Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 47

Me: ?You?re going with Papa to Tia Diana?s wedding in a couple of hours.?

Dorian: ?Are they going to kiss??

Me: ?Well, it?s a wedding, so yes.?

Dorian: ?Ew.?

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Dante: ?I feel squashed. All over. My whole body is squashed.?

This is while he was sick.

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Dorian: ?My eyes are sweating.?

Me: ?I think that?s called crying.?

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Dante: ?Mama! I just broke my heart!?

Me: ?Probably not your heart . . . let me see.?

Dantepulling up his shirt to show me his stomach ?Right here, it hurts! I broke it, I broke my heart!?

Dorian: ?I think you mean you broke your intestines, Dante, that?s not your heart.?

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Dante: ?Mama, tomorrow we need to take Dorian to the hospital so they can take his brain out.?

Me: ?Why?!?

Dante: ?He?s just bugging me all the day. All he says is ?butt, butt, butt!´?

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Me: ?Your Tia Diana is getting married today.?
Dante: ?You mean, she?s going to be a princess??

5 Months (yesterday)

Dominic is 5 months. In another month, I think I will begin passwording his photos, as well. It makes me sad to do this because I know that people who are new to the blog will most likely skip over it because of these passworded posts. It?s tempting to just let everyone see the boys . . . but obviously, it?s best to keep everyone safe. Guess I need to take more photos from behind!

On to happier things. This little guy is about ready for the next setting on his exersaucer.

This month, Dominic:
- thinks the words ?pizza? and ?elephant? are hilarious, especially when he?s tired.
- is rolling all over the place.
- loves squash, banana and carrot, usually mixed together.
- thinks Mario is the most fascinating thing in the world and watches intently when his brother plays.
- hits Dante and yells at him if he is bugging (which happens a lot!)
- prefers to be outdoors, so he sits in his bouncy chair outside or in his exersaucer out there and laughs at the sky and the wind and the leaves.
- gets super excited over going into town. As soon as he sees the car, he starts squealing and wiggling excitedly.
- has decided that sleeping isn?t as great as being awake, so he frequently gets up to play at night.
- still prefers breastmilk to bottle most of the time and will lift my shirt to get it. He also has a major preference for the left side and will give me dirty looks when I feed him on the other side.
- is blowing spit bubbles.
- thinks he?s the handsomest person in the world in the mirror. He even gave himself a kiss the other day!
- gives kisses when asked. They?re open mouthed and goopy, but oh, so sweet. The other day, I told him I loved him and he grabbed my face with both hands and planted a wet one on me.
- will repeat ?yooooooooooou? if you say ?I love you!?
- loves to have showers.
- can grab just about anything and gnaw on it, but his current favorite ?in-the-mouth? item is any cord or cable he can find. If you need him to stay occupied, you can hand him a length of power cord and he will happily chew on it for up to 30 minutes.
- thinks he?s a big boy like his brothers and gets rather ticked when he?s not allowed to eat a sandwich or tortillas with meat.
- has gotten up on his hands and knees and rocked for a few seconds. I?m not entirely sure this wasn?t an accident, though.

Sick Personalities

We?ve had a bout of sickness in this house lately. First Dominic was ill with what seemed like a cold, but he had a fever for several days and then broke out in a rash. He?s fine now, but it was a bit weird.

Then Dorian was sick for a day. And now Dante has succumbed, with a persistent fever and tummy upsets. What I found interesting is how different my three boys are when they?re sick.

Dorian is all about being near me when he?s ill. He?s normally a very aloof and independent kid, so I kinda like the snuggles when he?s not feeling well, though I?d rather he be healthy, of course. He takes full advantage of his mama time and usually wants to sleep either with me or in my room and watch movies with me on the couch until late at night when he can?t sleep (usually he sleeps even less than normal when ill).

Dante wants nothing to do with me when he?s sick. He?s very rarely ill and so today has bee an eye opener. He?s incredibly grumpy when he?s ill and actually slammed the door on me tonight when I asked if he needed anything else. He sleeps more when ill and while he?ll watch a movie, mostly he just wants to hide under a blanket and whimper to himself. He emerges only for water and bathroom and even those are grumpy affairs. If Irving or I look at him or take his temperature, he is unhappy with us and asks us to leave him alone. The only person he tolerates is Dorian.

Dominic alternates between wanting Papa and wanting me. He fusses and switches arms constantly, searching for someone who will make him better. He wants to nurse, but if his nose is stuffy, he gets downright mad about it all and will yell very loudly and wail as if the world is ending and then, once his nose is cleared out, refuse anything to do with nursing, wanting only a bottle . . . only to repeat the cycle the next feeding. The obvious solution would be to clear his nose first, but sleep deprived parents don?t always think of these things in the moment. :P Dominic is a fitful sleeper when sick, waking every hour or so (which, interestingly enough, is better than his oldest brother who slept in 20 minute increments NORMALLY for the first year of his life).

Definitely 3 distinct personalities here when it comes to being sick!

5 Things My Mom Tried to Teach Me That Never Stuck

My poor mom. I understand her so much better than before, now that I have kids of my own. And I find myself struggling to teach them things that she made sure were instilled in me. Unfortunately, there were a few things that just never really took, no matter HOW hard she tried. And now I wish I?d learned.

1. The right way to hold a pencil. I hold pencils with my fingers all bunched up around the tip. Always have. Probably always will. Mom tried to teach me the right way, but since I did a lot of writing outside of school (and away from her watchful eyes, like in my notebooks, sitting in a tree or an abandoned car), it was pretty much impossible to get me to keep up the fancy fingerwork and I always reverted.

Her reason: you will have better handwriting and your hand won?t get as tired. She was totally right. My handwriting is terrible. I should have been a doctor so it wouldn?t matter.

2. Follow a recipe. Sadly, my mother never succeeded in getting me to follow a recipe. From the first time I tried cooking on my own, I would experiment, change ingredients, add a little of this and a little of that . . . it drove her nuts, especially when my experiments turned out inedible! When she had to go out for the day, she would leave me a written note, with a recipe to follow, to make dinner. I never did it exactly like she said. To this day, I almost NEVER follow a recipe exactly.

Her reason: You have to learn how to cook before you can mix and match things. While I agree to a certain extent, my indie solution was to read up on ingredients and learn what they do so I could understand them well enough to switch things up.

3. Wash dishes immediately after cooking. Isn?t that a smart idea? I know it is. I even try to do it sometimes. But guess what? I happen to detest dishwashing far more than just about any other household chore, including cleaning the toilet. So most of the time, I fill the pots or bowls with water and leave it for Irving to deal with later. He?s good like that.

Her reason: I think it?s pretty obvious. You have a clean kitchen right away. Not to mention, you don?t have to deal with stuck on food. It?s a really, really good idea. Sadly, it rarely gets past that for me.

4. How to knit. Mom actually tried to teach me knitting AND crocheting and I didn?t get either one. I would get so frustrated with dropped stitches that I?d get angry with the project and toss it. This went on for years. While she did teach me tons of other crafty stuff, those were two things that never stuck. It wasn?t until I was grown and in Guatemala that I finally learned to crochet from one of my English students! I?m not an expert, but I can turn out a decent baby hat and used to make bags to sell.

Her reason: It?s a good skill to have. She was right! As usual.

5. Gardening. My mom is an amazing gardener. From the time I was very small, she had huge gardens that gave us all our fresh vegetables. I don?t recall buying vegetables in the supermarket until I was in my late teens. She would can the surplus so we always had the veggies during the winter, as well. These days, she has less time to work on the garden, but her herb garden is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, despite having mini gardens with her supervision from the time I was about 5, I?ve never mastered the art of gardening. In fact, I think I have a black thumb. I have managed to raise some lettuce and that?s about it!

Her reason: Growing food is a very useful skill. You can feed your family and you can always sell the excess. Guess I?ll keep trying . . .

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 46

Dorian: ?Are you going to have more babies? I want maybe ten more.?

Me: ?No, if you want babies you?ll have to have your own when you grow up. Do you think you?ll want kids when you?re older??

Dorian: ?No, I plan to stay a kid forever.?

Me: ?That?s not really an option.?

Dorian: ?I don?t want to grow up and be a man because I won?t be able to play Wii.?

Me: ?You can play Wii, Papa plays, Tio Melvin plays.?

Dorian: ?Yeah, but they only play violent games. They don?t even like Mario Kart.?

Me: ?You realize that it?s your choice? You can do what you want when you?re grown up.?

Dorian: ?Oh. Maybe then.?

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Me: ?What would you like to do for work when you grow up??

Dorian: ?I?m not really sure. I?m going to have to think on that.?

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Dantesinging: ?Stranger Danger, please don?t go!?

Me: ?Dante, if a man came up to you while you were buying tortillas and said, ?please help! My puppy is missing, can you help me find him?? what would you do??

Dante: ?I?d help him!?

Me: ?No, you say, ?I have to ask my mama.??

Dante: ?Oh, yeah.?

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Dorian: ?Dominic already knows how to punch, he just punched me!?

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Danteupon losing his second loose tooth a few days ago: ?I CAN EAT!!!!?

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Dante: ?Please don?t go, Mama. Don?t leave me here!?

Dorian: ?I don?t mind if you go, but can you make me something to eat first??

Just Not Here

I?ve been online an amazing amount lately, but not on here! Blogging on Expat has kind of fallen by the wayside as I work on other projects. Here?s what I?ve been doing, both online and off:

School. Of course. With Dorian?s work getting harder and more complicated, we?re spending more time on school.

Gourmet Mama. I?m cooking more these days and blogging it all on Gourmet Mama. My latest posts include a Coffee Cake in a Mug and Grilled Chimichurri Chicken, but I have a ton of recipes waiting to post, too.

Illness. Dominic has been sick. I?ve been sick. Nearly an entire week flew out from under us as we battled viruses. Fortunately, Irving was here to watch the older boys while Dominic and I rested.

Facebook. Ahem, yes, I admit, Facebook is a weakness for me. As I gear up to publish my first novel, I?m doing a lot more interaction there under my author account, Genesis Blue.

Squidoo. This is where I make the majority of my income, so Squidoo is like a second home for me. I spend time there every day interacting with others, building new pages and working on promotion for my existing lenses. One of my more recent lenses is Step by Step Guide to Making Mozzarella, which was originally published on this blog.

That?s what I?m up to. How about you?

Early Morning Snuggles

When Dorian was tiny, we used to try and co-sleep. In the wee hours of the morning in December and January that year, it was COLD. So we would bring our tiny, freezing baby into bed with us and snuggle him between us so he would stay warm. Irving would immediately drop off to sleep, but Dorian and I would lie there, wide awake and staring at each other. Neither of us could sleep with the other in the bed. To this day, Dorian is my most aloof and independent child.

When Dante came along, I put him in his bed and he slept just fine there, but sometimes I would bring him into bed and try to nurse him. It never worked very well and though HE would sleep, I couldn?t with the little guy tucked in next to me.

And then along came Dominic. With this baby, there?s no leisurely sleep ins in the morning because the other boys get up early and make a lot of noise. While Dominic goes to bed in his crib at 7 pm, when he wakes at 2 or 3 in the morning, I sleepily pick him up and bring him into bed with me. There we snuggle and he nurses, something that has taken three kids to learn, and we doze off together, my arm under his head, his fingers clutching my shirt. And for the first time, I can actually sleep (albeit lightly) with a baby in bed. Snuggling up with that warm little bundle is pretty awesome.

When the sun starts to rise, Dominic stirs and smiles sleepily up at me, drunk on milk and coos or yells, depending on the morning. And when his big brothers wake, they pour into the room like a mini stampede and clamber up on my bed and squeeze in around us and smile at their baby and kiss me good morning and ask how we slept. Then they tickle their baby brother awake and pick him up and pass him back and forth, laughing with him and prop him up on my pillow and proceed to tell him stories and wrestle with each other, which delights him no end.

I watch all this sleepily and think how lucky I am to have these three beautiful boys.

Getting Things Done

Lately, I?ve been feeling overwhelmed by everything that has to be done. There is so much of everything. Half the stuff around the house needs to be done again a few days later. You can?t dust here and leave it! I?m trying to teach the boys to clean up after themselves (and have been since they could hold a toy) but that?s not going so well. So I recruit them on daily missions to clean.

The other day, we scrubbed the stove down and the fridge. I ended up with so much water on the floor, it took me longer to clean THAT up than it would have to do the stove and fridge myself. And yes, I attempted to get the kids to help with the water mess, but let?s just say that turned into MORE water and some very wet kids and an even bigger mess.

They have also been scrubbing the bathroom, though that was more of a punishment for A) having a tantrum over making beds and B) leaving paint everywhere in the bathroom. Btw, Tucan SCHOOL paints don?t come out of clothing. Or off walls. Who the heck makes a paint for preschoolers that doesn?t wash out? :S

Today, well, today we are on a mission to clean the yard. They?ll be picking up all the darn rocks on the path that keep tripping me up whenever I walk there. And the garbage that they?ve collected from who knows where, plus the odds and ends that we have had around forever for no reason. Irving?s mom and dad are kind of packrats. If I throw stuff out, his mom will go through my garbage to pick out what she thinks might be useful someday . . . then she sticks it in the shed and the boys grab it and back it comes to my house. Yay. Because of this penchant, we still have the frame from Dante?s broken bouncy seat. Yes, he?s five years old and his bouncy broke when he was around 9 months old. It?s sitting in my yard. I think Dante was building a house with it.

The other plan is to cut up this huge piece of foam that we have from when we got my bed when I was pregnant and I couldn?t handle how hard the mattress was. It?s too big for my tiny bed, so it was never that practical, but came in handy when my sister was here and we needed another sleeping space. Our sofa and chairs are sunken in the middles, so I?m going to cut the foam to fit there and cover it with something. I?ll probably end up making slip covers, though I don?t have any good fabric for that at the moment . .. . but the MegaPaca is sure to have something that will work well. We?ll kill two birds with one stone, make the living room more comfy and get this big chunk of foam out of my bedroom!