Monday, May 31, 2010

To old for lullabies...

You know how most children love their momma when they aren't feeling good?  Not my Gavin (4).  That would go against everything about that do what is expected of him. 

Both boys have been sick since last night.  Not sure what's wrong.  Just a high fever and other symptoms. 

Gavin woke up from his afternoon nap very hot.  I brought him a drink of water with a thermometer in hand.  As soon as he saw it he screamed and ran away from me.  I promised him it wouldn't hurt and tried my best to calm down the hysterical little guy.  He wasn't having it.  I physically had to hold him down and put it under his arm.  I then started singing "twinkle twinkle little star" to try to calm him down. 

This only made him MORE ANGRY and he reached up and put his hand over my mouth.  "No!  I don't like that song!" 

Alright.  I looked down at the was already at 102 and going up....

So I started singing his all time favorite "Bushel and a Peck." 

"NOOO!!" and he reached up and swatted my mouth.  "That song is for BABIES!!  I'm a BIG BOY!" 

Looked down at the thermometer again...still going up...103....I really need to invest in one of those fancy forehead contraptions!

"OK Gavin.  I know you don't feel good, but you have to be nice to Mommy.  What song do you want me to sing?"  I stalled checking the extra slow thermometer again.

"I like rock and roll." 

I couldn't help but smile. 

Then I busted out some Bob Seger "Old Time Rock & Roll" in my best raspy voice.  Not really sure where that came from but it was the first thing I thought of!  He liked it, so I guess that's what matters. 

103.6  Poor little guy.

A Hot Mess

Most of you know that last year we purchased our first home.  It was is definitely a fixer upper.  In fact, it was pretty trashed out.  Last month we replaced the carpet upstairs and in the master bedroom downstairs.  This weekend Ely started to tear up the tile downstairs.  He and my dad are going to lay new tile next month....yeah, that's 2+ weeks living in chaos.

Very thankful to have a handy man husband.  Saving us tons of money. 

I have never pulled up tile before.  No one warned me what it would be like.  Let me enlighten you.

It's LOUD!  Between the compressor and the drill-thingy that breaks up the tile you can't even hear yourself think....not to mention scardy cat Camille is terrified of the vacuum cleaner.  You can imagine what this did to her.

It's DIRTY!  Because it was so load and I didn't want the kids to get in Ely's way, we went to the park for a few hours.  When I came back it was filthy!  You could see the dust in the air.  There is, seriously, an inch of dust throughout my entire house! 

I opened all the doors and windows to try to air out the house...bye-bye air conditioner.  You can bet that this is the hottest weekend of the year (so far). 

If I would have known this tid bit of information I would have cleared off all the counter tops, packed up most of the living room decor and instruments.  I should have covered the furniture with sheets and made sure all the bedroom doors were shut.  But NoOOoo, this is one of those live and learn scenarios.

  I am seriously considering taking a water hose to the inside of my house. 

I promise I'm not being a spoiled brat.  I am very excited about getting new floors....just kicking myself at the same time. 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Passive Aggressive Evil

Last week I was at the pharmacy waiting on a prescription for the girls.  (Camille woke up with matted eyes, it just so happened to be the morning of the girls 2 year checkup....turns out pink eye.  ugh.) 

Anyway, we're there waiting.  The twins (2) and Gavin (4) are all sitting at the kiddie table watching Diego on the flat screen.  In my opinion, they were being good considering they just got poked, prodded and  immunized plus it was lunch time.  Most of the onlookers commented how adorable there red hair was or told me about every set of twins they knew.  

All but one. 

This woman...we'll call her B....sat there with her sunglasses on (yes, we were inside), arms crossed, and a snarl on her face. 

"Are you waiting to pick up your Valium?" B asked me. 

I gave her a very confused look and shook my head no.

"Humph."  she snapped.  "I need one and I've only been listening to your children for 10 minutes."

My mouth dropped open.  I had no idea what to say to that.  I'm a very non-confrontational person, so I just smiled at her uncomfortably. 

The truth is I felt sorry for her.  But I still felt offended.

A few minutes later the cartoon was over and the kids started getting antsy.  They proceeded to rearrange all the furniture in the waiting room.  I think that's when my "evil streak" kicked in.  Usually I will redirect the children to more appropriate activities but I thought, hey she thought that was bad....I'll show her bad. 

Muahahahaha.  <---my evil laugh.

I just sat there reading my Good Housekeeping magazine, not even looking up.  The twins then decided to spin in circles and sing twinkle twinkle little star at the top of their lungs.  I kept reading my magazine.  Gavin decided to race his hotwheel on top of the kiddie table crashing it onto the floor over and over again.  I continued reading. 

Eventually B got up, stepped over a couple of dizzy cuties that had fallen on the floor, and stormed out.

It's official.  I'm a little evil.  I wanted my children to get on her nerves. 

Friday, May 28, 2010


I dream of the day when the kids are doing all housework.  I mean, it's got to be a perk of having so many children right?  I figure in the next 5 years, if I play my cards right, most of the housework can be completed by the kids.  The girls will be seven...plenty old enough to set the table, clear it and help with laundry.  Gavin will be nine.  I see doing the dishes and yard work in his future.  And Zander, well by 11, I'm sure he will be cleaning the bathrooms and doing most of the cooking.  A mother can dream, right?

look at this lazy bunch of misfits!

I've been working on making a schedule of chores for the kids....well, the big boys.  For the girls, a more consistent clean up routine.  (I'm the type that does it myself because it's easier and faster)

I  involved the boys with the brainstorming.  I was surprised at how "on board" they were.  They are actually excited about having chores!  And even more excited about the reward system (more about that later!)

We went to Mardel's and bought a couple of reusable chore charts and stickers. 

Here are their daily chores:
  • Make bed
  • Clean room
  • Put away toys
  • Dust (once a week)
  • Feed  Obi
  • Set table
  • Clear table
  • Rinse dishes (at lunch and breakfast)
  • Water plants
  • Help with laundry
  • Homework or read
  • Empty trash in bathrooms
  • Clean bathrooms (3x's a week)
  • Practice music or dance
  • Good attitude
I started making my own cleaning supplies a couple months ago, so I feel comfortable handing my 4 year old a bottle of non-toxic cleaner (made with tea-tree oil or vinegar).  He thinks it's fun to spray down the bathroom counter tops and toilet.  I wonder how long this fun will last....

I think our reward system is pretty cool too.  The boys are NOT good with money yet.  They like to keep it in their pockets where it gets lost, give it to their friends or they become obsessed with spending it.  So we decided to do a point system.  Each sticker is worth one point.  At the end of the week we add up the stickers and write the total down then clear the chart to start the next week. 

One afternoon when the twins were napping, the boys and I browsed the Toys R Us website.  They had a blast looking at all the toys.  I printed out pictures of a couple of the things they thought were cool....all ranging in price....$5 to $1200!!  At the bottom of the picture I put how many points each one "cost" and hung it on their bedroom door.  Obviously they won't make enough money to buy the bigger items, but I went ahead printed it out because I want them to dream AND learn the value of a dollar. 

I'm very curious to see what comes of this system.  Will they buy a small item...just because they can?  Will they save their points for a bigger item?  Will they put their points together to share something?  

Only time will tell....I'll let you know how it goes....wish me luck!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Time

I am secretly excited about school being out for the summer.  Please remind me of this excitement when it's 110 degrees outside and the kids are running around and destroying the house because it's just to hot to swim in the shade.  Not really sure why I'm so's not like my kids sleep in or anything!  I do have lots of fun stuff planned....zoo, aquarium, splash pads, sandwiched in at the library, free bowling & $1 movies, story time on riverside, utica square music nights....not to mention all the "down time" at home. 

In other DesJardins news, Camille fell (again) and hit her face on the driveway.  That poor girl always has some horrific least this time it didn't result in stitches!  Ely has been sing "Camille the red-nose redhead" to her all week (the tune of Rudolph). 

Our garden is doing pretty good this year.  We have 4 raised beds with lots of tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, squash, zucchini, peppers, jalapenos, and more!  Ely built a fence to keep the kids and the dog (and hopefully rabbits!) out of the garden.  We're going to plant grapes along the fence so they will "climb" it. 

Our first bell pepper!

The twins have been fighting so much lately it was super sweet to see them kiss through the fence this evening! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Espresso Banana Muffins

I had several friends ask me for my espresso banana muffin recipe so I thought I'd go ahead and post it on here so they can all take a looksy.  If you're interested in the zucchini-raisin muffins served at the girls birthday party you can get it HERE

Espresso Banana Muffins
  • 2 cups of white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of fine grain sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of toasted walnuts
  • 1 tbsp of fine espresso powder (I use 2 tbsp of fine ground coffee)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted temp
  • 3/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups of mashed overripe bananas (about 3 lg bananas)

Preheat oven to 375.  Line muffin tins.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup of walnuts, and espresso in bowl.

In separate large bowl or mixer, cream the butter until fluffy.  Beat in sugar and then the eggs, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla, yogurt and mashed bananas.  Then briefly and gently stir in dry ingredients.  Over stirring causes muffins to be tough. 

Divide into muffin tin.  Top with remaining walnuts.  Bake 25 minutes or until golden.  Let cool for 5 minutes then remove.  

 Makes 12 muffins.

I got this recipe from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi, love, love this cookbook.

These muffins are amazing warm with a little butter.....mmmm....but you know what the best thing about them is???  Your kids can't eat them because they have coffee in them!  Yeah, I'm one of those moms that will buy the jalaneno kettle cooked chips so I don't have to share.  I'm stingy like that. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Camille Rose!

You are are truly a sweet girl.  You are so thoughtful.  When I give you special treat you hold out your other hand and say, "and sissy?" 

You have the nick name "Crazy Camille" for a reason.  You are very athletic and love to climb, jump and spin.  Seriously, I have never seen anyone spin in circles as long as you can. 

Camille, you are my muscle...If I'm getting on to the boys you can be sure that you are right there behind me with your hand on your hip and finger shaking.  Last night at dinner your dad and I were disagreeing about something.  You said, "Enough Daddy!" He looked at you and said, "I'm the Dad and you don't talk to me that way."  You looked at him and said, "That's Mom.  Enough."  It took everything I had not to crack up!  You're a feisty little thing.

You are extremely shy around strangers.  You cry when you see a bug or an animal that you don't know.  The vacuum terrifies you.  You love your pink and brown polka dot blankie. 

Camille, you LOVE to color and paint.  You can do it for hours.  You are also showing interest in playing music.  You pick up the djembe daily to drum ordering your sister to dance.  You also love to strum your daddy's guitar.  Not to mention, you play a mean whistle. 

You love to play outside and get dirty.  You are not into hair bows or ponytails (it's a constant battle between us!)  You are so smart.  You can (and will) repeat everything you hear. 

I love you with all my heart little one.

Happy 2nd Birthday Maya Louise!


I can not believe that you are already two years old!  You will always be "Maya Princess."  You are definitely a momma's girl and you have your daddy wrapped around your little finger.  You love to make your sister laugh.  You have a special bond with Zander and LOVE to go pick him up at the bus stop.  Everyday you ask him, "Was school?  Was school?  Was school?" until he answers you.."It was FINE!" 

Maya, you would rather be in the kitchen sitting on the counter helping me cook then outside playing with the other kids.  You love to sing.  You are an extremely picky eater and mainly survive on goldfish and raisins. 

You have your special baby that you chew on her feet every night.  When it makes a laughing sound you make a sad face and then say, "awww, baby cry." 

You're definitely a bossy boss and I think you kinda like tattling on your brother Gavin.  You come to me daily saying, "Bubba hut mee" with your bottom lip out.  Gavin comes in yelling, "No I didn't!"  I may never know the truth. 

You've already mastered playing hard to get.  Every morning when your dad leaves for work we all kiss him at the door ....everyone but you.  You are stingy with your kisses and you make your daddy work for them.  You will go to the other side of the room and pretend to be sad or bashful....make HIM come to you.  Then he picks you up, you put your head down and bat your lashes and say "noOOoo" until he smothers you in kisses and tickles before you smile and say goodbye. 

You love for me to read to you.  When we look at animal books everything is a bear or a cow.  You are such a sweet baby girl.  I am totally in love with you.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Best. Rainy Day. Ever.

I've wish I could say that I have always enjoyed being a stay at home mom.  But that's just not true.  It was a really hard transition for me.  I enjoyed working.  I loved having the freedom to go out with my friends whenever I wanted.  I was one of those who took off for the weekend to see a concert in another state.  My life was to busy for a dog....let alone a child. 

Then I got accident.  I always new I wanted children.  But when they started rolling in...well, I wasn't sure what to do with them.  I even resented my husband for "getting" to go to work. 

It took me a few years to truely love being a stay at home mom.  Not sure when my "ah-ha" moment was.  Probably a combination of several things.  Moved back to OK to be closer to family and friends.  Found the most amazing group of women at TMOM's (Tulsa Mothers of Multiples) and now have a fantastic network of moms.  I can honestly say there is nothing I would rather do than take care of my children each and everyday.  They have taught me more than I can ever teach them.  I am so thankful to have a husband who works so hard to allow me the opportunity to stay home and watch these amazing little people grow up. 

Here is our morning in pictures.  Best.  Rainy day.  Ever. 



Not sure which was more fun:  painting or clean up time.

Gavin is not known for his patience.  Drying his painted noodles.

Modeling his finished product....obviously bored by all my picture taking.

Kindergarten Program

See him?  In the front row on the far left?

Zander had his kindergarten program Monday afternoon.  It was so sweet.  He sang his little heart out.  I got a real kick out of all his facial expressions.  He told me after the program, "Mom, I have zero stage fright." 

I am so in love with that little man.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back Talk

After my conversation with Gavin (4) this morning, I'm certain I'll have my work cut out for me when he's a teenager. 

Me~ What a beautiful morning!  Lets go play outside with our new sidewalk chalk!

Gavin~ No.  I want to watch a movie.

Me~ You can watch a movie later...when the girls are taking a nap.  Come on, lets play outside. 

Gavin~  NO!  I said WATCH A MOVIE!!  You are SOOOO mean!  **cry**

Me~ Really?  You're crying because I want to play with you outside?

Gavin~ No, I'm mad at you cause I want to watch a movie!  You never let me watch TV.  You're sooo mean!

Me~ That's enough.  And that's not true.  Keep up this attitude and I'll give you something to cry about. 

Gavin~ You better not.  I'll call the police. 

I would never DREAM of talking to my father like this....maybe I'm not very intimidating?  Zander (knock on wood) usually does what's expected....but Gavin, oh Gavin.  He has a flair for the dramatics. 

After I told Gavin that he wasn't being nice, I took the girls in the front yard to play...leaving him alone to mope.  Eventually (about 5 minutes) he joined us like nothing happened.  I made him hug me and apologize.

Have your children started talking back?  If so, what's your reaction? 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Graduation & Mother's Day

What a busy weekend!

Saturday my sister graduated from OSU...I am soOoOoOo PROUD!  She has worked so hard putting herself through school and now has a degree in interior design.  Smart and beautiful. 

3 sisters

And single, I might add...yeah this just turned into match dot com.  I've set her up before and it was disastrous.  Now she thinks I have no clue...but I am determined...if you know a single guy that can handle this sass...
send me his resume.  Now that she's out of school she may have time to date.  She's gonna kill me. 

Happy Mother's Day!!

It was kind of a weird Mother's Day.  The boys spent the night at their PaPa'a last night and Ely went to the Temple this morning.  So it was just me and my two favorite girls.  They decided to take me out to breakfast.  We went to Coffee House on Cherry Street and had pancakes and fruit.  And I had my current obsession a dirty chai latte...mmmmm...

It was really nice.  We had our breakfast then read books on one of the couches for about an hour. 

Later on we met up with the rest of the family for Jacque's graduation party.  What a fun....and looong...weekend. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Freaking Out!

Ok ladies.  I am seriously freaking out. 

Let me back up a bit.

Remember the new year's resolutions I set earlier this year?  If not, you can read here, in the Year of Dana.  One of them was to go on a vacation with my sisters.  No kids.  No husbands.  Well, that's happening next week....and I'm totally excited. 

We're going to Eureka Springs for 4 days.  Spa, wine tasting, spelunking, and shopping.  I can't wait. 

A few days ago I called the wonderful Suchness Spa and spoke to the owner, Caterena.  I told her I was a busy mother of 4 young children and wanted the ultimate spa experience.  She suggested the Ocean Essence Cocoon with chakra work and a massage.  Sounds amazing. 

 Why am I freaking out?

At the end of our conversation I say, "Thank you Catarena for all your help.  Is there anything I should do or avoid before coming in?" 

"I'm so glad you asked," she replied.  "No alcohol and no coffee before you come in." 

Fine.  No problem, but better schedule on first day of vacation!  hee, hee.

Then she asked, "Do you go to the spa a lot?" 

Ummmm.  No.  I have 4 kids.

"Well, you're more than welcome to wear a bikini if you are uncomfortable in the nude....a g-string and topless would be best." 

Ahhhhh!  What?!  I don't even own a bikini!! 

And as for the g-strings....well, they have been replaced by boy short panties. 

Look at the belly....and those stretch marks!  I'm very blessed to have 4 healthy beautiful children, but man did they do a number on my body.  And nursing 4 kids....lets just say I won't be posing for Sports Illistrated anytime soon. 

I thought this whole "body image" issue was long gone with my 20's.  I guess sitting naked in front of stangers will bring it all up again.  *sigh* 

Most of you are probably thinking, "Oh whah.  You get to go to a spa and be pampered." 

Seriously, this is HUGE for me.  Taking time away from my family and the money.  I feel guilty.  Hey, that's what I'm working on right?  This is, after all, The Year of Dana! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bandana Dress

Have you heard of the pillowcase dress?  I have been wanting to make them for quite some time now.  They are super cute play dresses that grow with your child.  Long dress when they are a toddler and still fits them as a shirt when they are in grade school.  This is assuming that my sewing will last the test of time! 

Every time I go to a garage sale or thrift store I keep my eye out for cute prints.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about just google "pillowcase dress" and see all the possibilities!  So precious.  Here are some easy  instructions if your feeling crafty. 

Well, I didn't have any pillowcases that I wanted to cut up....but I did have 8 bandannas that I bought from the Salvation Army ($2!) several months ago.  At the time I had no idea why I was buying them....I just liked the print.  Lately I've been really into making the girls clothes out of recycled material.  I decided to sew 2 of them together for my "pillowcase."

Considering I'm a major "newbie" at sewing (I got my first sewing machine for Christmas this past year!) I think they turned out pretty cute.

Next time I think I'm going to use ribbon instead of making the straps myself.  They took a lot of time and don't look very good up close.  But then again, maybe I need the practice! 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Murphy's Law

"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong." 

There are two things that I am absolutely sure of by being a mother of 4 small children.  #1 I will have to do at least 15 loads of laundry every week .  #2 If we are running late to the bus stop in the morning one or both twins will have a dirty diaper.  Never fails. 

The other morning I was in ultra-frantic mode.  Running late....again. Trying to get 4 kids dressed, fed and out the door in a timely manner.  Like clockwork both girls left a nice deposit for me in their diapers just as we were trying to load up in the van.  I got aggravated and marched the kids back in the house. 

Zander (5) noticed my frustration and said, "It's ok Momma.  They just had to go poop.  It's ok if I miss the bus, you can just drop me off at school."  How is a five year old so much wiser than a 31 year old??  It isn't a big deal.  Murphy's law is true if you believe it...but my goal is to not give in the that frame of mind anymore.  Wish me luck!  

In a perfect world, I would get up 2 hours before my kids.  Take a shower, do a little yoga and meditation drink a cup of coffee with my husband before seeing him off to work.   Be totally awake and centered before diving head first into mommy-mode.   But that would put me at getting up at 5 am....ugh.  Do you get up earlier than your children?  If so when and why?  I totally want to try it, but the truth is I'm lazy in the mornings and kind of a night owl. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

just another day...

Usually I only post if the kids say something funny or we did something fun or I captured a sweet smile on film.  Today none of that happened....but it was perfect.  A lazy Sunday spent at home.  Played a lot outside digging in the dirt and collecting roly pollies for the biggest roly poly race ever.  (Maya not so much into bugs)  We grilled out and just listened to Zander talk for hours about George Washington.  Man, that boy can talk!


While the twins napped Ely started building a fence around our garden so the kids, dog, and rabbits will stay out.  I decided to go to Target...alone.  Unless you usually do your shopping with multiple kids in tow you just don't understand what a HUGE deal this was.  I wandered around the store for hours looking at whatever I wanted without rushing in fear of a meltdown for refusing to buy Dora fruit snacks.  There was no bribing.  There was no scolding.  Just me and my list.  The downside to shopping without kids?  Spending to much time at the store made my bill a little higher than normal...oops!

After dinner and baths I rocked and sang to my babies.  This, too, is a rare treat because my almost 2 year old twins are usually to busy for sitting still. 

Did you take time and truly enjoy the blessings in your life today?