Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Marble Incident

Well today we had a marble incident. You are probably thinking, "Oh no, did Preston choke on a marble?" No. The incident didn't even involve Preston. It was my four-year-old, Maddox. He was playing downstairs while his brothers were napping. Out of nowhere I hear this horrible terrible crying. Had one of his brothers been down there with him, I'd have thought nothing of it. It's the same crying he does when someone wrongs him. However, I knew he was alone. Now Maddox is an emotional kid, but he's never gotten that mad at himself. So I went to the top of the stairs and asked him what's wrong. Through his hysterics, he manages to convey that he swallowed a marble. How does one even do this? I asked him how this happened. He said he didn't know. How does one not know? He just said it was in his mouth and then he accidentally swallowed it. When asked why it was in his mouth in the first place, he said he didn't know. So the situation, as I've gathered, went something like this: Maddox was playing nicely minding his own business. Out of nowhere, a marble jumped into his mouth. He tried to get it out of his mouth, but the muscles of his throat just sucked it right on down. Poor kid. I hate when these kinds of things happen!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Baby #5 is on its way!

We had some exciting news at our house today. We found out that around August 7, 2009, we will be growing by our family by one more person. Yes, we're pregnant. This baby will be bringing up the rear of our brood. We told the boys. Caden was more concerned with why Daddy had stopped putting up Christmas decorations outside. Brennen, just walked out of the room, but then re-entered to inform us that he would like a boy baby. (If you ask him about a girl baby though, he say, "I like girl babies." So go figure.) Maddox told Bob that "That was not exciting news", as Bob had claimed when starting the announcement. Then went on to say that he only wanted a boy baby. Later this evening, Maddox asked if he could pick the baby's name. He picked Jaylee. I told him that wasn't really a boy name. So, now he's decided he's "rooting" for a girl! Bob and I have decided not to find out the gender of this baby. Boy or girl doesn't really matter. I don't like it when people seem disappointed when we tell them it's another boy. No matter what, nobody's disappointed when they hold a newborn baby in their arms! I've discovered, God seems to know what I need and will flourish with far better than me. I love being a mother to the four little boys that we have. Never would have guessed that in a million years! I've decided not to question God, but just trust. It's a much easier existence!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our Christmas Card Picture - Take 2

We attempted the Christmas card picture again this morning. I must say that it went better. A camera with batteries and memory card that work really helps the process! This took only about 20 minutes this time. Here is how the beginning started out. No yelling for a change!

We again tried many poses. We found a little trick to working with Preston. A baby won't run away if you shove an M&M in his mouth. He'd never had these before, but definitely seemed to like them. Plus, it made him sit still. Here are a few of the outtakes from today's shoot!

I decided not to ruin the surprise of the final picture. You'll just have to wait to get the card. But at least you'll know the story behind it!

Our Christmas Card Picture

Last night after dinner, we decided to try and take the dreaded "Christmas Card Picture." Every year we put on Christmas pajamas carefully selected from Gymboree. (Which by the way, getting in four different sizes is no small feat!) Then we try to set the scene by putting up some Christmas decorations, lighting a fire in the fireplace and gathering some Christmas trinkets. Then we try to assemble the masses for a picture. Now I will say that having four children never seems like a lot to me, until I try to photograph them together. It really is like herding cats. However, this year I was optimistic that it was going to go better, until we got started. First off, dead batteries in the camera. Of course! I made sure to charge them during the day, but apparently didn't have them completely clicked into the charger. So we found some that were dying, but hoped they'd hold out. After I entered the room and heard my husband yelling at the kids to just sit down and hold still, I knew it wasn't going to go well. We tried our hardest. Preston wouldn't sit in one spot. Brennen decided he suddenly needed to chew on his fingers. Maddox only seems to have one huge open mouth smile right now. (I mean huge. Like you could drive a freight train into that hole!) And Caden concentrates so much on his smile that he looks like Chandler Bing on Friends taking a picture. We could never get all four looking at the camera at the same time. We tried all every pose imaginable. Brennen didn't like the fireplace going behind him and so he started screaming at one point that his back was on fire. It was not. (Not even I would go that far for a good picture!) Caden just kept asking if we could just use individual shots, which is a no-go since the card is done and just waiting for a picture. I did everything in my power to get good smiles. However, what makes a 14 month old smile and what makes a 6 1/2 year old smile are light years apart! We still don't even know how this happened, but Bob got cut and was bleeding on the ankle somehow during the photo shoot. After an hour and ten minutes, the camera's memory card reported a problem. I decided that for better or worse we'd just have to use one of the pictures we'd already gotten. So, here's what we got:

Seeing nothing, right? That's because that's what we got. Somehow the memory card failed and we lost every picture we'd taken! I was physically and emotionally drained. (Frankly to the point of tears.) Bob said we'd try again this morning. I'll let you know how that goes. No matter what, you'll all see it in the card we send out this year. For those of you without children, when you get somebody's card that has a picture of their kids on it, please just realize the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) that went into it to get it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I turn 31. My age really doesn't bother me. However, I do think that maybe we should downplay birthdays a little bit more. Frankly, from that very first birthday, we set the bar really high. Not that it's that big of a deal for children, because as long as they get presents, they don't care about much else. Every year we make sure they have the party theme they want, invite all kinds of kids to shower them with presents, let them dictate the meals for the day, and essentially just be king/queen for a day. Then one day it all comes to a halt. Suddenly you find yourself looking forward to just getting to pick where to eat for dinner and some well wishers on Facebook. What happened? When did I stop being queen?
I know you're probably wondering where this is coming from. Today was not ever scheduled to be the most fabulous day of my life, but it was at least going to be a little better than it's turning out to be. I agreed to watch my 14 month old niece today. (Don't ask me what I was thinking adding another kid in on my birthday, but it's extra money for next Friday's big day of shopping!) Out of nowhere yesterday, Maddox comes down with the dreaded stomach bug that seems to plague our house every year about this time. So, that means no leaving the house for 24 hours, because he's contagious. My Bible Study that I lead had to be cancelled. Lunch out with my mom, cancelled. Dinner out with family, cancelled. Errands that are now piling up, postponed! And so here I sit. This is not the end of the world. Things will work out fine. I just want to be able to feel sorry for myself for a short while!

And now...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Almost 31...but feel 13 again!

Next Thursday will be my 31st birthday. But on Tuesday night, I was able to go back and relive being 13 again...and it was WONDERFUL! I went to a New Kids on the Block concert. I haven't been to one in 18 years! It was so much fun. They were great. I screamed like a little girl all over again. They sounded great and looked FABULOUS! I was quite the devoted fan way back when. Complete with big buttons, shirts, posters, videos, tapes, sheets, comforter, sleeping bag, etc... (Okay, so maybe a little more obsessed that say a casual fan!) However, I must admit that as the years went by, I thought of one of my first true loves (Jordan Knight) less and less. Especially once I noticed boys that I could actually talk to face to face! Fast forward to November 11, 2008, where I saw him again. WOW! All those silly butterflies-in-the-stomach feelings were back. How silly, I know, but it felt great.

I went with Anissa, Laura, and Jill. We stepped out for the evening leaving the Dads at home with 12 children collectively. I don't think they really minded. Not one of them were exactly begging to go along! Luckily Laura remembered to bring a camera along with her so that we could capture some of the fun.

They sounded great. They sang old stuff, new stuff, and danced their little tushes off! Their new music was really good. Bob bought me the cd on iTunes and I love it. I will say that it is not the same music from so long ago, but it's meant for 2008, not 1990! They also sang all the old hits as well. It was a great night.
There were a couple gals in front of us that had a really good camera and were getting excellent pictures. They're going to possibly e-mail them to Laura. If she gets them, I'll have to post again. By the way, if you're interested in my favorite part of the concert, check out this: Somebody caught it on tape!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Elmo Makes Music

Last night I took Brennen to go see the Sesame Street Live show, "Elmo Makes Music". It was a really cute show. We went with Anissa and Lily. Those two are so cute together. We had a great time. This was also our first night out in big boy pants. We made it through with two trips to the potty and no accidents. Yippee! Here are a few shots from our night out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What a poopy day!

Today was just not a good day. I was optimistic that it was going to go pretty well, because I didn't have to leave the house until this evening for any obligations, which just doesn't happen around here. However, I woke up to the television talking about the elections. Strike one. I am not usually big into politics, but I think I've finally gotten my fill of liberal agenda. Then I get up and start working on a few projects. I started potty training Brennen on Monday. It's going okay, but I haven't gotten him to go poopy in the potty yet. So I was making him go without underwear. I know this sounds crazy, but it worked with his brothers. They would go in underwear, but the lack thereof would force them to the toilet. Not Brennen. As I walked out of my bedroom, I glanced over to see Brennen standing in front of the television. Hanging from his little bottom was a poopy. I knew if he moved, it was going onto my carpet. So, being the Mom that I am, I ran over and caught it. How horrid is that? When did my life come to this?! I've never washed my hands so many times in a row! Then later on, Preston was dirty and feels the need to play in it while I change him. So I got to clean up his hands. Then Brennen ran outside and managed to step in dog poopy without shoes on. So I got to clean his feet. This all happened during the same time that I was arguing with a friend on Facebook as to why I don't believe Obama being elected is great for this country. She's insists he's going to save the world from all that is evil, give money to only those who absolutely need it and deserve it, and not raise taxes. More poopy!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Late Halloween!!!

First off let me start this blog by saying, "How is it November already? Can tomorrow really be November 1st?" You would think by now that I wouldn't be surprised by how fast time goes by, but it really seems to go by even faster when you have children. Maybe it's because you don't necessarily want it to go that fast, but yet we always seem to want out of this stage and into the next? Who knows, but time does seem to go at warp speed once little ones enter your lives.

So Halloween was a few days ago. Okay 5, but who's counting! It's been really busy around here so I'm just now getting these pictures out.

Caden was a race car driver at school and an army man at home. (The little girl down the street liked the camo, so that's what prompted the costume change for trick-or-treating at home. I am so not ready for this!)

Maddox had to be the Blue Power Ranger. He's never seen Power Rangers, but from day one this was his request. Anybody who knows Maddox knows, you just go with it.

Brennen wanted to be a Fireman like last year. He has a little trouble say it though. Instead of telling people he's a Fireman, he tries to say Firetruck. However, it comes out as Fire____ (dirty four letter word.) So we just told people what he was for Halloween!

Then Preston had to be what Mommy picked for him. He went as the world's cutest little octopus. With as much as he gets into some days, it feels like he's an octopus! Here is also a picture of Caden, Josh, Maddox, Brennen, Madison, Lily, and Lauren. They all started out trick -or-treating as a group. Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mommy's Little Pumpkins!

Tonight the Ross household engaged in the time honored tradition of carving pumpkins. I had not had the best of evenings, so taking my frustrations out with carving utensils and unsuspecting fruit seemed to be just what the doctor ordered! For some reason I am the only person in my house who will clean out the inside of the pumpkin. How I live in a house of all males who will touch every disgusting reptile there is, but won't touch the inside of a pumpkin, is beyond me. Oh well, again ripping out the insides of something seemed to release stress. Caden wanted a scary pumpkin, while Maddox wanted a happy pumpkin. (He said that he wanted the smile to look just like his. He then proceeded to say that he wanted it to only have two teeth. So I guess it's a little closer to Preston's smile than Maddox's!) Brennen wanted a happy pumpkin too. Bob took on Caden's request and I worked on Maddox and Brennen. Poor Preston's pumpkin still sits whole, but he doesn't seem to mind. Everything went surprisingly well. No yelling or screaming, not even a raised voice. That's amazing sometimes when we do family time!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Teddy Bear

As I mentioned in my first post, Brennen is just like a cuddly bear. He is the sweetest little boy I've ever met. I just have to share a story from our time at the mall today. Maddox is battling a little cold. The child refuses to blow his nose and instead seems to think that if he just keeps sniffing all the congestion back up into his head, it will magically evaporate. We've gone around and around about this, but that's beside the point. Brennen heard his big brothing sniffling like he does and went up to him and very gently asked, "Are you alright Maddox?" Now I know that this may not seem so incredibly sweet to some of you, but for a child that just turned 2 1/2, I was impressed. (Not to mention that there is not a lot of "brotherly love" in our house as of late!) Maddox just looked at him and shyed away. A little while later there was another incident that followed this exactly same path. However this time when Maddox shyed away, Brennen gently put his hand on Maddox's chest, got close so that he was looking Maddox in the eyes, and said, "I love you, Maddox." Talk about melting Mommy's heart. The boy could have gotten anything he wanted from me at that point.

Also today while we were running one of Mommy's many errands at the grocery store, Brennen proved he is also going to try his hand at comedy. He asked me, "Mommy, why'd the chicken cross the road?" I said I didn't know, really wondering where a two-year old was going to go with this. He answered, "He crossed the road to use his legs." Probably not cable worthy, but it made me laugh!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

As a stay-at-home mom, I don't usually get to just talk about all the weird little things that pop into my head that I feel like I want to tell somebody. Maddox and Brennen don't seem to care, and Preston only seems to respond to words like cup, no-no, and bye-bye. So this blog is bound to become my release. So please excuse me if I go into strange rantings that make absolutely no sense!

Today we took the boys to the Pumpkin Patch. You know it's one of those outings you do because you have these grandiose ideas of the great family time that will be had by all. However, by the time you're on your way home, everybody's exhausted, fighting with one another and have either been threatened with a spanking, or has actually had to have one. Okay, it really wasn't that bad. We did have a great time and it was wonderful weather. (Only one disciplinary incident!) Anyway, we are now the proud owners of two big pumpkins (which symbolize Caden and Maddox) and two little ones (which symbolize Brennen and Preston). Apparently Bob and I don't need representation!

These are a few images from our trip today. Hope you enjoy!

And last but not least is was my favorite picture of the day. I can just hear the theme to the Andy Griffith Show playing in my mind as I look at it! I just love these simple little moments.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My very own blog!

Wow. I've always been so excited to read everybody else's blogs. When somebody updates, it just makes my day. (I know it's a little sad, but it's a form of adult contact, which at times I seriously lack!) But today I got my very own blog. I hope to update this somewhat often. Don't expect too much from me at first, as I am new at this. I'm usually just the reader, not the writer! If everything goes as planned I can help you all keep up to date with what's going on in the Ross household. (Well, everything that's fit to print or capture on film.)

We are a family that is full of boys. Caden is 6 and in the first grade. Maddox is 4 and attends preschool three mornings a week. Brennen is 2 and is just a sweet cuddly bear. Preston is bringing up the end for now. He is 13 months old and has a smile that could melt the coldest of hearts. They are our pride and joy.