Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who cleans YOUR house?

As the kids sat eating lunch today I was finishing up my daily task of cleaning something around the house. It's a big house and requires some maintenance on my part, just like everyone else's house. But apparently the boys thought little cleaning gnomes come and clean up:

Max: "What are you doing?"
Me: "I'm cleaning. I usually do this while you are in school, but since you're here you get to watch me clean!"
Ian: : "Oh. You clean the house?"
Me: "Well, who did you think cleans the house?"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our very first blizzard!

As you can see from all the prior posts - I'm a wee bit excited about the snow. But, I'm not the only one in the family that was excited: Hope that you are enjoying you holiday too!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


And this us what I woke up to. Last count we had 7", and that was at

Friday, December 18, 2009


In the time it took us to pop into Best Buy tonight, our car looked like this! (Ans yes, I'm a little excited!)

Spell with Flickr

Check this out:

letter P H Capital Letter I (Washington, DC) letter P KMcElman_090514_P letter S


Mine is all red and pink, but you can make you own HERE. Pretty cool!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lucy loves...

this commercial:

She stops dead in her tracks, smiles, and starts to dance every time she sees it. Too bad for the Gap that this 17 month old doesn't have any buying power!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Snow of the Season

It was beautiful - and it snowed enough to fill my eyes with wonder as it does every time.

Our street, front yard, and out in front of the house * Saturday, December 5, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Finally coming out of the fog

For the past two months, someone has been sick every week. For the first 6 weeks it was one kid, for 12 hours, with a low grade fever. Of course the fever was high enough to be sent home from school, so it meant that they had to stay home the next day when they were perfectly fine, but hey, no biggie. It was only 12 hours and no vomiting or any other gross bodily functions were involved. It was my kind of sick.
As I was counting my blessings that neither Tom nor I were catching anything that the kids were bringing home and sharing, I noticed a tickle in my throat. Now, for me this normally means that I'm getting a "sinus" - you know - upper respiratory thing that lingers. But this time it went straight to a cough, lost my voice, and then I felt like I was run over. Problem was - I looked over at Tom and he looked about the same. It was all we could do to drag our butts out of bed and barely function. And here I am almost three weeks later, finally getting back to where I can say that I'm healthy. There were days that I didn't (couldn't) eat, days that I didn't shower, and a few days that I didn't get out of bed until 1pm. Tom would take the morning then crash, and I'd sleep and take the afternoon. He missed a full week's worth of work. He went in one day for a critical meeting, but came crawling back home as soon as he can. So now he's playing catch up. Which means, at 9:45pm as I type this, he's still at work. And this was like two weeks ago that he was out from work. And a friend of mine noticed the drop off in my online presence - not as many e-mails she said. The computer was not the absolute lowest priority, but it was certainly way down the list, so for some we did completely disappear.

But here I am, three weeks later, healthy. There I said it. Now does this mean that I catch the swine flu, or the plague, Ebola? Yikes. Hope I didn't just jinx myself. But it does beg the question - who will take care of us if we both get sick again? It's something that I pondered over at DC Metro Moms. Hope that as I finish this up that little tickle in my throat isn't the "sinus" coming back to kick my butt again...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One year ago today

It was a Tuesday. Lucy was a mere smiley babe:
Sam has enjoyed his Thanksgiving Feast at school:

And Ian enjoyed the company at his Feast:
Max was on his way to being toothless.
And Tom and I were coming of of a high from FSU beating Maryland (and an in person viewing in the freezing cold!)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I think my cat IS trying to kill me

This is just too funny not to share. If any of you know my cat Bunsen, he's the most loving, snuggly kitty out there. He's always sitting on my lap, sleeping in my bed, and, oh, wait...

How to Tell Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pink Glove Dance

Take a peek at this - it will make you smile:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tasting toilet paper

As any good one year old would do, Lucy decided to taste the toilet paper. She's been wandering around with it putting it in her hair, dragging it around the house, and wiping her face off with it for weeks. But until now it hasn't passed her lips. Well, it wasn't quite the taste that she was expecting, and it came right back out. Guess it's a bit grainy...you know...like toilet paper can be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just like Sam

Lucy climbed right up on the bed with Sam and slid in right next to him to see what he was doing. She's gotten the idea that the Nintendo's are cool, and occasionally make noise, but she's really starting to figure out that the boys can get them to do all kinds of magical things!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The agony of defeat

Max's indoor soccer recreation team got their butts handed to them on a platter today, and my kid walked away smiling. Amazing what teaching kids the value of playing a good game verses winning the game will do - it actually works.

Max has always has a great attitude whether he wins or loses, and it was nice to see that smile today after their really ugly loss. The team that these kids were playing against were not only an age division up from our team, but they clearly had been playing together for at least a few seasons. They came out swinging and never let up. We barely got going in the first half, and the score looked terrible. But our kids never gave up and they played as hard as they could for the full 50 minutes. It was really impressive to see some of our kids getting beat and then picking right back up and chasing down some of the older (and bigger) players. The image that sticks in my mind is one of our smallest player, a 7 year old, going up against one of their bigger players - our player came up to the shoulders of this big kid. Our player wasn't going to let that phase him, and he kept at it until the popped the ball out and then he took off with it.

So, the kids got their teeth knocked in today by a much older more experienced team, they played their best, and Max was clearly proud of his effort. Oh yeah - he scored a goal on those kids. And yes, two of his teammates did too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And suddenly it's the middle of the night.

And the worst part is - you only realized that it was the middle of the night because you got cold - really cold. Yeah, it was your body shutting down. The worst part? Your hubby, who normally gets up with the kids, is in another state. Not the state of unconsciousness, but an actual other state, and you are on the hook for the AM routine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glasses anyone?

How long are you allowed to let your kid go with broken glasses? What is the rule in Mom Land? Well, in my part of Mom land, as long as it takes for you to get collected enough and decide how to replace them so they don't have the same exact failure all over again. You see, this little man:
cute as he is, is very hard on his glasses (and it has nothing to do with soccer). He is constantly fidgeting with them. If you look closely you will see that they are all cattywampus on his face. We have taken him in to have them adjusted about 10 times since he got them in March of this year. Yes, TEN times in 7 months. But while we joke when we leave that we'll see them in a week (they laugh - I don't) I get sick of having to drive over to the eyeglass place to get them adjusted. But, I always do. Tom, on the other hand, decides that HE will adjust them and of course, they finally fail. We bought Ian the fancy Flexon glasses that can bend around your finger, absorb the impact of being hit with a ball, and retain their shape when you sleep on them. But apparently you cannot adjust them at home. Those times that we are told NOT to try this at home, well, no one mentioned that in respect to the glasses. So, the one part that is NOT the Flexon breaks. Yes, his nose piece is just gone from his glasses, and of course the 90 day warranty is up. Well, that and his daddy broke them (at least that's what IAN tells me).
So, the dragging of my feet here involves the next step - what the heck should we put him in that won't break at the drop of the hat, yet will give his clearer vision. Part of the reason we got them adjusted so often was that he pushed them really, REALLY far up his nose to see, and him fidgeted with them all the time. A pair with a fixed nose piece would solve that problem, but plastic frames (my current frame of choice) doesn't fly on a 6 year old. So, we're heading back to the eyeglasses place here in a day or so, and we will try once again to get this darling little man into a pair of frames that will last him longer than a week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear Blog

I am so sorry that I forgot about you. I actually did forget about you for a while there. Between a sick hubby (he is fine now), the end of the crazy soccer season (it's over now), the beginning of a school district wide budget fight (that's just ramping up), and the leaves changing color and falling off the trees (that's still going on), I was, let's say, a bit distracted. It was really the leaves though that caught my eye first. Then this:
and this:
and of course this too:
But that's no real excuse. It was the leaves, and they are indeed beautiful this time of year.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Go Longhorns! Moving up in the BCS world sure feels nice. And the Seminoles stood up and took their licks and came out victorious too! What a great football weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Ride

So I ran into a neighbor's mailbox, needed a 30,000 mile check up on my van, and am driving a teeny tiny car. I'll explain the mailbox later because there's actually a funny story about that. The van, well, it's not quite at 30K, but I figure that since we need to repair the mirror that we can jump the gun a bit on that. And the car, well, it's cute and all:

but it surely won't fit my four kids and all of their car seats. Probably won't even fit the four kids without the car seats! So, the dealer promised me the van back by 1:30, but I'm not holding my breath. I plan on arriving at 1:30 (unless I get a call sooner) and waiting around until they give m something large enough to haul these kids around - be it my own vehicle, or some larger rental. In the meantime I get to zip around in this cute little car. Lucy was digging it at first because she can see out the back window (she's still rear facing until she's 2 - new recommendations), but then the reality that the rear window wasn't that exciting set in and she started objecting. So, we will tootle around today for a bit in this mini version of a car, free of chicken nuggets, soccer balls, and stinky boys, and hopefully will get our own car back all in one piece, all tuned up, and get on with our day.

Monday, October 26, 2009


It's humankind's last stand.
I am having flashbacks to when I was younger - much younger - and was finally allowed to watch this show on TV: I really hope that the new one has the same effect on me:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trunk or Treat!

Take one parking lot, add some cars and some creative people, be sure that it's near Halloween, and TRUNK OR TREAT!!!
The boys loved it! (that's a Jawa, the Black Power Ranger, and Toad from Mario Bros. in case you aren't up on 6 and 9 year old boy culture!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Big Chair

Here is Miss Lucy enjoying herself and sitting in one of the coveted grown-up chairs at Starbucks a few days ago:

From here she could see the people sitting outside, those coming in, and the birds, clouds, planes, trees, sky, and the list goes on. There's something special about being tall enough (and old enough) that your momma lets you crawl up on the big chair and plop down.

Monday, October 19, 2009


And they sat like this for almost the entire first half:

Hook 'Em Horns!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Maurice Sendak

From the day I remember first reading this book (having it read to me actually) I have loved it. And now to see that the author of the book embraces the movie in the same way that children around the world have embraced the book for decades, well, that blows my socks off:

We might just have to make a run to the theater with the whole family, drop the equivalent of one child's college education, and see this movie before too long. Because, honestly, we are all really looking to make sense of the world around us, inside all of us htere really is hope, and Max might just help us all see that. Thanks Spike Jonze, and thanks Maurice Sendak - you've done a great thing here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

9:30 on a Friday at Starbucks

I'm sitting here at Starbucks enjoying my Pumpkin Spice Latte (YUM!) with about 40 of my closest friends. Actually I don't know a single person here, but there are literally 40 people in here. And they keep coming and going. Who knew that Starbucks is such a happening place in the middle if a weekday morning. At least five or six people have walked in and turned right around and left because the line was so long, but they are really coming out in droves for their coffee.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for Tom to brung Lucy up after my chiropractor appointment so she and I can go play with friends. But for now I sit and watch as the masses come and go from this busy busy coffee shop. And of course enjoy my favorite Pumpkin Spice treat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bath Hair

Gotta love it when you have enough hair that your
momma can make it stand straight up with shampoo:

And it sure makes your brothers smile!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Magic Shell Heaven

Take a close look - it's CUPCAKE flavored Magic Shell!

And now it's all gone.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Here come the hornets!

Way back when - two houses ago actually - we had an invasion of the hornets. One took off after Max and that was the end of that nest. Apparently Giant European Hornets and lawn mowers doesn't mix. Anyway, last night as Tom and I sat eating dinner in the dining room, I heard a thumping noise in the sunroom. Chicken that I am, I asked Tom to go see what critter was in there as the door was left open and something had obviously wandered in. I was thinking that a gang of chipmunks, squirrels, birds, or even a pack of wild dogs had moved in, but no. It was our very own Giant European Hornets. Three of them in all. After Tom hunted them all down and killed them, two were in good enough shape to ship off to school in a plastic container - because that's what we do with cool bugs around here. Tom called me a science nerd, but hey, cool looking bugs are cool looking bugs. And look how BIG they are (bigger than this quarter):

But hopefully this is the last we see of these guys - they are fierce looking!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mom Secrets REVEALED!

I swear that this blogger has been following me around! The last two times I've been to the gym I did no exercising - it was all calls and relaxation time! Glad to hear I'm not the only one. So, if you are a mom go read this to see that you are not alone. If you aren't a mom, it's like a peek into the inner working of our little mom-world.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Please Don't Touch!

Dear parents of kids everywhere,

I'm not starting this off by announcing the arrival of the plague, swine flue, or any other terrible ill in our house, but I will say that it's cold and flu season, and I have a one year old. This means that you need to teach your kids not to touch my child in the face or hands, especially when they have a cold or cough, or have been sick recently. I'm not one to seclude my kids all winter, I'm all about letting them run free, but at the same time, let's not share germs here unnecessarily folks. And it's not the babies that I'm talking about. That contact is unavoidable. That, and the moms of wee ones seem to have a better grasp on their slightly under the weather kids. It's the 8 year olds that run up and want to hug and kiss on my daughter. Yes, I know she's cute, and yes, she's friendly, but still. There's no need to wipe your nose on the back of your hand then grab her hand to go play. She gets enough of that from her brothers. Don't cough at her please - just turn away - don't they teach this to you in school if nowhere else??!!?? There's also no need to put your hands all over her face and proceed to wipe her down with whatever germs you have. Parents, please let your kids know that they need to ASK before touching a baby or a toddler - especially when they are sick. I implore you to talk to your kids about this. my boys would NEVER approach a baby and proceed to touch him or her, especially when they aren't 100%. They love looking at the babies, but they know better. So please teach your kids to have the same respect for my one year old.


The mommy that nearly went ballistic on a 8 year old covered in green snot trying to play with my daughter yesterday

Friday, October 02, 2009

Guerilla Goodness

Guerilla Goodness: Sneaking up on someone, doing something nice, then quietly slipping away leaving them to enjoy their goodness. It's all about anonymous giving. It's all about sharing the spirit of giving with my children. And for me it's all about bringing a smile to a kid's face on their very first day of school. And no one told a soul...until now:
These four really left a lasting impression on loads of kids on their way into school for the first day of the 2009-1010 school year. Thanks guys - you did a great thing! And thanks to Patience for sharing a basic but brilliant way to affect change in the world.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For B.

A good friend of mine just lost her mom, and I feel her pain much more strongly than I would have had I not lost my own mom a few years back. For whatever reason it just seems to hit home harder. I know all about the pain that she will have to work through, the time she will spend celebrating the life of this lovely woman, and the heartache for losing her so very early. We are not young children, but losing your mom when you are mid-life is tough. Losing your mom or dad is tough period - no matter how old you are.

I don't know how many times I've wanted to pick up the phone and share something with my mom and couldn't. Or how many times I've snapped a picture that I thought she in particular would appreciate, and have wanted to send it to mom but couldn't. Or how many hours I've thought about what life in my house would be like if she were still around. Would she be proud of the woman and wife and mother that I've become? Would she be sad that we still lived so far away and she couldn't give her grand babies hugs and squeezes more often? Would my outlook on life be any different?

I guess the only thing that would change is that I would pick up the phone more often. I would send that picture more often. But I know that I am still making her proud. And I hope that as my friend goes forward in her life that she knows that her mom, even though she is not physically with her, is always in her heart. My mom is with me at every soccer game, every playgroup, and every school concert. She is there for the ups and the downs, and knowing that I had the chance to get to know and love her for all of those years makes it a little bit easier to not have her around. But honestly, I still miss her each and every day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cool Plate dude...so sorry though!

In the DC area you see all kinds of cool personalized license plates. But that in and of itself is a whole other post. I ran across a plate the other day that I just had to share - even though the content of the plate is so blatantly offensive:
So kudos to the clever person behind this creative plate. But dude - the Gators? Come on now. That's just sad.

(Now if we can just get them to win a game here and there I'd be happy!)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Calvin Ball

We all know who they are, but did you know that Calvin and Hobbes live in my house? Aside from the imaginary part I have two live action versions of Calvin and Hobbes here. Three actually, but you get the idea. If they aren't wrestling on the carpet, they are taking perfectly good games (cards, board games, general goofing around games, sports) and creating all kinds of new rules for them, a.k.a Calvinball. If you aren't familiar, check it out here.

Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!
-The Calvinball Theme Song

Except in our house, in the time it took me to write this post, I had to get up TWICE and go downstairs to the basement to make sure that no one was dying. Seems that my Calvins and Hobbes have taken to torturing each other in various way. They regress from what could otherwise be a very nice game of Calvinball into something terrible and ugly. One of these day's they'll figure out that torturing your brother is not a sport...or at least I hope they will.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pokemon Cards

I figured at some point that the boys would either get bored with or outgrow their massive numbers of Pokemon cards. Some of Max's friends have moved on to bigger and better things, and there are new and more fun things to play with - like Bakugon. I was holding out hope that one day soon they would just be done. But no. They are not only playing with them regularly, but they are making up new games, exploring math and reading, and doing all kids of weird and fun things with them. They even made up their own video game that they play with them. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much - they are cheap and the cards are portable. So I really guess I should complain - until I see this:
and this: and even this:
Yes, my entire basement is covered with Pokemon cards. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


At some point it happens to the best of us - the fridge light burns out. And we dilly dally to replace it. And since it's so dark in there when we dig around, we tend not to notice (or ignore - I'll be honest here) the fact that there's no food in there. And the kids complain and grumble that they are hungry and that we don't have any food...blah, blah, blah. But, the light is still burnt out.
But we soon discover (after a mere three months in the house) that there's a light in the DRYER of all places. After literally two loads a day for the past two months, the light turned on and off every time and never ONCE did I suspect that such a thing even existed. So *PPPHHHTTTT* to you burnt out fridge light. The dryer has a light and it works.