Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Griswold Family Christmas

Nik's always said the Paulitz's could stand in for National Lampoons Christmas. Evidenced by my dad's love of gigantic trees. The bigger the better. Its become so expected that a normal size tree is a disappointment. We went up with my dad, Carrie, and Scott to Fourth of July Pass the first weekend of the month to cut down a tree. It was so warm it almost felt like cheating. Usually when we would go get a tree it was freezing and there was too much snow to walk (I'm sure there is now). Instead it was almost warm and muddy. The kids had a great time tromping through the mud and climbing the hills searching for the perfect tree. I was trying to get a shot of how truly ridiculous my dad's car looked with the trees on top. But I couldn't capture the essence of it. The trees stuck off of every edge of the car. Every time I looked in my rearview mirror on the way home I started to laugh. Somehow the sight of the Vue with trees billowing in the wind off the sides never ceased being funny. In his defense only two of them are for him (my parents have taken to having 2 trees in the living room for a "forest" look). The third is Carrie and Scotts. I haven't seen the trees in the house yet but I'm told I won't be disappointed. I've always set the standard by the year the furniture had to be in the kitchen because the tree was too full. Apparantly it took dad a while to figure out how to get furniture and the tree in the living room so we can sit on Christmas. He says "6 people fit if they really like each other, 4 if they don't."

The girls were pretty good little helpers. They tried to help carry everything. Carrie and I cut a bunch of cedar branches and the girls gathered them up for us. Greggers mostly played in the mud and we left Connor with Grandma. We thought climbing hills with the kids would be too hard to take the baby, but they were actually little troopers.

Upon closer inspection this was deemed too small for dad, but just right for Carrie.

Dave and the girls ready to cut down the winner. True to form I choose a tree that had to have 4 feet cut off to fit in our apartment. I guess its genetic.

Scott, Carrie, and Dad. The mighty tree hunters. We bring saws not station wagons.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oh Santa!

Tonight at the ward party we were singing "With Wondering Awe." During the chorus it says "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to his name." I noticed Greggers was singing something different. His version goes "Oh Santa, Oh Santa, Oh Santa is his name." Good to know we're teaching him the true meaning of Christmas.

When McKenzie saw the Santa at our ward party she gasped "I think he's the real one." (Kudos to whoever the ward Santa is. He's really good)

And of course Hailey always has a gem or two up her sleeve. In the car on the way home I asked her what she told Santa. "I told him I was good." Trying to tease her I asked "Oh, were you telling him the truth? Did you tell him how you scratched Greg?" Very matter of factly she replied, "No I lied so I'd get more presents." Good old Hay she tells it like it is.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Greggers

I know that Greg's birthday was Friday, but I just haven't had two seconds to sit down and do this until now. Its hard to believe that my little boy is three. I guess he's not a baby anymore. He's so sweet and loving. I love his little hugs and the feeling of little hands on the back of my neck. I know one day that will stop and I'll miss it. Greg still has a few left over baby habits. He still sucks his lips when he's sleeping, upset, or tired, and drags Tag around all day. But he's trying so hard to be a big boy. He likes to help cook and he's finally starting to dress himself. No interest in going near the potty though. Who needs that anyways when you have the convenience of a diaper. You never have to take a break to go to the bathroom. Sometimes he likes to announce to everyone "I'm peeing now." Thanks for the update buddy.

We had a little birthday party for him on Saturday. Two of his nursery buddies came over and Eli came down. I've discovered that boy parties are much simpler than girl parties. All they care about is playing and frosting. The boys were more than happy to run around playing for an hour and as long as I followed up with something with frosting on it we were good. No elaborate games, crafts, cakes or decorations. He really didn't care. The mesh of noises from four little boys playing was pretty funny. Simultaneous shooting, driving, and roaring noises that only little boys make.

Greggers in his pirate costume we got him. He got a dinosaur build a bear earlier. His little friends brought him Kachow color wonders and Kachow bath toys. And a special thanks to Traci for letting Markus bring a guns and army guys. She claims she didn't know if I liked guns or not, but come on you know who I voted for its not a shocker that I'm not a gun fan. She thinks she subconsciously did it just to spite me. (j/k Traci, you know I love ya but I can't let you live this down) The kids love playing with the guns now and I've only stepped on one army guy so far.

Greggers and Cameron

Eli, Markus, and Hailey, and a little bit of Noah's head

See cupcakes and a little funfetti frosting and he's pleased as punch. I don't think McKenzie would be equally impressed if this were her cake. Ahhh the perks of boys.
Happy Birthday little buddy, we love you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'll get you neighbors and your little dog too!!

I'm writing this hoping you will all feel free to leave me a comment with some advice. Our downstairs neighbors are of the small, purse-dog instead of kids variety. They admittedly don't want kids, drive fancy cars, and wear fancy clothes to work. We obviously have nothing in common with them. They've taken to complaining about the noise we make. Apparantly we are giving their dog anxiety attacks and they're getting worse everyday. Now at first we were all nicey nice about it to each other, but its just escalating. Apparantly we sound like we are coming through the ceiling all day long. The second one of my kids does something they aren't supposed to like jump off the furniture, or body slam another person to the ground they are up here lickety split. I'm telling you these people must sprint up the stairs because I'll barely finish telling them to quit it and there she is. She gets madder every day. I keep telling her that we're trying to move as soon as our lease is up but that just makes her madder since thats not until March. I have tried to explain how hard it is to keep 4 kids quiet and that kids are just noisy but she does not get it. Tonight she came up and tried to get me to come down and listen to my family's noise. I admit its not a terrible idea but the kids were all over, I'd just gotten off work and was trying to throw dinner together, and Dave was trying to get ready to go to work. Any fool could see I didn't exactly have the time to come lounge around their fancy apartment watching their big screen and playing their grand piano while I listen to how loud my kids are. Instead she stood in my doorway for 20 minutes while dinner got cold and we argued as nicely as possible. Then she suggested that we move to a 1st floor in the complex, we wouldn't even have to sign a new contract! Well yeah for you lady but look around. Do you see all this crap? Do I look like I have the time? NO! I don't. Nor do I have the desire to greatly inconvenience myself for your dog! I'm sorry we are loud. Go do something for once in your lives besides watch your stupid tv. I told her to give her dog an anxiety pill (nicely I swear) and she basically told me to have my kids walk solemnly around the house all day. Aarrgh!!!!
So here's my dilemna. I refuse to make my children act like monks in their own home. Kids skip and run and 2 year olds jump up and down when they are mad. I understand her dog is her kid and all but what do I do? She complained to the manager who said too bad since we aren't noisy during "quiet hours". I have tried to explain over and over that we are doing our best but there are 4 of them and 2 of us. And quite frankly they are children and I will not make them behave like adults (as if they would listen anyways). And if you want peace and quiet don't live in an apartment. End of story. We have lived under a rock band, a large family, and spouse abusers. Deal with it. I try to keep the jumping to a minimum, but its cold now and we have Hailey. End of story. And if my kids want to play hide and seek at 4 pm they should be able too. And if I want to do an exercise video at 10 am I should be able to. This is my home. Even if I rent it. However, since I know I can be hot headed and stubborn I pose the question. Should I just ignore them and let kids be kids, or do I become nazi mommy and make them tip toe around all day? How do I make the next 4 months livable for all of us without the neighbors slashing my tires?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mortifying Mommy Moments

For every old lady who has commented to me on how wonderful and sweet my children are, I dedicate this story to you. This evening I needed to go to Target and JoAnns. We aren't talking major overload the cart grocery shopping here, so you'd think my kids could handle an hour in public. But noooo. Ten minutes into Target, I'm browsing the clearance racks for a new top and hear my girls fighting. I kid you not, when I looked over there they were, rolling around on the floor wrestling over a shoe. Literally wrestling! On the floor, in a crowded Target. After they get the whispering shouting from me, they proceed to hide behind the racks of clothes against the back wall and pull ALL of the clothes off. Seriously. McKenzie is almost 8. We picked up the things we needed and cruised through toys (my new Gregory bribery). The entire time I'm telling Hailey stay off the cart. Don't hang on the cart you'll tip it over. Get off of the cart. Over and over and over. Hailey is either hanging off the cart tipping it onto 2 wheels, or running off leaving me yelling at her like some bad mom who can't keep track of her wayward child. Who I'd like to add is almost 6 and knows better.

Needless to say by the time we get to JoAnns I'm not impressed. I only needed 2 things for a project. Get in, get out. Immediately Hailey starts hanging off the cart again. The JoAnns carts are teeny tiny and tip easily. And Connor is sitting in the front. We're standing in the notions aisle and I tell her for millionth time to get off the cart now! As soon as she hops off, I turn to get what I need. I've got my hands full while I compare items, when out of the corner of my eye I see the cart moving in a weird way. I turn just in time to see the cart tipping over, towards the handle with Hailey scrambling to get out of its way before it lands on her. All I can see is poor Connor's head headed towards the concrete floor. I drop everything, grab him like an inch from the ground, and just went balistic psycho mommy on Hailey. I was so ticked off at the kid I couldn't see straight. I didn't realize how loudly I was yelling at her until I looked up to see a woman standing at the end of the aisle with wide eyes and her mouth hanging open. She's just staring at me like I'm a crazed drug addict who's beating her child. Lest you think I have completely lost it I wasn't saying anything mean just the usual "HAILEY HUISMAN! WHAT ARE YOU DOING! I TOLD YOU NOT TO TOUCH THE CART! variety of yelling. There may have been some strong, shaking finger pointing going on also. I was angry and it scared the crap out of me. So I take it down to scary mommy whisper-yelling and find her a time out corner until I stop seeing red.

So now you're thinking "man that's embarrassing" glad it wasn't me. But wait, it gets worse. Instead of high tailing it out of there like I maybe should have, I get what I came for. If I drag all those kids into a store I'm getting what I came for. When I walk up to the cutting table every one is literally staring at me. They aren't even trying to hide it. I asked if they heard me yelling and of course they all did. I explained what had happened, but the staring continued. I was trying to be all cool and funny about it, but I think I just came off as lame. And of course the woman at the end of the aisle who witnessed it all was there too. I'm sure as soon as I left she told everyone else about the crazy drug mommy who screamed like a banshy at her kid. One of the employees was on the phone, and I was sure she was calling the police for the first couple of minutes, until I heard her talking about fabric. Then the checkout lady looked at me all weird, and when I asked, she of course had heard it too. I'm pretty sure the whole store heard me screaming at Hailey. I give her an abbreviated version of the story and call the kids who have of course all disappeared. They come flying to the front, Hailey totally body checked Greg on the way, sending him flying. And of course everyone nearby happened to be watching this too. I felt slightly vindicated like "Hey see she is wild its not just me."

I realize some of you probably skimmed my rambling because I'm obviously venting here. The jist of my blog is this: my kids are not suited for public appearances. They act like animals and I totally lost my temper (and don't feel too bad about it). I was horribly embarrassed.
The rest of you are probably thinking "um Liz isn't this what happens everytime you take your kids out?" Sadly yes. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We always take the kids up to Manito Park in the spring and summer but it is just beautiful in the fall. They hadn't raked the leaves up yet and it so pretty. We went to an area we don't usually go to since we usually stick to the pond and flower gardens and there was this whole quiet, grassy section with all of these leaves. It was just a perfect fall day.

Sadly this is the best picture I got of all 4 kids. My camera batteries died and I didn't have any backups. I even asked a couple of other people I'd seen around with cameras for some but no luck.

Mmm leaves. Nothing like a little extra fiber in your diet there buddy. Hailey loves her baby.

I just love this picture of Connor. Dave has decided his new nickname will be Chubs in honor of the original Chubs since our boy is living up to that nickname quite nicely.

We took the kids up to Hidden Acres apple orchard to get apples and pumpkins a few weekends ago. I'd wanted to go back to Walter's where we'd always gond as kids but it has turned into some sort of shopping mall for people who want to pretend they did something outdoorsy. They have a parking director, huge crowds, and when I tried to go into the store to I got shoved around by women in leather jackets and high heeled boots. Hello this is an apple farm not Nordstroms! Needless to say I was disappointed that my childhood memories were not going to be lived up to, so we left for less fancy pastures.
The kids enjoying their cart ride courtesy of Dave.

We had been pumping up this hayride with the farmer all afternoon, the kids were so excited especially Greg. Like any smart parent we saved it for last so we'd have something to hold over their heads for good behavior. Only when we got to the hayride, the driver was leaving. I chased him down and asked if he was doing anymore. He was on his way home. So I gave him this sad story about how excited my kids were and my little boy who was so looking forward to it. Then to clinch the deal I pointed over at my kids who were all standing so forlornly by the tractor (they had some pretty genuinely sad faces on). The poor guy didn't stand a chance. He was like geesh I can't say no to that and hopped back on his tractor. Thanks hay ride driver! You made their day. He even sang farm songs the whole time.

Hailey was our pumpkin hauler. She ran back and forth between the cart and the other kids carrying pumpkins. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much) after all this and a soccer game she still came home bursting with energy. Go figure.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween...You Betcha!

McKenzie and Hailey have discovered the true meaning of until you're sick. As soon as you're feeling slightly better, eat a bunch more. They were so hyper this weekend I thought I was going to go crazy. Honestly, Greg didn't eat a regular meal for 3 days. Poor Greg was so freaked out about Halloween. He thought it would be a bunch of scary people jumping out at him the whole time. When we went to the ward Halloween party on Tuesday, we assured him all the way there it would not be scary. Our youth put on a carnival for Halloween, and we happened to park right by the window where they were doing a haunted house. So much for trusting us. We hop out of the car to the sound of kids screaming and poor Greg froze in his tracks. We made sure to steer him clear of that and stick to freaked out child appropriate activies. My parents went trick or treating with us on Halloween since Dave had to work. We found a fun neighborhood to trick or treat in and yay! it wasn't freezing. It was the best Halloween in years since I didn't want to just hide in my car with the heat blazing. Greg was still scared and walked around solemly all night sucking on his lips (its his scared thing.) My parents took us to Krispy Kreme afterwards because the kids just hadn't had enough sugar coarsing through their veins yet.

Here's Kenz with her beloved donut on a string. Sadly she isn't posing for this shot. That kissing face is her actual normal face before she eats a donut. She loves them a little too much.

The girls and their loot. Greggers is my timid little dinosaur in the background.

At the ward Halloween party. Greggers is a dinosaur, Connor has Greg's old cowboy costume, Kenzie is a princess and Hailey is Hannah Montana complete with fiber optic glowing wig. A necessity for every little girl.

I don't remember dressing up for Halloween since the 6th grade when I went as the Phantom of the Opera and no one knew who I was supposed to be (hard to believe I didn't have any friends, I know.) So with that great track record, I decided to see how many more people I could make not want to be my friend and dressed up as Sarah Palin. My nametag said "McCain - Palin, Gettin Mavericky" I'll let you be the judge if this was meant to be supportive or ironic. Let's just say when I went trick or treating it didn't go over as planned, but the kids bagged extra candy from my "fans." Bonus : I got to say "you bethcha" a lot.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chronic Lateness

So you all know how I'm always late to everything and therefore my entire family is always late to everything including church. So this past Sunday we were on time for once. As in we heard the announcements on time. Something we haven't done in months. Usually we stroll in seconds before the Sacrament Prayer and hang out in the foyer until after Sacrament is passed. This means Greg only has to wait a few minutes to break into his snack bar he's brought along and we miss all the opening stuff. So as we're raising our arm for releasings and sustainings Greggers keeps asking me what I'm doing. And he keeps asking louder and louder "mom why you waving like that" "who you waving at?" I'm trying to tell him what's going on but he just keeps asking louder and louder. I'm thinking its quite apparant to those immediately around us that we aren't here for sustainings too often. Then he's freaking out that he can't have his snacks. See we have this rule that he can't have his snack until after Sacrament is passed. Being on time probably made the time until snacks seem like an eternity to a 2 year old. Now he's yelling "is it done yet?" Because usually he doesn't witness anything other than Sacrament being brought into the foyer. I was hoping that even though it seemed really loud no one else actually heard my son's announcement that the Huisman family is chronically late. No such luck. When I went into the foyer with Connor later a woman that had been sitting near us joked about Greg's commentary earlier. So there you have it. My lateness has gotten so bad that my son thinks church is some snacks followed by nursery.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I finally got around to unloading my camera so I finally have pictures of our trip to Mississippi. I realize I'm a little behind since this was a few weeks ago but whatever when am I ever on time for anything? We had a great time. Hailey was so excited to see Maddie, it was probably the happiest day of her life. A few days ago she was feeling sad about friends at school. She said yeah these girls, Joanna and MacKenzie were her friends but Maddie was special. It was so sweet. Greggers and Sa got to work on their wedding plans. While Hailey worked to re-corrupt the Campbell kids. It was so great to see where they lived. Gregger's is really enjoying his custard. They have this great icecream place called Bop's there. We went twice in three days. When I asked Maddie what her favorite thing about Mississippi was she yelled "Bops!"

These are some pictures of the kids at the Jackson zoo. Hailey and Sa look just like sisters.
Theres this cool little plexiglass dome the kids can stick there head up through and watch the beavers. Unfortunately the pump was broken so the water was bright green and there were no beavers. But hey apparantly its still fun to stick your head up there.
This is Hailey's monkey. He followed her wherever she went around cage and would climb up to where we were. He probably sensed her innate ability to find a treat anywhere and thought he could get a hookup.
Hailey and Maddie on the carosel.

We went to the Mississippi natural history museum. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. It was actually pretty cool. The kids are all piled on a giant frog statue.
Greggers running around Nik and Da's new backyard. Its hard to tell but the grass is as tall as him. Everything there seems like it grows really fast. Da's dream life. A lawn of fast growing grass. How long tell he's got Nik out there 9 months pregnant mowing the grass? I see the concrete lawn coming.
Connor and Jack playing while we check out the house. My favorite part of their house is the master bath. Its so awesome. I took several pictures of it. I think the fact that I was so excited about a bathroom may indicate I've lived in an apartment too long.

Here's the tragic death of the Previa. I think it looked worse in person. It sure felt worse. I really enjoyed the way the back hatch would rattle every tiny bump afterwards like it was about to fall off.

It was a great trip. It was so good to see them again. Mississippi was actually way more normal than I'd expected. I expected a bunch of weird backwards hicks and women that looked like Designing Women. Its so pretty there, everything is so green. I know why Miss is the fattest state in the nation, AWESOME FOOD! Nik took me to this great restaurant called Juleps. I'm still craving those cheese fritters. Yay to Da for watching all 6 kids so Nik and I could have a girls night out. I think it was good for me and Hailey to see where they lived. I thought the fact that it took an entire day to fly there would be a good indicator of how far they lived. But Greg still thinks we can just hop in the car and cruise on over. It was so great of Dave to set this trip up for us. It was so thoughtful of him. He loves to torment me about Nik, but he really came through on this. Who'd of thought he'd think this up and research it out for me. He secretly wants of to be neighbors again, I know it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Boys are so special

Sadly this is a true story. I was changing Gregger's stinky diaper when he starts wiggling his bum all around and straining. Thinking there was something going on I didn't want to experience I tried to quickly put a new diaper on him. He starts yelling "no, no I trying to fart." Well that's just great but I'd really like to have that region covered just in case if you know what I mean. "NO mom I want to fart on you. Take my diaper off!" I'm hurrying faster now, not taking any chances here. "Mom I want to fart you head! Its coming, take it off", pulling his diaper off. I quickly re-diapered, wrenched his pants on and hurried him on his merry way. He chased me out of the room yelling "Mom wait, I want to fart your head!" Ah motherhood. Seriously what is turning my sweet little toddler into this disgusting little boy? Is this what I have to look forward to?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to Potty Train Your Son in a Day

Greg has been showing a lot of interest in using the potty lately which made me think he's ready to give it a go. We decided to hold off until we got back from Mississippi and then see if he was still interested. Well he came back as excited as ever so I thought Great! lets go for it! Here's my simple plan to potty train your child in a day

Day 1

1. Take him to the store and pick out really cool underwear. Very exciting!

2. Take them home and try them all on. Make sure you pick him up in front of a mirror in each pair so he can see how great his bum looks with Thomas the Train or Lightening McQueen on it. Assume that his shrieking like an excited girl at a Jonas Brothers concert means he just can't wait to use the potty.

3. Take him potty, cheer wildly for tiny trickle. Repeat over and over for an hour.

4. Fold up a towel on his seat in the stroller and tell him its just in case his pee comes out while we're on a walk. Remind him, your pee goes in the potty. When I got home Greg jumped out excitedly and yelled "mama I peed on the washclof!", beaming. Umm I think he doesn't get it.

5. Change his clothes, take him potty, cheer, rewards.

6. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

7. Suggest after outfit after outfit that maybe he should take a nap with his diaper. Greg refuses and I cave. To my surprise he wakes up dry. Ten minutes later he comes out with noticabely wet underwear which he swears are dry. When I question him he finally says "Yeah I peed the floor in my woom" then runs off leaving his underwear behind.

8. By this point I figured what the heck I'll let him run naked for a while, he's just peeing all over anyways.

9. Now we really had to go somewhere so I tackled him down to dress him. Imagine my joy to find some tell tale smears on his naked bum. Our conversation went something like this

"Um Greggers did you poop?"

"Yeah" very non-chalantly


"Over dere"

"Where over there"

"On the floor"

"Where on the floor"

"Umm under the table I tink"

Twenty minutes of hands and knees searching revealed nothing. Hopefully that means he was just saying stuff and those smears meant he stopped in his tracks, but I'm a little afraid of a surprise later.

10. At this point in the day, when he ran from me holding his underwear yelling he wanted a diaper, I gladly gave him one. Which he wore the rest of the day.

Day 2

1. Get child up put on clean diaper.

In the end Dave and I came to the conclusion that maybe the underwear are just some new item of character clothing to wear and peeing in the potty is something fun to do sometimes. I'm pretty sure in his head those underwear were just like a diaper waiting to be used then replaced.

Little Cherubs

The other day Greg and Hailey asked if I would get down this huge box of train tracks for them to play with. I said sure, as soon as the boys room is picked up so you can set the train up in there. They were back in record time with the room reportedly clean as can be. As I walked down the hall, they ran ahead of me and lined up next to each other in front of Greg's bed beaming like the Von Trapp children with their shiny, little, blond heads. Thinking to myself "how sweet. They're so proud of their cleaning job," I start to get down the train set all the while telling them what a great job they did. Then out of the corner of my eye I see the real reason for their cherubic smiles and strategic line up. They've piled every single toy from the floor (and there was a lot) on Greg's bed and tried to block the giant pile with their bodies. No wonder it got done so quickly. Gotta give them points for trying I guess. I helped them clean it up right, and got them the trains. Meanwhile I learned that if your children come to you smiling like the Chesire cat, there's probably a reason and it's not always good.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Dorky Kid on the Playground

Tonight while she was getting ready for bed, McKenzie started telling me her sad tale about life on the playground. She's never been one to have a ton of friends. She usually has one or two that she just really loves. But she had a few little friends last year and one on again, off againer that seemed to really matter to her. Apparantly there's all sorts of sadness and difficulty happening as a result of some sort of jumproping club and mean girls. Most of you have witnessed my embarrassing lack of coordination, which sadly Kenzie has inherited. This does not make one popular in the jumproping club apparantly. Basically its a long, tragic tale and at the heart of it is this poor little girl who doesn't really have a lot of friends and is terribly shy and self aware and I think maybe getting picked on a little. In short she's me. McKenzie's story is the story of my entire childhood. I was the sad, dork at school with one friend only. And if that friend was gone one day or played with someone else, well my day was wrecked. I didn't really move much past this one friend scenario until 10th grade. I tried to reassure her that mommy only had one friend total until 5th grade. Surprisingly this did not help. I thought maybe she'd snort and make a face like "Geez mom even I have more friends than that," but all she said was "who Nikki?" I tried to give her advice, but I feel wildly underqualified. Making new friends has never been my best skill. I went the "well you have to deal with mean people your whole life and this is a great learning experience" route"but that fell short too. Hailey, who I was so worried about sitting all alone on the bus, apparantly jumps on and has a slew of friends to sit with. She doesn't want to sit by her sister, I thought it would be the other way around. My heart aches for McKenzie. I know her pain but I don't know what to do. I want to go down to that school and say: "Hey you bratty little girls. She'll get better at jumprope if you just let her try. McKenzie is sweet and smart and loyal and way cuter than all of you so you just better be her friend or you're missing out." (Pretty sure that wouldn't go over too well.) I know she has to fight her own battles but man it sucks being the dorky kid at school.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ode to Baconsalt

Just having finished another great meal seasoned with our new favorite condiment, I want to share our great discovery with you all. Bacon flavored salt! I know you are thinking wow what a genius invention why didn't anyone think of this before, because that is exactly what we thought! It seems like such a no brainer. Duh of course. Apparantly its in huge demand with the troops and the company ships a case a month to different units. We found out about it in a newspaper article and are now making it our personal mission to test exactly how many foods we can improve by making them taste like bacon. So far we like it on eggs, potatoes, sandwiches, rice, pasta, and of course all meat. Dave has a friend that's a chef and likes to apply a thick coating to steak before grilling. The guy swears by it. That's our next experiment. Since I know some of you out there share my feeling that anything with bacon is probably a hit, I'm spreading the joy. We find it at Trading Company around here, try

Sunday, September 7, 2008

10 years and a herd of kids later....

Friday we celebrated our 10th anniversary! I have to say if you want to feel your age get all dressed up, act surprised your nice dress is too tight (I swear its not the icecream), ditch your 4 kids with a sitter (thanks Carrie and Scott), then jump into your sporty minivan for an exciting night out. You can only be gone as long as the baby can stretch. Extra points if your van's mysterious transmission and electrical problems act up. Be sure to get home early so you can go to bed for work the next day. Ahh adulthood.
Its been a great 10 years. I'm blessed to have such a wonderful husband. He may be the shyest guy on the planet but that works since I talk too much. I knew I'd marry him right after I met him. An experience on our second date that showed me what a great dad he'd be clinched it. I'm so glad I have him in my life. I can't wait for 10 more years (and no more kids, cross your fingers everyone)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Dance of Joy

Hooray for me and mom's everywhere! The kids are back in school. I would like to say that I love public school. They come and cart the kids away first thing in the morning and bring them back in the afternoon, educated and fed. What more could I ask for? Granted their school isn't the best and not very challenging so I do try and do a little extra at home, but its not the ghetto and their safe and sound so away they go! Hailey didn't get into afternoon kindergarten (sigh) but she's gone all afternoon while the boys nap. Which means I actually have time to complete a thought and a page of a book. Something I haven't done in months. When my kids are home their is no such thing as alone with your thoughts. Here's some pictures of the kids fun summer. Sorry they are in totally random order. Ah, Hailey the fashion model.

Connor is sitting up and getting ready to crawl. I don't think I'm too excited about that since getting the kids to pick up all of their tiny crap is virtually impossible. There are Barbie shoes and beads hiding all over just waiting for him to put in his mouth. No amount of threatening and yelling seems to matter. I took all the Barbie accessories away months ago yet I still keep finding holdouts everywhere. I tell you those things multiply on their own.

McKenzie's first day of 2nd grade

Hailey's second day of kindergarten. Dave took her to school the first day and in his rush forgot the all important first day picture. Hailey says kindergarten is super hard because you have to sit still.

At the park withEli. Picking up on the ladies I see. We went to Shadle park with Sharon and her kids a week or two ago. The kids had a great time. The girls and Eric playing went something like this "Eric you're the handsome prince and I'm the princess." "No, I'm a warrior and this is our battleship." "NO Eric you're not. YOU'RE THE PRINCE"
He pretended to hate it but I think deep down he didn't mind too much. Greggers was so thrilled to see Eli. He misses his friends so much.
This is a huge playground in Washington Park in Portland. We flew down for the day last week to explore and go to this ballet thing, interesting only to me and McKenzie. Washington Park is huge and has a ton to see. I wish we had more time to explore. Portland has a lot of much cooler stuff than I realized.

The girls at the top of the International Rose Garden in Washington Park overlooking the city.

I took the kids to Kids's Day at Riverfront Park a few weekends ago. They have all of this free stuff you can do set up all over the park. Area businesses have booths set up with free activities and fun stuff for the kids to do like crafts and face painting. Hailey won an Elmo backpack full of Sesame Street toys and felt really special. Afterwards I took the kids to play in the huge fountain in the front of the park. (Yes kids are supposed to play in it) The above picture is the girls snuggled up together in the one towel I brought (saves on laundry if they all share). Funny story about that fountain. Tons of kids run through this huge like 30 feet tall structure. some of them bring swimsuits, some just wear their clothes and deal with the dampness. Well I look over and see some stark naked kid a little older than Greg running around like "Hey look at me" At first I thought he was an escapy but then I saw his sisters also apparantly naked. Upon closer inspection I realized that they were just running around in sopping wet underwear that made it look like they were naked. These girls were older than mine, the oldest was like 9 or 10. I was like alrighty then. Now I had to scope out the parents, surely they were hippies or Europeans (its kind of like how you can always pick the Europeans out at Sandpoint beach because no other self respecting man would wear a speedo to the lake). Nope normal parents, like someone I would be friends with. I had to call someone, alas I only got voicemails so I just left NIk a laughing voicemail about naked families. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be appalled. For anyone out there thinking "what's the big deal? I let my 9 year old run mostly naked in public all the time." Let me give you a pointer. Put clothes on the kid. It just looks bad. Judgemental people like me think you are a weirdo. And Spokane has a lot of ummm questionable people if you know what I mean.
The kids with their faces painted (you can't really see it but they were pretty proud)

Another randomly placed picture of the Batson kids and mine (minus Eli) at Shadle Park.
We had a great summer. We lived like teenagers. Went to bed super late and slept in (kids too) and were always running around. Hence the lack of blog posts. Fun though it was I was definately ready for school to start. The girls were making me crazy. Dave took the girls to Salt Lake to visit Grandma Huisman a couple of days before school started and they had a great time. Kenzie cried when she had to leave. She doesn't get to see her other Grandma too much. One night while they were gone Greggers and I were in this tiny Greek place grabbing dinner. I was holding him when he said "Mama, let me check your nose." So he shoves his little fingers up there. I thought he meant check with his eyes. I said Gross Greggers and set him down. Tilting his head back he told me to check his now. I stooped down, took a quick peak and assured him it was all clear. He yelled "No with you fingers!" The old Greek guy watching had a good laugh. I'm pretty sure he used extra bleach on our table when we left.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Fever

As I write this my kids have just barely gone to bed, having stayed up to catch every second of the closing ceremony. My kids have become completely obsessed with the Olympics. Possibly fueled by my obsession with Michael Phelps, but no one can prove it.
Here are ten signs your children may have an unhealthy obsession with the Olympics
1. they cheer wildly whenever Michael Phelps, or anyone else they think may be him is on tv
2. when they accidentally fall off of something, they jump up, yell hooray and throw their arms in the air like a gymnast
3. their favorite commercial of the Olympics is the one where the sumo wrestlers run down the street forming an airplane that takes off. Whenever this comes on they cheer wildly and start laughing their heads off about "the underwear commercial."
4. they dance around the living room, half dressed, singing along with Chinese pop stars like crazed apes
5. after marathon late-night viewing sessions, they recreate the previous days events using furniture and household items as props. (I only lost one laundry basket to the "gymnastics course")
6. walk around singing the Olympics theme song, it has currently replaced singing of Dragontales and Sesame Street songs
7. tell you all of their dreams are about them being in the Olympics
8. the second the tv flips on they ask for the Olympics channel, not the Hannah Montana channel
9. won't do anything unless you yell on your mark, get set, go! first
10. ask you worredly what they're going to do now that the Olympics are over

For those of you who caught the closing ceremonies, did anyone else think the "memory tower" reminded them of the movie Ants? With all of those guys climbing up and moving together? My kids picked this up right away. This tower was hysterical from start to finish. When they white painted guys started dancing Greggers started yelling "naked dancing" and fell over laughing. Those crazy silver/red suited tower guys had the girls in tears. Then started the Chinese pop stars, that my children tried their hardest to sing right along with in uh, Chinese I think. I'm pretty sure my new downstairs neighbors are really regretting their decision to move in yesterday. Lucky for them its over.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Dave and I thought that since we can fly for free wouldn't it be fun to fly to Seattle for the day, take the kids to the science center and fly home that night. My parents could come, we'd all ride the bus and wouldn't it be fun. Weeelll this is how it really went. Our first mistake was not leaving until the 9:30 flight because you know how good we are at getting places early. Although we'd been warned that the Seattle bus system could be time consuming we still assumed we'd just hop off the plane and onto a bus. Um no. Let's just say if you are ever planning to take the city bus from the airport, plan on waiting a while. You wait for the right bus number. But some busses just flash that number to taunt you and aren't really going where you want. Then when that magical bus does appear, its full. On the bright side its really cheap and the people were super friendly and not at all scary. I had some prejudice that Seattle bus riders would all be scary. But hey this is Seattle and there are a plethora of tree huggers riding the bus around. Also gas is like $4.40. So we made it downtown and got lunch at the variety pack that is Pike Place Market, waited some more for a bus and went to the Science Center. Now some people on the bus had made mention that there was a big parade downtown that evening so we should have been prepared. Imagine our surprise when we show up at the bus stop (I had carefully mapped out our every bus route the night before) to find a notice announcing its closed for the parade. And every other bus stop for many, many blocks. Replenished with diet Coke, we finally found a bus stop with actual buses to take us to the University District to meet my sister for dinner before she goes to work. We of course took a bus that left us with a hike to the shopping center leaving us a whole 40 minutes to visit Chrissy. Then the fun began. Realizing that my printouts won't due us any good thanks to the parade, I call the busses little hotline to route us to the airport. Now its 7 and we leave at 9. The guy on the phone laughed at me! He said I'd be lucky to make it in time for the last flight at 11 to Spokane. He says (laughing the whole time after he heard my kids shrieking in the background) my best bet is to book it a mile to UW medical center in like 10 minutes and bus to Bellevue, then the airport, skipping locked up downtown. Now his mile was more like 2 and we had a large group. After booking it there we of course miss the bus by a mile. By this time we were all in a spectacular mood and looking forward to the possibility of spending the night at a hotel with nothing. I was, of course the only one with a toothbrush, we were running out of diapers, and we didn't have Tag (Greg's precious blanky we never should travel without.) We were exhausted, stranded at a bus stop, and Carl's ostomy bag exploded. Good times for all. Luckily we caught a bus to Bellevue and found that there was still another bus to the airport, in 45 minutes. For entertainment we had a local couple drinking on the bench alternating between needing a room and needing someone to call the cops to break up the fight. In the end the police showed up just as our bus did. Having been up to date on their COPS viewing, they hopped on our bus like they were heading to the airport anyways. I'm smart enough to know they were just avoiding arrest and they probably weren't going to tone down the R rated language or the fight club for us (they had been beating each other up minutes before). But not smart enough to know when to shut my mouth. There was no way I was going to ride for an hour with those fools. So I hike up front, stick my head in the drivers little cubby, and inform him that his latest passengers are the drunken, violent idiots that the police are running around outside looking for. I said it much nicer I swear. Crazy black lady gets all drunk up in my face yelling at me about kicking my butt. I think the only reason she didn't was I had Connor in the pack and she was sober enough not to hurt a baby, (like I said not too smart.) She starts telling the driver I'm drunk and I don't know what I'm talking about. Now my mom's getting all mad, I can tell she's getting ready to jump up, and yells "she's not drunk, she's a Mormon." Crazy black lady wasn't impressed. Finally some other lady backs me up to the driver so he shuts the door and starts honking for the police. Just like COPS only no exciting background music. Relieved, we rode to the airport just praying we'd make the last flight out. We ran through the airport like fools, throwing our shoes back on as we ran and barely made the last flight. Luckily Dave was able to smooth talk (yes Dave) the customer service guy into sticking us onto the flight at the last second even though we'd booked a different flight. Needless to say it was a fun day but I think we've learned a lot of what not to dos. And I'm pretty sure my Dad doesn't want to come next time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I know you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting for me to update my blog with vacation photos. I can't seem to ever find the time. Even when I think I do, I'm constantly interrupted by emergencies like she's touching me and I can't get Barbie's clothes back on. Now that I've successfully redressed Ken for the 50th time today I may have a spare 5 minutes.
We had a really great time in California. We scheduled our flights so we'd get in early the first day and leave late the last day so we'd have the most time possible. We got to go to Disneyland for 2 days with my parents and Aunt Tish, Uncle Joe, and my cousin Christopher. We had a great time there. Hailey was beaming practically every second of the day. She seemed to love everything. Greggers was horrified by most of the rides except curiously for Pirates of the Carribean. Seeing Lightening McQueen and Mater at the Pixar parade was probably the highlight of his little life. Kenzie seemed to have fun, but she seems to have entered the teenage years early and spent and fair amount of time complaining and sulking about tragedies like its too hot, too cold, hungry, full, thirsty, tired you name it. I felt like that cruise commercial where the mom is trying to get a picture of the girl's elusive smile. All in all it was very fun and worth every penny.
Our family at a waterfall in California Adventure Park. Note Dave's ultracool wheelchair thanks to a recent work injury.
Greggers in his Mickey Mouse hat waiting for the electrical parade.

Tim and Jackie (and my cousins head), cutting the cake. They had a really beautiful ceremony at a vineyard outside of San Luis Obispo. Tim seemed so happy, it was so sweet.

Look Paulitz's do dance! (alcohol helps)

The kids at Redondo Beach

The girls in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle during our afternoon girls time. Every afternoon the boys would go nap in our hotel across the street and the girls would go play for a few hours. A lot of this time was spent stalking princesses, and getting every penny sucked out of me in special "princess" stores. They have this neat Princess Fantasy Faire in Fantasyland that is really cool but the store is designed for suckers with a high credit limit. I watched many parents spend 3 tanks of gas on princess outfits and hairdressers that will fix your daughters hair like a princess for $30 and up. I'm either really cheap or really smart, notice my girls are still wearing their walmart specials not $200 worth of Cinderella costumes. We succumbed to the temptation only slightly.

Connor loves his Mickey Mouse ears!

I think this was the single best moment of Greg's life. The Pixar Play Parade started with Lightening McQueen and ended with Mater. I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of his face when Mater first came out, it was like shock and awe and the second coming all in one. I thought he was going to spring tears of joy.

Hailey loved the parade. The had a lot of great floats from the Pixar movies that the kids really loved.

My family, uncle Joe, and Christopher with "Mickey Mouse Club House" as Greg calls him

Outside the Winnie the Pooh ride, also apparantly scary

I guess Gregs not the chosen one today

The girls on the Go Go Coaster in Toontown. Its not that big but they were so proud to go on a rollercoaster. Hailey especially was so excited and wanted Maddie to see her on the big roller coaster.

Greg at Manhattan Beach. He has an interesting strategy for attacking the ocean. He takes big handfuls of sand and clenches them in his little fists. Then he stands in warrior pose (like yoga) and waits for the wave to get to him. Then he furiously throws the sand at the ocean and turns and runs screaming so it can't touch him. Eventually he gave up his assault on the sea and tried to get as dirty as possible.

The girls with Ariel.

This is the bathtub water after the kids played in the mud one afternoon. Obviously it took a couple of cycles to get them clean.
Kenzie finally learned to ride her bike without training wheels. Way to go Kenzie!

Greggers showing off his stitches. You can't really see them but he got 3 stitches after he took a bad fall at the park last week. He thought it was a spider on his head and kept trying to get it off.

I'm guessing somewhere along the way here you've gotten to thinking geez there's a lot of pictures here, who does Liz think she has pictures of, Brad Pitt? Obviously I think my kids are adorable and took hundreds, these are just the select highlights. Hope you enjoyed.