade ones too (which were my favorite, of course).

4. Name that tune! I'd play a few seconds of a song on my iPhone, pause it, and give them turns guessing what song it was.

5. Wet Ones. Old school, the kind with the Chinese finger trap-type opening. It started with a request for one to clean the rocks they'd collected on one of our stops and ended with them asking for one whenever their was a boring lull (and me gladly handing them out, one at a time). We came home with some happy kids and bags of clean rocks.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five on Friday: Family Songs

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page I asked, "Are families allowed to have theme songs? Because my five-year-old just started singing, 'welcome to the lovely chaos' so I think that might be ours now."

After that post I realized our family actually has created a bunch of songs each with their own unique lyrics and tunes that we sing frequently. None of them would be so perfect a theme song as the chaos song, but maybe they could be worked in as additional verses.

All should be sung at top volume and repeated ad nauseam. Top five favorites are:

1.  I'd like to eat . . . a potato sandwich!

2. Put your library in your pants!! (No idea, by the way. No. Idea.)

3. We--are rock stars, we hope you get us. We--are rock stars!

4. I step in poop and I no even tare! (Invented when he still had a speech impediment, must be sung that way now and yes, he did step in poop.)

5. I have decided . . . to put myself in charge!

And bonus song, which is sort of a cop out because it was created by the parents and is not a unique tune. Sometimes when Daddy O and I look around at the beautiful area we live in and realize that other people travel here specifically for its beauty, we simply must sing (to the tune of Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It") . . . "We're not on vacation. No! We're not on vacation! We're not on vacation, we live here....!"

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five on Friday: Rules for the Summer

Hey kids: you know your parents give you a lot of freedom around here (don't you?) But once in awhile, we really just need to lay down the law. 

Now is one of those times.

 It's summer and there are certain rules that apply now that don't apply the rest of the year. Learn and obey:

1. Stop. Wearing. Socks. For real. It's barefoot and sandal season, yo. Stop making me wash, dry, sort and fold socks. (Exception: big kids that do their own laundry can wear socks every day if they're weirdos that wear socks all summer long.)

2. We don’t need any more animals, dead or alive, in the house. They are welcome to live outside. (This also applies to bones found in the woods. And rocks.)

3.  We only eat outside now. That means you. Out. With that crumby or drippy whatever it is in your hand. Out. Side. Now.

4.  I know during the school year you were allowed to come downstairs at 7:30 am. Now that time is 8:00 am. Anyone that stays until 8 gets bonus points and no, I don’t know exactly what that means yet.

5.  Can we aim for no ER visits? I mean, this one kind of applies year--round but wearing a cast in the summer is the pits. Just try your best.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday: Things I Learned When My Pretend Friend Came to Visit for a Week

1. She's really real! Not pretend at all!

Just kidding, I had a pretty good idea after being friends online for a decade that she was a real, live person. A few hours before she arrived, I had a mini freak-out moment. "Did I really say they could stay all week? What if they're annoying? What if their five kids are terrible?"

I couldn’t have been more wrong (thank goodness!) The kids zippered right in together, much like the way traffic does getting into the Holland Tunnel (of which our Midwestern friends were exposed to both on the way into and the way out of the city on our day trip). They very comfortably meshed together, happily doubling the size of our families for one week.

Here are some things I learned during their stay:

1. Somehow, in some inexplicable way, feeding fourteen people did not seem like much of a difference from feeding seven (is that sort of like when people swear going from 2 to 3 kids is a nearly unnoticeable difference?)

2. Apparently some people actually refer to “sneakers”  as “tennis shoes.”

3. Having out-of-state guests makes one really appreciate and enjoy the many things to do in one’s own area. For the past two summers I’ve been so busy with the kids we barely made it to the Jersey Shore even though they love going. This year because of our visiting friends we made it there in the first week off from school! It was also fun introducing regional foods with them that they don't have in Indiana, like pork roll and disco fries, or that are just better in New Jersey, like bagels and pizza (if I do say so myself).

4. Other people exist that raise their large broods the way that we do—perhaps more lax than other people with things like nudity and filth while strict with other things like good manners and eating. I’m so impressed that in four nights and five long, activity-packed days, the only breakdowns were from my youngest, who is, after all, the youngest and was a little sick at the start of the week and definitely overtired by the end.

     5. Inviting a passionate, talented, professional photographer to stay with you is a great idea. I highly recommend it--but if you can't do that, you should check out my friend's work on her page: Raincliffs Photography

      Thanks Em and Chris for a wonderful visit. I'm so thankful the Internet brought us together!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five on Friday: Signs of Summer

It's my kids' last day of school and my oldest daughter's 8th grade graduation tonight, but that's not the only way I know summer has really arrived at my house. There's also:

1. We've hardly been to the beach yet but when I open the dryer, sand falls out. It's also there when I drain the tub.

2. I'm hyper-aware of my toes' existence because now that they're exposed EVERYONE KEEPS STEPPING ON THEM ALL THE TIME.

3. Getting the littles to bed on time is impossible.

4. I can't find my deck rail anymore. It's covered with towels.

5. I keep trying to pick freckles off the kids in my relentless quest to find deer ticks.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Five on Friday: All About A for her Birthday

"Some people have surprise pregnancies, we have surprise babies."

We didn't expect this sassy Little Miss but of course we couldn't imagine our lives without her. She turned five yesterday and so today's list is all about her. Here are some memorable moments from her first five years:

1. Age 22 months:  I had her at the Amish market when an older bearded man walked by. She shouted "MAMA! Ho ho ho!" (Thus began a series of referring to various strangers as Santa, the worst of which was a woman who was not particularly old nor round.)

2. Age 23 months:  I was cooking and gave her some cheese to eat. She came back and said "nose" and I said, "Yes you have a nose." She came back a minute later and we repeated that conversation. The third time she came in I asked, "where is your cheese?" and she said, "nose" so I had to fish it out. It was gross. (Thus began a series of putting things up her nose. More cheese, legos, whatever.)

3. Age 2.5 years: We were at the library and passed a baby in a carseat on the floor on our way to go check out. She said to me, "Mommy, I gunna go fight da baby, 'kay?" (She didn't. But she does still fight.)

4. Age almost 3: Very cheerfully: "I hate you! I like Daddy! He my sister!!" (Thus began . . . oh wait, never mind. She's obsessed with Mama now, not Daddy.)

5. Age almost 3: Daddy O put her on the potty before bed. She said she didn't have to go, he said she had to try. She sat and waited and then said, "Come on pee pee, you sleepin' in my (va-)gina???" (And, you guessed it, she's still obsessed with talking about private parts!)