Monday, November 20, 2017

The Best Anatomy Conversation I've Ever Had

Convo at toothbrushing time:
Kid: What's this in the back
Of my throat?
Me: A uvula.
It looks like a wee-nis.
A what?
A wee-nis.
What is a wee nis?
You know.
The thing boys have.
That's a penis not a wee nis.
No I'm not talking about the penis, I'm talking about that lumpy thing BEHIND a penis.
Um, those are testicles.
That's a dumb name. I think they are called wee-nises and that thing in my throat you see right there? It looks like a weenis.

Some Random Chickadee Comments

Just putting these here so I will have them to reference when Facebook goes out of style:

Re: quesadillas with refried black beans: "Why are you feeding us this fancy schmancy stuff?"
Re: cremation: "So if you die while we are at home, should we just put you on the stove and cook you then?"
Re: cat leg amputations: "So do they cut it off or just pull it off like a chicken bone?"
Re: Christmas: "You mean Jesus was born on Christmas??? That's so cool. Did Santa come to Him too?"

Junebug is FIVE!

Junebug's birthday was yesterday. She popped out of bed and said, "I'm going to tell EVERYONE at church that I am five today and it's my actual birthday."

A second later, she said "But why aren't we doing anything to celebrate my birthday?"

Because, my child, you have had a birth MONTH. One Saturday was a joint birthday party with Speed, the next Saturday was an extra-long visit at extra-fun places with her birth family and us, the NEXT Saturday was a trip to Sea Word, and cupcakes at school were squished in somewhere along the way.

This child has been WELL CELEBRATED.

Yesterday, she ended up with her choice for dinner (nuggets and fries), unwrapped the last two gifts, and had some candles in a piece of  leftover chocolate pie.

Things to remember about our little Lou Who as a four-year-old:

Sunshine will say that Junebug is "the loudest, most talking-est kid in our whole family." Ain't that the truth.

Junebug loves, loves, loves the cats but squeezes them just that bit too hard so she isn't allowed to carry them yet.

She loves gymnastics which she started officially a couple weeks ago but informally via lessons from Chickadee and Sunshine a few months ago. There's sort of a running joke about how opposite Junebug's real name is to Junebug herself.

Junebug writes her name sooooo beautifully. 100% backwards.

Junebug has embraced fruits and veggies more than I ever thought she would. I think she would say that strawberries and red peppers are her faves, but she's doing pretty well on all sorts of healthy foods. That's not to say that she wouldn't prefer junk food, but there's been some real progress lately.

Junebug's favorite color is orange, her favorite cake is chocolate, and her favorite thing outside is the swing. She loves school, her teacher and her classmates something fierce.

Junebug has been counting the days to be the same age as Chickadee, but when I mentioned that today, she said: We are NOT the same age because Chickadee is five AND A HALF.

What a surprise gift this girl has been the last year. I am so grateful that our door was open when she needed it to be and that we will continue to be able to love on this girl.

Happy Birthday, Junebug Lou Who!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Speed Turns EIGHT!

Last night marked a very hectic, very fun, very WET Halloween/Birthday for Speed. He will have his party (a joint party with Junebug) on Saturday so most of the focus was on Halloween. However, we managed to squeeze in lemon muffins for breakfast, cupcakes with classmates at lunch, and a few presents squished in between dinner and trick-or-treating.

Speed is really growing up and it's weird to see. I mean, EVERY parent watches their kids grow up, but I've been in preschool land for a decade now and watching that slip away, one kid at a time, is so different than watching different preschoolers enjoy the same things.

Things to note about Speed as a 7 year old:
1. Speed got his own room this summer. I no longer have a room of my own and that is fine. It has given Speed the opportunity to have some space, some independence, and to organize things EXACTLY the way he wants them without regard to what anyone else thinks or wants. He is still quite detail oriented when it comes to setting things up, so this has been perfect for him.

2. Speed learned to read. Like really read. Like I can't text anymore with him around because he will look over my shoulder.

3. Speed has always been a good big brother. His connection to Junebug though is above and beyond normal big brother stuff. Sure he can pick on her from time to time, but at the end of the day, he will do absolutely anything for her.

4. Speed has taken to writing. He can sit for well over an hour copying the words from a book. We once discussed why he can't write "written by Speed" on the cover of these newly created and copied books. Now he will often write "Copied by Speed".

5. When Speed turned four or maybe when he moved that one time so long ago, I wrote that Speed loved pushing (literal) buttons. He still does. Elevator buttons, dishwasher, garage door, car windows.... If it is a button, it will be pushed.

6. We are approaching that age where toys are less important. This has been interesting to watch as our friends' kids all do tech stuff--ipads, tv, video games--instead of toys but we don't do those things here. So Speed sometimes will just sit and watch people play. Or he'll organize something. Or he will do art. Occasionally, he will join in again just like the good ol' days and orchestrate some elaborate pretend play activity, usually involving car rides, church, babies and school activities.

7. Speed has learned to help a lot in the kitchen this year. He peels carrots till they are about half their size. He likes to wash dishes. He likes to sweep. If I could set him free in the kitchen to make a full meal, he would. The boy still loves his food!

I counted that Speed and I have now shared five of his birthdays together. I remember how fun it was to watch him make his 4 year old cake "by himself" and how different it felt when he turned five because I knew, at that point, that we would be celebrating many, many birthdays together. I am still so grateful for the opportunity to watch Speed grow.

Happy 8th Birthday, Speed! I love you.

Monday, July 31, 2017

What I Played Today

"Getting Married", dictated by Chickadee with some help from Junebug and Sunshine

Chickadee got dressed in her wedding dress old first communion dress circa 1979 and a knitted white afghan as her "train". She then asked me to marry her.

I changed out of my running shorts into yoga pants because they are so much more formal. We told each other "I love you" and then I was directed to give her a "true love's kiss". We danced something like the tango to a slow song she hummed. Junebug threw a brief fit that she was not getting married as well, so Chickadee assigned her the role of the stepsister and said she could marry Speed (who was quite willing).

Chickadee's next words were this: "Do you want to decide whether or not we have a baby now?"

"Um, I think we should wait a little bit. Let's go on our honeymoon."

"Ok, let's go to France."

We then went to "France" and roadtripped to California where we are apparently going to live. Once we were settled, she asked again if it was time for us to "decide we are having a baby." She and Sunshine decided it was and went to the pretend hospital to stuff a baby doll up her shirt and then "have the doctor take it out of (her) uterus."

She actually had two babies. One was named Honeymoon and one was named Palace.

Somehow the story ended with 5 of us in rainboots, 4 of them in winter coats and us all throwing small crafting pom poms at each other in a snow fight that happened after the babies went to bed.

It's a complicated thing to pretend play with a five-year-old.....

Monday, June 5, 2017

From the Backseat of the Car

We are headed west this summer for a bit. The other day:

Junebug: This is taking sooooo long! (regarding a seven mile drive between church and breakfast)

Sunshine: Junebug! This is NOT long! You don't even know what you are talking about. California is REALLY FAR AWAY! You need to practice!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Chickadee is FIVE!

Do you hear that? My teeny baby is no longer a baby or a toddler or even a preschooler (in 4 more weeks).

Chickadee has been looking forward to her birthday for a few weeks. She had a detailed, though simple, plan about how her birthday would look. She had very clear opinions on some things and absolutely no opinion on others. In the end, her plan was a "getting wet" party with "only orange foods". We did, in fact, get wet but we had non-orange foods in addition to the orange ones.

I wish I were still blogging regularly because Chickadee is a spectacularly funny kid. She is still such a happy girl and very creative. A few random things about Chickadee as a four-year-old:

1. Chickadee is currently in love with one of the teachers from our school. This is not a teacher who teaches Chickadee, but just a teacher she has seen in the hall. When Chickadee sees said teacher, she is starstruck and will not speak to her. Yet, she notices every.single.thing. there would possibly be to notice about this woman every day. All of us at school are both amused by this teacher obsession and wondering how long it will last.

2. Chickadee has spent the better part of her 4 year old year addicted to Amelia Bedelia. She likes idioms like "hit the road" and "dress the chicken". She was BESIDE HERSELF with wonder when I recently went to a bridal shower because Amelia Bedelia showers HER bride-to-be with water.

3. Chickadee likes to be in very small spaces. She still goes into "her" cupboard to hang out, though now she has to take all the plasticware out first. She fits into storage tubs and under the toy kitchen sink. She thinks it's HYSTERICAL to hide from the sitter. Every time she comes. In the same exact place. Last night, she slept on the floor of the linen closet...curled up in a ball like the cat. She crawled out around midnight to finish the night in bed.

4. Chickadee stops in my office every day on the way to her daycare classroom. She plops her backpack down, may or may not grab her water bottle, tells me one quick thing about the day, and leaves. She is not fazed if I have students in the room or am in the middle of a meeting.

5. Chickadee often says "of course" rather than yes. Do you want ice cream? Of course! Did you have a good day? Of course! Is that pee on your pants? Of course! It's as though she is super confident about every statement that comes out of her mouth.

6. Chickadee has a special place in her heart for strangers. She is often giving suggestions of how we can help people who are homeless, who have crutches, who are "very old ladies". Her latest idea that we hope to carryout this summer, is to take treats to the nearby nursing home.

It seems like forever ago that this kid was carried into my house in a bucket seat, yet the time has flown. I am lucky that Chickadee still likes to snuggle, be carried, have horsie rides, give kisses, and sit on my lap. I imagine those days are numbered and wonder if I'll be able to say the same things next year. I will always be grateful for this girl in my life. She is so easy to love.

Happy Birthday to my little lovebug. I love you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Name Change

from Chickadee:

Next time I get adopted, I'm changing my name to ELSA!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Farm Art

Just a little artwork hanging in Chickadee's hall at school. This was created after her trip to the farm in November.

Not on My Watch

Thank the Lord.

Nine years of parenting and we have our first broken bone in the house. (well, the very first blond brother came with one, but....)

Junebug is in a bright orange cast from shoulder to fingers because she fell off of a Little Tykes slide that is literally two feet off the ground at daycare.

She's a trooper...the biggest inconvenience is not being able to bounce around the house like Tigger on a regular basis. She should have her arm back to normal in 2-3 more weeks. The other three kids are FASCINATED by this adventure and will be thrilled to know that they do not have school on the day Junebug will go to get her cast removed so they can watch every bit of the action.

Sunshine is SIX!

I'm a little late on the birthday blog, but "a little late" describes us in a lot of things these days, so....

We celebrated Sunshine last weekend, and then again on her "real" birthday last Tuesday. On Saturday, she wanted a party. A party that only had to include....Cheetos. The cat cake was really optional. Cheetos though? Mandatory.

There were also some kitty cats to go along with the Stubby cake.

The "Barbie Dreamhouse", as Junebug calls it, was moved downstairs for the day and kids came to play, smack a pinata and eat Cheetos and cake.

For the "real" birthday, Sunshine took homemade chocolate chip cookies to school. I got to help her pass them out at lunch (a perk of working at her school). She was so careful about handing each kid a napkin and letting them choose their own cookie. She asked for pizza for dinner and we ate the leftover cake. Good stuff.

There's so much to love about a 5-year-old, yes, but as a person in general because the things she does and the way she is isn't as age-specific as some of the other kids. She's always been a bit of an old soul and I'm not sure that has changed in the past four years. Sunshine is kind and compassionate. Her thoughtfulness pops out of her when it doesn't out of any of the rest of us. One day, I was on a quest to find our favorite cereal that our local grocery no longer carries. I told the kids I would stop at Target and "If they have some, I'll just get it all so we can have it for a while." Her response was "Well, that wouldn't be very kind to the next person who can't find it at HEB." And she's right (so I left one (of four) on the shelf).

Sunshine is a science geek. She has STEM future written all over her. Not long ago, she asked if she could play out back while I cooked dinner. Sure. By the time dinner was ready, she had made her own rock collection, complete with different rocks taped onto a piece of school paper, and labeled each rock with an attribute like "smooth" or "hard". Sunshine wants to know all there is to know about animals, geography, history.

Sunshine loves gymnastics. She occasionally surprises herself with some successful hand-walking. She CONSTANTLY hears me say: Feet on the floor! or Gymnastics only happen on carpet! She cartwheels from point A to point B regularly.

Sunshine loves school. I eat lunch with her teacher almost every day. Teacher calls Sunshine her "touchstone". "You know, the kid you KNOW is always gonna be there when you call on her, and always does the right thing."

That's sort of our girl in a nutshell. A touchstone. I call her my litmus test. If things are going bad with Sunshine, I know it's me being tired. If Sunshine is off her rocker crazy with energy, I know we are way too amped. And on the off chance that Sunshine is stomping or pouting her way through her day, I know we need to slow down and get some sleep. The girl keeps us grounded. We are beyond lucky to have this girl around.

Happiest of Happy Birthdays, Sunshine. I love you from locs to toes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Me, to someone in the house: I have had enough backtalk for today. Please go play upstairs till dinner.

Junebug, with sincerity: Tammy, whatcha gonna do with all that backtalk you got? What's backtalk, anyway?

Sunday, January 15, 2017


After 7 months when she was younger and 1 month at age four, Junebug has finally decided to try some produce. She started out with a repertoire of only overcooked broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. This weekend, she added: raw carrots (but they have to be cut into CIRCLES, not sticks), a grape, 3 orange wedges, a handful of raw cauliflower, some raisins, and a piece of apple skin.

I fight till the bitter end in almost all aspects of life and really thought I was going to lose this battle. Sometimes I even surprise myself.