Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy 31 cent scoop day to you!

Yesterday we had a tough decision to make. Atticus played all thru nap time, and Gavin didn't even try for a nap. We had the chance to put our kids down at 6:30pm...But it was 31 cent scoop day at Baskin Robbins. Decisions, decisions....So for less than $1.62 we all got a scoop of ice cream.....well, everybody but Anne...Poor Anne, she got hers recycled.

And because it was to support local firefighters they even had a fire engine there for the kids to explore. I am pretty sure that if we would have let them, the local firefighters would have kept Atticus as a mascot.

On the way home we had this conversation with a verrrry sleepy Gavin:

*from Beaumont to Vidor*
Gavin: "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy!"

*passing Blockbuster*
Gavin: "Mommy we should get a movie."
"we should have a movie night mommy."
"Mommy you could make cookies."
"we could watch a movie AND eat cookies."
"Can we watch a movie and eat cookies Mommy?"
Me: "That sounds like a lot of fun, but when we get home we are going to eat, brush our teeth, read our scriptures...
Kenneth: "Say our prayers.."
me: "Say our prayers and go to bed."
Gavin:" NOOOOOO! Mommy *sob* mommy...I'm having a rough day. Please can we watch a movie mommy."
Kenneth: "Gavin, you can watch a movie with mommy and me...for as long as you can stay awake."
Gavin: "Yea! We're gonna watch Pete's Dragon"
Me: "Um, Gavin, mommy and daddy get to pick which movie we watch."
Gavin: "Ok, I'm gonna pick Pete's Dragon, Mommy's gonna pick Nemo, and Daddy's going to pick Monster's Inc..."

He babbled like this the rest of the way home...and then fell asleep, just like Kenneth knew he would.

Monday, April 27, 2009


My kids have been struck by a virus. Nothing serious...seems to involve a low grade fever, with a side of clingy cantankerousness. The fever has not lasted more than 24 hours on any of my kids...the clingyness and cantankerousness so far are indefinite. They have been kind enough to get it one at a time, so that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Top that off with trying to pack...and I am not doing so hot. Shoot, I can barely manage to do one thing outside of child care a I can do the dishes or wash laundry, but I cannot do both, and don't even ask about putting the laundry away! And now I am supposed to be compacting our lives into cardboard boxes and labeling them with a sharpie.

Today I was done. Couldn't handle it, gonna hear about me on the news in a bad way, d-o-n-e. And then my mom was there, listening to me, commiserating, understanding...doing what she does best. When it was time for me to go back to my life she came and gave me a hug. I had to stoop 'cause she is a little short, but she held me. She held me and I felt like a little kid again. Safe, protected, loved unconditionally. For just a second everything was ok again. And then it was over and it was back to the grind stone...but that memory I will carry with me to California...hopefully to help survive the hard days out there when she is too far away to do it in person.

spaghetti time

Friday, April 24, 2009

open mouth insert foot

We were hanging out with our friends Jared and Melanie the other night. They are about to move too, for dental school, and also they are expecting a baby within days of the start of school. We were discussing when they should actually move(before the baby, after the baby...) when Melanie made this statement...

Mel: "So what happens if I stay here in Vidor and you[Jared] don't have time to get back for the baby to be born...What then? Is [father in law] going to stand in the room with me and hold my hand?"
Meg: "WHOA! Wait a minute...[father in law]? WEIRD! I would have my mom or mother-in-law in the room with me...but it would be too weird to have my father-in-law in there..."


She just stared at me with an amused smile on her face. And why was she smiling like that you ask...

Because my father-in-law has delivered ALL of my babies!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

odds and ends

-for the first time ever, while sleeping in a hotel I missed my own bed! We got a new bed for Christmas courtesy of Kenneth's brother who had actually purchased it and then discovered that it hurt his does not hurt mine.

-I got utilities, garbage, and internet services for our house in California was so surreal.

-Atticus now sleeps in the hallway by the bathroom in Anne's crib. He can't climb out of it yet, and I am pretty sure that if Jane had to sleep in the same room with him one more week she would have some serious ptsd...seriously. Every night, at least two times a night, I would hear her screaming, flip on the lights and find Atticus grinning up at me with Jane in a headlock. Now as he goes to sleep with a wall between them I can still hear him yelling her name. Sheesh.

-Anne has adapted to her new bed very well...she figured out what the hole Atticus had created was for...even when it was against the wall. I have had to rescue her twice from being trapped between the wall and the crib...add new portable crib to the list of things we need to get before the move(2 actually since the one he destroyed is my mom's).

-I have been trying to enforce the "if you don't eat what I cook then you can wait till the next meal to eat anything." So far it has involved Atticus yelling at me from lunch time on(he didn't like the quesadillas) and climbing into his high chair approximately an hour before supper. He would climb down every once in a while to come a check on my progress in the kitchen and growl/holler at me. At dinner Jane and Gavin ate half of their taco soup. When they vacated their spots Atticus grabbed both of the abandoned bowls and dumped them into his own bowl, and shoveled it in using both hands.

-when we were all brushing teeth afterward, Atticus got tired of waiting to rinse his toothbrush...and solved the problem by rinsing it in the toilet. That boy is a problem solver for sure.

-Anne feels way to old. Maybe because she is huge and trying to keep up with her sibs...also she is starting to fit into Jane's clothes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It is official...

We are moving to California. The ink is still drying on our rental agreement. I am one big ball of excited and sad. We will be moving out in mid-May. We will be living in Sunnyvale, which is pretty close to San Fransisco.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a little miffed..

How can Kenneth's credit score be 60 points higher than mine? Seriously, I was going through the things I had listed on mine and everything said on time/good payer, etc. Not a single negative thing. Is it because I am the one who bought the cell phone plan and did the legwork for vehicle purchase? Cause I know they checked my credit then...but seriously. And why would your credit score go down when people check your credit? It seems so arbitrary.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

second hand stories...

I am not home right now...I am in California with Kenneth, woo hoo! My mom is making her case for sainthood right now by watching my 3 oldest kids for a week.

Mom: "I just thought you should know..."
Me: "What happened? Who's sick? What happened!"
Mom: "Atticus has learned how to get out of a five point harness."
Me: "Oh that? He learned how to do that months ago..."
Mom: "Oh okay."
Me: "Wait...he got out of his high chair, right?"
Mom: "No, he got out of the car seat harness..."

Wow! He is mastering all the important skills...and no more than one brain cell devoted to impulse control of those many wonderful skills.

My mom said that while she was watching Jane walked up and walloped Atticus on the head. She immediately went into time out. At the end of time out she was instructed to go and tell Atticus she was sorry. She marched right over to him, and whacked him again. Back into time out she went. Then the repeated instruction to say she was sorry...where she promptly smacked him hard. At this point it was taken as a cry for help and both kids were sent to bed for nap time, where my mom heard nary a peep for many hours.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

3 year old therapist

On Friday I lose it...not in anger. I am overwhelmed by everything. I think that inviting a friend over for Gavin will keep him occupied outside and allow me to catch my breath. Then these words on the other end of the line punch me in the stomach, "...Wyatt's not here right now, but he should be back from the party in about 30 minutes, why don't you call back then?" heart drops as I realize that we have missed the church primary Easter party. You know...the party Gavin has been excited about since January when he joined the primary. The one that he has been driving me crazy about...the one that I even put on my calendar with a reminder...for Saturday. I am barely able to end the phone conversation as the water works start. In an extreme over reaction to the situation I begin sobbing uncontrollably. All the stress and failures of the week are represented in this one missed party. I feel like curling up in fetal position and giving up. My kids get really concerned. The twins swarm me, patting my face and looking confused, and quite honestly adding a certain amount of claustrophobia to my hysteria. Anne keeps eating old and age inappropriate food from under the high chairs(lucky Anne). And Gavin, sweet Gavin...

"Mommy! Don't be sad...Are you frus-ter-rated mommy?"
"Mommy, are you having a rough day? Are your feelings hurt?"
"Please don't be sad mommy!"

I try to calm down and stop crying, but waves of self loathing and despair keep pounding at me.

Finally, he comes to me and pats my shoulder, puts his warm, sweet little cheek against mine and says:

"Breath mom."

It was so unexpected, but exactly what I say to him when he is hysterical, that it brings me up short and makes me start laughing. This makes him giggle tentatively and repeat, "Breath mommy, breath!" which completely cracks me up and soon we are all laughing. It is a jab of perspective that gets me on my feet and allows me to reclaim my sanity...well the shreds of it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

there is beauty all around...

....when there's no one home(this is actually how Kenneth's family used to sing the song)! This has been such an interesting week. I am so sick of being a single parent! Kenneth went to California on Monday for a very sudden job opportunity...which, while it is exciting career wise, it has been a whole lot of insane for those of us left in Texas. I have been full scale survival mode and my kids who were acting crazy before Kenneth left, decided to take it up a notch. Seriously, this period of our life is going to be known in later years alternatingly as the Heathen Takeover...and the Great Awakening of Atticus. He has become such a force to be reckoned with. Tonight after lights out I had to chase him out of Jane's bed twice and rescue her from bludgeoning by curtain rod. He is such an exasperating mixture of sweet innocence and mischievous devilry. And it is not like the other three are mild mannered innocents!

"Gavin, why is Anne crying?"
Gavin: "Cause I hit her."

Why why why why WHY!(which by the way is one of the most pointless questions you can ask a 3 year old...Did you do this? They can answer that...What did you do? They will answer that one too, and truthfully...but why? Why not? The reason: She was there...I was hands were empty and I have no impulse control....The actual response: blank stare.

"Jane, do you want a cookie?"
Jane: "NO! MiNE!" (pitches a fit for the cookie that I am already handing to her)

Gah! I don't think I have prayed this much since I was a missionary. Most of the prayers are along this line..."Dear Heavenly Father, please please please make them stop screaming...And please help me to not hit them...And please help me to remember that I love them...and please make Kenneth suffer for having a good time in California...I mean, thank you for the wonderful opportunity it is
for Kenneth to be able financially support our family..." and so on and so forth.

I think it is so funny when people tell me I am a good parent or super mom or whatever...

my measure of success? I did not maim/kill my kids today!

Not only that, but they even got to eat somewhere close to 3 meals...

AND I have not listed them for sale on Ebay.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Jane Barry: April 5th, 2008

Anne Barry: April 5th 2009

The hair gene was obviously not evenly distributed(these girls are almost exactly a year apart). Now...Jane's hair has started growing. She is not exactly a baldy any more.

Now she is just a Hell's Angel. =)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dear Daddy...

While you have been in California this week we have been really busy....

Playing outside...

Swinging together...

Learning to climb...
and getting lots of practice!

Never giving mommy a minutes "pee"ce....not anywhere, not ever!

Scrounging for food...

Watching movies...

Meeting the dinosaurs at the doctor's office.

And every once in a while...sleeping!

We love love love you and miss you so much!
Your heathen kiddos

Monday, April 6, 2009


My Grandma Ross died last Monday. It has been such an interesting experience. My main emotions have been relief and peace. She was old. She was sick. It was her time to go. I know that she is probably in the middle of a reunion that would make us jealous. It is a strange though that she is actually gone. Last night I as I walked to my parents house, through the big windows I could see someone sitting in her recliner by the door. The recliner where she spent the majority of her time snoozing in the sun. The recliner where I passed her at least 3 times a day going into my parents house. The recliner where she would call out most of her requests and orders, and where she would eat her meals. It was here that my kids learned to climb up on her lap because she would give them treats that I probably would have said no to...but hey grandparents and grandkids are supposed to conspire against you, right? But as I got closer I realized that it was one of my brothers sitting there. Then it hit me, she really is not here any more. I was a little sad.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bane of Nap Time...

...Thy name is Atticus! Home skillet has recently come into his own. Meaning for one, that he has realized he is bigger and heavier than Jane.

He now resolves most disputes with her by sitting on her head, or by putting her in a wrestling hold. For two...he has learned how to climb.While Gavin and Jane popped out of the uterus knowing how to shimmy up just about any surface Atticus has been stuck on the sidelines watching, not quite figuring out how it worked(not to say he didn't find his own solutions to enlarging a hole in the side of his crib until he can exit quite easily).

Well in the past week this has changed. He has discovered that he can scale anything...and has not yet learned the distinction between what you can do and what you should do. Just because you can climb onto mom's bed and play with EVERYTHING ON HER DESK...Doesn't mean that you should(cause if you break any more of my electronics or spill anymore liquids on my bed...well, I just might lose it). Just because you can climb up the my shelves does not mean you should(he has reduced it to a two swipe maneuver and he can clean out both sides of the books) Just because you can now climb into Jane's crib...does not mean that you should. I cannot count how many times in the last week I have had to rescue a sleepy, confused, and very cranky Jane because Atticus was sitting on her head during nap time. His ability to climb combined with his ability to stay awake indefinitely has made it particularly frustrating. It doesn't matter how tired he is...if he can get out...he can stay awake...and who wants to be awake alone!

Not that this collage has anything to do with this post, but it is little extreme sport enthusiast.