Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Friday, December 31, 2010

goose hunters

The Kaufman boys decided to celebrate New Year's day with some goose hunting and Sam had his inaugural hunt...after getting bundled up by Mom (he complained about being "too hot" the whole time). This involved hiding in the goose blind with Daddy, calling the geese, "Honk! Honk!" and listening to "LOUD" guns "go BAM! BAM!". "Then the goose fall down and you get 'em."

It's very simple, really. They limited out.

And, to add to the excitement, a Fish and Game officer stopped by to check their licenses.

It just doesn't get much better than this.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

confessions of a slacker mom: bribery

I keep a fun-size candy bar in my purse at all times to bribe our terrible two-ster into doing what I getting into his carseat or putting on his coat.

I can only fight so many battles.'s off my chest.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Broken Wing

I haven't posted any pictures of Sam's cast.

Here it is...for posterity's sake.
Note the uber-cool tractor Uncle Phil drew on it and Ninang's awesome dragon. They set the bar pretty high. Following that, it makes writing your name seem pretty, well, lame.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of our blog friends and family out there. We hope this holiday season brings you child-like joy.
the Kaufmans

If you didn't receive one of these cards in the mail and would like one to hang on your fridge, email me at with your address and I'll send you one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas according to Sam

We were driving home from daycare when I decided to ask Sam a few questions about his new favorite topic: Christmas.

Me: Sam, what do you see out your window?
Sam: Christmas lights! Santa!
Me: And, who brings us presents and toys at Christmas?
Sam: Santa!
Me: What present do you want Santa to bring you?
Sam: Jesus!
Me: (feeling proud at my obviously holy son) And whose birthday is on Christmas?
Sam: Jesus!
Me: That's right. Good job.
Sam: (pauses). And Buzz Lightyear's.

Oh. Okay. Not so holy, I guess.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

you haven't lived...

...until you've taken 5 children (four years and under) Christmas shopping... Walmart....
...on the last Saturday before Christmas.
Uncle Noy, a surge of Christmas spirit, decided he wanted to spend some quality time with the Co-op kids and scheduled a shopping trip to get them Christmas presents. At first, Amy and I thought he was going to take all the kids by himself and simultaneously rejoiced and cringed at the thought. However, the man is not stupid and quickly clarified that he would like to take them shopping under the direct supervision of their mothers.
A word of advice: Don't preface the trip by saying, "Uncle Noy will buy you anything you want." (We appreciate the thought, Uncle Noy, but this is a rookie mistake. Rookie.)
Actually, in all its craziness, it was kind of fun. Our children have never experienced such freedom in picking out toys. (Uncle Noy was slightly appalled by this--that we would place such Grinch-like limits on our kids. But, as you parents know, it's really hard to justify spending $50 on a toy that is just going to cause sibling/cousin fights and ultimately, get broken. Right? Right?)
At first, they were a little skeptical. But, once we started looking at dragons (from How To Tame Your Dragon), all inhibitions were dropped. Toys were grabbed, thrown in the cart, exchanged for another must-have...lather, rinse, repeat...until, finally, all 5 had chosen the toy of their Christmas dreams.
Most toys were mother-approved. However, someone (ahem...Kate Eddy) managed to sneak a Dora the Explorer umbrella into the checkout line when no one was paying attention. That thing looks innocent enough as an umbrella, but secretly doubles as a club/eye-poker-outer.
Thanks for the generous, fun adventure, Uncle Noy. I think we may have recovered enough by next year to participate again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a Christmas party

After Uncle Joe's birthday party, Noah decided it was high-time he host a party of his own. He decorated the basement by draping assorted bedding over the couches and love seats and set the mood by cranking up a dance mix.

We played some games.

We had some ice cream.

Andie had some baby food with Lola Oyang.
Tons of of the best (albeit only) Christmas parties I've been to this season.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas lights

Last Saturday, Amy, Mary Kate, and I took the Co-op Kids to Locomotive Park to see the
lights. A fun time was had by all, except Sam, who desperately needed a nap, but didn't get one. After awhile, though, even he caught the Christmas spirit and had a fun time. Amy promises to post the rest of the pictures on her blog, so here's just a few.
Noah, after ringing the train bell.
Sam, driving the train.
Andie's first gingerbread cookie.

Joe's 30th birthday

Joe celebrated his 30th birthday with us in Lewiston. We partied it up with pizza, beer, and a Toy Story ice cream cake (upon Sam's insistence).

Friday, December 17, 2010

a snowy day at the Poxleitners'

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we headed up to the snowy prairie. The Poxleitners had invited us up for some delicious lasagna and good visiting. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the time to catch up and relax while their wonderful children (and Uncle Phil) wrangled our kids.

We'd planned to do some sledding or cross country skiing, but it was snowing quite heavily and Sam was having such a good time playing with "MO-gan" that he didn't want to go outside. (That's never, ever happened before...Sam NOT wanting to go outside). So, we sat around and chatted and ate some pie.

It's a rough life.

Then, it kept snowing.

And, kept snowing.

So, we decided we had to cut our visit a little short and head home. We'd only brought the Civic and it was getting to be a little sketchy as to whether we could get out of the drive way or not. Fortunately, Brian and Glenn were on the standby to push us out if needed.

Joe's a super snow driver and we had no problems. But, it did take us 2 hours to make the (usually 45 minute) drive back to Lewiston. Our exhausted kids slept most of the way and Joe and I got a little bit of grown-up conversation time (always a treasure).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


A belated Thanksgiving post
I'm thankful for all of us gathered around a huge table, even if it meant people had to sit on the couch on one side.

Thankful this newlywed family joined us to celebrate. Thankful they are so happy together.

Jolie is thankful for a new little person to boss. Andie's just thankful for a playmate.

Mom's not-so-thankful for the pink eye she got from our daycare. But, she is thankful to have a nice Friend to put her eye drops in.

Grandma and Papa were thankful that she hasn't broken any more bones this winter. We were thankful for Grandma's delicious pies. And, that guy in the green shirt behind them? That's Joe. I was especially thankful he could make it with the bad weather. (I was really missing him).

Sam was thankful for two pretty girls feeding him pie. I didn't think he'd ever get off Christina (left) and Caitlin (right)'s laps.

And, we were thankful for Kate and Glory's second birthday. And thankful for their healthy mama, who lit the candles. (The Co-Op Kids were just thankful it was a Diego and Dora cake and spent the remainder of the day fighting over the cake decorations.)
This holiday season, we have been treasuring the blessing of being surrounded by family. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

and that's the news from Casa Kaufman

It's been a chaotic week here at Casa Kaufman...
  • Joe just left (again) after coming up to celebrate his 30th birthday. We managed to squeeze in a week's worth of fun in a few short days and we're all tired, but happy. We'll share more pictures soon, I promise.
  • We got all our Christmas shopping done and I feel sooo efficient! It's not often this happens, so I'm basking in the glow.
  • Andie is thriving. She's been crawling after her brothers and cousins and will start running any day now, it looks like. What she lacks in speed, she makes up for in sheer volume. The other day, Sam looked at Andie and said, "You baby. You say, 'BA! BAA! BA! (yelling)'. Yes, Sam thinks a baby's default position is LOUD. In other news, Andie is still NOT sleeping. Yeah, I know you are surprised.
  • Sam is doing well. Hopefully, he will get his arm casted soon. We've been trying to tone done his stunts until it is casted, so we've been reading a lot of books. One of our current favorites is "Sleeping Beauty". He loves the Wicked Fairy, the sword fight with the dragon and the big fire of spinning wheels. I loved this book, too, when I was his age, but for different reasons. And...he calls it "Sleeping Booby".
  • Joe's been surviving the loneliness of Idaho Falls. He manages to muster the energy for weekend duck hunting now and then. This past weekend when he was home, he slaughtered some geese with his brothers and Aunt Teenie's brother-in-law.
  • My job has been going well. One doctor was out this past week, so I had some slower days to catch up on things, like showering regularly and doing laundry. Single parenthood is not my first choice, but has been made do-able with the abundant help of our family. Still, I'll be glad when Joe gets his buns up here.

And that's the news from Casa Kaufman where the dad misses mom, the mom misses sleep, and the children are above-average.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Andie's 10 month bear pictures

With the chaos of last month, we missed 9 month bear pictures. But, Aunt Deanna came for a quick trip last weekend and shot some 10 month bear pictures of Miss Andie.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

An Ill-Fated Date: The Hospital

Sam got checked in and changed in to hospital jammies while I changed into scrubs. Then, we waited and waited and waited. We watched TV. We played hide and seek in the hallways. We waited. We cried for chocolate milk (mainly, Sam…but his parents were pretty sad and hungry, too). We waited.

Finally, the orthopedist showed up. He’d been delayed in another surgery. I carried Sam back to the OR, where he put on the mask like a champ and was out in no time. Then, I hightailed it back to Sam’s room. I didn’t want to be anywhere near that room when they started popping bones into place.

Five minutes later, Sam was in recovery. Crying. Disoriented. But, doing well. I carried him back to his room where he wrestled the nurse who was trying to take his blood pressure. Finally, I told my anesthesia-crazy toddler he had to have his blood pressure taken before he could go home. Click. He stopped crying and held still. I was super impressed and proud of my boy. To have that sort of self-control as a toddler--let alone a toddler who was recently under anesthesia--is just not that common.

We were home by 10pm. Sam had some chocolate milk and Tylenol with Codeine. Mom and Dad ate. We all watched a little ToyStory 3 and then headed to bed.

Sam’s been staying home with Grandma Kaufman the last few days so she can ice his arm and watch for swelling. He has a check up next week for a possible cast. (It’s still splinted right now because it’s pretty swollen after the reduction).

Joe’s coming up for his birthday next week. We’re all hoping for a dull, boring time. I’m not making any plans. Dull and boring sounds pretty stinkin’ nice.

Friday, December 03, 2010

An Ill-Fated Date: The Orthopedist

In the morning, we attempted to make an appointment with the orthopedist. It was only slightly harder than plotting world domination. I was on hold for 25 minutes and was making an appointment when Lala (who was working from home) picked up the phone to call work and disconnected me. I had to take a break and cry in the kitchen for awhile. There is only so much a sleep-deprived mother can take.

Calm, even-tempered Joe got us an appointment for 1pm.

Sam adamantly did NOT want to go to the doctor. “No doctor! No doctor!”. Poor kid. Good news, though: the xray department has awesome boy toys. We played with motorcycles, four wheelers and Optimus Prime. We took xrays like a pro without any crying. And then, the orthopedist told us Sam’s fracture needed reduced. That means snapped back into place. Ick.

They scheduled us for a 5pm procedure at hospital’s operating room. Sam had to start fasting from that point on. We decided to put him down for a much-needed nap until we woke him at 4:30 to head to the hospital.

We were juggling a cranky Sam into his sweatshirt when the phone rang. It was the hospital. The doctor had been delayed. They postponed Sam’s procedure till 6pm. Then 7pm. Then 8:30pm. Maybe you would just like to reschedule until tomorrow?

“NO! Absolutely not! Get my baby’s arm fixed! Shove that patient off the operating table right now and put my baby in his place. YOU tell Sam he can’t have any chocolate milk or graham crackers until 8:30pm.”

What I really said (with a forced smile on my face): “Well, my husband has to leave tomorrow and Sam is pretty uncomfortable. We’d like to go ahead and do it tonight.”

They called back and said they would move our case to the front of the line. The nurse anesthetist didn’t want a baby fasting for that long. Love that lady! We left for the hospital at 6pm.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

An Ill-Fated Date: The Phone Call

As we were driving out of town to Spokane, we stopped at Starbucks for a coffee. Two seconds later, the phone rang. I couldn’t understand the caller because there was a kid screaming in the background.

“Jen. You have to come back. Sam broke his arm. We are taking him to the hospital”.

No one drives faster than 2 parents on their way to the hospital. We beat Grandma and Papa Kaufman by a good 15 minutes. (Of course, we didn’t have to wrestle a traumatized 2 year old and his sister into the car either). When they got there, Sam had a magazine splint and some frozen peas wrapped around his right arm. Good thing Nurse Grandma was on the scene. We did leave a little trail of peas behind us wherever we went, though.

The x-rays confirmed what his lumpy arm already told us: a displaced Colles fracture. They gave us the number of the on-call orthopedist and sent us home. We stopped for ice cream because ice cream cures all ails. It can probably even cure cancer. And, it gave Joe a chance to reschedule his flight and cancel (*sniff*) our hotel room. Then, back to Lala’s house for bedtime.

A miserable six hours later, I realized my mistake. I hadn’t requested any pain medication for Sam. We’d been giving him Tylenol and Ibuprofen, but the kid was still miserable. I called the hospital, only to learn there were no 24 hour pharmacies in Lewiston or Clarkston. The nurse said he’d figure something out. A miserable FOUR hours later, he called me back and said there was some Tylenol with Codeine for Sam at the ED; I just had to come get it.

I went and got it. Came back. Sam was finally asleep. Of course.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

An Ill-Fated Date

Welcome to a mini-series dedicated to our Thanksgiving adventures. Keep reading...

It was an ill-fated date. Joe was supposed to drive up from Idaho Falls, but with last week’s bad weather, he decided he couldn’t. After a mini-meltdown in my office, I called him back and told him that we were just going to buy a plane ticket. Problem solved.

His flight got delayed and he missed his connection. No matter. He arrived in Spokane Wednesday night and Team Eddy drove him down to Lewiston on Thanksgiving Day. I told him I’d drive him back up on Sunday and drop him off at Team Eddy’s for a restful night on their well-used couch, so he could catch his 5am flight back to IF on Monday.

Little did he know, I had a super secret date planned. Grandma and Papa Kaufman agreed to watch Andie and Sam until bedtime, Then, Lala agreed to watch the kiddos overnight, so…Joe and I could spend the night in Spokane together! I booked a hotel room close to the airport, packed swimsuits and a pretty nightie, and looked forward to a real date night.

Turns out, some things just aren’t meant to be.