Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baby Will (part two)

I stole borrowed Baby Will from Steve and Teenie during ND's birthday party. He's so snuggly and I got a few minutes of him taking in all the chaos that is his cousins and brother.
 Steve handled the chaos. He built a block tower with the big kids.
 I bounced Will.
 Steve and Papa wrangled the monkeys.
 I bounced Will.
Ah, newborn quietness. You are so sweet.
 But, you are pretty sweet, too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baby Will (part one)

The Palouse Kaufmans came down to celebrate ND's birthday and brought Ben and...BABY WILL!, who was the best birthday guest, in ND's opinion.
ND manhandling Baby Will

ND, Will, and Grandma. Smart move, Will, protecting those eyes of yours.

More manhandling of Will

Sam climbs up for a cousinly hug...unfortunately, Will is totally done being loved on by now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kate the Great and her Wonderdog, Doc

Doc is a great family dog. He lays around. He loves to be petted. He doesn't mind when small children see how far his ears can stretch.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

the fruits of our labor

This last weekend, both Eddy parents had to work--one at a swim meet, one taking call at the hospital, so we invited the Eddy children down for some good ol' cousin time.

Having 5 kids  5 and under is never dull. Ever. 

But, we're finding the troupe is getting to an age where they are easier to take places (thank you, potty training!), less tied to a schedule (adios naps--that's a mixed blessing), and more interested in playing with each other.

The weather this weekend was pretty unsettled--cold weather, snow flurries, rain and huge wind gusts. So, we had to make the most of our time with indoor activities. It was a productive weekend; how about some photos of the fruits of our labor?
You already know how I feel about painting, so we made these lanterns with the letters of each of their first names on them. We even made one for Baby Elizabeth.

If you attempt this project at home, here's a nickel's worth of free advice. Strip everyone naked. Don't let them pick a bottle to paint (it's hard to stuff a tea light down there and it gets really, really hot). Have a glass of wine handy during the painting frenzy (that's for the supervising adult, not the kids).

One low point of the weekend occurred when I was changing ND's poopy pull-up. Sam was running after Kate and Glory and managed to step right into the poopy pull-up. Of course, I began screaming, "Don't move! Stop!" which only caused him to startledly hop around and step in it even more. I thought we had escaped with zero poop collateral damage, but later found a small smear of poop on my socks.

I stripped them off and Kate & Glory came running over to admire my pedicure. (I guess their 9-month-pregnant mother doesn't paint her toenails that must be hard to reach them :). So, we painted their toenails. (We also painted their fingernails, but that was an adventure in frustration. Fingernails are just too easy to smudge and it's too hard to keep still when you're only 3 years old).
The rest of our weekend included buying a new vaccuum for Lala at Sear's closeout sale (and playing red light/green light in the back empty aisles), putting together puzzles and playing with blocks. Phil and Joe took the boys to "a gun shop" to get ready for their upcoming African safari, which Noah and Sam thought was a great adventure! When they got back, the Middles wanted a picture of their puzzles and lanterns all together. (The lanterns aren't dry, so that's why I asked them to pose with "moose antlers"...their little hands are just drawn to that wet paint!)

We survived the weekend with only one time-out (ND for pushing Noah) and minimal fighting. Everyone helped clean up and no one balked at bath time. 80% of our kids slept well (that's 4 out of 5 for you who are less mathmetically inclined; guess who was the nonsleeper of the bunch?). It was great weekend and we can't wait to do it again in 2 weeks when Baby Elizabeth arrives and Kate & Glory come to stay with us for some fun time.

stuff my (god)kid says

"Schatzi! You are an absolutely fantastic sitter!"

Poor neglected Schatzi. She needs that kind of enthusiastic praise in her life these days.

Friday, February 24, 2012

ND's birthday party

We celebrated ND's birthday with stew, bread, birthday cake and good company.

Teenie, Ben, and Steve

Mister Senator Dan and Fred. Sam gave everyone green stamps on their hands at the party; Dan wanted his on his forehead.

ND's red birthday cake

The 3 "big" Kaufman cousins, opening presents

ND got a cute "Bee-atitude" Bee from Grandma Kaufman

and some binkies from Lala. Needless to say, these were a big hit.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

I know Lent is a time of fasting, prayer and almsgiving. I'm just not very good at it. But, every year I take a stab at it.

My Lenten project this year is to fast from consumerism. (Doesn't that sound very Occupy Lent?)

I love to shop and love getting a deal. It's a great pick-me-up. Tough mornings with cranky kids? Solved with a trip to Starbucks. Hard work week? Worth a pair of new shoes from Macy's. Bored on a Saturday? How about a trip to Ross!!

I need to get over this mind set.

I was inspired by my grad school classmate, Jenny's, blog. She's planning not to buy anything new, only used, for the next year. So, here's my Lenten plan:

I'm not going to buy anything EXCEPT groceries, gas, and, of course, our bills (like our phone bill, house closing costs, and those preexisting committments) for the next 40 days.

No spending for entertainment. No eating out. No new shoes. No new toys for kiddos. No extras as pick-me-ups, rewards, survival tools. Just me and God--gettin' through the day.

We'll keep you posted.

What are you doing for Lent?

Monday, February 20, 2012

stuff my (god)kid says

Whenever we eat with Team Eddy, it's always a chaotic shuffling of food to plates, sippies to kids, and kids to the table. It's loud and appears quite disorganized, but admist all the chaos, we manage to guide kids to their appropriate seat assignment. Sam and Noah generally do best if they sit separately and ND likes to sit at the little table with the big kids these days.

At breakfast on Saturday, we managed to meet all of these requirements, but I somehow ended up at the kid table with Glory, Kate, and ND.

Glory: Ninang! What are you doing at the little table?
Me: Well, it just worked out that way.
Glory: But you don't fit in the chair.
Me: Yes, I do. I have a little butt.
Glory: Oh. (thinks it over). Ok.

Breakfast continues peacefully for awhile and Glory continues pondering this.
Glory: Ninang?
Me: Yes.
Glory: I have a little butt.
Me: Yep.
Glory: You have a little butt.
Me: Yep.
Glory looks at her 9 month pregnant mother, sitting at the adults' table.
Glory: My mom has BIG (she stops for a moment and thinks better of it)...My mom has a butt.
Me: (dying with laughter). Yep.

Monday, February 13, 2012

confessions of a slacker mom

Yesterday, I let my three year old watch 90 minutes of Wonderpets so I could finish The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Today, he's wearing 1-day old underwear because I didn't do laundry so I could finish The Girl Who Played with Fire.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

a very Cleto Christmas

After surviving (barely) Christmas Day mass...

...we drove up to CDA to celebrate with the Cletos and play our annual Jeopardy game.
Kevin, Lauren, and Uncle Mark won.

Friday, February 10, 2012

a very Kaufman Christmas

Grandma read Christmas stories

Christmas dinner

The Palouse Kaufmans, all festive in green

The annual family photo

ND and Papa, holding her purse Aunt Teenie made her

Jeff, JD, Sam (behind ND), Joe and ND playing "Don't Spill the Beans"

Jeff's very special guitar
Naked babies

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Happy 2nd birthday, ND!

Dear ND,
Happy 2nd birthday, baby girl! Two years ago, you made your way into the world, introduced us to your strong personality and have added so much delight, chaos, and VOLUME! to our little family.
Miss Natalie Doris, we are now spelling your name "ND". Sam is learning his letters and you have adamantly wanted to know what your special letters are. It was confusing to sometimes have "A" for Andie and "N" for Natalie, so now you are "ND". You are in such a hurry to keep up with Sam, reading books, writing, coloring and counting. You can easily identify your "N", especially in your favorite book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom , which you lug everywhere with you and can recite most of it by memory. You can count to a shaky 10 on a good day, probably because you often hear your mama counting to 10 as a warning to time-out. :) Colors continue to elude you, but you confidently shout out, "Red!" or "Green!" or "Pink!" whenever asked what color an object is, no matter if it's red (or green or pink) or not.

Sleep continues to be a challenge. You have to be rocked just-so, sung to just-so, covered just-so. The room must be dark. You've stopped napping at daycare and will only nap at home. I suppose I should just be thankful you are still napping at all.

You have a big smile and it melts your Daddy's heart in particular whenever you choose to shine it upon him. You love to give kisses and hugs. You love your brother and it's heartwarming to watch you two play and laugh together. You have your moments of conflict, but you two tend to get along well and help each other out. He brings you binkies and toys, you share your graham crackers.

You are starting to like other people. Your Papa Kaufman is high on your list of favorites. Baby Will, too.  Mostly, though, you remain a Mama's girl and I know I have never been so fiercely loved by anyone in my whole life.

Fiercely. That word sums you so perfectly. You love fiercely, yell fiercely, and stand your ground fiercely. Every day, you challenge your parents' creativity to come up with a way to persuade (or coerce?) you to cooperate. Lala laughs. Grandma reminds us a girl needs to have a strong mind. Ninang says she has never seen anyone as stubborn as you.

This year has brought more of your wild joyfulness, which has been a true delight. We've also seen more tantrums and frustration, which come with the territory of the Twos, I suppose. Life is never dull with you around. You bless our family with excitement and fire every day.

We love you,
Mom and Dad

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

a cupcake by any other name tastes just as sweet

ND saw these cupcakes in a magazine and was instantly enamoured. So, Joe and I spent two hours crafting these beastly little roses out of Fruit by the Foot for her birthday.

I hope she knows how much we love her...
...because next year, I'm totally going the store-bought route.

a very Co-op Christmas

I am woefully behind in blogging, so I thought I'd better get our Christmas pictures posted. Team Eddy summed it up so nicely here and here.
The Co-op Kids open presents in their PJs on Christmas Eve morning.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

tea party

Grandma A took it upon herself to get ND a tea set for Christmas. I was skeptical, but Grandma A is wise in the ways of little girls, and was sure ND would love it.
She did, of course.
ND spends a good 30 minutes pouring and serving "tea" to anyone around her. Sam has become quite good at saying, "No, thanks. I don't like tea", he's offered it so many times a day. 

Tea, anyone?

Sunday, February 05, 2012


Sorry for the blog silence, readers. We've been a little busy, trying to buy a house. And, this morning, we found out our offer was accepted. Provided all goes well, in two months, we'll be calling this "home".