Friday, February 22, 2013

What's Italy?

Some random comments from the boys when Paul and I announced that we were taking everyone to Italy:


Ethan: Are there roller coasters there?

Me: No.

Ethan: Is there a waterpark?

Me: Ahhh.... no.

Ethan: Will our hotel have a pool?

Me: No.

Ethan: Well WHAT the heck are we going to DO there?


Zayd: Uh... I don't know how I feel about going somewhere where everything is in a different language.

Me: It will be cool! We'll learn some Italian and there will be people who speak English.

Zayd: We won't learn enough Italian.

Me: We'll learn enough to get by. Between that and acting things out, we will be fine.

Zayd: But EVERYTHING will be in Italian. Even the menus!

Me: Think of it as an adventure.


Zayd: I hate adventures.


Evan: But we have to fly over the ocean.

Me: Yes. We can't get around that.

Evan: I don't know if I like that.

Me: Well... if you want to go to Italy you'll need to fly over the ocean. We aren't taking a ship.

Evan: It kinda creeps me out. Just out there with nothing but ocean. I mean - what if we crash.


Me: Well, think of it this way - if we crash into the ocean, it will be a lot softer than if we crash into the ground.

Evan: Thanks mom. That helps.


Zach: Huh. Cool.


Zach: I'm going over to Jake's house now, k?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How 3 fits into 1 and 2

It was on a summer-night drive to Culver's -- just me and my four boys -- that I learned some things:

1. They talk to each other a lot
2. They talk about a wide variety of topics
3. Their youngest brother is highly influenced by them

I was so excited about 1 and 2. I mean, here are my boys... and they talk to each other! I've always told them that it's important for them to be there for each other as they grow up.

But then there's 3.

I hadn't really considered how 3 fits in with 1 and 2.


I mean I've got Zach who is now 17, Evan 14, Zayd 12... and then Ethan 9.



So on this drive to Culver's I learned how 3 fits into 1 and 2.

Zach: (addressing his three brothers) Yeah. You aren't really a man until you've done it.

Zayd: Oh my God. Are you serious? I don't know if I want to.

Zach: Then you're not a man.

Evan: I'm a man.

Zayd: You've done that!?

Evan: Yeah. Once. It was okay.

Ethan: It sounds fun!

Let's review:
Not a man until you've done it. Zach has done it. Evan has done it. Zayd isn't sure about doing it and Ethan thinks it sounds fun.

Me: Uh... what are we talking about.

Zach: Mom. Man stuff. We're talking about man stuff.

Evan: Yeah mom. Man stuff. You don't really want to know.

Yeah. I kinda do.

Me: Uh... yeah. If Ethan thinks it sounds fun and it is a man thing - I kinda do want to know.


Zach: Sleeping in the buff mom.


Here's where I go blank.

Zach: So freeing. Amazing.

Zayd: So just sleeping with everything just kinda hanging out there?

Zach: Yeah. It's awesome.

Me: You sleep in the nude.

Zach: Yeah. A lot of the time.


Zach: Why do you think I lock my door.

Actually I had several theories about that... but... whatever

Ethan: I'm going to do it! Tonight!

Zach: Do it Ethan. Do it. Be a man.

Zayd: Oh my God Ethan! I don't want to sleep with you in our room when you are naked!

Zach: It's not like you are sleeping in the same bed.

Zayd: I know, but ... Oh my God (he starts laughing again).

Ethan: I'm serious, I'm going to do it.


Ethan: Can I mom? Can I do it?

As if I have a say.

Me: I guess so.

Ethan: Awesome!

Everyone cheers

Okay, except me. I do not cheer.

Ethan: And... I'm going to wear my Angry Birds hat!

Everyone cheers louder.


At bedtime, I'm reading in my room and I hear a lot of screams, laughing, teasing and general loudness coming from the hallway. Things like:

"Oh my God!"
"You da man!"
"Get that away from me!"
"I'm clean!"
"Mom! When are you going to put me to bed!"

After a while - quite a while. It settles down and its quiet.

I walk do my nightly ritual of walking into everyone's room to give them a good-night kiss and back rub...

Well, not Zach's.

I walk into Ethan and Zayd's room...

And there is my little precious Ethan fast asleep.


With his Angry Birds hat on.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Number 4

I thought having three sons would prepare me for son number four.

I was wrong.

Very. Very. Wrong.

Last night, as I was putting him to bed, I smelled a strong odor of urine.

Me: Ethan? Did you have an accident in your bed?

Ethan: No.

Me: It's okay if you did. You just need to tell us. We won't get upset. But I don't want you to sleep in stinky sheets.


Ethan: Welllll...... maybe.

Me: Okay - well, let's get up and I'll make your bed all fresh!

I pull off the sheets, and wipe down the plastic mattress protector with some wipes, and start putting on new sheets.... and all the while talking...

Me: You know it's okay to have accidents. But you really need to let us know, okay?


Ethan: Uhm... mom? Could the pee have run down the side of the bed?

I stop.
I turn.
I look at him.

Now... let me backtrack to two days ago when Paul and I learned that Ethan had peed in the garbage can in the laundry room - where we put all the lint, candy bar wrappers, and other stuff we find in pockets...

Ethan had chosen to pee in the garbage can because, as he put it, "He couldn't make it to the toilet," which happens to be right around the corner...

Instead, it took Paul three days to discover that the strong urine odor was coming from the garbage can... the small pool of liquid at the bottom cinched his investigation.

Me: Why would it run down the side of your bed?


Ethan: I don't know.


Me: Ethan. Did you pee on the carpet?

Ethan: No!

I bend over and smell the carpet. Nope - nothing.

I turn a bit and notice an "under the bed" plastic storage container sitting on the floor.

Me: Ethan? Did you pee in the container?

Ethan: Nooooo.....

I'm still standing in one place, but looking around and wondering... 

...and then it hits me.

The container is covering the heating vent.

No. No. Way.

I pull the container away, exposing the closed white vent.

Me: Ethan? Did you pee in this?


Ethan: I don't know.


Me: Ethan. You need to tell me the truth. Did you pee in this?


Ethan: Maybe.


I lean over and smell the vent. 

Yup. He peed on the vent.

But I didn't notice any stains on the white vent... 

Oh. My. God.

I pulled the vent up and smelled inside the vent.


Me: Ethan? Did you pee down this?

Ethan: Are you going to get mad?

Me: Answer my question.

Ethan: Yes.

Me: You pulled this cover off and you peed down this hole?

Ethan: Yes.

I stare at him for a moment, then get up and walk out - looking for his father... who I find in the kitchen downstairs. Paul asks me what I said to Ethan.

Me: I didn't say anything - I was too grossed out to say anything.

Paul: Well you need to get after him.

Me: Where do I being! He PEED DOWN OUR VENT! GROSS.

Paul: You need to tell him that isn't okay.

Ugh. Excuse me for being a little overwhelmed by this - I mean, how in the world do you begin to tell an EIGHT-YEAR-OLD that he shouldn't pee down your heating duct?! Should I be having this conversations AT ALL?

I get back upstairs and begin my lecture.

Me: Ethan. Pee is poison. Your pee is poison. Everyone's pee is poison. It is all the yucky stuff that your body cannot use - so it gets rid of it as pee. So, you put poison in the heating duct... and now, the air that come through this pipe to heat your room is going to smell like pee - which is poison - and is harmful to smell! You don't PEE in here! We pee in the toilet. We don't pee in the garbage can, or on the carpet, or in a bottle (that's another story), or anywhere in the house EXCEPT for the toilet!


Me: Do you understand?

He has the slightest hint of a grin... just the slightest... and that throws me over the edge.

Me: ETHAN! This is not funny! If you EVER EVER pee in anything in our house besides the TOILET, you... you... YOU.... are going to be grounded for the rest of your LIFE!

Now he looks scared.


I stomp out of his bedroom and into mine where I find my husband and my oldest son laughing their butts off.

Me: Stop it. If he hears you laughing he'll do it again!

Zachary: Oh my God. That is amazing. Where does he come up with this stuff?

I don't know. But clearly our other three sons have ill-prepared us for EPIC son number four.

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's pencil... not penis

Ethan had to stay after school yesterday.

According to his third grade teacher, he had a rough day which translates into, "His was being a little shit."

This morning he showed me his "Behavior Correction Sheet."

Ethan: You have to sign it.

Me: Okay - let me read it first.

I read aloud:  I was flinging... peee...nn. Pee..nni... Pee...niisses. I was flinging penises at Christian. What? You were flinging PENISES at him! ETHAN! What are you doing?

Zayd was standing next to me reading and starts laughing.

Zayd: Oh my God Ethan! How do you fling your penis at him!

Not to mention I was unaware Ethan had more than one.

Ethan: NO! No! I didn't do that! I was flinging my PENCILS at him! God!

Me: Well it says PENISES here!


Ethan: Oh.

Me: Holy cow Ethan. You can't spell penis when you want to spell it, and now you are spelling penis for everything else!

Ethan: I'm sorry! I didn't know how to spell pencil!

Me: So we spell PENIS instead?

Zayd: Well, we did teach him how to spell penis yesterday.


Damn, I say to myself. That's right.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


When Zayd got home from school, he sat at the family computer and opened up his gmail. Then, he spun around to face me, and started chuckling.

Zayd: (mumbles and chuckles)

Me: Huh?

Zayd: Are you going to get mad at Ethan?

Me: Why?

Zayd: Come and see what he sent me.

I look over Zayd's shoulder and see an opened message with "(no subject)" from Ethan. In the text box is one word:


I stare at the screen for a moment.

Zayd starts chuckling again.

Zayd: Are you going to get mad at him?

Me: Why would he do that?

Zayd: (laughing) I don't know! He didn't even spell it right!

Me: Yeah, but why would he do that?

Zayd: (still laughing) He thinks it is funny!


Zayd: You're mad.

I walk over to the basement door, open it, and yell down the stairs.

Me: Eeeethhhaaan!

Ethan: What!

Me: Come here please.

He appears from the basement.

Ethan: What did I do?

Me: Just come up here for a moment. Zayd, will you show him the message.

Zayd: Ooops. I deleted it.

Me: (sigh)

Zayd: Wait! Wait! Shoot! I didn't want to delete it! Let me see if I can find it!

Me: Never mind. Just tell him about the message you got from him.

Zayd: Ethan? (he gets the giggles again). Why did you send me a message that said penis?

Ethan tries to hide his guilt by acting like he has no idea what we are talking about.

Zayd: You didn't even spell it right!

Ethan: It was just a joke.

Me: What if you had mistakenly sent it to grandma?

He looks at me shocked. Clearly, that hadn't crossed his mind. He starts to walk sheepishly toward the basement steps.

Me: Ethan! And you spelled penis wrong! Do you know how to spell it?

Ethan: (stops and turns around looking embarrassed) Don't tell me how to spell it!

Zayd: It's spelled p-e-n-i-s. Not p-e-n-e-s.

Me: Okay?

He starts heading down the stairs.


I yell after him.

Me: If you are going to send inappropriate messages, at least spell them right!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby comes to visit

I'm babysitting a baby today.

The last time I spent four consecutive hours with a baby by myself was eight years ago. That's a long time. But I'm excited. I think this is how being a grandmother might feel.

Baby comes.
Najla babbles like an idiot with baby.
Najla feeds cute baby.
Baby naps.
Baby wakes up.
Baby cries.
Fussy baby goes home.

I announced to my boys this morning that their mother was going to spend part of her day babysitting a baby.

Zach: Uh... is said baby going to be here for an extended period of time?

Me: Her name is Freya. She's a girl. She's staying for several hours.

Zach: I'll be referring to the baby as an "it."

Zayd: Will she be here when we get home?

Me: No.

Zayd: Thank God.

Ethan: Are you babysitting because you miss holding a baby like when we were babies?

Me: Well, I do miss holding a baby, but I'm doing this because a friend needed my help.

Ethan: Will I get to see the baby?

Me: No. I don't think you'll be home in time.

Ethan: Dang.

Zach: Are you qualified to take care of said baby?

Me: I believe I am.

Zach gives me a look that clearly questions this response.

Evan enters the scene late.

Evan: I heard you're watching a baby today.

Me: Yes.

News travels fast.

Evan: Love the way we are the last to find out about these things. Just like your trip to New York. Had to find out on Facebook.

I didn't realize that I had to run my activities by my sons before I proceeded to tell whomever I wanted to tell. Is this going to get worse as they get older?

Evan: Are you nervous?

Me: No - I'm looking forward to it.

Evan: Yeah. Will we get to see it?

Me: It's a she.

Evan: Will we get to see her?

Me: I don't think so.

Evan: Oh. That's too bad.


Evan: What about Mollie?

Me: I'll keep her in her kennel if she is a problem.

Ethan: Are they going to pay you?

Me: They want to but I told them I wouldn't accept it.


Ethan: That's because you're so nice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Worst news on Prairiewood Drive

This morning, Ethan, Mollie and I took a jaunt around our neighborhood on Prairiewood Dr. Ethan road the new bike he got for his birthday this past week.

Ethan: Mom. I have the worst news ever for Prairiewood. I mean, it sucks. It just sucks.

Me: What happened.

Ethan: You aren't going to believe this. It is bad news. Are you ready for the bad news?

Me: I'm ready.

Ethan: You know that big bump in the sidewalk? The biggest bump on the sidewalk in all of Prairiewood?

Me: Yup. I know the bump you are talking about.

Ethan: Well... it's gone. It's all gone. The biggest bump on Prairiewood is gone.

Me: What happened?

Ethan: It just disappeared! Gone!

Me: You mean someone fixed it?

Ethan: Yes. They fixed it! That was the best bump ever. It was such a fun bump mom and it was the biggest one.

Me: Oh no. Yeah. That was a great bump.

Ethan: I'm going to miss that bump. I loved that bump.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Green is Good

Me: Do you like the color orange?

Ethan: Oh yes! Orange used to be my favorite color and now it is my second favorite color. Because my new favorite color is green.

Me: Why?

Ethan: (very seriously) Because green is good and green is the color of everything and green means go and green is God.

Me: Green is God?

Ethan: Yeah! Just look!

He points outside.

Me: Where?

Ethan: Look at the tree branches. See? They're green.

Me: Ahhh. Green is good.

Ethan: ... and God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Soft and squishy

There was a lot of lovin' from the boys when I put them to bed last night. I walked in and sat on Ethan's bed where he promptly put his arms around my neck, pulled me close to him and took a deep whiff of my neck.

Ethan: Oh my goodness! You smell beautiful! Your perfume is beautiful!

Me: Why thank you Ethan.

Ethan: Wait, come back here. 

He pulls me back down again and nestles his face in my neck. Another deep whiff...

Ethan: I love your smells mom. You smell beautiful.

I touch his cheek with my hand...

Ethan: MOM! Your hand is so soft!

Okay this is kinda getting weird.

Me: Well, I put on some lotion before I came in... maybe it's that.

Ethan: It's so soft. 

Next thing I know, Ethan is poking his finger at my belly button area.

Ethan: Is it my fault that you are squishy and soft here?

Okay - so I need to explain where that came from. A while back Ethan noticed my squishy belly. He found it funny and probably a little odd.

Ethan: Why are you so squishy mom? Dad isn't as squishy as you!

Me: I'm squishy because of you and your brothers. Each time I had another baby, my belly stretched out more... 

Ethan: So I made you the most squishy?

Me: Yup.

Apparently that bothered him because at bedtime last night...

Ethan: I'm sorry I made you squishy mom. 

Mom: Oh my gosh, I don't want you to be sorry sweet face! 

Ethan: Why?

Me: I like my squishy belly. It reminds me of when you and your brothers were in my tummy and how happy I was to have each of you!

Ethan: So you aren't mad I made you squishy?

Me: No. Never. I would be sad if it wasn't squishy.

Ethan: Thank you mom. I love you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I saw; then sawed

I was taking the dog for a walk this morning and passed by my neighbor who is a carpenter. As I continue my remodeling mania - I've been thinking about removing some spindles that are between by living and ex-dining room.

My husband swears these spindles are holding the wall up...

I'm pretty sure Paul is lying to avoid a project. So I ask Matt to stop over.

Matt says the spindles are not holding the wall up.

That's all I need. I get to work taking out the spindles. I shuffled through all of Paul's tools in the shop and find these two items. One is clearly a saw, the other has a blade that cuts through stuff... but I'm not sure what it is, or why the blade isn't a complete circle.

Whatever. I started with the hand saw. After about 10 minutes, I decided it was taking too long and my hands were hurting. I pull out the other saw/blade/thing. Evan promptly stops me and says:

Evan: Mom. I don't think that is for wood. I think it is for metal.

Me: Well, if it cuts through metal it'll cut through wood, right?

Evan: Yeah, but you'll ruin the blade.

Ruin the blade? The razor I use to shave my legs needs replacing ever few weeks - surely we can buy a new blade for this thing?

Ta DA! It worked! My GOD I love this electric thing! I've never used an electric tool besides a drill... but my new favorite electric thing is this half-circle saw!

Even better, the boards that the spindles were connected to were just nailed to the drywall. Two nails. That's it!

I just pulled them right out.

Then I vacuumed up, took the spindles to the shop, and walked away. All in all, a 1/2 hour of work to finally saw off four large thorns in my side.

Now... I'm wondering how hard it would be to smash those half-walls out of the way... Tell me what you think?