Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Chaotic Christmas

I guess you could say any Christmas around here is a "Chaotic" Christmas, but this year's really was. As I wrote in my last post, we didn't actually celebrate on Christmas day. Instead, we drove 650 miles from home that day, in order to get to where the Wife's family was going to be celebrating. It was a momentous occasion, because everyone from that side of the family was going to be at the celebration, coming from all corners of the U.S.A. to Northeast Oklahoma. Nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins were all going to be in town, and that might not happen again for a long time, as kids grow up, move away and start their own families. It was a fun, but chaotic time, getting all those people together for a few days.

We made the celebration even more exciting by bringing something other than plain old presents with us on the long journey. We brought a fun, fast-moving version of the norovirus with us. Doesn't that sound like fun?! Actually, to be honest, and I am nothing if not brutally honest, I think the blame can lay squarely on the shoulders of the Wife's mom, since we had all gotten over our symptoms at least a day or two before we left. The Wife's mom, however, seems to have brought her symptoms with her. "Always blame others" is one of my favorite personal mottoes... While we were there no fewer than 8 of our relatives from other parts of the country got sick. In other words, we as a family may have single-handedly spread the norovirus across the entire country. No need to send thanks!

Thankfully it is a very quick to arrive, quick to leave kind of sickness, so if you get it, it shouldn't keep you off your feet for long. Just to be sure, though, I wouldn't go anywhere without a bucket for the next few days. Happy New Year!
A photo of the norovirus. It's really kind of pretty, don't you think?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

I've Made A Huge Mistake...

We need your help, ladies and gentlemens. We made a huge mistake last Christmas. At the time we had a paltry three kids, and apparently we made the foolish mistake of thinking we weren't going to have any more. So, we went to our friendly neighborhood major retail store, otherwise known as Target, and purchased three super-cute matching Christmas stockings. Now, as you may have heard, we have a bustling four children, but when we have gone back to Target to get another Christmas stocking for the Baby, we have been totally unable to find another. So, we are asking for help in rounding out our collection of stockings. Below is a photo of the three we already have. The two red ones are for our first two girls, so since our latest child is also a girl, we would like to get another one of them. If you happen to see one in your local Target, we will be happy to reimburse your money, all the way up to full retail price...Let me know if you find one. And Merry Christmas, again!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Baby's First Christmas

The Baby celebrated her first Christmas today, or more accurately, I should probably say that the Baby was alive for her first Christmas today. We didn't really do any celebrating of any kind. The celebrating will come later. Today, instead of celebrating, the Baby was rudely awakened at a time that was clearly too early for her liking, strapped into her car seat in our Standard Issue grey minivan that everyone with at least two kids is required to own, and accelerated at high speeds for a distance of almost 700 miles, where she was then squeezed and tweaked and passed around by relatives who had never met her before. Yes, we did some long-distance traveling today - the first time we had ever done such a thing on Christmas day. I enjoyed it very much. There wasn't much traffic. The kids were all relatively good. I didn't do anything to make the Wife too upset. It was about as good as a cross-country trip with four young children can go. I'm sure the return trip will have its fair share of controversies, but today, the Baby's first Christmas went quite well. Merry Christmas everybody!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bed and a Bucket

I am not really sure how it can happen, but I have seen it twice with my own eyes in the past two or three years, and my eyes have never lied to me before, so it must be true. My brain sometime tells me a fib, but since it happened just last night, I think it is fresh enough for me to be quite sure that my brain is being truthful for once in its life.

Here's what happened: It was the middle of the night, and the Wife was up on one of her many excursions into the Baby's room to give her a snack. Upon the Wife's return to our room, she noticed the door was open to the bedroom that our other three kids sleep in. She also noticed a gross smell emanating from it, much like that of human regurgitation, if you know what I mean. A third thing she noticed was the Boy, coming out of the bathroom across the hall. Since the other two cohabitants of that bedroom were still asleep, she asked the Boy if he had gotten sick in his bed. "No. I just had to go to the bathroom", he said. When the Wife went into the room to investigate, she did in fact find "sickness" all over the Boy's bed, covering his several blankets, most of his stuffed animals, and all over his pillow. Yet he had no recollection of being sick. I wouldn't have believed it was possible, but I remember one night a couple of years ago when we found the Little One, sound asleep in her crib one morning, surrounded by sickness that had happened at some point during the night. What a crazy thing to sleep through...

So, the Boy was feeling quite a bit better tonight, but we still made him go to sleep with a bucket in his bed, just in case. But, knowing our kids, even if he does get sick again, he'll probably sleep right through it. If that happens again at least we won't have to wash out the bucket tomorrow...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Yes, Dear...

I just found yet another reason why it is always good for me to listen to the Wife. It's a bitterly cold day here in the Northland, and my main goal for the day was to stay inside and sit in front of the space heater we have in our TV/computer/dining room. The three older kids were already at their Aunt and Uncle's house, and the Wife was going to take the Baby out to do some Christmas shopping. So my plan to do nothing seemed like a slam-dunk. But then, right before the Wife left, she said, "Maybe you could pick up some of the dog poop...". Ugh.

But, of course, how could I say no to the woman who has birthed all four of our children? So, eventually, I went outside to pick up some dog poop, which there was plenty of. You know what? I'm really glad I did! With enough clothing and my heavy winter coat, it wasn't too cold out there. And the poop was nice and frozen, meaning it picked up nicely, and didn't have any lingering oderifousness, if you know what I mean. I got the whole yard picked up in about 15 minutes, I got some sunshine to help defeat the Shack Nasties that are bound to hit during the dead of winter, I had a nice talk with our next door neighbor, and now the yard will be just that much less nasty next spring. What could be better? Nothing! Always listen to the Wife...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Opposite Boy

The Boy has the uncanny ability to do exactly the opposite of what I ask him to do. As you can imagine, I am not a huge fan of this skill. It usually manifests itself either first thing in the morning, or when we are in the minivan. If you are not aware of how life can go when you have an infant in the house, like we do, sometimes nighttime does not bring as much sleep as one would hope, so oftentimes there are one or several people in our house still trying to get some shut-eye when the Boy decides it's time to get up and be loud. This is one of the few times in his life when he forgets how to be quiet, no matter how much "prodding" I do to help him remember. Sometimes my "prodding" can get rather loud itself, but it doesn't come close to the decibels the Boy can make. In the early mornings, he can definitely crank his volume up to 11.
The way he reacts during those mornings when people are sleeping is the exact opposite of how he reacts when he is in the back of the minivan, trying to talk to me while I am in the front of said minivan, doing my best to get us safely to our destination. During those times he cannot seem to muster anything louder than 'whisper". If you've never driven a 15-year-old minivan, it is just a little too loud to be able to hear a whisper coming from the far back seat. So, my part of our conversations are almost entirely made up of me saying "I CAN'T HEAR YOU. YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP, PLEASE." And he continues to say "mrmble mrmble mrfff mrff" as quietly as he can. One of these years, hopefully, he will get his early mornings and his rides in the minivan switched up. If you have any clue on how we can help to expedite that, I will welcome your thoughts. Thank you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Our Apologies...

If you have lost count, like I do sometimes, we currently have four children, three of which are in school. The Girl is in 1st Grade, the Boy is in Kindergarten, and the Little One is in Preschool two days a week and Speech Class two days a week. And none of them ever ride the same bus. Which means, at this time of year, we have approximately 4,000 teachers, aides, and bus drivers to buy Christmas presents for. I don't want to make it sound like I am complaining about that. Really! I think they all do an outstanding job of teaching our kids, expanding their horizons, and giving the Wife and me from 4 to 8 hours of silence everyday (although now that we have the Baby in the house, the Wife gets almost no silence...Sorry honey!) And I am happy to give all these people a little something for Christmas. I just want to send out an apology to anybody we may have forgotten to get something for. With all these schools and buses and other learning-related activities, I am sure we have forgotten someone. So, if we forgot you, and you happen to be reading this, please accept our apologies. We will try to do better next year, but we probably won't, so I apologize for that too.

For some unknown reason, all this thinking about getting teachers gifts has brought up a nagging question that has lurked in my brain for decades, yet I always forget to ask...Are you supposed to leave a tip at a Chinese buffet? I mean, I get all my food, but there are servers who clean up after me and bring me my pop as soon as my glass is empty. Am I supposed to tip them? How about when I pick up take-out food? I never know what the proper thing to do is. Please, somebody let me know! And, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Photos of the Fourth

We are very cognizant of the fact that the fourth child, historically, never gets his or her photograph taken. Despite knowing that, we had been pretty bad about taking photos of our fourth child, the Baby, over the first two weeks of her air-breathing existence. But I decided to change that tonight. She was being very awake this evening whilst in my arms, and her big blue eyes were mesmerizing me. So, I decided to get some photographic evidence of them, as well as some artistic shots of her, since I fancy myself to be a very artistic non-artistic kind of guy, whatever that means. So, without further ado, I present my second-ever art show here on the ol' blog, and I am calling it Photos of the Fourth. Here it is:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ten Days

The Baby is 10 days old today. It's weird to think that, for the previous 3-and-a-half years, our little family of 5 was as perfect a group as we could possibly hope for despite the way I write about it here on the ol' blog, and yet now that we've added another, it somehow seems even more perfect. But perfect is perfect, right? There aren't differing grades of perfect, yet that's what seems to have happened when we turned from 5 into 6. I can't describe it any better, and I don't really want to get all mushy and ruin my reputation as a burly man, so I'll just let it go at that.

In other things, life around the house has gotten at least one fifth more chaotic than it used to be, as you can probably understand. At first the Baby was sleeping very well at night, or at least that's what I was told when I woke up in the mornings, but lately she's been sleeping better during the day than at night. Again, I can't actually vouch for that myself, but my source is very reliable, despite her choice in men. She (the Baby) better figure it out quickly, I tell you what!

The rest of the kids seem to have accepted the Baby as a full-fledged member of the family, although we'll see if that changes once she's mobile and verbal. It's the mobile and verbal kids who can get under their sibling's skin the most, I have figured out. And the Wife says I don't notice things...
The Baby, sleeping like the proverbial baby, and she's got her clothes on, so this is obviously during the day instead of at night. She better figure out her days and nights soon, or there's gonna be trouble...