Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Monday, February 28, 2011

self esteem

If you think I'm the kind of mom who lets her kids win the race just to bolster their self esteem...
...think again.
Eat my dust, Noah.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Closet Addict

We were rounding up kids to go to the park and Joe noticed the closet door was slightly ajar. Who did he find inside?

A Miss Recently-Weaned-from-my-Binky Gloria Jean Eddy, daring him to try to take it away from her.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Andie's first birthday party

A few weekends ago, we celebrated Andie's first birthday...and Dan & Kevin's birthdays, too. We had a joint birthday cake (decorated with help from the Co-op Kids)... and cupcakes (lovingly licked by the Co-op Kids).
We added a few fun party guests, like Cousin Ben...

...Grandma & Uncle Jeff...


...Uncle Steve & Uncle Noy...

...Papa & Dad....

...and the rest of the Co-op Kids, of course.

We ate cake and two gallons of ice cream.

Here's the birthday girl.

And the birthday boys.

Monday, February 21, 2011

a whole new meaning to "potty-training"

Inspired by Sam's progress at daycare, we've reinitiated the potty-training process at home. He's in Pull-Ups and gets a sticker every time he "puts pee in the potty" at daycare, so we've upped the ante at home with M&Ms.

The process:
  • Sam pulls down pants & Pull-Up.
  • Pees.
  • Sam pulls up Pull-Up & pants.
  • Sam gets a potty candy.
  • Mom & Dad say "Good job" and do a potty cheer: "You put that pee in the potty! You put that pee in the potty!" with some booty shaking of our own. Sometimes, Andie claps when we say, "Yay!".
  • It's really quite a party in the bathroom these days.

Today, Sam went pee in the potty.

Mom: Now, pull up your pants and then you get a potty-candy.
Sam: No. Pull-Up first.
Mom: Right. Pull-Up. Then pants.
Sam pulls up his pants. Sam looks at both Mom & Dad expectantly. Mom hands him the candy.
Sam: No. Now you say, "Good job".
Mom & Dad (simultaneously): Good job.

Boychild has us trained.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Catechism Chaos

After reading the Ten Commandments (in kid-friendly language):

Teacher: What are some rules at your house?
Sam's hand shoots in the air.
Teacher: Yes?
Sam: Not to poop on the floor.
Teacher: Oh. (pauses) Anyone else have rules?

Really? That's the rule he comes up with? Not "act kindly"? Not "pick up my toys"?

"Not to poop on the floor"?!?

Well, I suppose it is a good rule to have.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Catechism Chaos

Sam and I have started sneaking away from Mass and attending children's dismissal, which includes a Bible story, a short lesson, coloring time, song, and a game. Then we head back to Mass for Communion and the closing prayer. I've been enjoying this time with Sam and also loving kids' responses to the teacher's questions.

So, here is a new column: Catechism Chaos, dedicated to the philosophical ponderings on religious dilemmas of 3 and 4 year olds.

Teacher: So, how do you think you can be a lamp in the world? Maybe by helping a friend?
Boy #1: I like lamps.
Boy #2: I like sharks.
Boy #1: Sharks have mean eyes.
Girl #1: I have pony tails today.
Sam: Me like dolphins.

Oh, my.

Monday, February 14, 2011

off in Lala-land

While cleaning the kitchen after dinner, my mom and I were talking about several eligible young bachelors that we knew. I happened to mention that I'd just met a nice young woman at church and wondered if she was dating anyone.

Mom: Do you want me to ask her if she's single?
Me: NO! That's going to be weird.
Mom: I can call someone and find out. Where's my cell phone?
Me: Mom, you have no subtlety whatsoever.
Mom: It's all about networking. That's how people get together, you know. You know someone who knows someone--
Me (cutting her off since I've heard this a thousand times): I know, I know. You were Facebook before there was Facebook.

Friday, February 11, 2011

just like her Lala

Andie's in love with Lala's coffee.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

dear Andie

Dear Andie,

Happy birthday, sis! I can't believe a year has flown by already. A year ago, we were in the hospital, anxiously awaiting your arrival. And, I couldn't believe that your dad and I had a daughter.

This year, I have been reveling in the joy of having you as a daughter. You are delightful, exuberant little girl. You have your Grandma's wide smile and your Lala's...well, what we like to call "Natalie sass". You are crazy about your Blankie, bottle, and cell phones. Seeing any of the above items, even from across the room, will incite a persistent shriek until the object is surrendered to you. You love exploring toy bins and dumping out purses. As soon as you could sit up, you could entertain yourself by emptying kitchen cabinets, boxes, and drawers. We love your strong personality and are constantly amazed at how many preferences you can express at such a young age. You either LOVE or HATE it. There is no middle ground.

That doesn't make life easy and it certainly doesn't make life boring. When you get your mind set on something, there's no changing it. You shriek and yell until we give you whatever you want. You are already well-versed in the two-year-old tantrums your brother occasionally has. Lala has given us multiple warnings about you and your teenage years ahead. Grandma tells us that it's good for a girl to have a strong-mind.

You are an excellent snuggler. Excellent. Probably the best baby I have ever snuggled. If we hold you with Blankie, it gets even better. I don't think there is a better feeling in the world than to have your fat, cuddly body snuggled up next to mine, your head laying on my shoulder. Sometimes, your chubby hand pats my face and it is so, so sweet. And you are sleeping better...thank you.

Baby-girl, you are the best surprise of my life. It's been an adventure of a year and Dad and I look forward to the adventures ahead. We love you so much and our life is so much richer with you in it.

Happy birthday.



Tuesday, February 08, 2011

a night with Benny

Last Saturday, we headed up to Palouse for a fun toy party and stole Baby Ben for the evening. He was the best behaved child of the bunch. I love seeing these cousins together.

Monday, February 07, 2011

guitar heroes

Sam strummed some chords.
Noah's song went something like this: "He was a transformer and he said, 'Yeah, my name is...yeah, my name is...yeah, my name is...Optimus Prime! Optimus Prime! Oooh...Optimus Prime!"

Sunday, February 06, 2011

confessions of a slacker mom

The Co-op Kids, my mom, and I were having a dance party to burn off some wiggles. We turn up the music and the kids go wild. Mom and I joined in.

Mom: Nice dance moves!
Jen: Thanks.
Mom: Where'd you learn that?
Jen: Um...I actually get most of my moves from the Backyardigans.
Mom: Oh.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

the Sandman Chronicles: the great blankie swap

We finally got Andie sleeping through the night (thank God!...and the Poxleitners) and Sam started waking up all the time because his Blankie kept falling off his body. It's the same Blankie he has treasured since he was a baby, but it doesn't cover his big two-year-old body the same way it did when he was a wee newborn.

It seems simple enough: put a bigger blankie on the kid. Well, Boychild refused to be covered by any blanket that was not Blankie. We had about a week's worth of sleepless nights, during which I got up several times a night to recover him with his teeny-tiny blanket. And then, I devised a plan.

I took Sam's Blankie down to the fabric store and looked for matching material. Unfortunately, all they had was white, so I had to dye it to the right color. Then, ever-crafty Lala sewed the two pieces together to make a giant version of Sam's Blankie.

We put it on him in the middle of the night and when he woke up, we told him his Blankie had grown!

He's in love with his BIG Blankie.

Little Blankie was quickly dyed red and adopted as Andie's new Blankie.

And, everyone is sleeping well.

Friday, February 04, 2011

not the safest game

Amy graciously offered to watch our children last Sunday while Joe & I attended a Kaufman family meeting. When we returned home, we were greeted at stairs by 3 Middles in diapers and Noah in his underwear. They were diving off the "diving board" into the "pool".
Sam explained the rules: "You take off you pants and you shirt, Mom. Like this. You socks stay on. Then you jump. Like this!"
Then, he jumped off the chairs into a pile of pillows.
Oh, my. Seems like a good way to break an arm.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

cousinly love

Sam and Noah are always glad to see each other. This excitement lasts about 2 minutes and then Noah starts bossing Sam around and Sam starts pushing Noah. Inevitably, they both end up in time-out.

But, they put their personal differences aside early Sunday morning and sat by each other on Big Blankie to watch cartoons.
Sam said, "Noah not my cousin. Him my brudder."
Melts my heart.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Andie's first haircut

Andie has had one long curl behind her ear since close to birth. The rest of her bald spots have been filling in and she has a cute head of hair...except for the long curl. So, a few Saturdays ago, we were at Team Eddy's and Aunt Tance gave her the first trim.

Needless to say, she wasn't a fan. But, she looked cute afterwards.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

and that's the news...

It's been a chaotic week at Casa Kaufman.
  • Joe started his job last Monday and is officially a Lewistonian. We are all thrilled and feel blessed by this new development. He's hit the ground running and is adjusting well to his new job.

  • We started exploring options for moving out of my mom's house. While we greatly appreciate my mom's hospitality (and all her help baby-wrangling!), we are eager to get into our own space. We spent a few nights house-hunting and are entertaining some options to build. With so many options, we've really only come to one conclusion: we aren't ready to commit to anything just yet and would love a house to rent for a year or so. Anyone know of a house that wouldn't mind renting to a family with 2 little kids and 2 dogs?

  • I'm finally finding more of a routine with my job. It's been a huge learning curve, but I appreciate the challenge...most days. :) Having a husband again has freed up a lot more time and I've renewed my goal of getting into shape. This means waking up at 5:30am every day and exercising before getting ready for work. I'm also using this awesome, free website to help me track progress.

  • Andie took her first independent step today! And...she has yet another ear infection. Poor baby. But, Aunt Teenie came down to watch her today while we were at work. Thanks, Aunt Teenie!

  • Sam is enjoying having Daddy home. 'Nuff said.

And, that's the news from Casa Kaufman, where the dad lives in Lewiston, the mom lives in Lewiston and the kids are above-average (and walking!).