Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Picture of the Week - April 29

Just by looking, you'd never know that she was just face to face with a water buffalo. More later!

Friday, April 27, 2012

PALS Profile - Adah

Favorite Color: Purple, but mostly because Peyton has laid claim to pink and we all know that two people absolutely, positively cannot like the same color. The horror!

Favorite Food: Definitely cheese pizza. Unlike most kids (or anyone), you usually eat the crust first. Same goes for your sandwiches. You definitely have the oddest eating habits of any of your brothers or sisters.

Favorite Book: You love to read any of our children's Bibles. You enjoy looking for all of the Bible stories you hear in church. You are still probably our biggest "reader", though you don't do it quite as much as you used to because of the influx of pretending games that take up most of your time.

Favorite Song: Anything by Fresh Beat Band but you also enjoy a little Britney circa 1998.

Likes to: Pretend, color, and draw. After  not showing a lot of interest in drawing, one day you just took off and have never looked back. You've surprised us by starting to write right-handed when everything else you do is left-handed. You love drawing pictures with complete scenes and story lines that can be pretty off the wall. You also love to play pretend games all day long. I can only imagine the things you are cooking up in your room during nap time (which is now just "rest" time for you)!

Does not like: Having your feelings hurt. You are definitely the most likely to cry if you are hurt emotionally (as opposed to physically). You are still fairly sensitive and have your feelings bruised very easily. However, this always makes you the most empathetic of the group. I have heard you many times telling people, "Don't be mean to my sister!" or hugging people who are crying or upset.

Things you can do: Ride your bike with training wheels, write all of the upper case letters, skip, still working on swinging yourself, buckle yourself into your car seat

Things you can't live without: Kitty (your blanket), stuffed animals (there is a new favorite every week), your nightly tucking-in routine, hair products (for keeping the fro under wraps)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today's Lessons, Vol. 1

1. Do not mention or talk about Disney World with your children unless you already have a trip planned to go there in the very near future (this is 2 weeks or less for preschoolers). I have made the mistake of talking up a Disney trip that isn't even planned yet and I am paying for it every second of every day.

2. When there is a puddle in front of the toilet, do not smell it to make sure it is pee. It's a puddle. In front of the toilet. It's pee.

3. When your kids won't eat something, chop it up, put it between two tortillas, and call it a quesadilla.

4. Boys can scream just as loud and as high-pitched as girls when there is a spider in their car seat.

5. Buy washable dry erase markers if you do not intend to directly supervise your children while they are using them.

           5A. Green dry erase marker dots on a child's leg do not come off
                  after scrubbing them in the bath.

6. Eating two oatmeal raisin cookies for lunch is healthy because it covers three of the five major food groups (butter = dairy, raisins = fruit, oatmeal = grains, me = happy).

7. You have ordered too many things online when your kids line up at the door at 4 o'clock every afternoon to wait for the UPS truck to come down the street.

8. Around age four is when kids start noticing that YOU don't have to eat all of the vegetables on your plate to get a dessert ...

9. The month before school starts is an eternity. The month before school ends lasts barely more than a moment.

10. You do not need to be embarrassed when your son is the only boy in his class that had a purple shirt in his closet to wear to Purple Day at school. Real men (and annoying dinosaurs) wear purple.

Monday, April 23, 2012

PALS Profile - Sam

Favorite Color: It's usually blue, but lately you've branched out to black?? I can only assume that it's because of your recent fascination with Gotham City's caped crusader.

Favorite Food: You say it's pizza, but you can put down the french fries as well. You are also my true chocolate lover ... a boy after Mommy's own heart.

Favorite Book: You like a variety of books, but one of your current favorites is Pete The Cat by Eric Litwin.

Favorite Song: Anything by Fresh Beat Band but you also have your special favorites. You can chalk all of this up to Mom when you get older. You LOVE Firework by Katy Perry, The Edge of Glory with Lady Gaga, and your current favorite ... wait for it ... Miley Cyrus' Party In The USA.

Likes to: Build, build, build. If we didn't make you put your blocks away every once and a while it would be the only thing that you would ever do. You are a great builder and make all kinds of planes, tools, and buildings with your blocks. It really is pretty amazing how good you are ... maybe a future architect or engineer?? We'll see. You also like anything and everything related to airplanes.

Does not like: Losing. We are working on this but you do not like it when you don't win any type of competition. You also don't like listening (this is my own personal observation) as evidenced by how many times I have to tell you to do something before it actually registers in your little brain! I was warned about this trait in little boys and it seems to be holding true for you!

Things you can do: Ride your bike with training wheels, write your full name (you lucked out with a short one), swing yourself, buckle and unbuckle yourself in your car seat (hallelujah).

Things you can't live without: Those blocks! Blankie, Taggie (the tag on Blankie), your roommate (nightlight), sweets (you love desserts).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Picture of the Week - April 22

What do you get when you need a dinner for four kids in a hurry?? That's right, Stick Dinner.

Fish sticks, carrot sticks, sweet potato sticks ... it's what's for dinner.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

PALS Profile: Peyton

I have realized that I haven't written enough specific information down about the kids lately. Heck, I haven't "written" anything down in over four years. My attempt at baby books was like a Mr. Wizard episode gone horribly wrong. This little ole blog is my only way of saving some memories and while I hope the kids will enjoy reading about their grocery store mishaps or their "peep shows", I'm guessing they're going to want a little more solid and descriptive information down the road as well. And since my brain resembles scrambles eggs on a daily basis, I need to get some of these things written down while I'm momentarily sane.

So this may be boring to you and if it is, please feel free to skip over it and read something else today. I just wanted to be able to write down some specific information and this blog is the only place where I know it won't get lost or thrown in the recycling bin.


Favorite Color: Pink, Pink, Sparkly, and Pink

Favorite Food: Nuggets, tortellini, pizza (I promise we don't give you these foods constantly, but grilled chicken just can't compete with pizza in the mind of a preschooler).

Favorite Book: Can't pick just one but some favorites are the Pinkalicious books, Pete the Cat, and any book with a Disney princess (Belle is your favorite).

Favorite Song: Anything by Fresh Beat Band or Adele (I know. But you guys do not know entertainment until you witness a four year old belting out Rolling In The Deep from the backseat. I had to change my underpants once we got home).

Likes to: Sing and Dance. You are the resident performer in our house. You can always be found with microphone in hand directing your "shows" where you somehow manages to trick everyone into singing backup for you. You also enjoy coloring and drawing right now and will sit down for long chunks of time to color an entire picture.

Does not like: Not being the one in charge. This alpha does not liked to be knocked off of her pedestal.

Things you can do: Ride your bike with training wheels, write your full name (in uppercase letters, we're still working on lowercase), swim by yourself and you love it, do simple addition and subtraction (using your fingers, of course, but I still do that so I'm sure it's fine), swing yourself (hallelujah).

Things you can't live without: BB and Wonkie (I fear they may go to college with you), your thumb, Adah (who you told me was your best friend ... awwww), words - I think the hardest thing I could ever ask you to do is to be quiet for five minutes, and people (you cannot stand to be alone or play by yourself).

Ahhh ... 25% of memories saved for now. I'll get the other 75% up over the next few days!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Peeps get a bad rap. They're really only featured at Easter, even though the people at the Peep factory have tried to incorporate them into other holidays (Peep Jack-o-lantern anyone?). Matt despises Peeps but I tend to feel bad for those little sugar-encrusted marshmallow bunnies and chicks. I tend to buy them around Easter so they don't feel too bad about themselves ... ok, and maybe to gross out my husband a bit as well.

The kids have taken a liking to Peeps because, well, they're sugar. My kids and sugar are like moths to a flame, so we try and keep it to a minimum most days. I will admit that I'm more lenient on holidays because, c'mon, it's a HOLIDAY. Live a little is what I say. Plus, I don't want my kids to be one of those weirdos who's never had an Oreo or a lollipop when they go to their first day of kindergarten (I apologize if you are one of those anti-sugar people ... I applaud you, I do, but your kid is going to get it one day ... no matter how hard you try he is going to eat some sugar).

One day we were outside enjoying some post-dinner sugar with our Peeps when the following conversation took place ...

Me: "Adah, you like those Peeps, don't you?"

Adah: "Yeah, they're yummy!"

Me: "I know. Isn't Daddy weird for not liking those yummy Peeps?" 

Matt rolls eyes. I smile nicely. Meanwhile, Adah is dancing two Peeps together on the table.

Me: "Adah, are your Peeps having a dance party?"

Adah: "Yeah, they're having a show! A Peep show!"

I have now thrown away all of the Peeps.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Picture of the Week - April 15

Slugs and snails and puppy dogs' tails ...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight room, Goodnight moon.

Goodnight cow. jumping over the moon.

Goodnight light and the red balloon.

Goodnight bears, Goodnight chairs.
Goodnight kittens, and Goodnight mittens.

 Goodnight clocks and goodnight socks.

Goodnight little house and Goodnight mouse.

Goodnight comb and Goodnight brush. 

Goodnight nobody, Goodnight mush.

And Goodnight to the old lady whispering "hush."

Goodnight stars, Goodnight air.

Goodnight noises everywhere.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Can You Hear Me Now?

Many of the things I experience on an everyday basis with four children ages 4 and under are not a surprise. I EXPECT there to be messes. I EXPECT there to be fighting. I EXPECT there to be dirty hand prints on the sink. I even expected the mounds of sand I found scattered in the playroom yesterday.

So I have expected lots of the mayhem and mishaps. Not that it makes them easy or fun to deal with, but they were things I had thought would happen, so that helped me, well, deal with them.

But there is one thing I didn't expect. Something I wouldn't have forecast or would have thought was a big deal. Something that sounds pretty predictable, but you really don't know what it's like until you're smack dab in the middle of it.

Y'all, my kids are L.O.U.D.

I can see you all laughing now. "Well, duh, of course they're loud! They're little kids who scream and yell and play." And I would say to you, "Yes, yes, I KNOW about that kind of loud. The loud where the kids are running and laughing and yelling to each other. This is sooooo not the same thing I am talking about, my cyber space friend."

You see, it's loud in our house all the time. The kids are always competing with each other for face time with me. They all have certain points to be made or ideas to share and somehow they always seem to want to share these thoughts and ideas at the EXACT SAME TIME. So they try and talk over each other in order to be heard. Loudest one gets the attention, right? Well, that's the method in our house.

And I know that other people have the kids talking over each other problem, so that's not unique to our family either. You see, the problem has become that my kids now talk loud ALL THE TIME. Even if they are facing me one-on-one with no competing sibling to steal their thunder. I think they have gotten so used to yelling at me to be heard that they think it is the sole method of communication accepted in our household. The following conversation took place this morning ...

*Please note that this entire conversation is taking place inside my personal bubble ... so about 3 feet from my face.


Me: "Today is a school day, so we're going to school."

Sam (inching closer, 2 feet away now): "COOL! CAN I BRING MY NEW AIRPLANE TO SCHOOL?"

Me (recoiling): "Sam, dude, I am RIGHT HERE bud. You don't need to yell at me."

Sam: "Oh, sorry Mom."

Me: "Now, what were you saying?"


It's never ending and I feel like I'm getting reprimanded by three foot tall disciplinarians all day long. I am constantly reminding them to "talk softly" and "did you notice that I'm standing right here in front of your face while you're yelling at me?" I know it's just what they've grown accustomed to when competing for air time, but it can get pretty embarrassing. You would think my kids have never been to a Target or grocery store if you saw us walk in one day. Normal mundane comments get amplified and it sounds like I cage them in the attic all day and they never get out.









I've been mortified on several occasions. And it's hard because they really are having normal conversations at the (mach 10) decibel level they are used to conversing in. It's just that when we have to try and assimilate into the real world it becomes very obvious that I have four really LOUD talkers on my hands. The only strategy that seems to work so far is if we play the quiet game in the store and only talk in hushed whispers for the duration of the trip. I realize this may make us look even crazier than if we were loud talking, but I'll take my chances. Better to think I'm crazy that to have my kids broadcast how much vino I'm intending to buy!

What about you? Does anyone else suffer from this problem? I'm dreading the day my kids head to kindergarten and yell at the teacher during introductions. Any ideas how to teach them to talk at a normal decibel level? Please save my hearing!

Here's a taste of what I experience every day ...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Easter

We started the long weekend as expected, with a little egg dyeing action. Matt and I found the description of the food colors in the egg dyeing packet pretty entertaining.

Denim? Really? I am here to say that not one of our eggs turned out the color of my jeans. What's wrong with just plain old blue?

Matt also came up with a new method to dye the eggs.

The whisk is pretty ingenious. Way easier than the precarious little wire holder they give you with the kits.

The finished product ...

The next day was Easter and that tricky little bunny came by our house while the kids were still sleeping.

We are literally up to our eyeballs in jelly beans.

We spent the rest of the morning at church with our friends while celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. What a great and special occasion and it is so wonderful to see our kids starting to understand exactly what we are celebrating with these holiday each year.

We enjoyed a wonderful holiday, but we were ALL happy to head back to school today! Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Picture of the Week - April 8

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come away, come away
Come and rise up from the grave

Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come away, come away
Come and rise up from the grave

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God had defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead, He's alive, He's alive!

Have a Happy Easter!

*Lyrics from  Matt Maher's "Christ Has Risen"

Friday, April 6, 2012


We've been eating lots of ice cream lately now that it's gotten to be so warm outside (not like the temperature really ever stopped us from eating ice cream, but anyway ...). Last week one of the local ice cream stores had a $1 cone special in the afternoons and we were all over that like white on rice. I think the manager's face fell when he saw us walk in and realized he was only going to get five measley bucks out of our brood.

Once we got the ice cream and headed outside, the kids started in on the dirty work. They can make short change of a scoop of ice cream. Adah was systematically devouring her ice cream in slow, steady, meticulously small bites (if you know Adah, this would not surprise you), but she was still leading the way. This is the following conversation ...

Me: "Man, Adah! You are doing a number on the ice cream girl!"

Adah: Smiles with ice cream running down her chin.

Sam: "Hey Mom wanna watch me do a number on MY ice cream?"

Me: "Sure Buddy, just don't get another brain freeze."

(Mr. Big Mouth average between 4-6 brain freezes per scoop)

Sam: "Ok, watch. One ... (eats a bite), Two ... (bite), Three ... (bite), Four ... (bite) ..."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Catching Up

The last week or so has been a whirlwind and I keep feeling like I am behind and struggling to catch up. This week is the kids' spring break and we just decided to spend it at home this year. I'd planned to have a fun few days of play dates and adventures, but then another plague decided to descend upon our house. I thought I'd already done my penance this year when I had the cold (that seriously felt like the flu) from H-E-double hockey sticks last month while Matt was out of town ... but no. We were hit with strep throat this week, ugh.

I don't think I've had strep since high school and the doctor said it's mostly a school-age kid illness. We Cliffords are just overachievers in that we defied logic and the typical age range of the disease (ages 5-15 is most common, in case you were wondering). Luckily, only two of the kids appear to have gotten it and it has barely slowed them down. I think they complained about a sore throat maybe once or twice. Meanwhile, I'm downing painkillers every four hours along with gargling salt water and I was DYING. I finally gave in and went to the doctor and now things are looking up since I've been on the antibiotics for a day.

Even though we didn't go anywhere for spring break this week, we did just spend a long weekend in Charleston with family. This city (specifically, Isle of Palms) is one of our favorite places to visit and I'm so glad we get to go so frequently. The water was still cold, but the kids didn't mind and played to their hearts' content. We visited our favorite Charleston hangout (Cosmic Jack's), let the triplets experience their first go-cart ride at Blackbeard's Cove (I'm pinning the contraction of the strep on Blackbeard himself), and the girls and I even managed to fit in a trip to one of our favorite kid's clothing stores, Shrimp and Grits. It was nice to get away, even if it was just for a few days.

Here's a few of my favorites from the weekend ...

The kids were also introduced to the coolest toy, a remote control airplane. Check out the looks on all of their faces ...

And finally, 4,000 bonus points to anyone who can tell me what this place is and what it's known for. We stopped there on our way to the beach.

That's it from here. It's time to go and swallow some more pills. Stay away from Blackbeard's Cove!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012